If you ever thought Social Media was just another fluke and passing fad, then the #EndSARS protest should reset your mind. The bigwigs – the government and the money bags have lost control and censorship of information. More people turn to social media networks to hear their news than to Radio Nigeria or NTA or any of the TV stations for that matter.

The US had predicted that non-state actors will become more powerful than government armies (and they were referring to individuals using social media networks to wage wars against governments)

This is a whole new field of evangelism but it doesn’t look like Nigerian Churches are moving fast enough to plant evangelists in this field. In fact it seems right now that we have an army of youth influencers unleashed against the Church.

Clearly, in the years ahead, negative policies and attacks on the Church will be coming from the Social Media. The storm every church will face will not just be burning of Church edifices but virus attacks against church networks, unethical hacks into  ministers’ accounts – sending damaging mails, pictures and all sorts to their members in other to discredit the leader and scatter the congregation. Churches will be wrecked financially in a minute when a rogue gets hold of their banking passwords and acts in “holy anger”.

Sadly, the youths that will lead these attacks on the churches will be Christian Youths recruited for this very purpose. Does the Church has an answer? What should we be doing right now to rise up to these emerging challenges? Do we need to plan now or wait and react after the major ministries are hit?

Imagine a situation where a young man finds out (rightly or wrongly) that his family or fiancée has been taken advantage of by some powerful members of the church. Rather than leave it to God or go to the police, this young man singlehandedly can bring the church down simply by hacking into the church network and streaming nude pictures of the pastor during a major event. 

The dynamics are changing so quickly. We must raise the army now!
*Here are a few tips you can use immediately.*

1. *Ensure that your message is social media compatible.* Deliberately create quotes from your sermon and ask your “mega pastors” to use them immediately on their social media handles.

2. *Train your mega pastors in the art of building compelling online messages.* If they learn from the Kardashians or Big Brother Naija, they will only be evangelists for those ideologies. Don’t let it happen under you.

3. *Share and celebrate their messages widely on the church network.* It keeps them in check.

4. Comment on their posts, share their statuses and generally maintain your presence in their online space. Remember the old wisdom for pastors – *“a home visiting pastor will raise a church going member”* Now, home is social media. 

5. Very big organizations can *invest in software that tracks the social media activity* of their mega pastors (the teeming youths). They vent their frustration with church, family, government and everyone else on their pages. Tracking the issues they are discussing will make your message relevant to them.

6. Don’t wait for another lockdown to *build a deliberate online service where these tech-savvy generation are fully trained to minister,* fight off predators and stand on their own in the digital space to the glory of God.

7. *Subscribe to mobile network plans that enable members to attend online services or watch church YouTube videos when they don’t have data.*

8. If you don’t *have a social media strategy and policy* – (not social media handles) – take the time now to develop them. If you don’t know how to go about it, ask for help.

_Tomorrow we will share the spiritual trend for these changes from the bible. There is nothing new under the sun after all. Keep a date and please share this post with your pastor_

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