Every week we leave worship with our mission to, “share the love of Jesus to transform lives, Cincinnati, and the world.” While the ways in which we carry out this mission have changed over the ages, the idea of sharing the good news has never been a foreign concept to Methodists. Since the denomination’s earliest beginnings, we have been all about sharing the news of Jesus with all that we can; but in today’s world with its constant distractions and commitments, it can be hard to decide where to even begin to share this good news.
Tasks that previously took multiple people and resources can now be accomplished with a magic screen kept in your pocket. New ways for people to interact with each other in the form of social media and personal technology make sure to keep us plugged in, connected and online at all times. All of this connection can certainly be overwhelming and often results in the question of, “what’s the point of [insert social media name here]?”
The history of social media and world is still being written. I think we are already able to see some of the reasons people turn to it. One reason is people desire community. No one likes to be alone, and we seek a sense of family and community in a group setting, even if the community exists digitally. Another reason people like to “connect,” is they also enjoy extending their real world community. Even if a particular club or activity group does not have an online presence, individual members of real world groups individually exist online and can still connect. While this social media engagement is cool and trendy, is it actually a tool we have to use to share the Good News?”
John Wesley writes in the preface to the 1739 edition of Hymns and Sacred Poems:
Solitary religion is not to be found there. ‘Holy solitaries’ is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than holy adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness.
This bit of Wesleyan wisdom helps to shed some light on these new ways to connect. Just as Jesus connected with all that he could in His travels and teachings, we are not meant to go alone on our journey. As Wesley said, “holy solitaries” do not exist and we are tasked / should crave the opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel. It doesn’t matter how we connect but only that we do connect. God calls us to know one another, love one another, and serve one another, and he does not care how we go about it. So tweet about it, share about it, write someone a letter, paint a sign, pin it, post it or shout about it; it doesn’t matter how we connect and share the love of Jesus with those around us, we just need to go out and fill them with the same social holiness we share with one another on Sunday.