Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Using social media for religious purposes

Published:Saturday | April 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist
Campbell and her group find Whatsapp quite useful in sharing thoughts on the Bible and encouraging each other when the need arises.

Simply put, social media is the new frontier when it comes to mass communication.

It's where it's at, users of social media will tell you. As the term "social media" would seem to suggest, the medium was first deemed as a means of social interaction.

Slowly, though, the use of social media has spread beyond that intended boundary to include business and other aspects.

Now, how about using social media as a means to spread the gospel and your belief in God?

Well, that is what one young woman, Lacianne Campbell, and her family members have been doing.

They have not necessarily confined the use of social media strictly to their religious undertakings, but while others across the world may be sharing music or jokes, Campbell and her group find Whatsapp quite useful in sharing thoughts on the Bible and encouraging each other when the need arises.

"I know a lot of persons may say social media is bad influence, but it can be used for good," Campbell, of Walkerswood, St Ann, contends.

She explained: "A couple of my family members have started a group on WhatsApp, where we share thoughts and encouragement about life experiences and what the Bible teaches us. We even send voice notes to each other, sharing our prayers and singing songs that will uplift us and keep us throughout the day."

LISTEN TO THE WORD

Campbell also uses social media to listen to the word of the Lord by downloading an audio Bible app and listening whenever or wherever she wants.

"When I don't (have time to) read the Bible, I listen to the audio Bible instead and, usually, those audios go more in-depth."

Campbell grew up in the church, attending the Assemblies of the First-Born in Colegate, St Ann, from an early age.

"My mother and I used to journey to church every Sunday morning and it was definitely something to look forward to as a child," Campbell recalled.

"I was never one for Sunday school, though, because I was very shy at the time, but as I got to know the other children, I became more relaxed, which made it easier for me to learn about Christ."

"I look up to my mother. She is a true believer in God and she encourages me every day to continue worshipping God."

Campbell has admitted that, in growing up and having to go to school and then work, she somehow found herself drifting away from church.

"But my belief in God stood strong because I had so much to give thanks for and still do. And even though I might not attend church every Sunday, I do listen to my gospel music and I do pray to God. My encouragement to everyone, especially the young people, is to draw closer to Christ."

And through the use of social media, that is what Campbell and her relatives are doing. She is encouraging others to follow suit.

"I recommend persons to take that same step by helping others, through the use of social media, or otherwise, for that matter. Someone might be going through a rough patch and sometimes, it's just an inspirational quote or a prayer that is needed to reassure someone that God will open a door for them."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com