Jamie Jean Schneider Domm
Digital Strategist, Social Media + Big Data, North American Division
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
For digital missionaries who spend significant time online working to further the gospel, it’s important that we learn to safeguard our own spirituality as well as develop a healthy work-life balance. Another way to frame this is to make sure you are fed spiritually before you minister to others.
This can be a huge challenge because when you work for a religious organization, EVERYTHING seems important because of the eternal impact of the work. And there seems to be no end to the work that needs to be done. Those of us who have chosen this type of career are self-driven but also driven by the expectations (or perceived expectations) of others. How do we prioritize? How do we set boundaries that enable us to get the job done, while taking care of our own spiritual health?
We’re not in this alone. God knows our limitations, and He doesn’t want us to work so hard that we work ourselves away from Him—the relationship that matters the most. This is why He has given us the Holy Spirit. After we’ve given it our all for the day and go home to rest, the Holy Spirit keeps working.
He also doesn’t want us to dive so deep into the mission field that we become corrupted by it. There are a lot of toxic conversations and content on social media, just as physical mission fields have their dangers and temptations. If the early missionaries of our Church had stayed away from the mission field because of the dangers, the Seventh-day Adventist Church would never have become a global movement. We must go where the people are and minister to their needs, while simultaneously guarding the avenues of our own heart.
Here are four tips for digital missionaries to help balance digital media and spiritual health:
God has not called us to live in social media but to influence people through social media. Our influence online can stretch much further than we imagine with the help of the Holy Spirit.
God has called us to use our digital influence for Him, whether we have an audience of four or 40,000. We plant the seeds; God grows the seeds. People pour out their hearts online. We can be there in their moments of crisis with love, hope, and truth. But in order for them to listen to us, we must carefully cultivate and use our digital influence purposefully.
By setting boundaries and sticking with them, we can be better equipped to help others.