Are you A Christian who “lives life out loud’ by being transparent with others about your struggles and your successes? Are you intent on leaving a legacy of faith-filled living? Do you want to share God’s Word as you live out your life?
As a Christian disciple, wife, mother, leader, business owner, coach and mentee, I have explored the power of social media as a method of Christian witness for well over a decade now. Social media platforms deliver to our fingertips a modern day Christian witness wonder. These platforms empower the everyday Christian to share God’s message, His wonders, their walk with Him, and ways to take God’s word into the earthly matters of the workplace, politics and everyday life.
God is on display for all to see as we share and connect via social media. Modern day technology plays a significant role in empowering us to impact the world for Christ. It has, it does and it will continue to do so.
However, we must ask ourselves some questions as we consider life beyond the “recruiting” environment of social media.
What kind of legacy are we truly leaving when we spend time every day ”posting” the ways in which we have found God’s purposes for our life, hoping that someone, anyone, is listening?
What kind of intentional impact can we truly leave when social media platform algorithms determine who will see what we have posted?
Where does God fit in the Christian social media pulpit?
(Note: These questions are similar to questions that many “seeker” churches end up asking themselves as they convert seekers into followers who need more intentional discipleship to grow in Christ.)
The truth is that relying solely on social media platforms to deliver the power of God’s word in my life limits God and limits my impact. God calls us to do more than just “attract” followers to his Kingdom. He also calls us to disciple them so that they too can bear fruit. (“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” – John 15:8)
I am a woman who has benefited over the past three years from having a Christian mentor in my life. My mentor has helped me to navigate and thrive in the midst of the challenges of day-to-day life as a Christian leader in business, as a mother raising four children and as a spouse doing life with my business partner and husband. “Engaging in doing life” is the hallmark of any discipleship or mentoring relationship. The engagement is active, involved, committed, transparent and comprehensive. It involves healthy boundaries – yes – but few limitations on subject matters (personal, professional, leadership, goals, failures, successes, challenges, lessons, realities, prayers and more).
There is no greater impact than that of a fellow Christian bein invited into your life to share a message God has placed on their heart, FOR YOU, in that specific moment of your life. God has called us all to life in community and what better way to “do life” than with someone who has a heart connected to God, For You. A Christian Mentor is not a teacher, a tutor or a coach. They are a person who walks through life, disciples you and lets you see their walk – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that you can see what it really looks like to live out your earthly days as a faithful follower of Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, I still participate in social media – sharing and liking, leaving messages, engaging in community, watching church online when my schedule requires it and simply connecting with fellow believers who are far away geographically. Social media keeps me connected in ways that the “busy-ness” of my working-mother life does not otherwise allow.
However, I understand the limited role social media plays as a platform for “recruiting” people to Christ. We may attract disciples or mentees by the Christian perspective on life we put on display in social media. We will never be able to fully disciple or mentor anyone in a way that helps them produce the fruit God desires for their life simply through a social media connection.
As one writer shared as he discussed the power of mentoring as a form of discipleship:
“Jesus mentored his disciples, that is, he trained them to live as he lived, so they could thrive in his absence. In fact, he practiced mentoring that has the greatest level of influence–the kind that doesn’t revolve around set meetings and formal curriculum. Jesus opened his day-to-day life to his trainees. They shared his eating, traveling, teaching, healing, resting, visiting, and interacting with detractors and devotees alike.”
Read more of what Mike McLaughlin had to say in his November 15, 2013 post titled, “The Differences Between Coaching, Mentoring and Discipling”.
Social media provides a passive medium for sharing God’s word – and God has the ability to turn that passive activity into an active engagement of another person’s heart. We must celebrate and use that as Christians.
When you are ready to go beyond being a recruiter for Christ, God has issued an unending and unlimited invitation for you to engage in a true Christian mentoring relationship that looks like Christ’s relationship with his Disciples. As you do, you will be called upon to speak truth, be transparent, and share your own walk with God and your own Christ-like transformation. You will arrive in new territories and swim in new waters as you dive into a deeper relationship that delivers greater impact – not only in the person being mentored, but in the person doing the mentoring.
God dares you to get started doing life beyond social media. I encourage you to find a Christian mentoring program that will give you the mentoring resources you need, to prayerfully ask God to uncover the right person for your mentoring match, and for you to just get started! Doing life like Christ requires it.
Nancy Lynn Roberts is a Christian wife, mother, educated business attorney and leader. She is the owner of Trak-1, a nationally accredited background screening firm that specializes in employment, volunteer, residential and government licensing screening.
Today is Mentoring Monday
There are few leadership experiences that transform a leader more than the 1:1 relationship between a mentor and mentee. Now you can submit your profile to the Outcomes Mentoring Network and be matched quickly with a wise guide who will meet you where you and lead you to where God desires you to be.
The Alliance is grateful for the Outcomes Mentoring Network Sponsors