When is the last time you’ve shared your faith? Have you ever done it digitally? For some, the idea sounds strange. Social media is where I post memes and stalk my friends’ photos, not where I talk about Jesus! The Internet is where I argue with strangers about politics, not discuss my salvation!
Of course, today there is no separation between your “real” world and your “virtual” world, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to do all things virtually. Our schools have been online, our shopping is online, our small groups are meeting online. Concerts are being played over live stream instead of in arenas. With so much of our daily lives being done on our phones and computers, there is a need to share our faith digitally as well.
But that can still seem awkward if you’re not used to it, so how can someone start to share their faith digitally? That was the topic of the most recent episode of Indigitous PULSE.
Find your purpose
It helps to know the importance of the task. Many people struggle with the search for meaning in their life. Why am I here? What is my purpose? If you’re a follower of Jesus, your purpose is clear. “What is that one purpose when we all wrap up our life on this earth?” ponders Miheret Tilahun, one of the hosts of the Indigitous Addis conference in 2014. “Missions is like an assignment, and the biggest assignment given to Christians is from Jesus himself.” That assignment is found in Matthew 28:19: “Go and make disciples.”
For those who are looking for tips and best practices for sharing their faith, Cheryl Boyd, Senior Digital Strategist with Cru, suggests the Roadshow Training conducted by Cru City. She also stresses that it’s important to love and care for people, to focus on relationship. “If you feel like every conversation has to bring someone to the point of deciding whether or not they’re going to trust Christ – we’re in a day and age where there are so many barriers to getting to that point in the conversation – if that is your measuring stick of whether or not it was a successful conversation, the person will become a means to an end,” she says.
Jonah Jala, a missionary with Indigitous Manila, shares a step-by-step process that you can use when sharing your faith digitally, one that was used recently during the GO 2020 campaign.
1. Open up. Let your guard down. Use empathy. Allow yourself to feel what others are feeling and identify with their needs, their pain, and their questions.
2. Pray. Bring that person to God. Pray for them. “You can start to ask God how you can care for them,” Jonah suggests.
3. Care. Showing that you care about the person is vital. Most people aren’t interested in what you have to say about God if they don’t think you care about them and their situation. Caring for them could mean meeting a physical need, sharing words of encouragement, helping them solve a problem, or even just listening while they vent.
4. Share. Sometimes Christians get impatient and jump straight to sharing their faith, but sharing should be done on the foundation of the relationship you have built. “Later on, when the connection has been built, that’s when you can do the sharing,” Jonah says.
It’s not easy
Sometimes people think that digital missions is easy. Digital makes it easy to get a ride (Uber), watch a movie (Netflix), chat with a friend in another country (WhatsApp), and more, but people have the same needs online that they do in person. “In digital missions, there’s still no shortcut, because we’re still relating with people, and people have emotions,” Jonah says. “Empathy has no shortcut.”
Teach Me To Share
But once you’re ready to take that step of sharing, how do you do it? “If you want to learn how to share your faith more effectively, I highly recommend taking a look at GodTools and Teach Me To Share,” Cheryl says. GodTools is an evangelistic app that has several different Gospel presentations that can help you walk through a Gospel conversation. The Teach Me To Share tool is training on how to have those types of conversations.
Your first time sharing your faith digitally will probably feel awkward. You’ll probably feel nervous (next week we will have an article about that aspect). It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not up to you to save the person; it’s not up to you to bring them to Jesus. Only God can change someone’s heart. “Successful evangelism is taking the initiative by the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the result to God,” Miheret says.