At the Epicenter Cru student conference in Albany, New York, around 500 students and staff members took part in a digital outreach called Faithwave. Using their laptops and iPads and phones, they used social networks all around the world to reach people with the good news of the Gospel.
The team gave everyone several creative ways to reach out to their friends and family. There were multiple stations, each representing a different online strategy. Students moved from station to station getting training and trying the strategy. Below are some of the strategies. Which ones could you try today?
1. Broadcast God's Word
Post a Bible verse that’s significant for you with an image that illustrates it. If you want, write a sentence sharing why that verse is significant. Ask God to help your friends see that God’s Word is not like any other words they’re reading on Facebook. Ask God to use his Word to soften the soil of their hearts so the seed of the Gospel can take root there and grow. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
2. Pray for your friends
Ask God to bring to mind 3 individuals to pray for, then message or text or email those 3 people, asking them how you can pray for them today. As they get back to you, make sure you do pray for their requests, and ask them about it the next time you see them.
3. Reconnect with loved ones
Ask God to show you family members or long-time friends who don’t know Jesus and are significant to you but for whatever reason you haven’t connected with in a while. Spend some time praying for them and your relationship with them, and then pick up the phone and call them, email them, or message them on Facebook.
4. Broadcast short articles
EveryStudent.com is a very useful resource as you seek to help others know Jesus. The site addresses your friends’ and family’s questions about God, helps them understand who God is, and gives them persuasive reasons to begin a relationship with Jesus with lots of articles and videos on topics they and others probably care about. Choose an article on a topic that’s meaningful to you and to others. Post your own thoughts or response to the article. Open the door to ongoing conversation by asking others to comment. Or message a few people and ask, “Sometime, I would love to talk with you more about this article and hear what you think about it. Would you be up for that?”
5. Post a video
In the main meeting, we watched the video “Falling Plates.” Post it to all your friends or just send it to a few people you’d like to discuss it with. Feel free to share with them what stood out to you when you saw it last night. Open the door to ongoing conversation by writing something like this. “This video looks at some of the big questions of life in an intriguing way--Who am I? Where do I come from? Who is God? Why am I like this? Where am I going?--Sometime, I would love to hear what you think of it and talk more about its message. Would you be up for that?” Also check out Global Short Film Network.
6. Encourage another Christian
Startingwithgod.com offers many articles to help new believers better understand their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Ask God if there’s a friend you can encourage with one of these articles. Take some time to pray for them too.
7. Broadcast a celebrity story
Iamsecond.com http://www.iamsecond.com/about/ films are the life stories of well-known people and ordinary people who are making Jesus first in their lives. “Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. Scroll through the list of films—each one is tagged with the main themes of that person’s story. Ask God to show you if there’s one that reminds you of your own story, or that would connect with a friend’s life story. Post it via Facebook or Twitter, or share it with just 1 or 2 friends. Open the door to a future spiritual conversation with something like, “Sometime, I would love to share more of my story and spiritual journey with you and hear some of yours. Would you be up for that?”
8. Video yourself
Send out a short video message. Have some film you and post straight to Facebook, YouTube or tweet it out. Spend some time praying about what to share and who to share it with. Keep it short--30-60 seconds is perfect!
9. Broadcast images
Aristotle wrote, “The soul never thinks without a mental picture.” How can you use images to share what’s in your own soul and better understand what’s on the hearts of your friends and family? Here are some ideas. Consider trying one or more...
Use Google Images and Flickr to find a few photos that illustrate your own spiritual journey. Post them with a short description of what each one says to you about your God story.
Have your friend take a picture of you holding a piece of paper that has one word or phrase written in dark letters that describes yourself. Something to catch people's attention (i.e., "Idolater" "Redeemed" "Selfish" "Liar" "Broken"). Post the photo and a brief explanation of why you describe yourself that way.
Post a photo of a place where God did something significant in your life and what that was--Where he finally got your attention, where you started to really feel his love, where he healed you, where he took away some fear, where you saw him use you in someone else’s life.
10. Go exploring
Ask God to show you people who you already have some kind of relationship with (classmates, co-workers, people on your hall or sports team, friends from back home). Who is he directing you to come alongside of in their spiritual journeys? Text or message those people with,
“SOMETIME, I would love to hear more of your story, especially your thoughts and experiences regarding the spiritual area of life. Would you be up for that?”
Then spend some time praying for those people and for open doors. “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:3).
Continue look for those open doors. Ask God to give you the courage to ask people if now or soon is a good time to hear your thoughts on your spiritual journey.
11. Keep it going
Partner up with a friend and ask God to show you some ways he wants you to keep living missionally in your online world. Ask him to show you open doors for the Gospel and opportunities to make the most of. Ask him to give you grace, wisdom, and “salty conversations” (Colossians 4:2-6). Think through conversations that are starting online today and how you’ll keep graciously pursuing those and also new opportunities that you didn’t have a chance to try out today.