The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—Matthew 28:16-19 (GNT)
One of the interesting things about viral videos is that you really can’t predict their popularity. On The Apprentice recently, the candidates were trying to come up with a video for a popcorn company, and while they were both very amusing, it is really only the hive mind of the Internet over time that can determine whetheror not the video has truly “gone viral”.
For every video of Chris Crocker crying about the mistreatment of Britney Spears that’s been watched 34 million times, there are probably hundreds of rip offs and satires that don’t even total 1% of that same attention. The same thing goes for the Star Wars Kid with 19 million views, a prairie dog turning and starting dramatically (26 mllion views), or this video, clocking in at almost 84 million views:
I’ve got to be honest, part of the reason why I came up with this post was so I could embed some stupid videos into it.
Kids are staging stunts all the time now so they can be seen on YouTube… wannabe Johnny Knoxvilles dreaming of $50 million openings in their futures, but are more likely to end up having mom and dad tag along for a $5000 trip to the ER instead.
The Internet has made it easier than any time in recorded history to get the gospel message out to the world. And even though YouTube is more likely to get more hits off videos of televangelists acting stupidly than effective presentations of the gospel, there are still some messages out there that can teach us things of importance. Take Randy Pausch or example. Dying of pancreatic cancer, he gave the last lecture to his students at Carnegie Mellon University and the world saw the most motivational viral video ever.
It is simpler than ever to go out into the world and preach the gospel when technology unites people around the world every day. Skype, streaming video, FaceTime… all technologies that give us face-to-face communication in real-time. In the Bible, the Great Commission was actually walking out into the world and preaching the gospel to people.
Never forget that the computer can never be a substitute for developing real, face-to-face Christian community with others, but to get the message of the gospel out to the world and to transmit it to people across the globe, going viral may be the most effective way to spread the Good News of Jesus in the culture today.
Think about something you’re doing right now. Is there some aspect of it that will draw people into the benefits of that activity? Is there something you are doing right now that has the potential for going viral? I think if you are, it would be an encouragement to myself and others if you could mention it in the comments.