04 June 2014

Jesus Does Not Need Social Media to Grow His Church

photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus declared that He would build His Church. Some megachurch pastors might alter that statement slightly, however. For instance, Rick Warren might say that Jesus said, “I will build My Church with the help of annual campaigns.”

Steven Furtick might quote the verse this way: “I will build My Church by the power of Sun Stand Still prayers and audacious faith.”

And finally, based on a 22 May 2014 post on his blog, NewSpring pastor Perry Noble might arrange Matthew 16:18 this way: “I will build My Church with the help of social media.”

This blog post, entitled “Seven Ways to Grow Your Church by Leveraging Social Media,” was compiled by NewSpring’s ‘social media team.’ Who knew that the kingdom could be grown just by a well-worded tweet? Just for fun, let us walk through these seven reasons.
1. "Be an active part of the conversation on social media platforms. . . . If your social media platforms are empty or haven’t posted anything new for months, people will think your message is out of date too!"
Ironically, it is the content of some church and pastor Twitter accounts that convinces me to never step foot inside those churches. I would much rather that a church not even have social media accounts than to use them for foolishness. Far more important than the date of a church's latest tweet is its fidelity to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. "Contribute content worth sharing. We're all strolling around the Internet asking, 'What's in it for me?'. . ."
The purpose of the church is not to coddle the felt needs of men. The Church universal is comprised of those who have been called out and saved by God. The local church, then, is where those believers gather to fellowship, worship, and hear the Word taught and proclaimed. What’s in it for you? If it’s a church worthy of its calling, expect conviction of sin, forgiveness found in Christ, and a call to holiness—that is what is in it for you.
3. "Answer questions people are asking. Everyone is asking three questions: What happened? What’s happening? What's next?"
Here is how we answer these:

What happened? Man sinned. Jesus Christ, the God-man, did not. He kept the law perfectly, living the life that men cannot. Jesus Christ died, bearing the punishment that sinners deserve as He presented Himself as an unblemished sacrifice for sin. Jesus Christ rose, demonstrating the acceptance of His sacrifice and His power of sin and death.

What’s happening? God is calling men to Himself, granting them repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

What’s next? Those who have been saved by Christ are commanded to proclaim the gospel until He comes again.
4. "Know your audience and the platform. All social media platforms are not created equal. . . . Know who’s there and why they are there. Then, craft your message and communication specifically for them."
Here is your earthly audience:
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. (Titus 3:3)
And because this is the Christian's earthly audience, there is only one pertinent message: Repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Conveniently, such a message will also please your heavenly audience of One.
5. "Listen to the conversation."
Who cares about "the conversation"? Listen to what God is saying in His Word, then share that with whoever will listen.
6. "Provide excellent customer service. Excellent customer service lets your audience know that you’re listening. And, when they know you’re listening to them, they’ll listen to you. You are the expert for your organization."
For the church, providing “excellent customer service” means calling all men everywhere to repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:47). But, for the record, the church is not shilling a product and if your church behaves as if it is, you’d best find another place to worship that more properly reveres and exalts God and His Word.
7. "Empower your staff and volunteers. One of the greatest ways your church can reach people in your community is by empowering staff and volunteers to share their stories and connect with others."
If a church is remaining faithful to the Word of God, then those proclaimed and lived-out truths ought to be empowering enough.

Friend, if your church isn’t making the most of social media, do not fret. Christ will grow His true Church without the aid of Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. These can be wonderful tools, but are hardly necessary. The purpose of the local church is not to stay abreast of the most popular Twitter hashtag, but to feed and equip the saints so that they may go out into the world and declare the lifesaving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You, then, focus your efforts on proclaiming Christ in whatever forum you have been given, and let Him do the construction work.

Further Reading
Perry Noble "Loved" and Recommends the Book 'Heaven Is for Real'
What If 'My God' Is Bigger than 'Your God'?
Willow Creek on 'Fired Up' Women in 'Full Service' in the Church

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for speaking straight up, no nonsense! It's like a cold, refreshing drink of water. Again, thanks so much. Barbara L.

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  2. Erin, an absolute gem of an article, and your biblical responses to the rather foolish, self-centered and worldly "Seven ways To ......" are so spot on that it hurts (it being both serious and funny). You should see the junk churches post in trying to stay "relevant," "current" and hip. There is a plethora of quotes out there on churches' websites/Twitter feeds from Zig Ziglar, "mother" Teresa, Warren Buffett, Gandhi, and even Coco Chanel. Kid you not.
    Blessings!

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  3. Here's how.... Go Ye!

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  4. Are you going to close down this blog too? Dont you need this social media to stand up and speak out. Your about section says "Even our proclamation of the true Gospel of Jesus may be marred if we choose to remain silent in the presence of "doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1) because our silence betrays a subtle acceptance of these lies" Cant churches too use social media to do the same?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Define "churches' and define their "messages."

      Delete

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