Evangelism in a Digital World
In 2012, the average North American 16-24-year-old spent an hour and a half a day on social media. In July 2020, the average was over three hours a day.
In just eight years, Americans have doubled their time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more recently, TikTok. It’s no secret that common conversations, interactions, and exchanges are increasingly digitizing.
But the question relevant to evangelical Christians is: How can we, specifically and realistically, use online platforms to share the Good News?
In The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28, Jesus commands his Christian followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (NIV). Notice that this statement is imperative and has no expiration date. In fact, the final verse: ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ implies that today’s Christians ought to keep going, baptizing, and teaching.
However, it’s difficult to do these three things during a global pandemic. You wonder how to meet the masses and form relationships when you’re technically not supposed to leave your house during COVID-19.
And, how would ‘online evangelism’ even work? Isn’t it necessary to do ministry in person? Wouldn’t blog posts or web articles or texts seem a little flat or 2-D?
Biblical Example of Remote Ministry
Distanced evangelism and remote ministry are actually ancient and proven practices. The bulk of the Apostle Paul’s ministry was done remotely—twenty-one of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament are Epistles. They’re letters of encouragement, correction, and guidance Paul wrote and sent to congregations and individuals outside of his reach.
Paul sought creative solutions to work around the constraints of his time. Can you do the same today?
Digital Evangelism Resources
Videos are one of the simplest ways to grab the attention of people browsing the web. Almost 5 billion videos are watched each day on YouTube and 8 billion on Facebook. Needless to say, internet users are hungry for informative, entertaining content.
- Cru, an International Christian organization, created this video in 2013. It’s a simple, engaging four minute Gospel presentation that has over 5 million views on YouTube.
- Likewise, this video produced by Alpha, an evangelical course designed for agnostics and atheists, takes twenty minutes to answer the question ‘Who is Jesus?’
Sharing either of these resources with new or non-Christian friends via text, social media, email, or posting them to your website could be an excellent way to begin Christ-centered conversations.
Another potential online-evangelistic method is sharing articles from Christianity Today’s Testimonies section. Each story is powerful and well written (and many are available in Spanish).
- You could post any one of these on your social media or webpage in hopes of piquing others’ curiosity.
- Or, you could read through these testimonies and prayerfully consider if one may strike a chord with a specific friend or coworker and consider sharing the link and a short ‘thinking of you’ message with just him or her.
COVID-19 has totally interrupted the way the world operates. However, there are still ways for churches, ministries, and individual Christians to continue spreading the Good News. It may require a bit of flexibility and creativity, but advancing God’s Kingdom is always worth it.