With the passing of Billy Graham, I was reminded of his innovative use of the TV to broadcast the gospel. It’s estimated that Graham reached roughly 215 million people in live audiences and roughly 2.2 billions through TV with this message over the course of his career.
Sure, there are a fair share of characterizations about television, just as many I would bet about social media. Before social, I’m willing to assume that TV was the pastor’s preferred whipping post in Sunday’s sermon. Now that post is social media.
But it bears considering, what if pastors considered social media the way Dr. Graham considered TV?
Here are three helpful ways for pastors to use social:
1. Helpful application of Scripture to cultural occurrences.
Many inside and outside of the church are wondering how believers will respond to political conversations like gun control, the border wall, and immigrants. But they’re also wondering how we respond to disasters like making sense of mass shootings, suicide bombers, and earthquakes. How do the Scriptures inform believers about these discussions and these happenings? The problem of evil is always present, and American’s are asking how to make sense of it. (Chris Martin wrote a helpful piece on using social after a tragedy.)
2. Using social to help shepherd the church.
I’ve written about this before, and you can read it here. But a quick summary is this: your people are on Facebook, and you should be too. Often times great gospel conversations with your people will come if you’re just paying attention on Facebook to what your people are saying.
3. Allowing your Facebook page to be a place where your Christian growth is visible.
This might not be for everyone, some might prefer to keep things tied down for security reasons. But if you’re willing, transparency on social is rare. Those who are willing to open up and let others see how they’re wrestling through political discussions, the problem of evil, and day-in and day-out faith can speak immensely to a watching world.
Pastor or ministry leader: we have a tool at our disposal that can greatly aid our advancement of the Kingdom. Are you using it to do that?
Sam Morris, is the Electronic Marketing Specialist for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife have one son.