In a world that can be hectic and stressful, finding a faith community can be a wonderful source of rejuvenation, especially when that connection takes place online and is available to anyone with access to the Internet. Capitalizing on the popularity of Facebook, arguably one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, a preacher’s son started a page called Jesus Daily. What started as one man’s side project now boasts more than 8.5 million followers.
Dr. Aaron Tabor, a physician and entrepreneur, created Jesus Daily in 2009 as a way to share daily Bible sayings. He quickly found an audience that sought inspiration and fellowship with others of the Christian faith. Visitors who ‘like’ the page are welcome to post favorite verses; prayer requests for themselves, family, or friends; and even begin discussions about the best places to purchase religious jewelry. It’s clear that Facebook offers more than the chance to play arcade games and reconnect with high school classmates.
United in faith, followers of Jesus Daily have boosted the site’s traffic higher than any other page on Facebook, surpassing even those for high-profile celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Users can partake in a number of interactive invitations, such as taking quizzes that test their knowledge of Bible facts or heroes, or simply posting a comment that discusses what they’re thankful for that day. Jesus Daily serves as a good source for connecting people of faith around the world, as well as a meeting place for those who are unable to meet with their church community as often as they would like.
Jesus Daily links to similar pages like Jesus Is My Life and the American Tract Society, an evangelism ministry, inviting its followers to explore faith outside the Facebook community. Spreading the word far and wide has proven to be successful for Jesus Daily, whose page encourages fans of the site to reach out to their networks to increase the page’s popularity. Connections to other popular sites like beliefnet.com helps Jesus Daily broaden its reach, likely the reason the page has become so popular.
Though Jesus Daily has its share of problems, including visitors who start parody sites or post potentially-inflammatory comments, such as those about atheism, the faith community that supports the page is clearly strong. More than eight times more popular than the fan page that supports Jesus himself, Jesus Daily clearly fulfilled a need that was lacking in the online world. The ability to share concerns, inspirational messages, or prayer requests is important when it comes to staying centered in the middle of a busy life. What began as a hobby has become a ministry, a welcome addition to the daily lives of millions of Facebook users.