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In A World of Fake News and Alternative Facts, Can the Church Be Effective Online?

Jill Van Nostran Digital Strategy Leave a Comment

We’ve reached a critical point in society. Truth is under attack. According to the world, truth can vary according to your worldview.

Much of this – if not most of this – plays out online. Take a quick scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feeds and you’ll see fake news, “alternative facts”, people pushing opinions, people chiding others for their opinions, and just downright incivility and hostility.

Jesus predicted a time when people would rise against and come to hate each other. I believe we’re seeing some of what He predicted now.

So, knowing that half of the world is now online, and that fake news, alternative facts and hostility toward each other on social media may now be our norm, can the church still be effective online?

The answer is yes.

To a world that struggles to distinguish truth, the church can and should use digital technologies and online tools to be the voice of truth – and of hope.

While people are still inclined to listen, the church must be on mission — now more than ever — to lovingly, effectively and creatively leverage social media, the web and digital technologies like podcasts, livestreams, video, email, mobile apps and more to:

Share the hope of Jesus
Warn of the consequences of not choosing Jesus (or putting off this decision)
Encourage hurting and weary people
Invite and accept all people
Truthfully and graciously call out sin and spur others to a holy life, the life Jesus died to give us
Serve the marginalized

When it’s hard to distinguish between truth and error, when people are desperate to cut through the noise, churches today, more than ever, must use the internet to:
Boldly preach Jesus
Accurately point people to the Word of God, in context
Be creative and relevant without sacrificing truth
Be loving and accepting and leave condemnation at the door of their Twitter login
Be encouraging
Above all, be trustworthy

Don’t wait to do these things. The world so desperately needs the church to come alongside, even online, to be a voice of truth and hope.

There isn’t much time left. Be on mission and put the internet to work for your calling. Let’s get to work.

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