Social Media is the big thing to be on right now if you want to be heard. In the 1800's it was the printing press, and today it is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.
Obviously, if ministries have any sort of common sense, they will be all over this incredible outreach opportunity. The online world has limitless potential if you can tap into it. You no longer have to send massive amounts of Bible literature over seas, to have a global impact. From the comfort of your own home, you can simply sign on to the social media platform of your choice and post what you want to say. With the tap of a screen (not even button pressing required!), your words are set free into the universe.
So...now let's talk about why SDA Ministries in particular are struggling so hard with this concept.
Well, someone is already offended... because I am singling out SDA ministries and that seems harsh and judgmental right? How can I say they are struggling? Surely they're doing their best and all the SDA's like their content.
Yes, I am sure in some areas they are doing great, but there is no point in dodging this particular issue for the sake of our egos. The sad reality is when I post on social media and I say something about the Sabbath or hell or the state of the dead, I get hundreds of comments and DMs astonished that I have the view that I do. These people have never heard what I am saying in their entire lives. For example, it is incredibly rare for me to find a viewer in the social space who knows that the Bible does not in fact teach that God tortures people in hell. If I do find a viewer like that, they are almost always already a converted SDA.
What does this have to do with SDA Ministries? It means that they are not getting SEEN online. The majority of my social media followers who aren't already SDA, have no idea what an SDA is. They have never heard the Bible truths that the SDA's are privy to. If the SDA's were more present, there would be less of a shock factor when people heard these things.
Internally, we make a lot of excuses for this. "People are prejudice toward us", "People don't want to see what we have to say", "We are doing our best". If you are satisfied with making excuses for why the truth about God and the Bible isn't getting out online, that is your personal decision, but I have no interest in joining you.
There is no denying that the rest of the Christian world currently has the upper hand in this area. For better or for worse, Social Media is overridden with trendy, cool "non-denominational" (ha, what a marketing scam) pastors who have moved faster than the SDA's onto the social media scene. This means that all of the mainstream views of what Christianity is supposed to be, is what is promoted online.
At first glance, this overwhelms those of us trying to present another perspective- but we shouldn't let it. It is still possible. Yet it is not possible if SDA ministries keep doing what they've been doing.
SDA ministries are already in the minority because they are sharing Bible truth in a climate where Bible truth is being peddled as falsehood. Because of this, our best chance at helping to balance the content online is to consistently share one another's work. For example, on Instagram when one SDA ministry posts something, ALL of the other SDA ministries should share that content. Sharing content gets it in front of more people and also leads the Instagram algorithm to put that content in front of more random people. The more people see something, such as a new theological idea, the less shocking it is. The more people see a new idea, the more they realize, "Hey, a lot of people are sharing this. Maybe I should give it some thought."
But, at the moment none of that is happening. Instead SDA ministries are operating as islands. They are having conversations within their own organizations, but they do not speak to one another. When they share something, it is unlikely that any other SDA ministries will share it. This causes many ministries to only entertain or maintain an audience within the SDA world. People who know them obviously search for and follow them. But those who don't are unlikely to follow.
Because most of these ministries are so used to entertaining SDA audiences, they have lost touch with what is captivating and aesthetically pleasing to the rest of the world. They are marketed by Adventists to Adventists. This is great if they only intend on ever working with Adventists. It's useless if they want to reach the rest of the world.
There is an idea out there that "If God wants us to grow we will" and while that is certainly true, God also expects us to use our brains and talents which he gave us. God will not magically transform your social media accounts over night. He also will not drive millions of people to look at content that he knows won't appeal to them. So, we have a responsibility to both God and the unchurched of the world to do better.
Creating aesthetically pleasing content is not conforming to the world. Sometimes what SDA's consider as "wholesome" is simply outdated. It is what they are comfortable with based on their own traditions. Yet we live in a very rapidly changing world. Are there standards that we should maintain? Of course. But to speak plainly, the issue we take with "famous" Christian social media pages should not be with their presentation. Their presentation is clearly doing a create job of catching an audience! The issue we should take with them is with what they are teaching. So, lets take what we can from them that is good and lets add to it our area of talent. Let's create attractive, modern content with the proper message attached.
I am not saying that social media is the end all be all. Ultimately some people will always reject Bible truth regardless of how it is packaged. However, if we really take our prophetic message seriously we need to recognize that there must come a time when people can weigh all their options. If people are defaulting into false religion due to their own ignorance about what the Bible says, then the Gospel has not gone to all the world and the 3 angels message is not complete. Social media is one of many things we can use to help the world be more Biblically sound.