Embracing Social Community

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2, NIV

Chris was a leader in her local church’s youth group. She loved interacting with the teenagers and found most of them were very open with her. But one girl, Risa, wasn’t.

Despite her efforts, Chris couldn’t seem to connect with Risa. The girl barely answered her and was always distracted by her phone. So Chris asked if she could friend Risa on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

As soon as Chris connected with Risa, she sent her a short message asking about her day. Risa quickly texted back a long paragraph about what she’d done that day and a problem she was having with a friend.

Chris was amazed. “It was the best conversation we’d ever had and I realized that sometimes ministry means going where the people are…like Facebook and Instagram.”

Over time, Risa opened up on chat and began sharing more about a violent situation going on in her home life. Chris reported this information to the authorities and stayed online with Risa until she was safe.

“Sometimes, it’s hard to share deeply personal information face-to-face. By talking with Risa on social media, she felt safe enough to disclose what was really going on,” Chris explained.

God, just as Jesus was willing to meet people where they were, help me to reach out to people where they are on social media. Give me wisdom to know how to start conversations and when to share my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sharing Your Light

“…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16, NIV

Robert had been active daily on Facebook for years. He often posted photos about the adventures he was going with his kids, how much he loved his wife, and what he was doing for his community.

When Robert was injured in a job accident, he knew he’d probably never work in construction again. He’d loved the joy of working with his hands and he was disappointed that he’d have to start his career over.

 A Facebook friend reached out to Robert to let him know about a small, local organization was starting up. The organization would be focused on reaching out to at-risk teens.

So, Robert went to meet with the director. “As soon as Brett suggested you, I wanted to meet with you,” the director explained. “I’ve been following your posts on Facebook for a while and I know you’re the kind of mentor we need here.”

Although Robert hadn’t known it at the time, the posts about his family and his community were broadcasting his faith. He was delighted when the organization’s director offered him a job, provided he completed a training period.

God, help me to remember that everything I do online is a reflection of You. I want that reflection to be encouraging and uplifting. In Jesus’ name, Amen.