Imagine for a moment that you found out that a relative or friend is in danger. They have no idea what’s headed their way and they only have an hour to escape where they are. The problem is, they’re 1200 miles away. How would you warn them?
Time is Short
No doubt, your phone is already in your hand and you’re dialing away. If they don’t pick up, you’ll leave a voicemail, send a dozen texts, then post a message to their Facebook page, or send a tweet. You’ll even try calling or texting someone who may be near to them! Either way, you know that you don’t have enough time to buy a plane ticket, drive to the airport, get on a flight, then drive to where they are to give them the message face-to-face. Why? The time is too short.
Something major is about to happen on this planet. The time is short, yet millions of people have yet to know that Jesus Christ is returning soon. The Son of God is coming in all the glory of His Father to eradicate sin, suffering, and death and save those who have been faithful to Him. But so many are still in despair and don’t know of the wonderful hope that they have in Jesus. With 7 billion people all over the globe, is it possible to reach them all in a short time?
Online Evangelism Doesn’t Take the Place of Face-to-Face
Maybe you’re worried that online evangelism isn’t for you because you prefer face-to-face interaction. You feel that communicating with someone online may not be as effective as interacting directly. Remember, when you meet the needs of people online and share the Gospel over the internet, it doesn’t replace “in-person” evangelism. Through online mission work, you can make the Gospel available instantly to countless individuals and still maintain your regular face-to-face ministry.
You can share the Good News with the man riding a train in London, the woman rushing off to work in LA, and a teen girl at school in Jamaica, all at the same time.
While you can’t interact with these three individuals face-to-face, you can still point them to Christ through a blog post, YouTube video, website, or podcast. Your online efforts can connect people in your online audience to a church or small group in their local area. That way, they don’t miss out on person-to-person contact.
I, for instance, love interacting with people in person. I enjoy sitting across from an individual and hearing their testimony or having a conversation about the Bible. I thoroughly enjoy interacting face-to-face. However, I won’t ever be able interact directly with everyone. Online evangelism picks up where traditional methods can’t go any further. In a matter of moments, you can shoot a scripture text that has the possibility to reach and bring hope to hundreds.
Mission work is not about preference. Rather, it’s about giving God permission to go beyond our own human abilities and potentials to fulfill His purpose. You can participate in face-to-face mission AND be an online missionary. If you have access to the internet or a device of any kind, you can be a digital disciple; it’s about integrating your relationship with Christ in your interactions (both online and in the actual world). Online evangelism doesn’t seek to replace face-to-face interactions, but to use what is available.
Some People Prefer Online Communication
For others, the opposite is true; they prefer online communication, rather than in person interactions. No matter what we feel comfortable with, if we are willing to be used by God, He gives grace to help us where we are weak.Placing mission above preference and comfort levels gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to manifest Himself powerfully. Moses didn’t like the idea of speaking to Pharaoh – he wasn’t eloquent in speech.
God replied, “Who made man’s mouth? Who made the mute? Or the deaf? Or the seeing? Or the blind? Have not I the Lord?”
God said this to remind Moses that He can use whomever He wants to fulfill His purpose. Inabilities and weaknesses are not factors that can hinder God’s work. What He needs is a willing heart.
If you use the internet or have a modern device (send emails and texts, go on YouTube, spend time on social media, read blogs, visit websites, etc.) you can be a digital disciple.
Do you prefer face-to-face interaction or not? How can you implement evangelism to your online life?