Renowned organization shares how Christians can prioritize their faith in a digital world
April 18, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Anticipation is building for the second annual “Go Dark, Shine Bright” campaign, a coordinated social media fast and outreach designed to 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 success by any metric, with 20,000 participants completing the fast and 100,000 people hearing the gospel. Scheduled to launch on May 5th, this year’s campaign is expected to more than double participation and impact, with 50,000 people taking part and sharing Christ with over 250,000 people.
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 innovative initiative was inspired by recent insights into the negative, and often detrimental, 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. Communal prayer will be held in both online forums and in-person events at various 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.”
While the fast will give participants a mental and spiritual break from social media, the reality is that these apps are here to stay. Considering that, the D. L. Moody Center is sharing five guideposts to help Christians take a thoughtful, intentional approach to interacting in a digital world.
- Create an offline outlet. Social media is designed to spur instant engagement. As a result, users are tempted to respond rashly without pause or consideration. Creating an offline space to write down and reflect on thoughts before pressing “send” can be crucial.
- Break the rules. Social media has one primary rule: engage. Apps are built around this premise, from like buttons, to retweets, all designed to increase engagement. But users can break the rules when they read posts or comments and choose to not respond.
- Know the limits. Context matters, and social media is no different. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are designed to reward outrage, not encourage nuanced, thoughtful dialog. Christians should measure their expectations and words accordingly.
- Be intentional. Social media can quickly drain time and attention. The D. L. Moody Center encourages Christians to set guardrails around their usage and set reminders to take a break. Turn off instant notifications. Maybe even leave their phone at home when spending time socially with family or friends!
- Take stock. When life is good, it can be easy to put off the things that matter most, like spending time with God or loved ones. Users should consider how social media is potentially impacting their lives. If it’s not helping them live out the greatest commandment, to love God and others, consider just how much value an app is adding, or subtracting, from their quality of life.
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.