The Texas doctor who created one of Facebook's most-active Christian pages dedicated to encouraging believers worldwide has revealed the secret behind the website's massive success.
In April 2009, Dr. Aaron Tabor, who is the son of a Baptist minister, launched Jesus Daily, a Facebook page which shares Bible verses, encouraging words, and prayers for Christians. Today, the page has its own website and has been liked by over 27 million people, including the ministry of megachurch pastor Joel Osteen.
The pictures of cute animals and babies, comforting photos of Christ, and inspirational quotes undoubtedly play a large part in the website's success. However, Dr. Tabor, who is a gene therapy researcher, says he uses the same probability and statistics-based techniques he learned from the medical field to propel the site's popularity, thus spreading the message of the Gospel even further.
"A lot of those techniques I learned in the medical research field, I simply applied to the Jesus Daily page, in terms of, for example, testing different times of day of posting Christ facing this way versus that way, etcetera and on and on," he said in an interview with The Christian Post.
"I treated the page as I would a medical clinical trial. I think what we learned from that has really been priceless in terms of keeping our engagement high in order to continue to spread the Gospel."
One of the ways Jesusdaily.com helps share the Good News is through the "Accept Jesus Now" button, which links to a sinner's prayer on Facebook. As of January 2015, the prayer has been liked 2.4 million times and shared 136,000 times.
"I'm really appreciative to Facebook, you know, they've created the largest Roman Road in human history, that as the early Christians used those roads to carry the Gospel to very far parts of the earth, we're really doing that now today but just doing it electronically on this wonderful Roman Road called Facebook," said the doctor.
Today, Jesus Daily still holds the no. 1 spot as Facebook's most popular page in the Church/Religious Organization category, according to PageData and Trackalytics, online tools that provide various data for Facebook pages and other social networks.
The majority of the page's fan base, Dr. Tabor says, are in the United States (21.8 per cent) and the Philippines (21.6 per cent).
"About half the country is on Facebook, and about one out of every six people in the Philippines on Facebook are a fan of Jesus Daily. There's no one in the Philippines that doesn't have a friend that is a member of Jesus Daily. Through the liking, commenting, and sharing, we're pushing the Gospel out to essentially all of the Facebook-connected world of the Philippines," the doctor explained.
Currently, Dr. Tabor is promoting his recently-published devotional book, "Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Daily Devotions", which encourages readers do a "daily step mission" at the end of each daily reading.
The devotional book, Tabor explains, helps readers to be "doers for Christ versus thinkers of Christ," unlike most popular devotional books. "Right now, unfortunately, most devotionals are just about reading and thinking. There's not a lot of doing," he said.
Through his research, Dr. Tabor says he has discovered that people will do what you ask them to - whether it is to "click," "like," "share," or "leave a comment."
He said, "That same psychology is brought over into the book, where we ask them to specifically do something every day. It's a very specific little Web mission that they can do and really develop that daily habit of doing."
When asked if he had a message for the millions of Jesus Daily Facebook followers, Tabor simply said: "Be bold for Christ".
He added, "Fans (of the Jesus Daily Facebook page) can be reminded on a daily basis that, hey, if you have health problems, if you have financial problems, if you have relationship problems, if you need guidance for your life and career, that Christ promise to be there for us to help us. That's a big reason the page is popular - we're simply reminding people that that's what Christ said and that we can ask him for the guidance and for that comfort and receive it."