The Olivet Theological College & Seminary (OTCS) offered its "Social Media in Ministry" program with hopes of leading theology students to reflect on the importance of social media. Analyzing the statistics related to social media usage, the class highlighted and discussed several topics related to impact in the mission field.
Interesting facts about social media in today's society states that 50% of the population is under the age of 30. Also the user population on Facebook is even higher than the population of countries like China and India. About 93% of the buying decisions are influenced by social media and that by 2018, videos will account for over 2/3 of mobile usage.
Knowing these statistics, students were divided into teams to brainstorm and discuss on the group's upcoming project plans.
"Our group would like to target on family, specialized in relationship between husband and wife," said Nitin Dahiya, a first-year Master of Divinity (M.Div.) student from India. "The divorce rate around the world is increasing, and we hope to share gospel related themes towards a strong marriage based on the Christian faith."
Another team of students focused on kids as frequent users of mobile devices.
"Recently, a single kid song in the market gets more than 1.8 billion view. We would like to capture this opportunity to influence kids with Gospel through social media," said OTCS student Lili Wang.
In the course, students will have an opportunity to participate in gospel video production, which will be linked to Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
"Through the Social Media in Ministry program, I wish to create an evangelism model for the churches in India. In a highly populated country like India, Social Media serves as a powerful tool nowadays. According to the Facebook data bank, India has around 219.94 million Facebook users and it is growing rapidly. So, through this course, I want to increase my knowledge about 'How to use this tool to evangelize more people?' in an effective way," said student Isaac Elangovan.
A lecture following the social media workshop gave space for students to brainstorm and find applicable use toward their own mission projects.