I stopped using Instagram in January 2018 because the visibility was horrible and it wasn’t moving the needle on my mission.
I still have an account, but I no longer post new images. The old images and memes are still available if you wish to view them.
Here is a guest article by Jana Wilson about the use of Instagram by Christians.
As a good Christian, you just want to do your part to make this world a better place. That’s how Jesus taught and how he lived his life, so it follows that you would want to do the same. You’ve probably taken on several strategies for being a good example and spreading the good word, but have you considered Instagram?
Social media platforms can be somewhat controversial among those in the Christian faith. It’s often touted as a time-waster and a hub of temptations and negativity. It can be these things, but if you take charge of your Instagram account, you can be a force for good rather than evil. That’s something the world needs a little more of, don’t you think?
If you’ve been passively using your Instagram account to keep up with the lives of others and occasionally post the everyday happenings of your own life, it’s time to turn the tables. Take a stand with your beliefs and try to bring a little more positivity to your corner of the internet. Here are a few things you can try.
Post a Scripture Weekly
What could be more positive than spreading God’s word throughout the world? Choose a favorite scripture weekly and post it to your feed.
Remember that Instagram is a visual account, so consider using a tool like Canva to create beautiful visuals designed for Instagram. You can use trendy fonts overlaying a scenic photo to pull it all together. These well-designed visuals will keep your account looking sharp while increasing the number of people who actually read it, since visuals will catch the eyes of your followers better than text alone.
Your Instagram followers certainly won’t mind you sharing some of your beliefs on your page—many will even look forward to it, especially if they know that you’ll be posting weekly. Consider setting up a schedule so that you never miss a week.
Share a Story from Your Church Community
You, no doubt, have seen or experienced many, many stories of miracles and beautiful events in your time as a Christian. Why not share those stories with others? Most users hop onto Instagram in search of a good story or two—this is the primary purpose of the platform, after all. Your stories could keep them engaged and interested in positive happenings that occur everyday.
For the ultimate impact with your stories, Elsa Dooling of ChurchTechTodaysuggests, “Pictures coupled with short and snappy captions can share important stories and news about your church quickly. A series of posts can be planned to roll out a story incrementally and keep followers engaged over an extended periods time too.”
Don’t try to drag the story out too long, as people will lose interest eventually. You might also tell the occasional story using the ever-popular Instagram Stories feature, which gets the engagement of nearly 400,000 people every single day.
Get Inspiration from Popular Christian Pages
Anyone who wants to make a real impact with positive posting will recognize what’s working best in your industry. Find other Christian-devoted pages and click the follow button to fill your feed with uplifting posts. You can even search Christian related hashtags to find popular Christian pages on Instagram.“Following other Christian pages is great for times you do not feel inspired or you are just needing some inspiration yourself,” says popular Christian blogger Ryan Maher. “The greatest source of inspiration will always be the Word of God, the Bible. Many times after some quiet time in the Word, I have images I want to create and share with my audience.”
It’s okay to mimic what you see on others’ posts. You want good engagement with your posts to make sure enough people are seeing and engaging with it, and using ideas that have worked well for other Instagrammers can help you achieve this success.
Try to Avoid Controversy
As a good Christian, you have many set beliefs and opinions that people will disagree with. You might fiercely oppose other beliefs as well, but your Instagram page is not a place that you want to get into that. Christ would not have engaged in contentious arguments on social media or elsewhere, and neither should you.
If someone posts something that you disagree, respond politely with love and understanding. You can also avoid responding at all or even delete the comment from your post if you feel the need. An argument will quickly derail your efforts to bring positivity into the social realm.
Additionally, try not to “Bible bash” or argue over conflicting beliefs. Many of your followers will believe as you do, but many others won’t—and that’s okay. Rather than asserting the fact that your belief is better than anyone else’s stick to spreading the good word.
Strive for Connection
If you want people to be persuaded to believe as you do or, at the very least, adopt your positive attitude, you can’t use a strategy of getting attention to succeed. “There are two kinds of social media users: one who goes on with a ‘look at me!’ perspective, and one who goes on with a ‘let’s connect’ perspective. Social media was made for the latter,” explains Neal Samudre of Relevant Magazine.
People are far more receptive to the good word when it comes from a trusted friend, someone who doesn’t preach or press their views upon others. It must come from someone who’s truly interested in the well-being of others and isn’t doing it for attention alone.
“This doesn’t mean you can’t share your work with others online,” Samudre continues.“This just means you shouldn’t use likes and comments as validation for yourself. Aim to connect instead.”
With each post, think about how it might help others or bring hope and peace into their lives. Show genuine love and respect for everyone who engages with your posts. As you show that you truly live the way a Christian should through Instagram, you’ll make firm connections that can lead even more people to the gospel.
Jana Wilson is a freelance writer based in Chandler, Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and binge watching Netflix.