Date

4-25-2023

Department

Rawlings School of Divinity

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Chair

Brian Pinzer

Keywords

social media, presence, churches, Baptist, Gospel, discipleship

Disciplines

Leadership Studies | Religion

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore social media usage according to leaders from churches in the Southern Baptist Convention in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. For this study, social media was defined as any social media networking platform used to share the Gospel. The research was guided by the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 2001; Weaver,1953) developed by Shannon, Weaver, Schramm, and Berlo. The communication model effectively understands and explores the literature gap regarding God and how He communicates with His people. The study started with purposeful sampling and recruitment of participants, who then voluntarily completed the survey and took part in a Zoom interview. The study yielded twelve volunteers who took part in all rounds. The study's findings revealed that Facebook was the most extensively used social media channel for sharing the gospel, followed by YouTube and Twitter. Social media was widely used in these Baptist churches. The findings revealed that social media is essential for spreading the gospel online. The findings also revealed that participant church leaders used social media platforms in various methods to spread the gospel.

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