Fueling a Passion

May 25, 2012

It is arguable that the most interesting people in the world are passionate people. Have you ever see someone who is passionate about playing a guitar play? Or a passionate singer sing? Or what about a passionate evangelist? Maybe that example is a little more rare.

As this article on Evangelism from ChurchLeader.com pointed out, we often think that evangelism is better left to someone in the church. But Jesus didn’t think so. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus didn’t choose the most scholarly theologically astute men. Instead, the first of his disciples were fishermen. He chose the common, regular, ordinary people to be his closest friends and the first evangelists.

The wonderful thing about the internet is that it is open to the common man. Everyone can minister online- you only need a passion for God. If you are interested in turning your passion for God into ministry, join us June 2 to find out how! We will be talking about everything from what it means to be an online missionary to how to have a powerful prayer life.  You don’t need to be an expert. You don’t have to have it all figured out or even having a seminary degree. You just need to have a willing heart. Just like the disciples of old, Jesus is wanting to use you.

Online Survival Guide

April 20, 2012

There is nothing that shows our human fallen nature faster than reading comments on YouTube video. People can express their unsolicited options in the harshest of terms.  Anytime you express yourself or share something you believe in on social media, from fashion to faith, you run the risk of getting some painfully nasty comments. Here are six ways to survive engaging hostile people online:

Image from Fallout Wiki

  1. Prayer: Praying isn’t the “easy way out.” Rather prayer will invite God into the conversation. Ask him to focus you on who/what is really important. (Hint: it isn’t the angry post).  Pray for wisdom and for a response (or non response) that will be pleasing to him.
  2. Do Not Respond: It is so tempting to respond to a person posting the raging ranting, bashing, or degrading comment.  Such comments push our “internal justice button” and we want to tell them all the reasons they are wrong and mean! Usually nothing good comes of responding. As it says in Proverbs 26:4, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be like him yourself.”  Most times these comments really aren’t personal, so do not view them that way. Instead, if the comment is really ugly, delete it, pray (!) and move on.
  3. Respond: This may seem like a contradiction to the above statement, yet, there will be times when an angry comment is made because the person has been misinformed. In this case, take some time to think about how to respond. Good responses can take some time to formulate so that your tone doesn’t come across as harsh or condescending. Also consider what source or links you might want to provide. Remember you are working to correct the misunderstanding, not to correct the person.
  4. Reserve the Right to Block the Offender- Some people practice a random hatter commenting, and others will persist in their attacks. If you have a person who strongly opposes your online evangelism efforts, you can always block them. Their negative comments don’t only affect you but have the potential to hurt others as well.
  5. Be Honest with Other Christians: Sometimes, even when we try not to take comments personally, one will still get to us. Be open in sharing this with a Christian friend- offline. Let them know what hurt you, and ask for prayer.
  6. Prayer: Again. Seriously. Pray for the person who offended you. It is hard to hold onto anger when you pray for them.

Here are six simple ways to survive a harsh comment online. What else have you found?

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!