The world is more connected now than it has ever been. There are 7.2 billion people on the planet. 3 billion of those are active internet users, and 2 billion of those have active social media accounts. Wow. In a sense, the world is shrinking. The “distance” between us all is closing, and fast.
Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?
One thing for sure, is that, by far, the largest group of social media users is the younger generation. (those who are 45 and younger) It is more and more becoming a norm to be on social media. Looking into the future and seeing the exponential growth in worldwide internet usage and infrastructure, and the growth of social media, it is not unreasonable to assume that most of the world will someday be connected through social media. The degree of separation between any given two people in the world will shrink considerably. You can reach just about anybody with a particular message, and very quickly.
So let’s put this in perspective through a different lens. For hundreds of years the church has sent missionaries out into the world to preach the gospel and to spread the message of salvation. Their goal was to reach those who would not be able to hear the gospel. They would leave their homes, travel across the world, and try to connect and communicate with certain peoples with a certain message. Oh, if only there were a way to find out who those people were, locate them, connect with them and communicate with them without having to travel halfway across the world. If only there were a way to get your message out, grow your reach, and build a community, then have it all found in one location. Something like that could change the world.
Enter social media. The internet is the most effective avenue for connecting people on the planet, and social media is the tool that is changing the world by connecting us. Now, more people have a voice than ever before. You can now reach people right where they are, build connections and make friends faster than ever, and communicate with one another on a whole different level. It’s almost like it is an answer to prayer, the filling of a massive need in one solution.
Garrett Neuman, the Social Media Lead Strategist for The Elements group, is showing churches how to use social media to grow, and he is seeing incredible results. He believes that it is one of the greatest tools offered to the church. In fact, Miche Traina, the founder of The Elements Group, once tried, years ago, to create a database for his church with pictures and profiles of each member and new-comer, so they could better reach them. It was difficult and didn’t quite work out as well as he would have liked. But then came the answer: Facebook. Not only did it prove to be a great way to connect with church members (with profiles and all), but it also became an amazing tool to reach a community. Yes, most of their members were on there, but so were the lost and the people that the church was trying so hard to reach. The church now had a new way to get its message in front of them all without them having to enter the four walls of the church. In Miche’s opinion, social media has been one of the greatest gifts offered to the church for connecting people.
Whether you believe this or not is up for debate, but it’s hard to deny the results. The Kingdom of God is constantly expanding. Does that mean into social media as well? Well, go see for yourself.
Social network stats source: http://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/digital-social-mobile-in-2015