Why I Don’t Post Like Them

(or why I don’t post like other social media people)

The leaves on the trees were an explosion of bright oranges, greens, and reds. Last week was peak Fall viewing, and by Monday, only a few brightly colored leaves hung from their boughs. In six months, those trees will begin to bud, and by summer, the cobblestone walkways will sit under the shade of the tree canopy again. Like the seasons, change is a normal part of social media and technology.

Take a breath, wait a day, or a week and something has already changed, or someone has already made a new, hot app that people rave about–Another opportunity for digital discipleship. My favorite social media people will have posted their tips or written their blogs (or updated and re-published their old blogs). When I started learning social media, I learned from people who called themselves “experts.” They were, and are, still my most valuable places to get new or updated information. But, if I post my strategies, if I share so openly, I realize I could be helping others who do not believe in what I believe be better at getting their beliefs in front of other people.

Already, I’ve seen this happen. People read the same blogs and they follow each other even if they do not share the same beliefs. Because it’s effective, that belief will succeed. I am also aware that what I post can be interpreted differently than what I intend. I let the “experts” share because they make a living out of it and because I’m not in competition.

One of my hard, fast rules is…I do not help businesses or nonprofits with social media unless they agree to do digital discipleship, too, as there are many great social media marketers who offer their services for a price. I can refer people to others. What I do is different, pioneering a new way where the church or non-profit can team with the missionary organization to work together to share the Gospel. Two articles pointed out that missions will come from the church and technology as we enter a new era of missions. My supported position helps all of WorldVenture–their global community, their partners, their church partners, and the community.

This is why I do not post like other social media people. I want to use what I’ve learned to help get the Gospel in front of people and the body of Christ to be the bridge that helps people cross the ravine of disbelief. The world is hurting and it is dark. Life means very little. I view my position as a support position that helps people see that marketing is also the accidental byproduct of digital discipleship. If you care, people will see that and come to you, if you are patient enough to pray and wait on the Lord for the results.

Anyone Could Have Done It

In a former job, someone wrote on the white erase board a long poem from here. Here is the part that matters:

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it,

And Anyone could have done it

But in the end Nobody always ended up with the task.

Your conversations are online, and when you get the opportunity to share your faith, don’t back away and ask a missionary or pastor to do it for you. Your fear-based response sends the wrong message to the person you love. Afterall, you spent time with this person on and/or offline. A pastor shepherds 300+ and one stat says there is one missionary for every 213,000 people. You established the relationship and they have a connection with you, not with the missionary and not with the pastor.

Do share with your pastor and/or missionary about the situation as much as you are able so they can pray and guide you, but don’t shy from the work of the Gospel. You are capable and braver than you think. Questions can be answered later. I’ve often found it good to say, “Let me get back to you,” on something I don’t have the answer to.

And sometimes, there are no answers in this life. That’s okay, too.

Somebody could do it.

Anybody could have done it.

But, really, your new friends are asking you to do it. They trust you. They love you. You love them. You are not alone as you share your faith with them. Your church and your missionaries are praying with you.

You are brave. You are strong. God is with you.

 

Why Didn’t I Think of It?

Mike Duran is one of those few people who are good at social media. He talks about different subjects with a great tone of voice, putting the responsibility on us to think critically about an issue or a verse, like this one…

Honduras: Random Thoughts #SocialMedia

When I went to Honduras, I chose to learn about the country and its culture. I didn’t want to come across as the typical ugly American. Because social media is global, we need to audit our social media so we share biblical truths framed in love and compassion, written or verbally said in ways that culture will understand. Perception is everything.