By Jason Ham
I am writing this article against the backdrop in the news of the Gaza/Israel conflict where hundreds are being killed in this crisis, whilst in Iraq ISAS are executing individuals and tens and thousands of Christians are fleeing to avoid death.
I do not profess to know the ins and outs of the political situation, nor this is a political article in any way shape or form. This is an encouragement to churches to use Social Media in a church effectively during any kind of crisis.
As a church we are called to help those in need, and although we might not be physically close to the situation in the Middle East, there are some ways we can help.
We can ask people to pray.
It says in the Bible, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’. Philippians 4:6.
It’s worrying to know that our Brothers and Sisters are at a real threat of persecution, but we know our God can change things – let’s ask our congregation to pray for the crisis. Perhaps type out prayers for them to read-aloud on the Facebook wall, or create graphics (such as above) that are highly shareable that individuals will like and share in agreement with the prayer. Prayer is important, and through our church Social Media we can encourage individuals to join in focused prayer and play a part in calling for peace during the conflict.
Mobilize a call to action.
Often there are government e-petitions that individuals can sign, calling on the government to act now and so something about the crisis. A number have been created for the Iraq situation for instance – why not share a link to the petition on your church Social Media ask your congregation to sign and share it with their friends. If appropriate for a crisis, why not encourage individuals to write to a member of government about the situation.
There are a number of Christian charities who are on the ground helping casualties and those in desperate need for food and water. In the UK for instance, Open Doors is helping Christians in Iraq. Why not share a link to a charity webpage on your church Social Media and encourage people to give to help those who really do not have anything? It says in the Bible, ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you’. Deuteronomy 16:17. Therefore, the Bible encourages us to give, and what better way to share a great cause to give to than on your church Social Media?
Talk about the crisis
Unfortunately, daily there are reports from the Middle East of the crisis enfolding. Share these reports on your church Social Media to encourage focused prayer for specific things. These reports will highlight the plight of these individuals in this conflict area and where God can intervene in these lives.
As I said at the beginning of the article, this is by no means a political article, but instead some of ideas of how we can mobilize our church Social Media to highlight a crisis and how our congregation to help out. A church service might happen weekly, but through social media we can communicate to our members all week long and encourage them to engage in national and local issues of importance.
How has your church used Social Media in response to this current crisis?
* Image credit www.worldhelp.net
Jason Ham is the Social Media Coordinator for GOD TV. He is also a Church Online Community Leader for Lifechurch.tv, and Captain’s an online experience. He has run workshops for churches in Devon, UK in how to use Social Media, and is passionate about exploring how we can use the online space to share the Good News.