Read With Friends

May 4, 2012

Words with Friends. Draw Something. Mobile apps are allowing us to become more social. Did you know there is now a way to read with friends?  Check it out!

Think of the potential! You can read and share thoughts on the Bible or a Christian classic. There are online Bible studies, yet this app allows a person do go at their own pace and join others as they have time to go through a bible study or another christian growth book.  Along the way they can share their thoughts and insights and bless others.  Friends over great distances can keep in touch and grow spiritually. What other potential do you see?

Advertisements

It’s a celebration!

We are talking about Internet Evangelism Day, of course! Oh? You aren’t familiar with it? Please, allow us to share.

This year on April 29th, Global Media Outreach will be joining together (virtually) for Internet Evangelism Day. This will be a celebrations of online missions. The “event,” so to speak, is put on by The Internet Evangelism Day Coalition. These wonderful people have put together a FREE campaign solely to promote evangelism on the web.  We are excited to join with everyone to promote God using online resources to spread the gospel. We at GMO have a LOT to celebrate this year on April 29th. For example,

  • In 2011 alone 19 million people indicated a decision for Christ
  • We have 7,900 AWESOME online missionaries working with us to respond to our emails
  • AND we have proven fiscal responsibility which allows us to be accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

And we don’t want to just stop there! We want everyone to hear. We would love to have you join us, and all the others as we get the word out about Internet Evangelism. What are you celebrating in online missions? Let us know! We would love to give you a shout out. How are you celebrating? Who can you invite to celebrate this Internet Evangelism Day? The more the merrier.

Let the virtual conga line begin!

At the end of last week, we posted our first three tips on how to respond as a Christian online. Here are the rest:

4. Be Gospel Focused.

One wonderful aspect of God is that he is big and often does things outside of how societies and cultures think he “should.”  His word, is clear on the importance of the gospel. Remember to stay focused on the Christ instead of what divides us. If we take a look at Galatians 5 and we see how Paul stresses how the gospel is central to our faith.

5. Don’t Blast the Negative.

We understand that the beauty of social networks is that they allow us to express ourselves. They give us opportunities to post publicly what we are thinking or feeling. There is a trend, however, in which people tend to blast another person’s thoughts or actions in status updates or tweets.  As Christians, we should think about how can build up the body of Christ, not tear it down. Realize that if someone does or posts something that bothers us, it is much better to virtually follow the advice given in Matthew 18:15 which says “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens, and confesses it, you have won your brother over.” (NIV)

6. Be Encouraging.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NASB)

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 11 (NASB)

If Jesus wanted it to happen for his church in person, he would also want it to happen online. Let’s be focused on building one another up in each interaction we have with one another.

7. Check Your Heart.

Ask yourself and God to reveal why you feel the need to respond? What will responding do for the situation or discussion? Can I be loving in my response?  From my own experience, I notice when I take those extra few moments in an space where my fingers can’t reach a keyboard I find it is often my own PRIDE that wants me to respond. It isn’t because I want to be loving.  Sometimes it is because I want to be seen as better, more spiritual, kinder, wiser, or whateverer than the other person. This isn’t a reason to respond. When I give the space for God to either give me the words or to convict my heart, I am left open to do what he wants of me. Sometimes it means not responding at all. Othertimes it is confessing, and allowing HIM to give me the words I should say.

There you have it, seven tips on how to respond as a Christian online. What are some other things that you have found to be helpful when responding as a Christian online?

With more and more of our communication happening over technology rather than face to face, it is easy to sometimes forget that there is a real person on the receiving end of our communication.  There seems to be a trend to blast people over text, tweets, or a Facebook status. Message board discussions can quickly turn to nasty debates. While it is perfectly reasonable to express your thoughts and opinions, Christians are often left wondering how Jesus would have them respond online. We have a two part blog on 7 ways to respond as a Christian online. Here are the first three:

1. Pray.

Yes, yes. This may seem like the most obvious one. But how many of us actually do it?  In the heat of the moment when we see an opinion that is clearly “wrong,” it is easy to not even think “oh, I got this,” and respond. But taking an extra moment to pray and ask God “how would YOU respond to this” helps to sift of focus from what we feel to what is truly important.

2. Walk away.

It has happened to all of us. We are on our merry way, not in a bad mood, not looking for a disagreement, and suddenly, we see something that makes our blood boil. It is so tempting to want to jump into a discussion right then, especially if others are. But before we say type something, take a moment. Literally walk away from your computer or cell phone. Cool down. Get a drink of water.  Walk down the hall, do ANYTHING but respond in kind online. Psalm 37:8 says “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it only leads to evildoing.”

