If Social Media Were Around // For the Love by Jen Hatmaker - Online book study hosted by www.imperfectvessel.com

Day Seventeen // For the Love

Chapter 23: If Social Media Were Around – Pages 175-184

Dear beloved reader, do you know that you all wouldn’t be here reading this very blog in our sweet little community without the incredible connective powers of social media that introduced two friends on opposite ends of the country with a similar dream and passion?

The Intentional Filling was birthed through God positioning two women in such a way that the right words were spoken at the right time and with a brave keystroke and a powerful prayer entered this very community you’re in right now.

Coincidence, I think not. Divinely orchestrated so that we all could have places in us set free and an intimate community of tender fellowship? Absolutely.

When we exalt God over any platform, be it offline or online, He can do a mighty work.

I’ve always been a social media nerd. I can still remember my first ridiculous AOL handle (didn’t they all usually contain some form of our birthdate and/or initials?) and all of the hundreds of vain duck face selfies on MySpace (why did I ever think this was cool?). I have loved watching our social media platforms evolve over the past decade. I certainly have evolved with them (thank you, Jesus).

Now while there is plenty of critical commentary out there against social media-I want to take a moment and give you the flip side of the coin. When we balance our time and don’t waste it away surfing aimlessly, but are intentional with our social media platforms-ministry and fellowship has an opportunity to flourish and change lives. Jen shares some of my sentiments in For the Love:

“I won’t lie: I love the social media. It has connected me, reconnected me, and introduced me to some of the funniest, smartest, most creative, interesting people on Earth.” {For the Love}

Bree, founder and visionary of The Imperfect Vessel, and I met on a ministry network forum a few years ago. I remember seeing her link to The Imperfect Vessel and clicking on it feeling immediately at home in her words and vision. We instantly connected and became fast friends.

Today, I cannot imagine my life without this woman of God and it all began as we plugged in with intention and a heart to receive. Through our conversations and dreaming together thousands of miles away, The Intentional Filling online community was born. Lives have been forever changed during the course of this year simply because we said yes to all God had for us before this very screen.

As believers we have the ability in Christ to encourage and minister in so many different atmospheres. Where ever we invite the Spirit of the Lord, there is freedom – including the world wide web.

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  – 2 Corinthians 3:17

While the enemy can try and use this medium against us by disconnecting us even more if we isolate and don’t do face to face life, God can sanctify this space and use it for incredible good. I have watched God use online ministry and social media to totally transform lives. Mine being one of them. The secret is in sharing our beneath the surface stories, ministering authentically, and in extending our hand beyond the keyboard.

It can be easy to spin our lives a certain way online, only showing a shiny polished side; but chains are broken when we explore the real, the messy, and speak His truth via these pervasive platforms. He is in every facet of our faith life, including online.

I have been so moved seeing those on the fringe, the lonely and fear consumed blossom as they have shared their stories, resources, and hearts in an online bible study or online community. You can connect and glean from so many different walks of life and levels of faith.

The reach is truly incredible through social media. Sometimes being behind a screen can call out a deeper roar to bravery in our walk with God that then grows confidence out behind the screen after it’s been nurtured and encouraged in a safe online space.

I have watched life long friendships and ministries formed. I have even seen salvation occur in some of these online communities. My offline ministry grew wings after the many years of behind the screen ministry prep and practice (and boy, do I still have so much to learn in both realms). I have learned skills in how to lead, love well, and became a better writer, to name a few. He has done so much growth in me and delivered so many miracles with these intentional online investments.

There truly is so much good happening within this technological boom of constant connection when we keep our intentions Christ filled. We crave connection, especially as women. The relational aspect of us reaches for this. We want to be seen, heard, known…loved.

This is evident in the boom of these social media platforms. It allows a kind of expression that is instantaneous and inspiring. I, for one, love using my subscribed media outlets to share my love for Jesus and my love for life, even in the hard moments.

Let’s always remember to:

  • go deeper and show the real
  • root our value in Jesus, not the critics
  • be a light that cannot be hidden

We represent Him in this atmosphere, too, so let’s be good stewards of this space. The inauthentic is where the enemy lurks, so lets lift the veil in how we communicate and give others a launching pad to be true to themselves, too.

God can set apart and even use our little online spheres of influence to birth some of the most incredible dreams, friendships, testimonies, and hope. Just remember to use your time and this space with wisdom.

If we use it for good, the connections we make can alter the course of our lives and in this we can give limitless glory to God.

How has social media strengthened/changes your relationships with the Lord and others?


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Staci Payne is a Word girl who loves authentic connection and has a passion for online women’s ministry (along with the perfect latte to start her day).

You can connect with her on Facebook, and Instagram.

Staci Payne
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One comment

  1. I am grateful that I stumbled across that online forum one day, that you took a chance on a blogger and boldly asked that we might be able to connect beyond the brightness of a screen. Staci Payne, thank you for all that you are to my life. I am better off for your part in it! <3

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