If you’re reading this and are an author in what is traditionally considered the “academic” space, you may be tempted to think that your audience is limited only to others in academia. Perhaps one day this would have been true. But, with the way the internet has made content available to many different groups of people, your work is now accessible to be read more than ever by people in your community or in your local church.
Social media has given lay people the ability to connect with Christian leaders, including Christian academics around the world, and they are taking advantage of this opportunity. Many in the academic space once viewed social media as a trivial pursuit—a waste of time—and it must not be seen as such any longer. Here are three reasons Christian academic authors need to be on social media:
1. To serve others in academia.
Over the course of a year, you have the opportunity to connect with other academics at conferences like the Evangelical Theological Society and others, but keeping up with your colleagues around the world via email or by telephone can be difficult.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to keep in touch with other academics in more efficient ways than have ever been available before. Beyond just keeping in touch, though, social media gives you a way to serve other academics in your space. Perhaps you write a blog regularly or you decide to post some of the syllabi from past classes online.
Social media can be a great way for academics like you to stay in touch and serve one another.
2. To serve others in your churches
Unless you happen to pull double duty as a professor and a pastor, your primary job on a daily basis is not to equip the saints in your local church for ministry. Scripture tells us that is primarily the job of the church leadership. But, many lay people today are engaging with more “academic” level content online today than they ever have in the past before the age of social media.
On social media, you have the opportunity to provide resources for the people in your churches who are increasingly interested in more academic-level biblical content.
3. To serve others in your communities.
Beyond simply serving other academics and those in your local church, being active on social media can be an effective way to serve those in your communities. Your neighbors and the people you see at the grocery store are consuming content on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms all the time. Social media and the content being shared on social media platforms have an ever-increasing influence on the thoughts and beliefs of the general public.
You have the opportunity to contribute your voice and the truth of the gospel to this phenomenon. You can serve your neighbor by being active on social media in any number of ways.
All of this may be overwhelming to you. How do you even start? LifeWay Christian Resources is offering a new service called LifeWay Social that is launching this October. The purpose of LifeWay Social is to help Christian leaders like you use your gifts on social media in a way that serves others. If you are interested in social media coaching and training, check out LifeWaySocial.com for more info. You can also email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.