“If you’re going to send a Facebook update or tweet about today’s message, make it quick,” muttered Senior Pastor Marvin A. Jackson of River of Life Christian Center during an eleven o’clock service.
For a moment I didn’t fully understand how to receive that statement. I wasn’t sure if he was singling me out, as some professors often do in class, or if he was simply making a public service announcement.
I proceeded with caution and continued editing a picture I snapped earlier of him wearing a lovely Miami Dolphin’s jersey sporting my favorite number 22. The longer the image took to edit, the more I knew he was speaking directly to me.
From that awkward exchange I realized that in that moment, Pastor Jackson understood the paradigm shift of new media and encouraged me to continue on as an active contributor in such an interconnected society.
“Your update may be just the thing someone needs to read in that time and in that exact moment,” he jokingly continued on, “just don’t be texting your boyfriend, that can wait.”
Many churches have turned to social networks to help spread the gospel and their teachings. I appreciate the time, effort and value Pastor Jackson places in his work and I’ve always chosen to spread his nuggets of wisdom virally— way before he even knew what a tweet was.
As believers, we are commanded to spread the good news of Jesus and I’m pleased to have such budding opportunity to use social media as an active vehicle.