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How Christians can use social networking sites in relationship building and evangelism
The Web as a medium is so broad that for any person it can be ‘what you want it to be’. For some, it is merely best way of keeping in touch with friends and family by email. For others, it can be any or all of: finding new friends, seeking information and doing research, hearing news, playing online games, networking with others about a hobby or interest, sharing opinions, asking questions, making choices about purchasing, publishing their writing, photographs or videos, and much more. And so the opportunities for online evangelism are equally wide. And note, many of them need no technical skill. And it is, in many ways, an ideal mission field. If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest (by population) in the world.
Using hobby websites for appropriate friendship evangelism
One of the key ways to engage with non-seeking outsiders is through a mutual interest or personal need. Hobby websites are therefore a great way of building redemptive relationships. Yet such sites are vanishingly rare.
Social networking can be incredibly effective for churches
Check the striking message of the first pie chart in the infographic below, based on a study by Buzzplant. Admittedly, the polled sample of churches was relatively small, and only within one country. But… see how churches claim that social media was twice as effective as any other means of connecting to the wider community.
Braving the Cold, Building a Fire - #6652
Let's actually ask God to break our heart with the things that break His. Take some risks to reach your neighbor, to give, to reach out to other people, to see your time, your money, your influence, your building, and your talent as a resource to take Christ's warmth into a cold, cold world. We've got to get out there and build a fire.
You can make a difference to world evangelization. God can use you.
This short article by Greg Laurie, used by kind permission, reminds us that we are unique, and may touch lives in ways we cannot imagine. I have heard it said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. What I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.” One godly man or woman can make a dramatic difference, even in the darkest of circumstances. Jesus put it this way:
Golf parable: best practice or wrong way for church websites to reach the community with appropriate evangelism
You can’t miss Stonylands Town Golf Club if you take the winding back road out of town. But if you are in any doubt, the signboard says it all: “Stonylands Golf Club. Member of the Federation of National Golf Clubs. Est. 1924. Secretary: J S Peasworthy, BSc.” There follows in smaller letters, “Private Property” and without apparent irony, “No ball games”. The style of the sign is almost identical to the original 1924 version, as you can readily see in the photographs of The Opening displayed in the clubhouse foyer.
Reaching the unchurched - short story about cutting edge soul winning: Emlyn & the Far Pools
“I wish there were more,” said Emlyn to his family, as he brought his fish-catch into the house. After all, the whole village depended on fish. It was even a requirement of the landlord that the village should catch sufficient fish for market. Only then would it grow and prosper.
Creative evangelism ideas - the need for innovative effective ways to reach the unreached
In the our secular western world, creative strategies are increasingly important online as we seek to engage with people who have a postmodern or New Age worldview and fail to engage with anyone else. But this is a diminishing pool. In very few countries in the western world do even 5% of their populations attend church regularly. The very high percentage of church attenders in USA is a unique phenomenon, which may perhaps prevent some Christians in that country from seeing the opportunities for creative evangelism. In the non-western world and the 10-40 Window, where Christianity is a misunderstood minority religion, the need for creative evangelism is equally pressing.
The Bridge Strategy (Christian Magnet Pages) to reach affinity interest groups online
It is important to understand that the Web is a pull medium, unlike literature and radio which are linear ’push’ mediums. Generally speaking, people go online to search for information. The pages which relate to the subject of their search 'pull' them in. Most people are not searching for Christian material, and so of course will never find it. If they do, by chance, come across an obviously Christian page on a search engine listing when looking for a secular subject, they are unlikely to click on it. If they do, they probably will not stay. The majority of people are at a relatively low position of spiritual understanding on the Gray Matrix – a modification of the Engel Scale.
Jesus the Communicator - how Jesus met the felt personal needs of individual people
Down the long, dusty road on their way from Jericho to Jerusalem, almost two thousand years ago, trod Jesus with His motley band of twelve disciples, followed by a huge crowd. Because of their long journey, they were all hot and sweaty. The dust clung to them. They were weary, but Jesus was at the height of His popularity and the great crowd of people pressed close to Him. They were jabbering endlessly. Asking questions. Seeking favours. They could be heard a mile away.