The biggest star on Facebook is not Lady Gaga, or Justin Bieber, or the site’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It’s Jesus. All Facebook, a website that follows Facebook’s traffic, says a page called Jesus Daily has, for at least 18 weeks in a row, come out easily in first place among the site’s “most engaging pages.”
It may not have the most fans (Lady Gaga had 42,713,559 as of Aug. 26, and “Texas Hold’em Poker” had 49,017,592), but Jesus Daily had the most interactions — the number of posts, the number of comments, the number of “likes,” the number of responses from the keeper of the page.
Not bad for a diet doctor who says he started the page in 2009 strictly as a labor of love. His name is Aaron Tabor, and he’s from Kernersville, N.C.
“I just started it as a hobby,” he said when we talked by telephone. “I looked at a friend’s page and there was a little Bible app at the bottom, and I thought people would want something more.”
At first, he said, he posted a daily saying from the Bible. Then he began to notice people posting prayer requests. From there it has grown and grown.
A characteristic posting:
“Take my life and let it be…consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days…let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move…at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be…swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take our lives Lord Jesus! We are broken before you. Amen.”
That one went up early Tuesday. As of this morning, 60,265 people had “liked” it on Facebook, and 2,553 had left comments.
Dr. Tabor does have other work, as a physician and entrepreneur. He has written a diet book (which he promoted on Facebook) and heads an online firm that sells soy shakes and nutritional supplements. He said he may have to set up a non-profit corporation, so that he can hire a staff to monitor all the traffic on Jesus Daily; sadly, he says, there are a fair number of people who try to post pornography, or make fun of people who confess their weaknesses online, and it falls to him to clean things up. On some days, he said, he’s spent 13 hours running the page.
But for the most part, he said, it’s been eye-opening: “Ministering to others has been the biggest blessing of my life.”
“At first people think Facebook is just a place where people go to play games, or look at photos or snoop on their friends,” he said, “but if you look at Jesus Daily and elsewhere, people are using it for very serious things.”
And he confesses he is still surprised how people use the page to connect with each other.
“To see someone in the Philippines ask people to pray for them, and someone in Kenya answer, is mind-blowing.”