Social media can be a kind of Hunger Games of thought for Christians. Many underdeveloped and even some mature spiritual ideas enter into the online death match with hopes of catching fire, but who prevails depends on what Facebook feed you are reading.
The spiritual debates that take place on social media (Blogs, twitter, and Facebook) reflect a conflict in Christian beliefs that existed long before the first app was downloaded on an iPhone. The difference is that on social media, only one person gets to share their opinion at a time, and the virtual reality that separates us seems to also diminish the brotherly love that should also exist between us. This is most evident when one person states their case or issue by criticizing or attacking someone else who is also a believer but holds a different opinion or position on certain things.
Many in the world know what Christians are against, more than what we are for. When we begin to state the case for what we believe by bashing what another person in the body of Christ feels to be God’s revealed truth to them, we only perpetuate that misconception; not to mention alienate ourselves from other believers. Any opinion that has to criticize others in order to have enough value to be shared should be kept to yourself.
In a day when young people are disregarding church leaders and their message in record numbers, it is more important that we share our beliefs with them instead of “defending” our position against other Christians. We are the light of the world. The light does not have to explain why the dark is so bad. It just has to be the light, and watch the darkness flee while people are drawn to its benefits.
The spiritual discussion that takes place on social media is a great thing. I do not want to discourage anyone from tweeting their journey or posting their thoughts. I do hope to encourage you to continue the conversation of faith without assassinating the character and opinions of others in order to elevate your own heart felt beliefs. So in conclusion, be known for what you are for rather than what you are against. And may the odds (and retweets) be ever in your favor.
There is a group of young people coming of age in America who are the least likely to attend church than any previous generation. They really like mustaches, wear super tight jeans, and seem to tweet their every thought, and post a pic of each cup of coffee. Did I mention they are much too liberal minded for most people already established in church? Yet, one way or another, this enormous and diverse group of young people is going to change the world. I believe they can and will make a difference for Jesus… but we have to reach them first.
Three Ways We Can Reach Millenials
These are just a few small ideas about how to reach this gen. I hope you do some research of your own, and more importantly find a way to reach out to a young person in your life.
Check out these other sites for info on millenials:
Ever find out something so exciting that you can’t wait to share it with everyone else, only to discover that your were the last person to get the news? You probably responded with, why didn’t you tell me sooner!
In the same way you shouldn’t be stingy with the gospel. It can get discouraging at times when not everyone reacts as if you have just told them they won a new car, but you should still continue to share the story of what God has done. The Bible makes it clear that not everyone we share with will respond the way we expect. We are not responsible for the results, just our obedience.
In 2 Timothy 2:3-6 we are encouraged to be hardworking farmers. Though the hardworking farmer should be the first to enjoy his labors (v.6), the reward is preceded by trials along the way (v.3).
In Mark 4:3-8 we are told the parable of the farmer who sows his seed in four different types of ground, but only one produced a harvest. This parable does not only tell the story of someone sharing the gospel, but also how each heart receives the good news.
As people who have already received Christ, I would like us to focus not so much on the receiving end of spreading the gospel (the different soils), but on the giving end (the Farmer scattering seed). We are commissioned in Matthew 28:18-19 to go and spread the gospel - to continue the work that Jesus began and described to us in Mark 4.
This work is not for the faint of heart, and is very taxing. Though the seed was sown in four different places, only one type of soil produced a harvest. While this at first may sound discouraging; look at the results. If the ground would have just produced double what it was supposed to, then we would have been pleasantly surprised. If it would have produced four times as much, then we would rejoice that our labors were not in vain. Instead, it produced 100 times what was planted! While we may not always see the results right away when planting seeds in people’s hearts (sharing the gospel), but the reward/result is always more than we could ever imagine.
What is the bottom line? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.” This is grace at work. While many people would like to just find the rich soil and only plant there, that is not what the farmer did. He scattered the seed to each type of soil. I believe that a person coming to Christ is a result of three things on the end of the messenger made evident in this passage:
Planting - sharing the gospel
Praying - watering your seed by praying for those you share the gospel with
Patience - allowing God to bring the increase
Plant, Pray, and Patiently love. We are not in charge of the results (thank God!), but we are responsible for our obedience to His command to GO.
The first three types of soil can be discouraging, but we should not give up the important work of spreading.
The hard ground heart gets us excited, because they receive the message with such joy at first, and then we are disappointed when don’t see them at church for weeks.
Those represented by the sun scorched soil are going through tough times, and may have a difficulty relating to God since they have so many disappointments, hurts, and trials to work through. They come to the church for answers, they just as quickly turn to other destructive things as well. Be patient, and keep praying.
Then there are those caught up in the thorns of the pleasure of this world. They may lash out to us when we reach out in love, but our job is to plant the seed; not to be celebrated by the soil.
In all these cases, we plant, we pray, then we are patient as God brings the increase. After all, the rich soil that we are presently seeing fruit in may not be the result of our hard work, but of those that have sowed several times before us while the Holy Spirit worked on that person’s heart.
"The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest." - Jesus, John 4:36-38