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What if the Internet Died Tomorrow?



Yesterday's social media outage sent many people into a frenzy. Even those of us who didn't think we were "addicted" to the platforms, may have discovered that we are. With over 8 hours of down time, people were forced to resort to other things instead of aimlessly scrolling or posting on apps like Instagram.


The outage certainly effected me since I use Instagram very regularly. My screen time is ridiculously high because everything I do for "work" is online. Yesterday's outage forced me to ask myself... what would I do if I permanently lost all of this?


For those of us in younger generations, it is hard to imagine a world without wifi. Yet wifi is a young commodity. Before the internet, people lived their lives very differently. If you wanted to contact someone you did not send them a text, an email, or a DM. You had to actually call them on a phone with a chord or go to their house in person! Any form of written communication required a pen and paper. "Snail mail" was the only mail.


As someone who uses the internet for ministry work, I do believe that God allows progress to help us spread the gospel. Yet I am reminded that we need a healthy balance in our lives in every area. Even if I am focusing on growing an audience on social media, that does not mean that I have permission to neglect my local community.


The reality is, as entitled as we feel about the internet or our social media platforms, we are being fooled. We do not own Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter. In fact, the owners of those platforms can technically choose to kick us off their servers at any moment. This is a rude awakening for me personally- Ive spent the good part of the past year collecting over 9,000 followers on Instagram alone... and the idea of them all disappearing stresses me out to say the least.


However, as I bring this anxiety to God I am reminded that I can always do ministry in other ways. Actually, even if I do not lose my audience on social media I should still think about doing ministry in other ways. There is a benefit and a beauty to creating something tangible. There is impact in going and visiting church members face to face.


With all of these things in mind, I have shifted my priorities just a bit. I have decided that it is really important to me to write and publish books and resources. I want to share information with others even if they don't have internet and even if books are "old school" they are great offline options.


What talent might you have in your life that you can use for ministry in the offline space? Many of us use social media and online resources to grow our own knowledge about God. Yet let's build a resource stash of offline materials as well.


Purchase a literal Bible. Consider writing down your prayers to God in a paper notebook. Invest in a devotional book. Sing songs without your praise playlist. Start a ministry project that doesn't require the web.


People need to hear the gospel with or without the internet.

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