About two years ago, Facebook crossed the billion subscriber mark, thereby becoming one of the largest ‘nations’ in the world. What this does is raise the all important question: Where are the missionaries that are to be sent to this ‘country’? Missionaries who are passionate about reaching souls and sharing the good news, according to the culture of the land.
Yes, you read it right. According to the culture of the land, we are privileged to live in an era where we can befriend someone we have never met, like and follow someone we have never talked to. This era has literally changed the way relationships are built and sustained. Whether we like it or not, we are living in the age of the ‘digital mission field’!
If you are a missionary, pastor or an evangelist, are you planning how you present yourself to this ‘nation’? Are you strategising how you will engage people in this mission field? Remember that every post, picture, comment you put up is being read by others and speaks volumes about you.
What we have is a poor representation of believers who are literally spamming news feeds with what they think is the right approach. But, may I take the opportunity to tell you that the culture of this nation may be different from what you have thought it to be. I have heard from many people about how they are put off by people forcing their faith on Facebook. And this is where I believe the culture of the land comes into play. Can we be sensitive and yet evangelise? Can we build relationships; invest into lives before thrusting a scripture? Can we be relevant? Ten years ago, what was relevant is irrelevant today. The internet opens up the world to people and we need to learn to speak to a ‘non-pew audience’ in a ‘non-church language’!
Social media is one of the most fertile soils to sow the word on. Missionaries have to alter their communication styles when they go out into the field. Christians who spend a lot of time online have to take a similar approach. It is time to think beyond the geographical boundaries. Think digital boundaries.
Think of new ways to present the gospel. Think of ways to open up a dialogue. The good thing about social media is that it is cost effective and can help spread the gospel fast. (The bad thing is that false teachings can spread just as fast!) Think of purposeful ways to present the gospel to people God has led you to, rather than bombing people with ‘500 people saved in last crusade’ pictures!
If you are a regular on FB, Twitter and Instagram, you will know that many ministries, evangelists have a social media presence. So can you. But think deeply about how you can engage this new “digital mission field” with the gospel message? Other than trying to pump up “likes,” have a strategic plan for evangelism through your social media.
You have been given this platform where you can be an influence for the Kingdom of God. Share with us the strategies that you have been successfully using.