18Feb

10 things God taught me about social networking (first!)

share Jesus online, social media, Christians, technology, faithby Toni Birdsong
1. Influence is everything. Who you know matters in this world but as Christians we know “the” One connection that trumps them all, Jesus Christ. When you log on, you do so under the reputation and authority of The Most High God. Now that’s influence. [Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12].

2. Be yourself. There will be imitators around every corner but if you follow Christ online, you will know who you are and whose you are. That authenticity will come through in everything you do and say online. [Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Rom. 12:3].

3. Be tolerant & truthful. You will have to “tolerate” different personalities, values, and belief systems online in order to sustain peace and express love. You will also have to tolerate differing degrees of Christianity. This does not mean you waver on God’s Truth. [O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. Psalm 43:3].

4. Relationship first. This is the online mantra and what Jesus taught passionately. Jesus threw this up to the Pharisees repeatedly. You have the ability to build relationships online that will walk with you into eternity. Don’t mess that up with sacrificing relationship for the sake of religion. [Love your neighbor as yourself. Matt. 22:39].

5. Add value to the conversation. That means bread over junk food. Every day, first thing, come and partake of the bread of life—time with Christ. Only then will you have valuable (lasting/sticky) content to share with others online. [And Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35].

6. Gather friends—lots of them. The days will grow long. Your heart will become weary. Do not forsake meeting together (on and off line) with true friends and fellow believers. This will sustain you and grow your faith in The Land of Shiny Things. [Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Cor. 12:27].

7. Connections = clout. Indeed, our God opens doors no man can shut. He is our divine connection. Don’t get too concerned with “influencers,” getting your numbers fat, or rubbing digital shoulders with all the right “peeps” and networks online. Jesus Christ is your divine connection for every next magnificent step. [I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5].

8. Be positive. Conflict will happen. You are jumping into a stew of bubbling, brewing, bantering humanity. You will get farther online (and off) being positive, extending grace, and forgiving others. When people see you consistently shining this heavenly value into the online space, they will stop and take notice. [You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matt. 5:14].

9. Know why you are online. You aren’t online to stay in a fat, happy cocoon of fellowship. You are online to transform the culture around you; to inject the cure (Jesus) to the cancer that has infected the human race (sin). Pray. Connect. Be engaged with the lost. [Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38].

10. Haters will hate. It stings but roll with it. If the worst you get is a Twitter smack, a blog rant, or “defriended” because of your faith, consider yourself blessed (and successful). Jesus absorbed much, much, much more. Expect haters and consider it an honor that you are penetrating the darkness and giving the enemy a royal migraine. [If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. John 15:18-19].

What verse carries you through the digital world with unwavering focus?

Post/Tweet this today:
Show up today. Shine God’s Light into the dark places. Give the enemy a royal migraine. #LiveSticky

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  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    First!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    Sorry, couldn’t resist! :) What sticks out most to me in this list is relationships first. That’s one of the biggest deals for me. This is so much more about being a one way “bullhorn”. It’s about developing and maintaining relationships. That takes time but it’s also the most rewarding.

  • Tami Heim

    You go Tony!

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  • Kim Cash Tate

    I’ve probably posted this verse here before but it’s STILL my focus. :) It’s Colossians 3:12-14, which says to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with others and forgiving others…and above all else, to put on love. Those verses guide me as I connect with people online (and in life). I’m often amazed that a simple ten-second tweet to someone–showing we care–can make a world of difference in that person’s life, depending on what they may be going through. Those verses get the focus off of me…much like @stickyJesus. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Tony – you are ON the money! Every word spoken here will fade into a vapor but the lives we (God chooses to) touch here through us—will be eternally present with Christ (we pray). Nothing lasts outside of that. Nothing.

  • Tami Heim

    I love that you GET the weight and impact of your words. Shine on my friend. YOU are a dent in the darkness.

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    I love that verse. Dressing up for Jesus. And with Him. :)

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