WhatsApp playbook for spiritual conversations
More information on this playbook and the story behind it can be found in this blog post. It tells the story of Emily, a missionary in a Central Asian country that is 90% Muslim.
The WhatsApp Playbook
1. Choose 10 people from your contacts that you want to start a spiritual conversation with.
Emily chose people she had recently been chatting with. One girl Emily messaged was a student called Mary. She’d known her for a year through an English class but they had yet to talk about their beliefs.
2. Create images to send attached to a Bible verse. Accompany that with a question.
Emily cut and pasted Bible verses in the local language, allowing God to speak for Himself, and making Scripture the foundation of every chat.
Emily sent her 10 contacts images onto which she pasted Bible verses. Her first image featured two people in a boat, with Proverbs 17:17 which says, “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”
“I’ve been thinking about this today; what do you think?” Emily asked her contacts.
3. Wait to see who responds.
This filters your contacts down to the most spiritually curious.
“At least 1 person has been interested every time I’ve done this,” Emily says. “So I’ve learned how to be ready when people respond.”
Mary was out of the country at the time. Social media was the only way Emily could connect with her.
The day after receiving Emily’s message Mary replied, “I’m still thinking about what you sent me.” Emily was surprised to get a response to her first message, but she asked the same question she used with students on campus.
“Have you ever heard about the 4 Spiritual Laws?’
“No I haven’t,” replied Mary.
“Are you interested?” Emily asked her.
“Yes,” said Mary.
4. Build a bridge to a deeper conversation
Emily used the God Tools app, which is available in the language she needed. By sharing screen shots of each point of a Gospel explanation and asking questions, she moved the conversation forward.
“I wasn’t asking very deep questions. Just things like, ‘What do you think about this?’” Emily says.
Emily had no idea what was or wasn’t sinking in with Mary, but the two women kept chatting until Emily had finished explaining the Gospel.
5. Share a prayer that helps someone begin a relationship with God
Emily showed Mary the prayer in the God Tools app and explained how she could use it to accept the gift of salvation. She wasn’t expecting what happened next.
“When I finished explaining the prayer, Mary messaged me,” Emily says.
Mary typed two words: “I prayed.”
“To be honest I didn’t believe it had really happened,” says Emily. “But when Mary returned to my city I took her out for lunch and tried explaining the Gospel to her again.”
“Emily, you shared this with me on February 2nd,” said Mary. “I received this gift of salvation already.”
That Sunday in front of a church full of people from her own culture, Mary stood up and told the story of how she’d come to know God.