• Sheldon Pryor

How To Go Viral in an Age of Fear



Spoiler Alert: Have a little faith.


We are all aware of the hot topic of the day, Coronavirus or COVID-19. The world around us has reacted out of fear and anxiety, versus urgency and responsibility. So, how do you go viral in an age of fear?


To go viral in an age of fear requires a viral act of faith.

To go viral in age of fear requires a viral act of faith.

We read in Matthew Chapter 9 of the "woman with an issue of blood". Matthew 9:20-22 says "And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour."


A viral act of faith.


It was not her need that was unique. Not her story. No, not even her touch.


The crowd had mobbed Jesus that day as we read in Luke 8:45 when Jesus asked "who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?"


Jesus had been touched so often that day, that he could not determine who it was that touched Him. We see that it was not her touch that made her whole, but her faith. It was her attitude in her approach that released the dunamis power of God.

It was her attitude in her approach that released the dunamis power of God.

While the crowd had a "mob mentality", she had a "faith mentality".


According to Jewish society, she was considered unclean. Anything that she touched would be considered unclean as well. Lonely and desperate, she broke the cultural norms of that day to touch the One who was clean.


This is what we call a "Viral Phenomena". A "Viral Phenomena" refers to objects or patterns that replicate themselves or convert other objects into copies of themselves when these objects are exposed to them.


When the woman touched the hem of Jesus' garment she set of a catalyst for the viral phenomenon of radical faith.

When the woman touched the hem of Jesus' garment she set of a catalyst for the viral phenomenon of radical faith.

From this point forward, the crowd would approach Jesus differently.


In Matthew 14:34-36, we read "And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole".


Our attitude, our approach to our issue can have a "viral" effect. From that day forward, "as many as were touched were made perfectly whole".


Either, we the "capital C" Church set the standard for how to approach with faith in a world of fear, or we let fear set the standard for the church. Either we operate with a "faith mentality" or a "mob mentality".

Either, we the "capital C" Church set the standard for how to approach with faith in a world of fear, or we let fear set the standard for the church.

There is an old tale of a man and a plague.


The plague was on the way to Baghdad when he found Nasruddin.

This one asked him “Where are you going?”

The plague answered him “Baghdad, to kill ten thousand people”

After a while, the plague met with Nasruddin again.

Very angry, the Nasruddin said to him, “You lied to me. You said you’d kill

ten thousand people, and you killed a hundred thousand.”

The plague said to him, “I didn’t lie. I killed ten thousand.


O, the rest died of fear"


The virality of fear is matched only by that of faith.


Fear takes a singular issue and produces a plural mob filled with panic and anxiety.

Faith takes a singular issue and produces a plural miracle.

Fear takes a singular issue and produces a plural mob filled with panic and anxiety. Faith takes a singular issue and produces a plural miracle.

How we respond today will be the catalyst for tomorrow. How we adapt to changing circumstances and needs determines the positioning of the church next week.


What can make the world whole?

A church that responds out of faith.


How do you go viral in an age of fear?

Match fear with a viral act of faith.


I hope that this has challenged you to reconsider your response to the outbreak of fear and pandemonium in the world around us. I want to encourage you that in this season of darkness, there is hope. Let your light shine brightly around you! Reach out to your co-workers, check in with an old friend. Be a light to your community.






The Creative Advantage.

© 2020 by Sheldon Pryor.