Should More Churches Use Social Media for Outreach?
Should churches and religious organizations use technology as a vehicle for outreach? Is it wrong to use social media to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Technology Launched the Great Reformation
Yes, yes, and a thousand times, yes, we should take every advantage that technology provides to take the gospel into all the world. Consider Johann Gutenberg and his invention of the printing press. This new technology started the Great Reformation because previously only a select few Catholic priests had access to the Bible and services being held in Latin kept most of the world in the dark about what the Bible actually teaches. When the Guttenberg Printing Press was invented, the Bible was made available to the general public for the first time and the explosion of new converts was seen to be directly related to the Bible’s availability. The Word of God has power in it and His Word never fails to produce results (Isaiah 55:11) and so when people started reading the Bible, the effect was so powerful that the Great Reformation was launched and Christianity spread at the most rapid pace since the days of the Apostle Paul.
Roman Roads Spread the Gospel
Part of the way that the Roman Empire spread so quickly was through their interconnectedness. The Romans were excellent road builders and these roads made reinforcement of Roman soldiers so easy that they were able to hold power for hundreds of years and the might of their power was due to their road building technology. What the Roman roads also did was to make it easier to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Roman Empire, using Roman roads to take missionaries to the outer reaches of the Empire to spread Christianity and plant churches. Paul used these roads as his primary missionary routes indicated but there was also the Roman mail system. Rome had an intricate complex of communication systems that they used to keep a tight grip on their ever-expanding Empire. These same mail systems were used by the Roman military leaders to keep in constant communication with one another. This same mail system that helped Rome keep its power was also used by the Apostle Paul to deliver his letters (the epistles) from all of Judea, Asia-Minor and even to Rome. Almost all of the New Testament epistles were circulated to other churches using the Roman roads via carriers that took the church’s epistles (most of the books of the New Testament) to places that the early church leaders could not possible travel on their own.
Spreading the Gospel with Technology
Today many ministries use smart technology to reach into places that are inaccessible by Christian missionaries, and why not! Today the gospel is going into all the world via the Internet, smart phones, satellite, international television, radio, and free downloads. There is no shortage of gospel presentations on YouTube either. If the desired goal is to go into all the world, and it is, then why not use every bit of technology to do it? It is not technology itself that is evil, it is those who are using it for evil that are. Even so, if the Apostle Paul were alive today, you can bet that he would be using every means possible to get the gospel into areas that he could not travel.
There are people that I know of that I have had contact with by email that I send links to about how to share the gospel, how to witness to those of the Islamic faith, how to read and study the Bible, and one man in particular I send some of my messages via YouTube, because where he lives Christianity is illegal and a person can be killed for even possessing a Bible or attending a church. Some of the technology translates some of these messages into other languages and some of my own writings I have been able to translate into languages of non-English speaking peoples. The translation of the gospel into other languages is so much easier to do today because of the technology that can translate voice and written words into languages where the gospel can be heard and read where they previously had no access to it.
Because of the social media and technology of today, the gospel is going into hard to reach places like Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, China, and Indonesia which you may not know, has one of the highest Muslim population s on the planet. According to National Catholic Reporter’s veteran correspondent John Allen, over 10,000 Chinese were becoming Christian every single day and that number is growing.  A great number of these daily conversions are taking place via the Internet and over smart phone technology. God can use any means necessary to reach the lost and so we should take advantage of ever means at our disposal because God is sovereign and He has allowed such technology, just like free will, to do both good and evil.
Perhaps the best way to reach the lost is still using the foot and mouth. Paul writes that
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Rom 10:14-15).
Salt must get out of the shaker to be effective and so words must come out of our mouth so that people can hear why they need the Savior. Just allowing our light to shine is not enough. They must see Christ in us, yes, but they must also hear from us that He is the light of the world. It takes a woman or man of God, with the Word of God, mixed with the Spirit of God to make children of God. Undercover Christians cannot share the good news if people don’t even know they’re a believer or they never get out of the pews. Get out of that pew because being simple pew potatoes is never going to get someone saved. The first part of the word gospel is “go” and you can’t even spell the gospel without it. Jesus said to “Go into all the world…” (Math 28:18-20) not just sit there and let the world watch you or come to you. A church will never grow unless it is willing to go! So “Go into all the world,” using every means of technology that is available to you and go into all the world, even if it’s right next door.
Another Reading: The Moral Decay In America? How Far Have We Gone
Jack is a Christian Author and Freelance Writer. He is Pastor at the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane, Kansas. Jack is also a Senior Writer and Communications Editor for “What Christians Want To Know” Website and Facebook page. In addition to that Jack is finishing receiving his masters in religious studies. His books are available on Amazon.
1. Malkin, Michael. 10,000 Christians a Day. August 12, 2007. http://michellemalkin.com/