The number of global smartphone users exceeded 3 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach 3.8 billion, or 67% of the total population, by 2021.
The number of smartphone users increased by 800 million in three years. As time goes by, the number of smartphone users will increase exponentially.
Even where it is difficult for missionaries to enter due to various problems, smartphones are rapidly advancing without any restrictions. Now, social media ministry using smartphones has become a necessity, not an option.
In this era in which we live, the digital revolution is rapidly progressing. It is an era where you can communicate in real time with people there with your smartphone, wherever there is the internet, anywhere in the world, whether it is in the mountains, in the middle of the desert, or in the North Pole.
In other words, it is possible to spread the gospel to people living in remote mountainous areas, deserts, and people living in the Arctic through the Internet, specifically SNS.
As the world goes through the corona pandemic, more and more isolation is deepening and an exclusive social atmosphere is being formed. As a result, this era is shifting to a non-face-to-face era rather than face-to-face. Furthermore, it is shifting from non-face-to-face to face-to-face via online, that is, to the on-contact era.
Still, in most Islamic countries, it is becoming difficult for missionaries to ministry publicly and even to enter the country. To make matters worse, it is developing into an even more difficult situation as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even so, the command of the Lord, who said, “You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth,” must be kept. Now is the time to do missionary work with a creative approach using smartphones.
Facebook (Meta) is a global IT company with the largest number of subscribers in the world. If you add up the ‘monthly active users’ of Facebook-affiliated SNS companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp, more than 7.2 billion people are using Facebook-affiliated SNS.
Excluding duplicate subscribers, at least 2.5 billion people around 30% of the world's population use Facebook's giant platform and spend their time staying on that platform.
And there is big data that analyzed users for 15 years after Facebook was founded, and using that big data and Facebook server algorithm, you can spread the gospel much more effectively with personalized messages.
The great advantage of using Facebook is that you can deliver personalized messages to the largest number of users at a relatively low cost.
1. It is not particularly limited by time and space, so you can do ministry anytime, anywhere.
2. It can prevent the risk of deportation and terrorism in advance because the risk of identity exposure is relatively small.
3. It can spread the gospel effectively and efficiently without wasting tangible and intangible energy such as time and money.
4. It also applies to people living in places where missionaries cannot go for various reasons, such as Islamic countries, deserts and wildernesses, mountainous regions, Alaska, Antarctica, and the North Pole. If the following conditions are met, the gospel can be preached anywhere.
5. It can deliver a message tailored to their situation by specifying a target in a specific situation, such as a specific class, age, gender, hobbies, inclinations, interests, and life patterns. (Customized evangelism strategy)
1. Just as you have to go to the sea to catch a fish, to meet the youngsters (18-35) in the mission field and share the gospel with them, we need to connect to the SNS they use the most.
2. Distorted information about Jesus spreads like a very strong fortress in the Islamic world, and the distorted information is the biggest obstacle for Muslims to accept Jesus. The gospel can be strengthened only by correcting distorted information. Without a smartphone, there is little opportunity for them to access the right gospel.
3. Because of the Islamic community, even if an individual encounters the Gospel and is converted, revealing that fact means social (or physical) death sentence. This is the biggest factor that prevents Muslims from converting. However, if you use a smartphone, you can listen to the gospel message and lead a personal life of faith without the people around you noticing it.
4. Due to the corona pandemic, face-to-face meetings are shrinking around the world, while non-face-to-face or on-contact is expanding significantly, and this trend will be further strengthened in the future. With the emergence of recurrent mutant viruses, this pandemic will not end easily, and we must find alternatives.