In the past week or so I’ve had numerous conversations with my students about witnessing online. We are studying Real Conversations by Jonathan McKee for all June Summer Bible Study. And in our discussion and then multiple conversations since our last study, I’ve had many of my students who are tired of people and their status witness online. They have pointed out several friends, other youth pastors, and in their words “older people” who daily post pictures that they describe as “turn or burn” and think its a real turnoff. They have said that these same people post messages that basically turnoff other Christians and nonbelievers to God. Their perspective is that we should live our lives on Facebook as that others would know who we are and who we stand for and that we don’t need to write “lame” status updates that turn others away from God. They understand that these people have a good heart in their posting, but in reality it turns them off and they wonder what non-christians who see this feel. They said that several youth pastors and pastors posting would make them run away from that church if they were their youth pastor or pastor. They feel that it makes Christians look bad and holier than thou!
So what’s the best way for us to witness online? Is it to post these inspirational pictures multiple times? Is it that we tell people they should be in church on Sunday? My students answer…Is that we should be real and everyone will see it. They think its alright to post an inspirational picture now and then, but don’t over do it. They think that we should tell about what we get out of church, but don’t make people feel guilty for not being there. Instead give them a small taste and make them want to come check out what is going on at your church. But more importantly if you want to invite someone to church, don’t post it on Facebook. Take the time and call them. Take time to catch up with old friends and invite them back. Don’t be general, be real…have a real conversation and take action, not just a Facebook religious status!