You’ve probably heard of Twitter, and you might even use it, do you use Twitter to evangelize?. Twitter is a social media site that specializes in the short and sweet: posts have to be 140 characters or less, and posts scroll by in real time. There’s no lingering posts that can be seen for days, like on Facebook (for free, organic posts, that is. Paid advertising is different.)
If you’re a pastor, or managing the social media for a church or ministry, you should definitely be utilizing Twitter (see this post about setting up an effective Twitter profile for your church). However, this particular post is geared more towards layman Christians and everyday Church-goers. Twitter can be a wonderful tool for churches to reach new people, but there’s no reason why you as an individual can’t use Twitter for the same.
The most effective outreach and evangelism
Like a lot of social media, there’s plenty of junk to be found on Twitter – whether it’s endless cat pictures, someone constantly posting a blow-by-blow account of a game or an awards show, or downright negative or offensive material. But that’s no reason to discount the platform of Twitter itself as a valuable tool for good.
As with Facebook and other social media sites, you’ve got to take the bad with the good. And it’s worth taking, because the very existence of negative, offensive, or ungodly content proves that there are a lot of people there who need some Good News.
But keep in mind that the most effective outreach and evangelism techniques that work face to face also work for the digital world. If someone posts a swear word or a political article you don’t agree with, replying to them with “You’re going to burn in hell for that, you rotten sinner” may not be the best way to make them want to listen to you.
Here are some ways to show people God’s love on Twitter without coming across as obnoxious:
- Be positive. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every Tweet you post has to be full of kittens and rainbows and Pollyanna-sunshine quotes. But find something good to say. Share a good news article, instead of a bad news article like everyone else is. Say something encouraging or upbeat. Have a kind word for someone. No one wants to follow a chronic complainer.
- Make friends. Because of its real-time nature, Twitter is a great way to actually talk with someone and even build friendships. Whether you Tweet back and forth with someone (publicly visible posts), or keep your conversations as direct messages (private messaging), take the time to really get to know some people. Just like real world relationships, people are often more willing to talk about God, religion, and church with someone they trust rather than a complete stranger.
- Follow your favorite ministries, evangelists, churches, or Christian artists. You can learn a lot about a person on Twitter by looking at who they choose to follow. It’s a way of showing people what you’re passionate about without beating them over the head with a message before they’re ready to hear it. People who want to connect with you on Twitter can see that you follow ministries or Christian bands, and if you’re friendly and positive, they might even want to talk to you about it.
Twitter is a powerful social media tool for connection and outreach. Be real, get to know people, and you might just find yourself sharing Jesus with people all around the world.
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