by Toni Birdsong
1. Determine who influences you. Influence is everything. Who you know matters in this world but as Christ followers 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. Know why you are online. You aren’t online to stay in a fat, happy cocoon of fellowship. And you aren’t online just because everyone else is. You are online to transform the culture around you; to inject the cure (Jesus) into the cancer that has overwhelmed the human race (sin). Pray. Connect. Be engaged with those you meet. [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].
3. 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. Don’t compare or try to compete with others—God’s given you a unique message that’s critical to the mission. Be fun, informative, and consistent in what you say and do. [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].
4. Be tolerant & truthful. You will have to tolerate different personalities, values, and belief systems online in order to plow heaven’s fields and express love. You will also have to tolerate differing degrees of Christianity. This does not mean you waver on God’s Truth or re-calibrate your faith to fit the world. [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].
5. Make real relationships. This should be your 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].
6. Add value to the conversation. Become a contagious giver of hearty information. 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].
7. Gather friends—lots of them—offline! The days will grow long. Your heart will become weary. Do not forsake meeting together 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].
8. Keep first things first. Our God opens doors no man can shut. He is our divine connection. Don’t get overly concerned with influence, 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. Trust Him to multiply your online time—and blow your mind with the hearts he will connect you to! [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].
9. Be a giver. You are jumping into a stew of bubbling, brewing, bantering humanity. So, you will get farther online (and off) being positive, extending grace, and being outrageously generous (tag others, RT their passions or causes, call them out positively in your stream, etc.) When people see you consistently shining this heavenly value into the online space, they will stop and take notice—and perhaps even follow suit. [You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matt. 5:14].
10. Don’t major in minor annoyances—keep rolling. 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’s your secret sauce for gaining traction online?
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Show up today. Shine God’s Light into the dark places. Give the enemy a royal migraine. #LiveSticky