Let’s Go Viral!
Have you ever experienced seeing a video go viral within just minutes after it is uploaded? With the power of the internet, it is now possible to reach as many people globally by posting something that would potentially be of interest to many people. The question is, how long does it stay viral? The average lifespan of viral videos, news and events usually lasts for a few months at the most. Then a newer modified version or a new stuff becomes the next viral sensation.
We were able to join as one in a rally organized and set up recently through online social media, the “Million People March” against pork barrel in favor of its abolition, which took place in Luneta Grandstand. Although the no of people who signed the petitions and attended the rally didn’t reach a million, we did accumulate and collect quite a significant number of protesters and signatures on that day as you can see in the aerial snapshot of the actual event below.
What if there were no computers and internet, would it still be possible to go viral and be heard? Think about it. Among everything that became viral and spread worldwide, what would this thing be? Answer: The Bible. Jesus and His disciples were able to spread Christianity even when there were no internet and computers in the biblical times. What is the difference between this virality and the virality of the internet? What is viral in the internet doesn’t last long, while the virality of spreading God’s Word comes from the heart, powered by the Holy Spirit. This virality touches us inside out instead of just amaze or entertain us.
Do you know what the best selling book in Norway: It’s the bible! (source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/06/189282743/book-news-the-bible-an-unexpected-bestseller-in-norway) Of all the available books, the Bible is the number one book in that country. It goes to show that people are now open to having a real relationship with the Lord and getting to know Him better.
Indeed, virality that takes root in the heart of people is much stronger and lasts longer than any other kind of virality, for it is coming from deep within, and reflects what is truly coming from within us.
For something to be viral, there should be a catalyst, a virus. In Christianity, the message of the gospel is the “virus” that infects those who read it. We who read the bible become infected and become “virus carriers.” We spread God’s Word to others by living what we learn from it, and by sharing the Word with others who might not have the opportunity to know about our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit fills us up and empowers us as we eagerly read and learn about Him through the gospel.
What is the most popular desire for any human being in this world? Ask any beauty contestant and she will tell you, “world peace”. Why world peace? We want to have peace in this world so that we may feel more secure letting our children out on the streets alone, knowing that nothing bad will happen. How do we achieve this though? We can only find inner peace through learning and knowing God’s Word.
The gospel is not just for us, but also for our next generation. The bible teaches us through Deuteronomy 11:19-23, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
If you will diligently observe this entire commandment that I am commanding you, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and mightier than yourselves.”
In short, the world would be a much better world for the next generation if we start leading through good examples and by teaching them while they are young. The young ones will pick up what they see in you and eventually their world will be a much better place than ours. It is important for us to teach the younger generation the gospel with a sense of urgency, so that we can be more effective in spreading God’s love to the world.
So how do we ensure that the spreading God’s Word continues to the succeeding generations even beyond our death? We entrust this work to the younger generation. Joshua 1:16-17 states, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses!” This passage was from the people, addressed to Joshua. Joshua was entrusted to succeed Moses’ leadership and the elders were there to encourage him to lead by God’s standards. Likewise we are supposed to entrust this to our younger generations. As we teach and train these young ones, we can start entrusting them to spread God’s Word on their own. This is the reason why we should teach them while they are young, so that they may be the persons that we teach them to be when they grow up, and become convicted and spirit-led enough to spread God Word to their younger generations. This has been how Christianity had spread from 12 apostles to the whole world.
When it comes to entrusting valuable things to young people, there is a natural hesitation to do so because we normally associate their youth with immaturity and an inability to take responsibility. For example, it’s easier to entrust a large sum of money to an older person than to a teen. However, when it comes to the gospel, we need not have that hesitation when it comes to trusting the next generation to obey God’s Word. God values the youth and it is His desire for them to partake of His blessings and inheritance. He will enable them not just to obey His Word, but even more, to be used to help make the gospel go viral.
Every Nation, one of the many worldwide family of churches and ministries, which I am part of, exists to honor God by establishing Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, socially responsible churches and campus ministries in every nation. Here in the Philippines, we are called Victory Christian Fellowship or VCF. The ministry believes in spreading God’s Word in every nation, and to the younger generations as well. Only when the whole world knows about Christ our Lord and Savior and His ways, will the world be at peace.
Every nation. Every campus. Each one of us can do our own part and reach out to the next generation, to ensure a better world for them. The birth of social values and movements in the campuses of the world is possible as we equip the youth to reach out to the campuses.
Why reach out to campuses? Acts 17:16-18 states, “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the market-place every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.’ (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.)” Notice that Paul chose to speak in public places like arenas, synagogues and marketplaces so that he may be heard. What better place for us to be heard by the youth than in campuses, where they all are. This is the best spot for this is where you will find stoics, epicureans, carefree, happy-go-lucky type of people, and inexperienced, and unconcerned people. They are so for they lack experience in this world, and all their needs are still provided for by their parents, and they have not really been given much responsibilities in life. It is the best place to start spreading God’s Word.
Are you deliberately “going viral” by reaching out to the next generation? In what ways? How can you share God’s Word to the youth not only in your nation but to other nations as well?
Let us pray that the Lord will sustain our passion to reach out to the young people and pray for wisdom on how to raise them up as leaders in every campus and every nation.
For those who might be interested in being part of this global mission or supporting Every Nation Philippines (Victory) in its mission, you may visit: www.everynation.org.ph.