The social media has allowed people to stay connected globally, empower each of us to update each other what is happening in our lives, share powerful ideas, and invite people to know Jesus Christ. It is also true that the social media could in some way hinder authentic interpersonal relationships. These could be used as a platform to distribution and access to materials that could cause moral, social and spiritual harm. Nevertheless, the social media have become our virtual courtyard. Therefore, it is important that we move from demonising the medium, to educating young people to its proper use and to developing its potentials to evangelise.
In order to communicate Christ today through the social media it is necessary to connect to the mindset of the Millenials and the Generation Z. Credible witness is an important condition for communicating Christ. In the virtual world, witness implies visibility (we visibly manifest our Catholic identity), truth (we ensure that we are bearers of the truth and not of fake news) and credibility (the images we present reinforce the message we want to communicate). Faith needs to be presented to millennials and to the Generation Z in new and engaging ways. This, in turn, will open possibilities for them to share their faith with their peers.
Initial proclamation is not about Christian doctrines to be taught. It is about fostering an overwhelming and exhilarating experience which is capable of stirring up the desire to search the truth and an interest in the person of Jesus. This, ultimately, leads to an initial adhesion to Him, or the revitalisation of faith in Him. Initial proclamation is that spark that leads to conversion. It is then followed by the process of evangelisation through catechumenate and systematic catechesis. Without initial proclamation that brings about a personal option for Christ, any effort to evangelise will be sterile. Initial proclamation is the foundation for a new evangelisation.
Thus, the challenge for every Salesian pastor-educator, for every youth minister, is not making content for the social media but to train and accompany millennials and Generation Z themselves so that they can create faith-based content for themselves and their peers on the social media that can stir interest in knowing the person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, today the social media is a privileged forum to communicate Christ to young people. It is up to each of us to use it with missionary creativity!