Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five Ways to Use Social Media as a Ministry Tool

When I first joined Facebook, I really wasn’t sure what to do with it. As a somewhat isolated homeschooling mom, I loved reading other’s updates. But I didn’t think anyone would be interested to know that I fed my children PB&Js for lunch.

Then, when I joined Twitter, I was completely and utterly lost. It seemed to be all self-promotion, and self-promotion just makes me feel icky. Plus, I didn’t think I had anything to promote.

Next came Pinterest and another ten pounds along with elaborately impossible plans to renovate and decorate my home. J

We all know that in the publishing world we authors are expected to be involved in social media, reaching out to potential and current readers. I’m not here to tell you which outlet or how often you should post. Pray about it, and mind the Lord.

But with social media, the world is at our fingertips…literally. We have the opportunity to inject a little bit of hope, a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of the gospel, into people’s lives. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” {1 Thessalonians 5:11}

Two necessary cautions:
  1. Be careful of your time spent.
  2. Be careful of whom you follow or friend.

So, what can you post to be encouraging on social media?
  1. Scripture. Can’t get any better than that. Gospel truth, and you don’t even have to write it yourself.
  2. Quotes from devotional books, like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. You don’t have to write that either, but make sure you give proper credit to the author.
  3. Prayers. Something like “Praying for the peace that surpasses all understanding for you today.” Or “Father God, bless us with the peace that surpasses all understanding today. Amen.”
  4. Request for prayer. Either pass on someone else’s prayer or share your own. (Obviously, don’t make it something you don’t want the whole world to know.) Those who feel it a burden to pray for you will just keep scrolling. Others will be blessed by the opportunity.
  5. Encouraging or just plain pretty images, perhaps with some Scripture or perhaps not. In a hectic day, a glimpse of a picture of an empty bench sitting along a winding path can calm the harried soul. Mountains, beaches, cottages, whatever you find refreshing.

Sometimes I still share about peanut butter and jelly, but I try to write it in a way that encourages, or at least amuses, my friends.

And the next time you read a verse online or are soothed by a pretty picture, thank the Lord for that bit of encouragement.

Q4U: How else can we encourage others on social media?

Meghan Carver is a 2013 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist and the author of several articles and short stories. After achieving a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Millikin University and completing a brief stint in immigration law, Meghan heard God calling her to be at home. Now homeschooling her six children with her college professor husband, Meghan has returned to her first love of writing. She blogs about homeschooling and homemaking at


  1. I've found whatever shares best is what God is teaching me, not what I think is best for someone else. There's a spirit of truth that rings out when we share from the heart a scripture or teaching, even if we don't elaborate. Thanks for sharing Meghan.

    1. Definitely, Mary. I share what has already spoken to me, usually from my own study time or from a sermon. If anybody cares to follow that closely, I suppose one could figure out what's on my mind. :)

  2. Well, although it will always be a long shot, I will continue my attempts to get on the Survivor reality show. I realize 20,000 or so people apply for 16 slots, but it's still fun to try.

    1. Very cool, Rick. Your perseverance is definitely encouraging.

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