The term “viral” has emerged as a powerful concept in how growth occurs in our new world. My experience based definition is that viral is “growth that occurs in a community without external pressure or manipulation”. When one is looking to grow, viral is a good thing. You get results without effort. If you are looking for no change, then viral is a terrible phenomenon.
It is easy to believe that viral events are something new. As one read old literature, there are several stories of viral growth. In one, “the word got around and people started taking pieces of clothing—handkerchiefs and scarves and the like—that had touched Paul’s skin and then touching the sick with them. The touch did it—they were healed and whole.” (Acts 19.12)
As I listened to stories over the past few days, I have found myself wondering if the individuals involved realize how far her/his touch has extended. An occasional writer that no longer attends an institutional church positively influenced church leaders and a community 2,000 miles away. They have never met. A young woman answered the call of her heart and a congregation witnessed God in dance. A man driven by conviction has followed his dream. A woman convicted by the witness of others, started a school and thousands are living testimonies of what is possible. As a result, individuals around the world have found themselves filled with energy beyond anything they knew.
In each case, the power and influence of the individual transcended their vision. They touched many without knowing. They nurtured hope. They empowered bold moves.
As I study the mechanics behind viral growth, in theory and the lives where I see it occurring, there are common threads. The individuals involved were focused on doing the stuff of their lives. The individuals that received the gift often lived without fully understanding “who” was behind the idea. The ripple that occurred in the communities of everyone involved continues to move without any nurture or guidance.
Today will have good outcomes and bad. I would like to create a wave.