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Bishop Barron's tips to evangelizing on social media

2016-07-09

He has more than 900 thousand Twitter followers, and almost 830 thousand people following him on Facebook. In fact, he is the most-followed Catholic figure on social media, after Pope Francis.
 
So when Bishop Barron, the auxiliary bishop for Archdiocese of Los Angeles, offers advice on how to evangelize on social media, it is definitely worthwhile to take a few notes.
 
BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"Just do it. Try it. I started with culture commentaries, so not starting with 'Church-y' things so much. But let's start with a movie, let's start with a book, let's start with what are people buzzing about? What's going on in the news? Start with that and then find in it what the Church fathers called 'Seeds of the Word,' so little hints, echoes of the Word you can pick up.”
 
Bishop Barron calls these hints of the Gospel, "biblical eyes,” when the world becomes alive through a Catholic perspective. It is not an immediate change, but one that even he developed over the years.
 
His media involvement started after he was challenged by a fellow priest to make his voice heard, instead of complaining about situations, like so many do today. It was then he began in radio, continued onto television and finally setup a website that started the program, Word on Fire.
 
However, with the resources available now, he says there's no excuse not to try to make an evangelical difference on social media.
 
BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
"We've all got high definition cameras in our pockets now with the iPhone. We've all got
access to the tools of the media. You can start a website pretty easily, put something on YouTube pretty easily, so I think people can do it
.”
 
Although he was initially turned off by the negative YouTube comments people post, he now enjoys them because it's an opportunity to reach a niche that might not ever darken the doors of a Catholic Church. In fact, some say the discussions that have ensued are occasionally better than the videos themselves.
 
BISHOP ROBERT BARRON
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

"So try something, be creative, be inventive. If it doesn't work, try something else. Have an evangelical freedom and flexibility.”
 
He encourages those who are clever, with an innovative perspective to dive in and not be intimidated by the competitive market. When he started making videos, he was excited with 300 views and now, as a bishop, he receives over 19 million. Anything is possible in the world of social media!
 

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