In my understanding of digital evangelism, I believe there are various specific strategies for digital evangelism. There are also some underlying processes which are similar in all strategies.
In all your digital evangelism endeavors, you’ll encounter certain similarities. Whether it’s through social media platforms, websites, or social messaging networks like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the common thread is the process.
Much like traditional evangelism where you approach individuals on the streets, initiate conversations, and guide them toward salvation, the online process follows in a similar way.
Similarly, just as you’d place a signboard to direct people to a physical church, the same concept applies online. For instance, when you post something online that speaks to people, they might message you privately, initiating a conversation. Likewise, actively engaging on social media platforms can lead to conversations when you observe someone and send a message.
The process I’m discussing here can be divided into three distinct aspects:
The initial step involves attracting people online. This can be achieved through two approaches: attracting people to you or people becoming naturally drawn to you.
Both methods fulfill the mandate of spreading the Gospel worldwide. At this stage, you should be aware of your target audience and their spiritual struggles, forming what I’ll call your “soul persona.” Understanding this persona enables you to communicate effectively by addressing their needs.
Once you have your soul persona defined, you need to create content that captures people’s attention and speaks to their emotion.
For example, if your aim is to evangelize to individuals grappling with depression, your content at this attraction stage should be emotionally resonant and relevant to their current situation.
This content could take the form of articles, videos, or graphics, all designed to evoke their emotions. While you might not overtly reference biblical concepts at this stage, you should recognize that these interactions will ultimately lead to discussions about Jesus.
Examples of conversation starters for those targeting individuals struggling with depression:
- You’re not alone. Let’s find light together.
- Strength emerges from pain. Let God help you nurture it.
- Scars tell tales of survival. Your story matters, we can talk about it
- Finding peace amid chaos—a personal triumph. What brings you peace?
- Talking about depression, I have also been there. Care to share your journey?
- When words fall short, God’s word heals.
- Removing masks, revealing our authentic selves.
- Healing is not a straight journey, but every step counts.
- The true whispers of hope in the darkest moments are from the Holy Spirit.
- All of us all have our moments of ups and downs, let’s share those moments.
This phase requires a call to action to prompt individuals to message you, as that’s the ultimate goal of this stage.
Continuing with the analogy of being on the streets of social media, the second phase involves engaging with people and discussing Christ with them.
This stage can be delicate and requires careful handling. You’ll need to address their problems while introducing them to Christ. While some interactions might be straightforward, others can be challenging.
There will be individuals who have already decided not to entertain discussions about Jesus, making it important to navigate conversations skillfully. See more information about conversation starter in digital evangelism
Guidelines for faith-based conversations:
- Respond to all messages.
- Introduce yourself.
- Maintain a kind tone in your conversations.
- Ask open-ended questions that respect their privacy.
- Keep the conversation flowing to build trust.
- Avoid taking offense at negative reactions.
- Seek to understand the underlying reasons for their offense before offering advice.
- Refrain from responding when annoyed.
- Identify individuals genuinely seeking God and those who are looking to prove a point.
- Sometimes, it’s best to gracefully exit a discussion when progress seems unlikely, this does not nullify the virtue of patience..
- Don’t take anger personally; respond with empathy.
- Stay informed and educate yourself, especially about diverse topics that might come up in discussions, during the discussion, you can browse to know more about some matters.
- Keep the conversation centered around Jesus.
- If necessary, refer vulnerable individuals to a pastor or church leader for further guidance.
During this stage, relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit is essential, and incorporating prayer into your interactions is highly beneficial.
This phase in digital evangelism can occur at any point during or towards the end of a conversation. Here, you encourage the individual to make a decision, which might not always involve reciting the salvation prayer.
You need to tailor your approach based on the person’s category.
Decisions for different categories:
- Unbeliever seeking salvation: Lead them to Christ.
- Hardened unbeliever: Suggest joining a study plan, like one on the YouVersion Bible App, or asking for a continuous follow up or requesting their prayer point and keep praying for them.
- Struggling believer: Propose a joint Bible study or suggest joining a prayer or Bible study group.
Your specific call to action will depend on the person you’re engaging with.
Based on the individual you’re engaging with, consider these calls to action:
- Decision to embrace salvation.
- Follow-up call.
- Prayer request
- Reading a relevant book.
- Joining a Bible study group.
- Participating in a discipleship program.
- Becoming part of a local church community.
- Collaborating on a Bible study plan.
- Joining an online community.
Ultimately, ensure that your interactions are guided by the Holy Spirit, infusing each interaction with wisdom and compassion.
Regardless of the situation, whether the person responded to the decision or not, having a follow-up strategy is needed for everyone.
For some individuals, the journey to salvation is not instantaneous. A comprehensive follow-up process is needed to guide them towards salvation. While some may experience an immediate transformation, others could display resistance. In such cases, earnest prayers are necessary, asking God to work on their hearts.
As a digital evangelist, understand that the responsibility isn’t to convert every soul in the digital world. Your role involves effectively reaching out to people using digital tools and allowing the Holy Spirit to initiate transformation within them.
Moreover, keep in mind that evangelism isn’t truly fulfilled without discipleship. Therefore, employing the same digital tools for proper follow-up is essential in nurturing and guiding new believers along their spiritual journey.
Your digital evangelism strategies will be easy to draft when you understand these four processes.
Whether you aim to evangelize through websites, social media, or messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram, you only need to adapt these processes to formulate a strategy tailored to the platforms you intend to use.
Always have in mind that the essence of digital evangelism is to effectively communicate the message of faith and salvation using the tools available in the digital landscape.