All over news feeds from Facebook to Twitter are short videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Maybe you have attributed to this trend. That’s ok. It’s a good trend. The challenge started online – sent via a social media account and used the #IceBucketChallenge to further the movement: . Since the challenge started the ALS Foundation has seen an incredible increase in donations. According to the ALS Website, “As of Wednesday, August 27, The ALS Association has received $94.3 million in donations compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 27). These donations have come from existing donors and 2.1 million new donors. The ALS Association is tremendously thankful for all of the generous support and awareness that this summer phenomenon has generated for the cause.”
This is an amazing amount of money for an organization that was for the most part under the radar just a few short weeks ago. Welcome to the age of social media. Welcome to the age of minute-by-minute opportunities. Welcome to the age of digital impact and influence.
So what can we learn from the #IceBucketChallenge? Quite a bit in fact. Believe it or not there are some social and spiritual principles we can glean from this Icy Movement.
Here are 7 things we can learn from the #IceBucketChallenge.
- People want to be part of something larger.
We all like to be apart of something – Generosity is Contagious. We also like to be apart of something that is greater than us. This challenge has touched lives personally and individually, but also it has touched people we do not even know. This challenge has the potential to save lives in the future. We like being part of that grand scale – there is something in all of us that wants and even longs to be part of the greater good. There are needs in this world each and every day. Find something to join – Church, Mission Project, Charity, Non-Profit organization. Whatever it is – be a part of it. Be part of something bigger and greater than you.
- Simple is Okay
Life does not need to be complicated. Faith does not need to be complicated. The Ice Bucket Challenge was a simple challenge. Take a bucket filled with ice or cold water and dump it on your head. Simple. Nothing difficult, although seeing some of the mishaps of some Ice Bucket Challenges there were a few who made it difficult, but it was simple and easy. Also, the challenge if accepted asked people to Donate a very small amount, $10. Most have $10 – this dollar amount was tangible. Even those who did not accept, were challenged to donate $100 – still a relatively small amount. Our faith does not need to be difficult. Nor do we need to make faith difficult for others – making them jump through hoops to have a relationship with Jesus. Keep things Simple and Easy.
- Life can and should be Fun
We were created by a Fun God. He has called us to enjoy life – to have fun with what he has given us. There were a lot of people, who have had quite a bit of fun doing this. Life should be fun. We as people are more apt to do things when fun is involved. We tend to support things that help us enjoy life. For instance, the #HotCoalChallenge would have had a totally different response. Although I am sure that some would take the challenge, walking on Hot Coals does not sound enjoyable, nor something that would garner $90 million. We have seen day in and day out that people are enjoying and having fun dumping cold icy water on their heads. Good note – Keep Life Fun and Enjoyable – and stay away from the #HotCoalChallenge.
- Be Unique and Creative
No only were we created to have fun, but we were also created Sacred and very Unique. There were some really unique Ice Bucket Challenges. Check out Patrick Stewart’s challenge. He got really creative and unique with his challenge. Unique and creative allows for more excitement – knowing things don’t have to be done just like everyone else. Be creative and unique. Stand out. Be different. Ask the question, what makes you different than the person next to you? Be who you were created to be – be different – be unique – live into the sacredness of who God created you to be. It’s okay.
- Diversity is a Beautiful Thing
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been done by all kinds of people – from young children to Presidents and other celebrities. Its reach has had no particular economic status, culture, race, gender, age. This challenge has reached millions of people. It has been done by millions of people. It has impacted the lives of millions of people – all different kinds of people. It has been a very diverse movement. God created a diverse creation. Seek Diversity – It’s a beautiful thing.
- Do Some Good
John Wesley, the great theologian, once said, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” We can take this principle for life, as well as online. Use your tweeting and posting as a way of connecting with organizations, charities, individuals who are doing good and making a difference in the world. Enter the Ice bucket Challenge. To date, more than $90 million has been raised. Value added. Regardless of your opinion of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a lot of good has been done. Do Some Good.
- Do not Underestimate Your Influence
Whether we like to admit it, we have power and influence. We have power and influence even more so now in this digital age of social media. If you do not remember anything else I have said, hear this: Do not underestimate the power and influence you have when you use social media. People watch and read more than you think – especially when you call them out to have them dump ice water on their heads. You have more influence than you think. Not only has this helped the ALS Foundation, but our power and influence can impact the Kingdom. We can by the posting of a tweet or comment influence someone online. This can become a negative influence – so keep it positive – you have power and influence. Use it, to further the kingdom.
I am positive that the originator of the Ice Bucket Challenge did not imagine that more than $90 million would be raised in such a short amount of time. What an incredible range of influence. You have influence – use that influence for Good – make a difference and if you haven’t already – I’m calling you out – take the Ice Bucket Challenge .
What have you witnessed from the #IceBucketChallenge? I would love to hear your thoughts.