In a world consumed by the latest fashion, celebrity gossip, and reality television, it takes a certain courage to talk about Jesus.
Though blogs and vlogs about current affairs and the coolest places to travel are likely to get more hits, Serissa Edwards and C. Jillian Gray decided to go in a different direction, with both of them launching their Christian vlogs in the last year.
The young Christians, who have never met, say they are trying to change lives, one blog at a time.
Despite their ages, both said they have been through struggles that have taught them valuable lessons and helped them to further develop their relationships with God. Through their channels, they are baring their souls and hoping to win over some non-believers.
Edwards, who launched her YouTube channel, “Sunniez’side”, about six months ago, addresses a wide range of topics, like how to deal with jealousy as a Christian and how to forgive your “enemies”.
But it’s the more “taboo” topics that she’s really interested in.
“Often times we as Christians feel like we’re not really Christians if we talk about things like, should Christians have sex or should Christians drink or go out to parties,” Edwards said “Though topics are taboo and shouldn’t be addressed, but those are exactly the types of questions that young believers need guidance on.
“Unmarried Christians should be celibate, but the reality is it [is] a struggle for most believers. I don’t want people to feel that if I have sex, I’m not a real Christian. Christians struggle with battles of flesh just as non-believers do. Christians also make mistakes.”
Through her vlog, Edwards also provides tips and gives advice on how to avoid sinful behavior.
She said she started her vlog because she was called to do so.
“I always knew I had a greater purpose,” said Edwards, who works full-time at Baha Mar.
“I know that sounds corny but I knew there was more to my life. I’ve been through a lot especially with dating and relationships. I figured by sharing and opening up and ministering, I could help people.”
As for Gray, who is a news reporter with Our News, she started blogging because she said there weren’t enough young role models who were putting themselves out there.
“I just really wanted to provide inspiration and motivation to young believers out there,” said Gray who published her blogs and vlogs on her website, www.cjilliangray.com.
“When I got saved, it was 2009. I was 18. There was no one who I could relate to or gain wisdom from.
“Usually people see Christians as the old hags or old church mothers, but in terms of a young, vibrant person to look up to, I didn’t have that, someone who addressed Christian issues.”
Through her website, Gray tackles relatable topics, like, ‘are you too lazy to make money’ and ‘are you wasting what God has given you’.
“I want to tackle soft stories like learning how to pray, why is fasting important, should I be a part of a church.”
Like Edwards, Gray also wants to delve into the harder subjects. She said an upcoming blog will address the question, “should Christians drink alcohol?”
When asked her opinion on Christians drinking, Gray said, “In that blog I’m going to tell people why I don’t drink. It was a personal struggle… It is a gray area. When people see Christians drinking, it casts a negative light over their light, which they should be shinning.”
Although blogging has been a goal of her for years, Gray only put pen to paper two months ago.
“I had my vlog lights for two years, before I recorded my first video and it was because I was afraid I didn’t want to put myself out there,” Gray admitted.
“That’s the inspiration behind the name of my magazine, ‘Faith Over Fear’. I decided that if I can reach one person to build a relationship with God, then why not?
“I was just tired of sitting on my talent. I had made a vow to use my gifts for God’s glory and I was not doing that. So, one day I decided to go for it.”
It sounds easy enough, but Gray said it was a roller coaster.
“When I was writing my first blog, it was invigorating,” Gray said. “It was like I was riding in a hot air balloon and I was floating higher and higher and the words kept flowing and when I hit the submit button, the hot air balloon crashed.
“All of the insecurities, doubts and fears came crashing down on me.”
But Gray said she decided to forge ahead.
“You have to do it afraid and that has been my life’s mantra, do it afraid,” she said.
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications