A man stood on the corner, shouting into his bullhorn, “Repent, or you will go to hell!” Social Media has become the bullhorn–A place rife with opinions. What if instead, we asked questions?
Rather than tell people how to think, walk with them as they think. 1 Peter 5:2-3 talks about shepherding. The commentary by David Guzik speaks of pastors.
“Shepherds should not do their job as lords, because the sheep do not belong to them. The sheep are entrusted to them. Instead, shepherds are to serve by being examples, not dictators. (emphasis mine)” (from here)
Every person on social becomes a shepherd; an example people follow whether they want that role or not. What we post both visually and literally shares our character with others. Everything from how often we check in to a church, to what we are studying in the Bible, to how we interact with others gives a visual story of our life to others. If we become the man with the bullhorn, we will only get people who agree with us and alienate the rest of them. If we alienate others, we do not have any connection with them.
Seek to honor others and slow down in building those friendships. A former pastor friend once said, “Salvation is a supernatural miracle.” It won’t happen overnight.
- First, get to know your friends, what they post, what they are thrilled with, and how they struggle.
- Converse with them often.
- Most importantly, seek to meet them for coffee where the Spirit leads. Let the online friendship complement the face-to-face one.
- Seek friendship because you care, and remain friends with them even if they choose not to become a believer. Always be authentic in all your friendships.
As to the man with the bullhorn, I only saw him once or twice. Most people avoided him. Others, like me, stared because it was so freakish. Things could have been different had he just talked to people.