This Lent discover #ShareJesus: THE POWER OF GRACE COMBINED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.
“If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.” — Pat Morley
When the Gospel is proclaimed, we believe the Holy Spirit and the grace of God are always present and active in power. Social media has become an ever present force in our lives, but it is also a force that builds business, drives sales, and connects people all over the world. What if we could really combine these forces together? That’s what #ShareJesus is all about.
Maybe you think, the church already does social media, i.e. “My church has a Facebook and Twitter account” or “xyz ministry has 200,000 likes.” Firstly, we cannot confuse followers with engagement. Social media is also intended to be social and we all too often in the church miss the truly social aspect of social media using it as a broadcast tool not as a Web 2.0 tool. I also believe we can’t simply just be present to be effective in evangelizing on social media. We must be creative and innovative. We must inculturate the Gospel to the world online.
Think about this if you will: YouTube user DC Toys collector has nearly 4 million subscribers, made an estimated 5 million dollars this past year alone, and some of her videos have over 100s of millions of views, and she simply unwraps presents. If the gospel is the most powerful, life changing content known to man, why isn’t the church racking up view counts with viral videos sharing the gospel?
#ShareJesus is an idea that I am hoping becomes the largest single social media campaign in the Catholic Church to date. I came up with the idea in conjunction with launching my new website redeemedonline.com which I am developing to be the go to website on how to do social media for churches.
Here’s the basics of #ShareJesus: Each day of Lent, beginning Ash Wednesday and running through Easter Sunday, we will release a 2-3 minute video from a top Catholic speaker. Videos are based on the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel. They are created for sharing and discussion on social media giving people the ability to #ShareJesus within their social circles.
We’ve got a dynamic list of speakers doing videos: Fr. Leo Patalinghug, Sr. Miriam Heidland, Deacon Ralph Poyo, Brian Kissinger, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Andy Lesnefsky, Leah Darrow, Michael Gormley, Chris Padgett, Paul George, Sarah Swafford, Fr. Dave Pivonka, Paul Kim, Ennie Hickman, Mark Hart, Dave VanVickle, Ben Walther, Fr. Joe Freedy, Karen Reynolds, Kathleen McCarthy, Sean Forrest, Jim Beckman, Bob Lesnefsky, Courtney Brown, Pete Burak, and Mary Bielski.
I hope this project is only a taste of what the Church can do with the power of social media. I pray it’s a start that inspires churches, dioceses, and ministries to allocate funding and resources to come up with ways to use social media to effectively evangelize and #ShareJesus in creative and innovative ways.
So this Lent, don’t just give up chocolate. Do something really awesome. Join #ShareJesus at redeemedonline.com. It’s your opportunity to experience and share Jesus in a new way.