It is hard to deny the impact technology has had on our society. Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays and whether they like it or not, that phone has impacted their face-to-face contact. That rectangle box we take with us everywhere has hindered that ability to have spontaneous conversations with people.
For christians, this means our evangelism approaches and opportunities are changing. According to an article from Christianitytoday.com, “American Christians both recognize the new barriers yet take particular advantage of new opportunities brought by today’s technology.” While many may see technology as an obstacle to communicate our faith, maybe we should start viewing this is a new resource of communication.
Check out this chart to see results of a study done on christians sharing their faith in today's society.
As we can see, Christian Millenials and Gen X agree that it is harder to have private conversations because of the increase in technology. This shift in communication is hard to accept because when we loose face-to-face interactions with people, we are risking the chance to create a relationship. Being a public relations student, I know the importance of creating mutually beneficial relationships. While the majority of connections should be made in person, we see a change in creating relationships virtually. Many sites like LinkedIn and other social medias, allow you to connect with people you may have never met. You still reach out and communicate with them, just digitally.
This change in our society does affect christians spreading the word of God. You can see in the survey, Millennials and Gen X believe technology makes it easier to spread their faith. This shift from in person to social media may be for better or worse, but the bottom line is it has happened. Many now share their religious beliefs on social media platforms. “Practicing Christians are more likely than non-Christians and American adults overall to be on major social media platforms, where they regularly identify, discuss, and share their beliefs.”
The most popular ways to express one's faith would be through their own posts, sharing posts and commenting. While the majority of this is done by practicing christians, it is important to notice the majority of adults spread their beliefs through social media as well.
This concept is a thought-provoking topic for anyone trying to spread the word of God in their lives. While christians may wish to spread this through physical contact and connection, we must adapt to the world around us. Instead of wishing things could go back to the way they were, maybe we should jump on this new trend. Using our technology and social media to spread the word of God doesn’t have to be you posting long messages about our beliefs. It could be as as simple as sharing a post from your churches Facebook page or commenting on a photo.
This does have an impact on those around us who may not have a religious standpoint. “...Barna did find evidence that Christians’ conversations on social media are having an impact: 58 percent of non-Christians said someone had shared their faith with them on Facebook and another 14 percent through other social media channels.”
Embrace the change that is happening around us! Technology may seem impersonal and dispassionate, but do not underestimate the power it can have.