This article from Paul Steinbrueck is an interesting read for anyone involved in promoting the gospel online, particularly through the local church:
What’s the best way to share the good news of Jesus Christ with people in your community? Are churches supposed to put on great services and outreach events that draw non-Christian people from the community to hear the Good News? Are individuals supposed to share their faith with their friends and neighbors?
The answer, of course, is both/and.
Even more than that, though, churches and the individuals who make them up can both be more effective at sharing their faith – online and offline – if they recognize what they’re each good at and work together.
People don’t have relationships or friendships with a church. They have relationships with other people. They listen to people. They trust people. It’s the people within a church that have relationships with those outside the church that don’t know Christ. It’s also the people within the church that have God stories. Their lives have been transformed. They have experienced God’s grace, provision, and protection.
Churches are great organizers and facilitators. They put on services and events. They have buildings and websites that can serve as the hub of their community of Christ. They can communicate and distribute content to everyone whose connected with the church.
Knowing that, here are…
7 Ways Churches and Their People Can Work Together to Share the Gospel Online
1) Share sermons. Churches – make your sermons available online. People – share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, email. Send the link to specific people who you think would benefit from seeing/hearing it.
2) Share events. Churches – facilitate services and events geared for unchurched people. Create web pages and Facebook events for them. Promote them on Facebook and Twitter. People – invite your friends to them.
3) Share God stories. Churches – ask people in your church to share their God stories in a worship service. Put video of those stores on YouTube, Facebook, and your website. People – share these stories with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Send the link to specific people who you think can relate to the stories.
4) Share life. People – blog, Facebook, and tweet about what you see God doing in your life. Churches – listen to your people’s Facebook updates and tweets. Retweet those that will encourage others in your church.
5) Inspire and train. Churches – inspire and train your people to live their faith online. Preach about it. Provide resources like those on the Internet Evangelism Day website. People – listen, learn, and life your faith.
6) Collaborate. Churches – seek out and embrace the biggest bloggers, Facebookers, and Twitterers in your church. People – seek out your church leaders. Collaborate.
7) Share great content. Churches – follow creators of great Christian content – authors, bloggers, podcasters, video producers. Share their great content online. People – share and retweet the great content your church is providing you with your online friends.
Which of these ways is your church and its people working together to share the gospel online? What other ways can churches and their people work together to share the good news online?