This list will give you some ideas about how to use Social Media for Discipleship or helping others to grow closer to Christ as they live their lives in His service. Disciple making is a Co-Mission with the Holy Spirit. It is the vital role of the Christian to introduce others to the Creator and Redeemer. We don’t really make disciples, but we use our words and actions to help them Know Jesus as their friend and Savior. We help them to apprentice themselves to Jesus, the Master Builder. As apprentices or disciples, we all learn to live like Jesus. This is the goal of discipleship.
Here are some ideas about how to use Social Media as an apprentice and disciple maker. All of these ideas use links to content authored by someone else or yourself. The Social Media Discipler will master the use of links to share the Good News in many ways, some of which are listed here. If you think of other ways, drop a note in the comments about them.
Curator–Curator’s are usually Museum directors. They collect the artifacts of past lives and display them so that we can learn about life in the past and how it can influence our life today. A Social Media curator collects stories or resources and shares them with individuals by linking to them on their Facebook or other Social Media like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Google+. Most of us will start with Facebook. Share a story about healthy living at the right time with someone and it might inspire them to remind them how valuable their health is. Share a story about faith and it might turn the tide in someone’s walk with Christ.
Encourager–People get discouraged, or they lack encouragement. They often post something online that signals their discouragement. You can be there with a word of courage or a text that lifts them up. To Encourage is to put courage into. This is a great ministry, remember Barnabas, Paul’s Co-worker was a great encourager. Social Media is uniquely suited to offer encouragement.
Prayer Partner–If your church has a Facebook page (it should), it is a great place to list prayer requests. Take those prayer requests and make them part of your personal prayer list. Let the requester know you are praying for them. Follow up when you can on how things are going with their prayers and their needs. Start a Prayer Time once a week, sort of a mini-online prayer meeting. There is a need for privacy protection, so be sure to ask for permission about what you post.
Reporter–If your church has an event, take photos with your smartphone and post it on your Facebook timeline or share it on Twitter. It’s good publicity to let folks know what’s happening in your church. Don’t overdue it, your friends may not like 60 pictures of your Thanksgiving Service. Find a good picture and a few words and let that speak for itself.
Communicator–If you are in the line of communication at your church, Social Media is a great fit for getting the word out about what is coming up. And it’s a great place to thank people for their service at church. Get the word out about events and the good things people do.
Connector–Helping people to fellowship together is easy to do online. Make your communications inclusive and inviting. Help people to connect who have similar ideas and interests.
Resource Finder–Some folks are very resourceful. And they collect resources. They can be very useful at the right time. Like librarians, they can point you in the right direction and save you a lot of time and effort. They know where to search for the practical resources that can improve your church and the lives of your members. When people find you resourceful, they will contact you and ask for solutions to their problems. Having a good list of resources available that can be shared on Social Media can make a big difference.
Bible Messages–This person loves to find texts in Scripture that uplift and bring revival to thirsty hearts. Try to find a regular pattern of sharing texts so folks know when to expect them. Balance them with other links and stories and ideas so that you are known for more than sharing texts. Nothing wrong with sharing Scripture, but some people can be turned off if that is all you are known for. Remember that your audience is made up of a lot of different people at different stages in their friendship with Jesus. A text may be just the thing for one, while another is puzzled by it. Still another may find it intrusive. Use Social Media and Scripture to be inviting and encouraging and you will be given permission in the future to take people deeper into Scripture.
Devotions–Some folks have the gift of taking a text and explaining it so that it encourages discipleship. Do this once a week, same time each week and see if it doesn’t make a difference in someone’s life. A paragraph or two that explains and offers an application of the text can help someones devotion to Christ grow.
Story Teller–The power of a well told story is immeasurable. Funny stories can lift spirits, other stories can inspire and motivate. Collect stories and share them like pearls of wisdom.
Quotes–A good quote is like a log floating downstream and someone who is struggling can climb up on it and be rescued. Short quotes are highly charged stories or ideas that are packed with energy. Collect them and share them, one or two a week, more if you have a large collection of them.
History–I know a few people who use stories from the past to help people follow Christ. They love history and the lessons that are built in to the stories. They use the stories to teach Christlikeness in our world.
Care Alerts–If someone is going into the hospital or needs prayer or help for some other specific need, that can be posted on the church Facebook page. Get permission first and make sure that they are comfortable with people knowing what is going on. Some folks would rather go into the hospital without others knowing about it. Protect their privacy. But many church members are sharing with others what is happening in their lives and are grateful to use Social Media to alert their friends and church family to what is going on.
One of the best ways to use your online time is to be a disciple yourself. Use your words and actions to point to Christ. Live like Christ in person and online and the effect will be multiplied. Let your posting and sharing be a great reflection of your love for God and it will be rewarded many times over.