How can the church use X, Threads and an evolving social media landscape to spread the Good News?

Staying current with social trends, technological advancements and cultural norms can feel like chasing after the wind – a venture rife with futility (Eccles. 1). Recently, Meta dropped its newest social media platform called Threads that was meant to be the friendly alternative to Elon Musk’s X (Twitter).

Oftentimes, when the world clamors over trends and social issues like these, church leaders circle up to figure out how to jump on the bandwagon to stay relevant. For those of us in communications, this feeling may be even more acute as many of these tools and trends really make a difference for how we do our work!

As followers of Jesus and leaders in Jesus’ Church, I want to encourage you, rather than jumping into the cultural chaos, to consider the subterranean longing people are experiencing that this conversation actually points to, and consider the solution we have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

A Longing World

Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Meta) says Threads, unlike X, is the platform that is a “friendly public space for conversation.” As wonderful as that sounds, what is absolutely certain is that Threads will become just as volatile and polarized as every other social media platform and public space that exists in our world. 

It’s interesting to consider what this little middle school feud between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk actually points to. Zuckerberg and the fine folks at Meta are really smart to market Threads as the platform for friendly dialogue. They know and feel what everyone does right now, that the division in the world seems like it’s at an all time high, and their solution is a friendly social media platform where we all post our friendly opinions and sing kumbaya together!

The underlying truth is the world is broken (Genesis 3) and longing for something, anything to break through the division and isolation we are experiencing with something that provides hope for healing and reconciliation.

Romans 8:21-22 says, “But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

This is what’s happening: the world is groaning, longing for something more than this, and we have the answer as followers of Jesus!

A Reconciling Gospel

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”

In simplest terms, the Gospel is about reconciliation. God made a perfect world, we rebelled against Him and He sent Jesus to reconcile that which was broken. The beautiful thing about it is that he then invites his people (the Church) to join him in reconciling the world back Himself!

This is how the Church can truly be that city on a hill that Jesus talked about (Matt. 5:14): by facilitating reconciliation and being a place of unity. Jesus actually says that when His people are unified, the watching world will believe in Him (John 17:21)!

A Focused Church

So, what does all this have to do with church communications? To restate what I said before, there is a nagging tension for church leaders around whether to jump on a trend or not. In reality, this is less about Threads and more about the world’s constant searching for something and the Church’s timeless Solution for their searching.

Ephesians 4:14, in the context of talking about a healthy Church, encourages us to resist being tossed around by every wave of thinking (aka: cultural trend), but instead to speak truth in love.

Yes, stay relevant. Do your best to meet people where they are. That’s exactly what Jesus did, but as a follower of Jesus and church leader, what makes what you do and who you are compelling is not jumping in with social media trends, it isn’t the edgiest branding, it isn’t executing the most insightful and well-timed opinion on social debates, it isn’t being on the right side of whatever societal morals are in vogue and it isn’t (insert anything the world calls a priority)

What is compelling about what you have to offer is Jesus. Nothing else.

If I could plead with you for a second, I would plead with you to resist the urge to jump on every trend, but rather, consistently make Jesus the focal point of everything you’re doing. Center your messaging around the Gospel, the only Good News. Use your communications prowess to elevate Jesus, and stay relentlessly focused on that.

And if you’re curious about my thoughts on Threads... it’s just Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter/X for your church communications strategy, then don’t worry about it!

I would love to hear from you about how you’re keeping Jesus front and center in creative ways through your communications and marketing efforts, and if you want to brainstorm ways to do this, we’d love to talk!