The word “viral” reflects rapid multiplication of electronic information. A YouTube video of a cat doing something funny goes “viral” when viewers spread the word. Soon, thousands have seen it. Welcome to the age of the Internet…and, the potential of Christianity!
God designed Christianity to become viral. Many church leaders miss this dimension of Christianity. It is why most churches are stalled.
“Viral” is related to the word “virus.” Christianity doesn’t make you sick, but faith spreads like a virus. The flu spreads rapidly: through schools to parents, and through parents to their co-workers. Then it spreads from a worker on a business trip to others on an airplane. Each of them carries it to their own cities, places of work, and families. Their kids, then, take it to school. This is called an epidemic. Are the people of your church trained to carry the “holy infection” of hope, forgiveness, and the love of God to start a “Jesus epidemic?”
Focus on these issues:
- The major strategy for most churches is to bring others to church. The flu would never spread if it was only transferred by those people who had been invited to the hospital.
- In the New Testament Church, Christians “went everywhere, sharing the Good News of Jesus.” They shared in the marketplace, when persecuted, and in jail. Christianity went viral.
- Today, Christianity suffers from an attack of religious privatization. Many Christians view faith as compartmentalized. Isolate the carriers and the flu dies out. Look at your church calendar. Most activities reflect a quarantine.
- Consider holding your next church board meeting anywhere but church. What about a restaurant, the library, or a coffee shop?
- Don’t quarantine a Bible study group to a member’s home or the church basement. Move it to the marketplace. Your neighbor may come by and interrupt you, asking, “What are you doing?” That’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity!
- Many think of outreach as “what we pay the pastor to do.” This is the “professionalization of Christianity.”
- The Internet is influencing generations who have the DNA to be natural communicators to their social networks.
- The social-media-induced revolutions in the Middle East have demonstrated that you can change your world by communicating. Your primary platform to spread the faith is your social network: friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates – the same routes traveled by flu epidemics.
- You have a story to tell about how God has worked in your life. You will start a Jesus epidemic if you are actively praying for and looking for an opportunity to share.
Your message is way more important than a funny cat. Nobody wants to catch the flu. But everyone you know is looking for hope. A Jesus epidemic begins with you!
How are you making Jesus go viral? We welcome your comments below?
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.