3. Avoid debate.

Proverbs 26:4-5 says “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.”  It is important to remember that many statement online are nothing more than folly. Everyone can spout off some very stupid things just because they can (Yes, everyone). So, avoid getting into foolish debates. Foolish debates wont change a person’s heart, and both parties in a foolish debate look, well, foolish. You can’t help others “see the light” if they are being foolish. That said, if you feel your silence will confirm a person’s foolish actions, do speak up. You only need to say it once. You don’t need to debate.  Also remember, it is easy to mistake what and how a person is trying to communicate over technology. Because there are no nonverbal cues, people might take what you say wrong, even if you are tying to be friendly and helpful.

Stay tunes for our next 4 tips on how to respond as a Christian online…

Evangelism Rebranded

February 7, 2012

Greg Stier, from Dare 2 Share ministries, in an article on ChurchLeaders.org presented 5 reasons why evangelism needs to be rebranded. Naturally, my thoughts turned to internet evangelism. Although we have made some gigantic steps forward, internet evangelism can still have several misconceptions about it. So, here are 5 reasons why internet evangelism needs to be “rebranded.”

1. People are seeking for THE good news.

According to a google eBook “Religion online,” religion is one of the most popular online topics. “Three million Americans turn to the internet each day for religious information and spiritual guidance.” Our experience with visitors to Global Media Outreach evangelistic sites is that this isn’t just an “american” interest. India, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries are some of our largest audiences. So, while the term “internet evangelism” may cause some people to cringe thinking it is nothing more than pushy online Jesus marketing, the reality is people are already online searching for spiritual truth and guidance for their lives. If we as christians are not there to answer their questions, and help them, what else might they find?

2. Every Christian can do it. 

We all know that not everyone is a good public speaker. Not everyone can teach on Sundays. Not everyone is outgoing enough to talk to someone on public transit. And for various reasons not everyone is mobile enough to get out of their house and talk to people.  Yet, the internet provides multiple opportunities for these same people to bring the presence of Jesus online. There are no special requirements or degrees needed to bring the message of Jesus to those we encounter online.

3. The internet can offer the largest church connection.

In my email today was a story of two of our online missionaries in two different parts of the world who worked together to help someone find a local church. How amazing is it that someone in the one part of the world was able to help a person in a completely different part of the world find a local church- a church that was ONE BLOCK away from him! Online we can talk to people from ANYWHERE and connect them with other believers. A man who is desperate for a life change in Prague can be given encouragement in Christ by s man in Brisbane. A mom in Nepal can be reminded in her identity in Christ by someone in Germany. Over the internet we can see the body of Christ working across geographic and cultural boundaries.

4. Real relationships are formed. 

Bloggers, Tweeters, Instagramers, and Message Boarders all know this: You can form connections and relationships online. While some people wonder how real these relationships can be, let us remember how powerful the written word can be. Communities don’t necessarily need to meet face to face in order for God to use the encouraging and honest words to build one another up.

5. There is something for everyone. 

Every believer carries the Holy Spirit. If believers are online, and those seeking are online, sharing the gospel is just one comment, post, tweet, video, email, pin, picture, away from being shared. For as many sharing or learning preference exist, there are that many options (and maybe more!) online.  If you are looking for a way to join in the movement of sharing your faith online, one way is to pray for people online. Hundreds of people a day visit the GodLife prayer wall. Take a moment, pray for someone, and see what God will do!

Unplug

November 5, 2011

Recently one of our staff members stumbled across an article posted a year ago by Fast Company.  This article noted that people were becoming increasingly more and more connected. Not even beds or the bathrooms were out of reach of technology and connection.  The danger of this, they noted, was there were less “creative pauses” which are necessary.

“In these moments, you are completely isolated, and your mind is able to wander and churn big questions without interruption.”

As Christians, we should know that “time away” is even more important for us to tune into what God is saying. 1 Kings 19:9-18 describes God coming to Elijah in a “gentle whisper.”  Elijah had to get away and wait to hear the voice of the Lord.

How do you unplug? What do you do to get away? How intentional are you?

As the author of the Fast Company article pointed out, technology has even followed us into places like the bathroom, nothing is “sacred.”  We have to be intentional!

We must remember that Elijah didn’t stay in the cave, but that cave time was vital to what he did next. In the same way I am not saying “delete your twitter account, and deactivate your facebook forever!” I am asking, what do you stand to lose by NOT keeping some sacred spaces where you can meet with God totally unplugged?