By Rod Jonas
A Majestic Stampede
Have you ever heard the sound of a stampede of wildly free mustang horses running through an open terrain as the ground began to tremble under your feet? Neither have I but as a kid I’ve been close enough to them to experience their majesty. In massive groups they are awe-inspiring. Thanks to the innovative invention of camera’s like GoPro Hero Series and Sony’s POV Action Cam we have video footage from points of view that we couldn’t possibly have ever imagined. Our world is changing.
Technology has given us the ability to tell stories and share experiences in a far more creative and compelling way than ever before. Sharing our lives with each other is an undeniable part of the human experience. How beautiful is that? The almost constant need of sharing our experiences, good or bad, with the world has made social media arguably the most influential media medium today. But where did our passion to share moments of our lives come from?
In the book of Psalms the writer often conveys his love for the testimonies of God as his delight. “My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.” (Psalms 119:167)
How powerful is our testimony? How influential is your story? Over 95 percent of companies use social media to tell their brands story and engage with consumers. There’s social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and more trending everyday with over a billion users or members. But this is not an article about social media. This is the story of us. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)
The church changing and like the sound of a stampede I can feel the momentum building as the church begins to embark no the creative experience like we were always intended to. It’s already happening and everyday more and more people are being impacted as a result of our efforts to share the stories within us. Christian organizations like “I am Second” and “Rapzilla” combined have generated over 1 billion impressions sharing personal testimonies, music videos and more. Neither of these organization are actual churches but as members of the church have begun to raise their creative voice.
In Orange County California a state of the art event center was built to serve and help develop the creative arts community and mentor them along the way. Millions of dollars were donated to refurbish a warehouse and convert it into a home for the eclectic. The best part about this venue called The Vault is that it’s a part of a church yet open to the public to use. It’s outdoor skate park has become the back yard to the local skateboarding community with walls covered in paintings featuring the art of some of countries best graffiti artist work. The word is out and The Vault is often booked with album release concerts and other special events with people from all over filling the building to capacity. A unique environment created to experience life apart from the dangers that usually come with events like these.
Coca-Cola may have said it best in their mission statement, “The world is changing all around us”. While it is said that we are in this world and yet we are not of it, the road map for winning is coming together in unity. If we can expel our fears of losing the strength of our influence to another God is using then supporting each other and the work God is doing in each of us will be without pause. However, the ambitious desire of becoming a Christian celebrity or maintaining your influence over your community is not easily overcome.
The social media revolution is enticing the church to exist without walls and it’s the younger generation who has embraced it is leading the way. In an article written by Shea Bennett in the Social Times, he cites a survey undertaken by Common Sense Media, who polled more than 1,000 13-17 year olds around the USA. Their study shows 90% of teens have used social media and 51% visit a social site daily. However, 49% of them prefer to communicate in person while 33% prefer texting. This is the generation that was raised with the social experience of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter yet they still value the close personal encounter. Could this mean social media is primarily used to share content?
In 2013, Oxford Dictionaries names ’selfie’ the word of the year. It’s a snap shot of a moment in our lives. It’s a posed picture saying, “Check me out!”. So what’ll happen if the moments we share and the content we create is a greater reflection of Christ in us than a trending headshot? The momentum is climbing and we are the conduit. Together, as we use media to share our stories of redemption and life with Jesus Christ we trend. We can be the influence this world needs.
So next time you log in to Facebook or check the latest YouTube video trending on your mobile phone consider joining the movement. Search for God inspired content from faith based media and entertainment companies next time you find yourself surfing the internet. Key words: Jesus, God, Faith, Hope, Love, or Live GodF1rst.
About the Writer
Rod Jonas is an experienced marketing and branding professional with 8 years of experience working with developing and established businesses. A two time award winning writer and Maggie Award winning Photo Editor in 2006, digital content creation is just one of the vehicles he uses to reach his audience. As a Project Director with Stephen Gould Corp he has a hand in manufacturing and packaging for some of newest products in the market. Rod is also the Co-Founder and CEO of GodF1rst LLC, a christian clothing and media company committed to creating and sharing faith based fashion designs and media content. One of his keys to success personally and professionally is to know yourself and know your message.
To get in touch with Rod check him out just about anywhere on the web:
Resource: Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.