Renowned organization shares practical ways Christians can prioritize and practice their faith in a digital world
April 25, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The second annual “Go Dark, Shine Bright” campaign is nearing its kickoff on May 5, 2022. This unique event is built around a national social media fast and outreach designed to both foster spiritual reflection and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Sponsored by the D. L. Moody Center (moodycenter.org), one of the nation’s top renewal destinations, the inaugural initiative in 2021 was a resounding success, with 20,000 participants completing the fast and 100,000 people experiencing the gospel. The D. L. Moody Center anticipates participation to more than double this year, with 50,000 people taking part and 250,000 people hearing Christ’s message of hope and salvation.
James Spencer, president of D. L. Moody Center, stated, “The ‘Go Dark, Shine Bright’ project is a Christian ministry devoted to helping believers give God a central place in their lives, grow their faith, and share the gospel through a conscious approach to social media. When we make space for the light of God to shine through, we are amazed at what He illuminates in our lives. But the more distracted we are, the harder it is to look with eyes that see and listen with ears that hear.”
The groundbreaking initiative was inspired by recent insights into the potentially negative effects of social media on users’ mental health. The campaign will begin with a 10-day social-media fast, where participants will trade time on their apps for time in God’s word and personal reflection. Communal prayer will take place both online and in-person at locations across New England, including the D. L. Moody Center. Once they complete the fast, each participant will be challenged to share the gospel with five people.
The campaign’s name is inspired by D. L. Moody himself, who stated, “In the place God has put us, He expects us to shine, to be living witnesses, to be a bright and shining light. While we are here our work is to shine for Him.”
In addition to providing online support and in-person prayer groups, the D. L. Moody Center is offering practical guidelines for Christians who desire to engage with social media in way that reflects their values.
- Learn to resist. Christians are called to be conformed to the image of Christ, which means they should resist being conformed to anything else. On social media, it’s tempting to fall into dialogs and arguments that are far from Christ-like. Christians must resist the pull to interact with others in ways that don’t honor God or people.
- Carry a physical Bible. This suggestion may seem strange when considering the increasing engagement with a digital world. But carrying a physical Bible can offer a tangible reminder that God’s word matters.
- Stay calm. The internet is the perfect forum for a 24/7 cycle of crises, where apps such as Twitter provide a constant stream of bad news in real time. Yet participants can wade into the anxious conversations of this world knowing that, because of Christ, they have the “peace of God that passes all understanding”(Philippians 4:7).
- Don’t settle for cheap participation. While users can express concern with a casual “Like,” this passive interaction can lead to the illusion of true engagement. As the world steadily shifts into an online environment, it’s vital that Christians continue to meet real-world needs in the real world.
- Consider integrity. Whethersitting behind a smartphone or across from a person, what people say matters. Before Christians respond to someone’s post, they should consider how their words may impact their integrity and personal witness for Christ.
Spencer concluded, “The ‘Go Dark, Shine Bright’ campaign was created out of the conviction that the church needs to step away from the world of social media to pray and study. It is not intended to suggest that God’s people should abandon social media altogether. Rather, the campaign is designed to remind us, as Christians, that we are to be strange in the right ways wherever we are.”
The D.L. Moody Center is an independent non-profit organization located in Northfield, Massachusetts. Dedicated to preserving and advancing the legacy of Dwight Moody, the D. L. Moody Center is a catalyst for spiritual formation in New England and beyond through evangelism and discipleship.
As a destination for spiritual renewal, the D. L. Moody Center is not a school. Nevertheless, there is much to learn by studying D. L. Moody and what God accomplished through his life which began in New England, at the Northfield, Massachusetts campus, the heart of Moody’s ministry as well as his childhood home.
The D. L. Moody Center is honored to sponsor the annual “Go Dark, Shine Bright” ministry campaign in partnership with The Shine Bright Project. The innovative initiative is designed to help Christians let go of the daily distractions of social media and focus on daily devotions in the Word of God.