The internet is a repository for a lot of things. You can find knowledge, friendships, goods, services, and a lot of temptation. Beyond that, the internet offers a lot of opportunity. For those of us living under Christ’s authority and instruction, new and powerful tools for evangelism are an exciting prospect. Google has given us those new opportunities!
If you’re looking for the chance to spread the Gospel to people but you just don’t know how or where to find them… Google+ is a place you should get familiar with. The fine folks at Google have release some exciting ways for people to connect using their Google+ social network.
Evangelizing in Cyberspace
Are you in the mood to talk about Jesus to random people? Would it be convenient if those people came to you? If so then Google+ Hangouts are for you. Log in to your Google + account, head to the Hangouts section and make your own Hangout. Name it something like, “Let’s Talk About Jesus.” Make it a public hangout, and be prepared for the flood.
I’ve spent a good amount of time in a Hangout entitled, “Ask a Christian a Question” it was an awesome experience. We would field questions from all walks of people; atheists, Muslims, struggling Christians, etc. In that time I made some observations and mental notes that I think can help the people spreading the Gospel in this realm:
- When you first join a Hangout you are in a private room there your camera is activated and Google invites you to check your hair before joining the group. While yes, you should check your own appearance.. also take a moment to look at the things that appear around and behind you in your webcams field of view. If there is a bed behind you, make sure it is made and neat. If you’re in a kitchen, straighten up a bit if needed.
- Learn to use your mic mute button. If you’re typing, eating, drinking, coughing, thumbing through your Bible, etc. all of these sounds can be picked up and transmitted by your microphone. They are very distracting and annoying to others. I prefer to keep my microphone muted until I am ready to speak.
- Use the chat pane. These Hangouts can fit 10 people. Have you been in a room where 10 people try to talk at one time? It is a million times worse in a video chat. Use the chat pane to carry on side conversations, share links to webpages or Bible verses (youversion.com is great for this). If you’re moderating the room, the chat pane is a great place for people to indicate that they have something to add to the conversation.
- Say hello to people as soon as they join, but don’t interrupt someone who is speaking to do so. If someone is speaking, wait for them to pause then say a quick hello to the new person and ask them to open their chat pane (where you can invite them to pose a question or add thoughts to the current topic) then invite the original speaker to continue.
- Lastly, always remember who you are representing! You are there, not only as a face of the Christian community, but a representative acting under the authority of Christ. Don’t be abrasive. Don’t constantly interrupt. Let a person say what they have to say then calmly and politely present God’s truth of the topic and be ready to provide a reference. Many of the non-believers you will encounter have preconceived notions of Christians that, sadly, were probably formed from previous encounters. Show them love. Show them respect. You will rock their world, and it’s a good feeling… trust me.
A Community of Believers
New Living Translation (NLT)
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
Google+ Communities is overflowing with Christian groups. Find one that focuses on topics or ministry areas that interest you, join, and start being active. A Google+ community should be an enhancement to your interaction with the rest of the body of Christ, not a replacement for whatever ways you’re currently plugged in to your church. The community you join is a way of building relationships with other believers that, otherwise, you would have never met. You can find a list of Christian Google+ Communities here.
Do you have experience in these topics? Share your nuggets of wisdom in the comments section below.