At their worst, social media sites seclude us from face-to-face interactions. But they also offer unique opportunities to connect with others. Members of Back to God Ministries International’s listener communities in India would agree.
Thanks to these communities, Shaurya Singh (name changed) and his family can explore their new faith in Christ after practicing Hinduism for most of their lives. “Everywhere in our life, there was only darkness,” Singh said.
Singh began listening to BTGMI’s programs and later shared them with his family. “We came to know Jesus Christ,” Singh said.
Although there are no churches near their village, they joined one of BTGMI’s 35 listener groups. Most of the groups like the one the Singhs belong to meet in homes twice a week, sharing testimonies, prayer concerns, and food.
Social media sites empower people to share their struggles with complete strangers. That’s why BTGMI’s Family Fireministry recently launched a private Facebook group for women who want to pray for improvement in their marriages. Within 24 hours, 295 women joined the group.
“Together as women, we can encourage and support each other with Scripture and prayer in the very difficult seasons of our lives,” said Deb Koster, Family Fireproducer. “What is especially exciting is seeing how the women on this page are ministering to one another, promising to pray, and offering words of encouragement.”
Walking Worshipers in China
When one of Beijing’s largest unregistered churches was shut down, its leaders were devastated. To continue sharing the gospel, they turned to technology, encouraging people to listen to audio sermons in small groups.
“Groups of two or three will walk in the parks, getting exercise while hearing God’s Word,” said Jerry An, BTGMI’s Chinese ministry leader. “After the virtual church service, the listeners discuss what they heard over coffee, lunch, or in another form of fellowship.”
BTGMI’s Chinese ministry team has been developing similar series for on-the-go listeners. “We see new media as the future of the church,” An said. “New media has no boundaries and offers us new ways of reaching out.”