“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
Wherever You Go: Make Disciples
Someone’s last words carry a lot of weight. Jesus’ final words to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, also known as the Great Commission, are no exception. These words are our mission as followers of Christ. We exist to make disciples. And the first step in this disciple-making process is to “go” to people with the gospel. This call to “go” isn’t just a call for missionaries, it’s a call for all Christians. The Greek word translated “go” is a participle that literally means “as you go.” In other words, as you go about your daily lives you are to be making disciples. You are to be taking the gospel to people. The call to “go” is not a one-time event, but a life-long commitment to share Christ. Wherever you find yourselves, wherever you “go”, proclaim the gospel and make disciples.
An Online World
As Christians seeking to be obedient to the Great Commission, we cannot sit back and wait for people to come to us (that won’t happen), we need to go to them. We need to meet them where they’re at with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. With that said, consider these stats:
- At least two-thirds of people worldwide use the internet 1
- 76% of internet users use social media
- If Facebook were a country, it’d be the most populous in the world. YouTube would rank second. China would be third. 2
- People in emerging and developing countries are more likely to use social media than people in developed countries 3
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute 4
- Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every day 5
- India is Twitter’s fastest-growing market 6
- 94% of Canadians have a social media account 7
- 84% use Facebook
- 59% use YouTube
- 42% use Twitter
- 37% use Instagram
- 68% of Canadian Facebook users check Facebook daily, 89% check it at least once per week, and 98% check the social network a few times per year 8
I could continue to list stats like these but I think you get the point: the majority of people in this world use social media and use it regularly. We live in an increasingly online world.
Roman Roads, The Printing Press, and Social Media
When Jesus called his followers to make disciples, he did so during the reign of the Roman Empire. This was particularly timely and advantageous to the propagation of the gospel. Why? Because of the Roman Road system. The Romans built a system of roads and highways in order to interconnect their cities to be able to quickly dispatch military units when necessary and maintain control of their empire. These roads were a significant and unprecedented technological advancement allowing for people to safely and efficiently travel from one place to another. The early church utilized this road system for the advancement of the gospel. It’s what allowed them to take the gospel to Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) in the book of Acts. As a result, the gospel spread, churches were planted, and thousands upon thousands were saved.
Another significant technological advancement that was used for the propagation of the gospel was the printing press. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was one of the first documents to be printed and widely distributed with the help of the printing press. In January 1518, Martin Luther printed and copied his 95 Theses and distributed it throughout Germany. Within six weeks, it had spread across Europe and the Reformation was in full swing. During the course of Martin Luther’s life, he would use the printing press to print and copy many of his writings as well as the Bible itself so that God’s Word could be made accessible to the masses.
Both the Roman road system and the printing press were sovereignly used by God for the propagation of the gospel. These technologies were catalysts for revival. Here in the 21st century, the internet is today’s Roman road system and social media is today’s printing press.
An Unprecedented Opportunity
As I consider the Great Commission, as I review the stats above, and as I reflect upon how God’s people have utilized technology in centuries past for the advancement of the gospel, I see an unprecedented opportunity to leverage social media for the glory of Jesus Christ and the spread of His gospel. From the comforts of our couch, with just a few keystrokes and clicks of a button, we can reach people both locally and around the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Case in point: our Trinity Bible Chapel YouTube channel has been viewed by people from 129 different countries and our website has been visited by people from 174 different countries around the world. What if God allowed one of our gospel conversations on YouTube or one of Pastor Jacob’s blog posts or sermon clips to go viral? In a matter of minutes millions could be exposed to the gospel. Something like this happened recently after the Homboldt Broncos bus tragedy. The sermon preached at the Humboldt Broncos vigil a few months ago was viewed by millions of Canadians and people around the world, exposing them to the good news of Jesus. The potential for the furtherance of the gospel on social media is seemingly endless.
Stewarding Social Media
Wherever we go, we must make disciples. If you spend time on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or some other social network, do you steward your time on these networks for the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom? Do you ever use social media to point people to Jesus? Do you ever post or share gospel-focused content? If not, why not? Why not take advantage of the opportunity to share Christ with your friends, neighbours, coworkers, and perhaps even strangers from around the world through social media?
One of the things we have been encouraging our church to do is share Christ-centered content that we post on our church’s social media feeds. This is a simple way to contribute to the spread of the gospel on social media. Here are two simple steps you can take to get started:
1. Follow Us On Social Media
2. Share Our Content On Social Media
We regularly post content such as blogs, sermon clips, and evangelism videos with the intention of exposing people to the truth of God’s Word and the hope of the gospel. A simple way you can help spread the glory of God on social media is by simply liking these posts and then resharing them on your social media feeds. Consider this: if 50 people, with 500 friends, shared a sermon clip on their feeds, that would expose the post to 25,000 people! 25,000 people could hear the gospel with just the click of a button.
That’s one way you can steward your time on social media for the kingdom of God. There are other ways. But the point is this: we are to leverage everything we have and do for the sake of the gospel. Social media is no exception. So let’s use it to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and further His kingdom.
“Go therefore and make disciples.”