Influencing the Social Media World

Influencing the Social Media World

Editor’s note: For the month of May, we are focusing on “Influencing the World”. In Mark 16:15 Jesus says to “Go into the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” One of the core beliefs of our church is that “The Church is meant to be the visible body of Christ, sent into the world to glorify God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.” We pray that you will be encouraged to go out into your world to make His way known.

I remember when social media was a new thing to me. I was in high school, and the idea of having a “space” to express myself seemed like such a neat thing! Getting to pick a song that I identified with to play when someone visited my personal page, telling the whole world, or even, better yet, my list of friends, that Beckah is…. craving doritos…all seemed so harmless and intriguing. It was exciting to see who was writing on “my wall” or page or whatever it was called back then. What a thrill, right?! Am I striking up some memories here?

Fast forward a few years, or maybe 15 to be exact, and look at what social media has evolved into. Political controversy, comparison trap upon comparison trap, the blasting of a business when the service was subpar, hate speech and screen fighting. I mean honestly, the list could go on and on.

Even though sometimes it feels like the bad can outweigh the good, there are still good things about social media, too! The sweet family pictures, those accounts that have the best inspirational quotes, LIVE sales at your favorite boutique, and even a way to livestream a church service during a global pandemic (Thank you, Jesus!)! But when you look beyond the surface level of the content on social media, it is so much bigger than what we are seeing. We have allowed social media to come in, and create an addictive space to find our sense of value, opinion, and what we want right now.

Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of negativity displayed on social media outlets that are alarming and a true display of deeper root issues, but what happens when we decide to be the change? If we decide to impact instead of impress, what good could we see?

A few years back during one of our women’s ministry events at the church, one of the speakers focused on being rooted in the characteristics of Jesus. One thing she talked about that really stuck with me was, if we are rooted in these things, the fruit of our branches display those also. For example, if we are rooted in the LOVE and JOY of the Holy Spirit, our sphere of influence receives those things from us.

Something that my sphere of influence included at that time was a women’s beauty tips and tricks Facebook page. I had always longed for that page to be more than just lipstick and eyeshadow. During this message at the women’s event, the Lord revealed to me that, “You can impact the beauty of the heart of the women you are reaching just like you are impacting the beauty of the flesh!” It took me back because, at the time, I didn’t quite understand what He was getting at. After spending time in prayer and in the Word, I believe that God gave me the vision of creating these beauty tutorials paired with devotionals that focused on Godly principles and Biblical truths to be displayed by me on my women’s beauty page. This was something truly different than what I had used social media for in the past, and different than what I had seen social media become.

It definitely took a leap of faith for me to get started, but the reward I saw through being different in the social media realm was abundant. When you get called to pray over women that you don’t even know, because they heard your devotional and felt called to reach out, THAT’S POWERFUL! When you are in a live tutorial and get a word from God that you share on a whim, and get a private message later that it was specifically for someone that was listening, THERE’S WALLS TORN DOWN THERE! When you have women that don’t know you, praying over your daily struggles via messenger because you shared your heartache, THERE’S HEALING THERE! I could give you numerous examples of God’s goodness being revealed to me via this social media outlet.

Now you may not feel lead to open a page with thousands of women on Facebook, but I challenge you not only to see the good, but to BE THE GOOD in the world of social media. Be the positive affirmation someone may be seeking. Speak words of encouragement over someone’s post that cries for help during a hard time. Write out your words of prayers over those that post about their struggles. Allow others to be truly “seen” by you when you are scrolling, and reach out to them. Choose a few people that you have seen when scrolling, and pray over their day. There are lots of ways that we can BE the positive. Take a leap of faith, be equipped and empowered by Jesus, and IMPACT those that you influence.

We would like to thank Beckah Hunt for writing this post.

What If We Were Real

vulnerability sign_imageThere’s a song by Mandisa that says:
“What if I share my brokenness,
What if you share how you feel,
What if we weren’t afraid of this crazy mess,
What if we were real?”

I’ve been wrestling with this one. Because life is messy, and it doesn’t always turn out the way we planned.

When I was growing up and went to church camp as a young girl and a teenager, I would tell God that I’d do anything, go anywhere for Him. I would ask for Him to take my life and change my heart.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’m learning that sometimes actually following God with all my heart is very painful. Something that sounds as “easy” as healthy relating, or forgiving, or embracing a new season, or surrendering…can be excruciating.

And here I thought I was going to be a missionary across the ocean for the rest of my life…Learning to be vulnerable with the people I live with right here is much harder. Learning to get in God’s truth about me, and be open because I know who I am—even if I might be wounded again…even though I am terrified.

So, what if I’m not “perfect”? What if I don’t measure up in the ways that I think I should?

What if I’m just quirky, emotional, creative, and compassionate? What if I’m the one who loves hot tea and crocheting and singing in the car with the windows down? What if I’m the one who loves standing in the rain, looking at the stars out in the country, and worshipping freely? What if I am far from perfect, but beginning to walk through this season of healing, and learning to be grateful and embrace every moment—no matter what it looks like?

What if I am—what if you are—the one who is healing, learning, loving, forgiving, embracing, rejoicing, interceding, and opening up?

Yes, it can be messy. Yes, it can even be painful. But, it is freeing. And it’s so worth it.

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I’d like to take this time to make a shameless “plug” for the upcoming Life Giving Women’s Retreat. 🙂

Coming to the Women’s Retreat can be intimidating for many. Most probably think at one point or another, “The last place I want to be is spending a whole weekend with a couple hundred other women!” But from the smiling faces that greet you at the door, to the kind room leaders, to the creative ones who decorate the tables so beautifully, you know that this is femininity expressed as you’ve never seen it before. Here, you are encouraged to be real, to be yourself, to laugh out loud, to cry, to be embraced, and to feel inspired.

Every year at the Women’s Retreat, I come away in amazement at the kindness of women. It is a place where you will be challenged to be open and vulnerable, but it is also a place of healing. You will build friendships and be blessed in ways that only godly women can bless other women.

So, choose to take courage, step out, and discover what your heart looks like—as a woman. Please, take the plunge this year—come to the women’s retreat! You can register online by clicking here.

This post was written by Heather Dillard. To read more about her, click here.