“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16

It used to be that the term “viral” had something to do with an ultra-microscopic (20 to 300 NM in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope. (It still does by the way…)

For this post, however, “viral” refers to those web videos that are viewed by millions of people and that everyone talks about. Viral is the new popular. Consider these mind-numbing facts about YouTube.

  • 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second.
  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years
  • In 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views

So with all that video…what makes one go viral? After reading a few articles by pundits and opinion makers, it seems that many viral videos have at least 4 things in common.

First, the content is unique and memorable. For an example, check out “Evolution of Dance” by Judson Laipply or “Driscoll Middle School Trick Play.”

Secondly, the action in most viral videos is natural and not staged. Remember “Charlie Bit My Finger?

Next, the people in viral videos are being themselves. Check out the “Numa Numa” guy for an example (regarded by many as THE video that started the craze) or watch Susan Boyle floor everyone with her rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream.”

Finally, the action in viral videos seems like something you just want to be a part of. I love the “JK Wedding Entrance Dance.”

The point? As you witness to the world around you about the love of Christ…as you “let your light shine”…Go Viral. Here’s how:

  • Always remember that the content…Jesus himself…is completely unique. Every encounter with him is memorable.
  • Make sure your expressions of Christ’s love are natural…not staged. Nothing for show. No ulterior motives. Never self-serving.
  • Be yourself…be real…be who you are…be authentic. No facades. No role playing.
  • Live out your faith joyfullyboldlyabundantly… Others will want to be a part of that.

I once heard it said that letting your light shine is much different than making your light shine. But, a light can do nothing but shine…if it really is a light.

Love God. Love People. Go Viral.

David White
Connections Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

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