Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder


Internet Evangelism?

Is this the 21st century way of spreading the Good News? http://www.internetevangelismday.com/


Liza-Nel said...

Daar is beslis ook baie slaggate verbonde aan internet bediening soos hiernaas uitgestippel, maar soos iemand tereg opgemerk het "Die duiwel het in alle geval nie alleenreg op die Net nie. Om die waarheid te sê, het hy GEEN reg daarop nie."

The blessing and curse of Internet evangelism mixed with social media:
1. You’re not going to be meeting a person face-to-face. You don’t get the sense of their body language, you can’t look into their eyes (the “windows to their souls”), etc. You will miss a major part of the way in which we intuit what a person is thinking, saying, and whether they are being sincere and earnest or not. And, no matter how much of your life you post, you won’t be “living life together.” You won’t have the chance to share meals (or the Lord’s Supper) or baptize or (typically) worship together.

2. You’re not going to know if who you’re talking to is REALLY who you’re talking to. They could be someone adopting another identity entirely. This can be true in real life – we’ve all heard the apocryphal story of spies in the midst of the church (who, typically, turn out to be true believers, in a true case of triple-identity) – but it’s even easier online. You’ll have to speak as the “character” or “persona” they have (perhaps!) adopted, with eternal truths that speak to their “real person” inside.

3. They can turn away from you far more easily. Social media has easy ways to block a person without them even knowing they’ve been blocked. And, your posts (if not appreciated) often won’t even appear in the other person’s timeline. You can’t pursue a person in cyberspace without opening yourself up to charges of stalking. You have to labor even more on making your invitation to talk inviting – without watering down the Gospel!

4. You’re going to have to endure flame wars and attacks from sincere Christians who think you are wrong in your approach or your beliefs. You have to have a firm grounding in the Word and a firm understanding of what and why you believe.

Liza-Nel said...

5. You’re going to have to endure some very messed up theology, soteriology, and eschatology! (or, the study of God, salvation, and the return). You’ll have to decide if you’re in the business of evangelizing the lost, bringing renewal to backslidden Christians, or reaching unreached peoples – it’ll be difficult to do all three, and each of the three require very different approaches!

6. You’re going to have to study a lot about Internet usability and Internet technologies. You can restrict yourself to social media and have to do less of this. Slapping up a web page isn’t easy – it’s a fine art. It may actually be easier for you to start an e-zine (do you know what that is?–time for more study!) or hang out in chat rooms to talk with people than to start a web page. In fact, you’ll probably get a lot more interaction by doing so.

7. With regard to people in restricted-access nations–you have to be sensitive to what you say, since you can get an earnest seeker in a lot of trouble. There is very little knowledge on the Internet about security issues, and that Saudi you just evangelized last night may today be getting a visit from the religious police. If evangelizing unreached peoples via the Internet is your game, it would behoove you to study and link up with other people BEFORE you get started, not after. There are a lot of difficulties involved in Internet evangelism – but probably no more than with personal evangelism. Don’t make the mistake of considering the Internet the “easy fix” to all of the world’s missionary and evangelistic problems. The Internet makes possible wider communication, but that just brings up *more* problems while solving a few. If you keep that in mind – that it’s an added complexity, not an easy-fix-solution – you’ll be better off.

Finally, remember: “if you speak it/post it/blog it, they will come, and get saved” is not necessarily – not even probably! – true. You’ll have to work at it. Be prepared to do that.


Henrietta said...

Baie dankie Liza! Ja dit is beslis "eie-soortige kommunikasie" soos duidelik te sien in die twee dele wat jy geplaas het, met vele slaggate.

Mens sal waarlik moet bid vir die "gawe van onderskeiding" wanneer 'n mens toegegooi word met verskillende menings en mens nie 'n vaste maatstaf het om dit mee te meet nie.

Liza-Nel said...

Slagveld, slaggate, duiwel se speelplek, "messed up theology, soteriology, and eschatology" - dit laat my baie aan 'n sekere kletskamer dink...;))

Henrietta said...

Ja en ons weet hoeveel mense het "hul geloof verloor" (verward geraak?) in DAARDIE plek wat jy van skryf, Liza!