Young people are naturally deviant and adventurous, and the Church has struggled to keep them glued to the gospel over the years.
Too many things are competing with the gospel of salvation in their minds. The devil is not resting on his oars. As Christians, we must know that he is our contender, and we must combat him with result-oriented Evangelism.
A retired catholic Deacon once said, “One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” Once upon a time, the landline was the only available communication gadget on earth; many people wanted it but could not afford it. Has it not become antiques sold on Amazon and eBay today? If you have a landline in your house or office, you cannot solely depend on it for communication. It would be totally out of place.
We all know that time is ever-evolving. Remember the account of the Samaritan woman with whom Jesus was trying to make a conversation. If it were at this age, some Christians would not go near her because of her lifestyle. Sometimes, we forget that we are mere mortals, and the Bible has instructed us not to judge one another. Jesus knew her more than she could imagine, yet He didn’t leave her to her fate- even though she was initially resistant to his message. He offered her living water, and she still questioned his ability to get it. Why do you think that is? The answer is simple- human beings do not easily trust that something new can be better than the old that we know.
That situation shows us that Result-Oriented Evangelism is not a walk in the park. That Samaritan woman was unnamed in the Bible, yet her encounter with our Lord, Jesus, was one of the most significant all through the scriptures. She received eternal salvation, and her testimony convinced an entire town to believe. Jesus crossed that hurdle of early resistance with this woman because His focus was on adding to the kingdom of God, His Father, not on her flaws. When He saw the woman, He saw an opportunity to win her soul, not her lifestyle, and He took it. That is our standard as Christians.
From the understanding of cultural and historical traditions of that time, women typically drew water in groups in the morning, and it was often a social occasion. She, drawing water alone at midday, indicates that she was a social outcast. Yet Jesus approached her. Who are we then to choose who we evangelize? Why do we subtly condemn people we should evangelize? That Samaritan woman deeply craved to have a conversation. She was curious to know more. Imagine if Jesus had let that opportunity slip by.
As cultures evolve due to advanced technology, missionaries and other Christian leaders need to develop the most effective strategies for sharing the gospel with those who have not put their faith in Christ and disciple those who have. Various psychological sensations come into play as technology, especially social media, evolves and influences all cultures.
We live in a world where the internet impacts almost everything. Jesus told us that we must be Fishers of men. Our most important duty as Christians is to bring people into the kingdom of God and into a relationship with Jesus. That Samaritan woman became a disciple of Jesus to reach others for the kingdom of God. Same way, we have been accepted by Jesus to join Him in bringing others to His fold. One way to evangelize in this age is with the appropriate technology.
Evangelism is just like fishing. A fisherman needs to go out into the water where the fish are. Once he has, he needs to let down his net into the water. Sitting in his boat bobbling on the waves won’t catch any fish. That tells us that we need to go to where the people are; and tell them about Jesus. As Christians, we must have a passion for reaching people who don’t know Christ and show them the only way to eternal life. As we can see, technology is fast changing the terrain. Many of our traditional evangelism methods have become less effective. Social media is a part of our daily lives, and although it has its downsides, there are three ways by which it can help the Church in Digital Evangelism.
Look for opportunities in everyday situations.
Every local Church must get to know the community in which it exists. Jesus’ conversation with that woman was quite explicit. To become a successful fisherman, you must go where the fish are. Jesus sat by the well, which meant that he wanted her to know that He would never judge her; He was willing to be her friend. I cannot understand why Christians now choose to abandon their non-Christian friends. This philosophy found its base on the fear of “not being unequally yoked with unbelievers.” Let me ask you one thing: If you don’t associate with non-Christians, how will you bring them to the knowledge of the truth. That is very counterproductive. Having only Christian friends essentially cuts one’s ability to experience the kind of encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman. The fish in the aquarium are already safe from environmental damage. Why can’t we go after the ones in the river or the deep sea? We must not be ashamed or scared to grab opportunities to evangelize.
Jesus was not traveling to Samaria to evangelize. He traveled through Samaria to Galilee and had just stopped there to rest (John 4:3-6). Yet he took advantage of that opportunity anyway. In reality, we do not have to set aside a specific time to evangelize; we only need to be sensitive to God’s spirit and do it. Look for opportunities as you are going about your daily business. You can set aside a specific time, but do not limit yourself to that time. You never know when an opportunity will arise.
The Church must consistently challenge and encourage modern-day Christians to consciously and systematically develop friendships with non-Christians, especially in the social media space. These friendships can develop into opportunities for fishing. People listen to friends online, so we must deploy our energy to spreading the good news on social media especially. If you want to catch fish, you have to be ever ready.
Create an Environment of Love and Hope for A Better Future
In the first century, the Jews did not associate with the Samaritans. That, coupled with the fact that Jesus was speaking with a woman, made it seem strange to the disciples that Jesus would be talking to her (John 4:9, 27). But Jesus chose to speak with her anyway. We may refrain from associating with certain people/groups for several reasons. But Jesus was not only friends with those that others may have expected Him to associate with (Jewish men); He also spoke to non-Jews and with women. He didn’t discriminate between men and women. Jesus is our standard. We should be willing to talk to anyone, regardless of gender, race, background, or lifestyle. “God is not one to show partiality” (Acts 10:34), so we should not either in our interactions with others. Otherwise, we may miss some of the opportunities that come before us.
We must encourage ourselves to create a united, loving, and hope-filled environment when we talk to prospects. If we believe that God’s kingdom will consist of people from every nation, tribe, and language: we must then be ready to expand our evangelism strategies to enhance our ability to catch a wide variety of fish. The Church is the aquarium, and it must exist to accommodate and tolerate every kind of fish. Every Church wants to attract youths, and this particular group is already too immersed in technology for any orthodox approach to work.
Jesus called us to spread the gospel, not to determine how many sins the converts have committed or if they can become Christians. That is not our decision to make. Ours is to help them realize the ultimate kind of love that exists in Christ and lead them to that love. Mostly, we expect young believers to mature in the shortest time possible. We demand that they fit in quickly as members of long-standing. People need answers to tough questions. They need time, so it is not fair for us to expect that they will be ready to make a total commitment after a month of receiving salvation. People want to experience love, acceptance, togetherness, and hope within the Church; that is what the Church should strive to give them.
A New Dawn
God cares about lost and struggling souls. They matter to him and must be a priority for us if we want to win the world for Christ. Technology has eaten deep into our daily lifestyle, and most of the people we are trying to reach are online. Should we then not shift to internet/technology-based Evangelism? Social media has been a helpful tool over time, but it cannot yield the kind of results the Church currently needs. Thankfully, Church management systems (ChMs) like ChurchPad, are daily working to make the Church as attractive as it ought to be in the online space.
Evangelism can no longer be an event; it must become a lifestyle we can wake up to; and are comfortable doing consistently. Almost everyone wakes up to engage on social media every day. If the gospel is present in their internet life, we will reach more souls faster than we think.
ChurchPad’s Evangelism works faster than social media evangelism on Facebook or Instagram. With ChurchPad, your options are limitless.