A simple web search in English for sermons or devotionals can bring up over 50 million results. However, Japanese speakers have much less access to gospel content in their heart language. There is some great material out there in Japanese, but not many are sharing it. Also consider that many of the results of such a search in Japanese may not be evangelical, and it is easy to see how a Japanese person could be confused about the claims of Christianity.
Japan needs a unified voice of evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ sharing their stories and the compelling truths of the Bible on as many platforms as possible. Social media platforms recommend materials to users, not just based on what they like, but also on what is trending nearby. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the gospel to be trending in Japan? We have a wonderful true story to share, and YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LINE, and other social media platforms can help us.
Here are some tips for using social media so that you can be a part of helping the gospel spread among the Japanese.
A call to create
In a previous article (Winter 2018), we talked about broadcasting your outreach or service live online for the world to see. This is a wonderful start, and it will also be recorded for future seekers to view. But to begin building momentum and a social footprint in your community, you need to post regularly and across several platforms.
Consider using hashtags to begin connecting your work to others so that networks of truth begin to form. The more people that tag their testimonies and gospel seeds with the same hashtag, the easier it will be for others to search for that and hear the good news. The hashtag #impactjapan is one that’s being used by gospel workers in Japan; #wave4Jesus and #seishonokotoba are two others—perhaps you know of others or want to start one of your own in your circle of influence.
A simple start may be to share a daily Bible verse on your ministry’s Twitter account or your weekly Bible study could share a few nuggets of truth from the most recent meeting on their Instagram accounts and hashtag it. Another step could be using a common hashtag with your church members so that they can be involved in promoting the work to their networks of friends and family easily.
A call to curate
The call to curate is a call to engage with the content of other believers regularly and to share it with others. Seek out biblical truths in the Japanese language on social media platforms and regularly like or upvote those materials, and in turn, share to your networks. Subscribe to YouTube channels that are sharing truth and take time to give a thumbs up. There is quality biblical content out there. A simple click can encourage those who are regularly creating content and sharing truth online. Take a few seconds to simply like and share quality materials. It’s important, though, to make sure we know what we’re posting before we share. Thus, sharing content from sources you trust can help if you don’t have sufficient language to check, or the time to listen to a whole video. Interacting with content helps build momentum and means those materials are more likely to be recommended to others.
A call to saturate
The call to saturate is to post your content on as many platforms as possible. There are some great tools that can help you take your current social media ministry to the next level by automatically posting it on several platforms at once. One of the best free tools around is If This Then That (IFTTT). Signing up is simple, and you then connect to different channels you would like to being posting through. Connect your Twitter account and set up an IFTTT to Instagram. Instant double post. Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, LINE, and many others have connectors on IFTTT. The call to saturate is a call to be regularly broadcasting the good news on as many platforms as you are able. Buffer.com and Hootsuite.com are similar tools that can help you saturate the internet for eternal purposes.
Using these tips, you can take your current social media usage to the next level and can also be a part of helping your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Places to get started finding quality evangelical media in Japanese for sharing:
- Testimony videos: https://movingworks.org/japanese/
- On Facebook search for @7MEDIAORG,@OneHopeJapan, and @SeishonoKotoba.
- Lauren Horii (contemporary worship): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNl013q6NJJGZd4wtZpfSSA
Jared Jones has been serving and equipping the church in Japan since 2009. He looks for new ways to use technology and social media to spread the Good News. He and his wife Tara have six children and live in Takasaki, Gunma.