Gabe Poirot runs from the street toward the camera, yelling, “Wait, wait, don’t scroll!”
If the urgency in his voice causes you to pause and watch his video, you’re in for a 60-second blessing. Wearing a pink crewneck sweatshirt with “#MakeJesusViral” emblazoned on the front, he leans deep into the frame. “Let me pray with you today,” he says earnestly, then bows his head and closes his eyes. “Father God, let me just pray for the person on the other end of this phone.”
Poirot, 19, is a student at Kenneth Copeland Bible College who uses the social media app TikTok to share clips of himself preaching short sermons and praying for his audience. TikTok feeds users a constant stream of one-minute-or-less videos via its “For You” page, making it easy for them to skip the ones that don’t catch their attention within the first few seconds.
While much of TikTok is devoted to less-than-youth-group-friendly content—like dances to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” and videos of users walking into rooms naked to film their partners’ reactions—Poirot’s content rests in a subgenre known as “Christian TikTok” (or, as rapper Kanye West suggested, “Jesus Tok”). Christian TikTok influencers publish sermonettes, cleaned-up versions of trending dance challenges, best Bible study practices, and even tutorials on how to stretch without participating in the Hindu elements of yoga. And many of the young content creators are on a mission: to spark revival among Generation Z—those born in the late 1990s through the early 2010s.
At the beginning of 2020, TikTok set the record as the most downloaded ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.