Using Social Media to Share the Gospel
How are people using social media to share the Gospel? Is it effective? In recent years, many ministries have started to use social media to share about Jesus among unreached people groups (UPGs). Surprisingly most people in the world have a smart phone now (even in the remote areas). Billions of people are using Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to connect with others and search for information each day.
Ministries started to see how strategic it would be to reach people through social media. They began to create Facebook groups, videos on YouTube, and ads that would share about the Bible and reach thousands at a time. We now have access to the hardest to reach places in the world through the internet. This one reason why there are millions of Muslims turning to Jesus in this generation!
Starting Facebook Ads
In February, one team in Indonesia launched their first Media to Movements Initiative. They chose a specific people group in Indonesia to show the ads to because they already have a church-planting team focused on reaching them. They first created a Facebook group and ran a Facebook page promotion.
Thousands of people saw the ad and 400 people liked the page. It was clear that this page is about sharing the Good News of Jesus and truth from the Bible. They were surprised how many likes they got from a people group that is 99.87% Muslim! On the Facebook page, people could check out the website that is in the Indonesian language.
On the website, there is a page where Indonesians can watch the Jesus Film (the life of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke). There are also pages that share the gospel through the sacrifice stories and online Bible. People can start a live chat with someone from the team if they have any questions.
After the page promotion, the team ran their first ad about prayer. They used a clip from the Jesus Film where Jesus says “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) That ad reached almost 60,000 people and 5,000 clicked on the link to learn more on the website.
The next 3 ads were also about prayer using clips from the Sermon on the Mount and when Jesus taught the disciples how to pray. Each week around 4,000-5,000 people would click the link. The ministry spent $10 a day to run the ads (way cheaper that running ads in America!)
Results from these Ads
There were many positive comments and reactions to these ads. But also some negative ones. This UPG is very resistant to the gospel so it was expected. Many said Jesus is not Lord or told others to block the Facebook group.
The last ad about prayer was a messaging ad. Those who had a prayer request or questions about prayer could message through Facebook. A team member would reply and continue the conversation with them. Most asked for prayer for their family, health, blessings, or help with financial struggles. A few expressed interest in wanting to know who Jesus is and start reading the Bible.
The team is now wanting to create ads that share uplifting truths from the Bible. One ad titled “Do Not Worry” shares the passage from Matthew 6. It talks about turning to God with our worries and trusting in His provision. There have been 10,000 clicks to this page!
The next few ads will focus on themes from the Bible such as “Peace” and “Hope.” They hope these ads would encourage Indonesians and lead them to learn more about the Bible.
The team is constantly learning and growing. They are trying to figure out what kinds of ads would be most effective for this specific people group.
Their hope is to find persons of peace in this people group that would want to meet face-to-face with a believer to read the Bible. They are praying God uses these online efforts to glorify His name in this UPG.
Fruit From 9 Years of Digital Ministry
Other ministries in Southeast Asia been using the same strategy for 9 years to reach Muslims. This is a collaboration of 16 ministries and spearheaded by national believers. They have been diligent in experimenting, evaluating and adjusting their digital efforts. Over the years they have connected with 6,058 spiritually open people!
Since COVID, they saw a huge shift in online effectiveness. In March 2022, they connected with 335 persons of peace! Of those people; 142 are in community Bible study and 166 were baptized! Also 52 are Muslim Background Believers and 95 are sharing their faith with others. Praise God!
The Indonesia team hopes to continue to run ads each week and connect with many spiritually open people. Like the more experienced team, they want to continue to learn and evaluate their efforts. They hope to connect with others in Indonesia who are doing the same thing to learn from them.
Their vision is so see every man, woman and child in Indonesia hear the gospel in their lifetime. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, they hope to partner with other ministries in Indonesia and work together to reach this country.
Please continue to pray God uses these ads to plant the seeds of the gospel in the hearts of thousands of Indonesians. Pray God gives wisdom to national believers responding to the messages coming in. And that there would there be many who want to start reading the Bible with a local believer. Ask God to soften the hearts of this UPG and that a church-planting movement would happen among them.
The team desires to grow this initiative and start more digital strategies among other UPGs in Indonesia. There are still 241 UPGs in this country who do not have access to the gospel and have very few believers among them! This is why we pray and ask God to reach Indonesians who have never heard of the love and grace of Jesus. We are expectant and know He will fulfill His promises.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14