Open Doors International is initiating a social media project I Share Life – Young Christians Online in the Middle East. The goal is to facilitate Christian youth from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to use their online presence to share the love of Christ in the Arab world.
Starting this year, a group of about six teenagers will start publishing posts on their own channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, in which they witness in a personal way about how Christ works in their lives. Their hope is that these posts will inspire others to accept Christ as well and start sharing their stories.
Open Doors supports I Share Life by providing equipment and training for the youth involved and also by offering them a chance to grow in faith. According to Alex*, an Open Doors worker involved in the project, two coaches will be meeting the teens regularly and will join them in a discipleship journey. “That is really one of the strong points of this project,” says Alex.
Social media is a great platform for sharing faith, since posts are easily “shared” and “liked” across country borders and, potentially, could have a huge impact.
The types of stories or pictures the participating teenagers will be posting is not pre-determined.
“ … In this project we want to put [the youth] in the driver’s seat; to facilitate and challenge them to be present with their own story,” says Alex. “They are far more spot on to the things that are relevant for their lives than we are.”
After discussing several possibilities for a mission statement, the youth involved in the kick-off decided to formulate their vision in terms of “creating hope, speaking about God, and sharing life online.”
Soon they will be posting their first I Share Life posts on their own social media. As a first step they all are thinking of one person they know that they want to show God’s love to.
“We will start by focusing on this person that is close to our hearts and then grow from there,” says Seif*, one of the youth present. “I chose to focus on one of my relatives in Syria. The only way for me to stay connected with them is through Facebook and WhatsApp.’’
After starting the project, the teenagers and their coaches will monitor the posts and the responses to see what lessons can be drawn for the future.
* Names changed for security.
- Give thanks for this Open Doors initiative, and the potential to impact many lives across the Middle East for Christ.
- Pray for the young people involved with the project, for courage to share posts, wisdom to know what to write and encouragement in seeing God work through their posts in the lives of those who read them.
- Pray for protection over all involved with the project, and for those who respond to Christ’s love.
- pray that the holy Spirit will move through these online posts, and that many will come to know the love and grace of God trough Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9 vs 23: “I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.“