I recently read a blog post that asked, “Is online evangelism possible?” I was a little surprised to see that. Of course it’s possible!! Evangelism is a conversation, taking place within a relationship, that intentionally and specifically explains the need for salvation and the means to attain it. Whether it happens online or at Starbucks it’s entirely the same – conversation, relationship, truth, action.
I think where we get into trouble is when people expect the technology to somehow do the work of evangelism for them. There is no testimony-bot, at least not one that works. Technology does not evangelize on autopilot. What technology does is provide a situation, a context, for the conversation to occur in. Once the conversation has started I have the opportunity to develop a relationship and within that, having gained the right to speak into your life I can start to talk about the Truth. Does it happen? All the time.
TruthMedia has built PowertoChange.com as our main evangelistic and discipleship site. You might think that the articles on the site are the point, but they’re not. The articles are a doorway. People come to the site because they’re interested in a topic. Once on the site we do everything we can to get them to talk to a mentor, join a chat, request prayer or leave a comment. The whole site aims to start a conversation because that conversation in the first step in a relationship that can be truly life changing.
I saw it happen just the other day. Someone came to our site to read an article on trust. She left a comment about the situation she was in with her boyfriend. She started a conversation. I commented back to her, sharing some of my own story, and asking if she would like to talk to a mentor. Now there’s a relationship. She responded within the hour saying that she would love to talk to a mentor, could I set that up for her. I did, gladly. By now she will have heard from the mentor and I can guarantee you that the mentor shared the Gospel with her (we train mentors very carefully and coach continually to ensure this is happening). Whether she comes to Christ or not is her action. Evangelism is happening.
No one has ever walked up to me in the grocery store and said “hey, I think my daughter might be in trouble, can you help?” but I have had people comment on my testimony and ask exactly that. Conversation, relationship, truth, action – starting the conversation online makes the whole world available to you.
~ Claire Colvin Sr. Ed., Power to Change