Images of Faith: Evangelizing on Social Media

Many medieval Christians couldn’t read. The ways we in the third millennium learn about our faith — reading Bible stories, attending religious education, finding our favorite Catholic authors — were unavailable to them. Even so, they found ways to tell the story of Salvation History. On the inside of soaring cathedrals were walls and windows filled with Christian imagery. Scenes from creation, lives of the Saints, and stories of the Gospels danced around visitors as they explored these churches. Even if those Christians couldn’t read the written Word of God, they could still take in the stories around which their faith revolved.

Today, we have a similar opportunity, sometimes with an even wider audience. Not unlike the beautiful images in cathedrals, our own presentation of faith has the power to teach others about the story of our salvation. So, where ought we share these images of faith? The same place we share so many other images — our social media accounts.

Some social accounts are wholly devoted to spreading Christian content, and others share messages of faith intermittently. But, no matter how we choose to do so, sharing faith online is an impactful method of evangelization. And, even though our Catholic posts might not convert anyone’s whole heart, they can still act as special entry points for those seeking to know Jesus and His Church more deeply. Keeping this motive in mind, here are a few concrete ways to share faith on social.

About our Church

The Catholic Church offers us a wealth of reasons to celebrate! Between commemorations of Saints, liturgical seasons, and other holy days, we won’t easily run out of post ideas. We need not hit every Church holiday to be effective Christian witnesses, but we might choose a few favorite feasts for posting. Something as simple as illustrating the history of the celebration and sharing how that feast touches us can be a powerful witness to God’s work in our lives. If we post about feast days, we can be assured that the Church worldwide celebrates with us.

About our communities

Many people, especially teens, get news from social media. Accordingly, when our Christian communities have news to share, social is a great help! Posts about meetings, liturgies, or outings are effective ways to spread news and joy from a community of faith. We might even post about the different victories or prayer intentions of our community members. When we post about our Christian communities, we show others the joy of living faith together and extend an invitation to anyone hoping to join in that shared faith.

About ourselves

Perhaps the most powerful witnesses are personal. In the Gospels, Jesus sometimes instructs people He’s healed to go and show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4) as a sign of God’s saving work. Similarly, Jesus might call us to show how He has transformed our lives. We don’t have to share our deepest secrets online, but we can give glory to God by illustrating His love to us. To share about an experience on retreat, in prayer, or with a particular devotion can inspire hope in others that God loves us in personal ways. Personal sharing on social is vulnerable, so we need to be prudent about how we choose to share. Our guiding questions might be, “Would I share this with friends and community members? Will God or I get more glory from this post?”

Stay Simple

Sharing about faith on social media can be a powerful witness to God’s work in the world, at large, and in our own lived experiences. Whether we share about the whole Church, our communities, or our journeys of faith, we can celebrate God’s great love to the world. We have the chance to tell crucial stories of faith, like the stained glass windows that taught so many medieval Christians. But, we need not worry about changing anyone’s entire life. We don’t need earth-shattering insight or the most beautiful images. Instead, we need hearts that seek Jesus and invite others into His love. Our Christian invitation on social media might even be so simple as Jesus’s words to his first disciples: “come and see” (John 1:39)

Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash