In the last three decades, technology has grown to the point where we now have access to information at the click of a button.
Social media has allowed everyone to have a platform and speak their minds.
This can be good because we all want to get our voices out and be heard. We all would like a microphone from time to time to share information.
Sometimes, these platforms can grow into a massive following. In this case, the person who started the following is now called an influencer. They’re saying something that’s striking a chord with many, many people.
When a person obtains tons of followers and popularity, it can be vindicating – their proof of authority and enlightenment.
We outsiders might see these vast followings and automatically think it’s positive. Maybe they’re doing something right.
However, not all massive platforms will be good, mainly when someone uses them to share incorrect ideas about God and the Bible.
That’s why we should be aware of Christian influencers – people with substantial online followings that spread ideas about God.
Of course, not all influencers are bad. Many of them share powerful words. We all believe and teach a mix of both – correct and incorrect.
But the lesson to be learned is this: A vast following does not equal divine inspiration and Biblical accuracy 100% of the time.
I’ve noticed that lots of believers constantly listen to Christian influencers while studying on their own and attending their home church.
The advantage of doing this is that you can learn from all places and get valuable insight – from your church, your own study, and the influencer.
But there are two disadvantages. One is that you could be hearing two contradicting messages.
The other is that you might not give enough focus to your home church or your study time because you feel that the “real, powerful” Word is coming from the influencer.
“Why do I need to study? Why do I need to plug into my home church? I’m getting all the Word I need from the TikTok videos my favorite Christian influencer is releasing.”
This creates another kind of believer: Those who do not study independently or attend a local church, and only follow influencers to learn and receive the Word.
And this is a very unbiblical way to live.
We need to see Christian influencers for who they really are: People like you and me who don’t have it altogether and need Jesus in our personal lives and beliefs.
I feel that the most common mistake Christian influencers make is not being open to teaching and correction from literally anyone else.
The reason for this is because of their followers. I have seen influencers declare Biblically incorrect things.
But they would never see or hear me because it’s difficult to hear one naysayer when thousands of clapping people surround you.
The influencer might post something incorrect.
The crowd applauds the influencer because they don’t realize what they said is flawed. The followers might only care how “powerful” the post sounds.
This causes the influencer to continue believing and spreading doctrine that is not true. It also boosts the ego a bit.
We’re taught to only surround ourselves with people who support and agree with us and to eliminate all the “haters.”
But the “haters” are usually nothing more than those with different opinions.
Again, it’s OK to follow a few great influencers, but I believe there are three things we should all do before we rely heavily on them.
First, study the Bible for yourself. Engage in regular Bible studies with your church, take Bible courses online, and purchase study resources. You can also pick up a copy of my book on Amazon, which will get you started in the right direction. There are so many other things to try, as well!
Second, listen to actual Bible teachers, not just people who can make powerful, tweetable statements about God. Some of my favorites are Jonathan Welton, Melissa Scott, Lynn Hiles, Walter Martin, Joseph Prince, Andrew Farley, Ryan Pena, and more!
Third, plug into your home church. Attend every service if you can. Learn the doctrine and ask questions. Go to the potlucks. Your pastor might be unable to make viral videos like an influencer, but they need you, too. Something special happens when we interact with real people, not just with an online community.
Let me know what you think about this article! Thanks for reading!