David Jeremiah/Special to The Pathway
EL CAJON, Calif. – Much of what gets shared on some social networking sites can be less than profound. With the wheat comes the chaff in any new endeavor. As Christians, our goal is to recognize the potential for good that social networking technology presents – new opportunities for serious communication about spiritually important matters.
The most important, of course, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think what a difference 2,000 years has made! Jesus and John the Baptist proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God by voice at first, and the early apostles and evangelists did the same, one sermon at a time. By the end of the first century, the four Gospels, Acts, Revelation and the Epistles had been written and were being copied and distributed by hand. By the fourth century, the Old and New Testaments had been codified and bound together as “Bibles”; they were hand-copied and painstakingly distributed for the next thousand years.
Then came a revolution as world-changing as the Internet. Around 1440, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in Germany and produced copies of the Bible. For the last 500 years, the Bible has been the most printed and widely sold and distributed book in history. With modern media – radio, television, magazines, video and audio – ways of spreading the gospel and Bible teaching have multiplied. But the barrier to further expansion has always been the cost. Social networking has presented a new opportunity for organizations and individuals alike to inexpensively extend the Kingdom of God.
There are many ways for individuals to make an impact for Christ through social networking. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can let your social network know about answers to prayer, Bible study insights or a book that has impacted your life. It’s like having a digital conversation with your closest friends!
And here’s the most amazing part of social networking: Through the Web’s search engines, your social network will grow and your impact will spread. Your words will find a listening ear somewhere in cyberspace. (David Jeremiah is pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif.)