How often have you come in contact with another human being through the Internet? Do you realize that behind every Email you receive (except Spam, of course), behind every chat conversation and every Instant Message, there is a real-life person who is a potential convert? Mainstream Christianity is slowly beginning to see the validity of witnessing on the Internet, and Apostolics would do well to lean how to use this as a tool as well.
h3. Personal Web Page
Many online services offer free web pages to their members. Consider developing a personal web page for visitors to learn more about your Apostolic experience. When you meet people online, you can send them to this page where they can read at their own leisure.
Becoming very popular these days are weblogs (or “blogs”), which are basically online journals. On a blog, you can share events that are happening in your life, and talk about any topic. In your profile, or “About me” page, you can explain more about your Apostolic Life. Some popular free blogs are “http://www.blogger.com”:http://www.blogger.com and “www.xanga.com”:http://www.xanga.com
Online real-time interaction in a chat room can be a highly effective form of witness. It is important to be sensitive and wise without arguing. Some people visit chat rooms together with a friend to help each other and also pray for each other.
Chat rooms are very popular with the younger generation. A church can train its young people to learn how to witness through chat, email and instant messenger.
Chat rooms can be built into larger evangelistic sites if they have sufficient visitors.
At this juncture, I think it’s wise to caution the use of chatrooms, as they can also pose many problems do to the anonymity of the commenters. Perhaps an article on Internet Safety will follow in the future. 🙂
h3. Discussion Forums and Lists
Bulletin boards, discussion forums and Email discussion lists can also be a place to share faith – though it is best when it is appropriate to the topic of the board.
h3. Instant Messaging
Instant Messaging can be a quick way for site visitors to contact you, if you are frequently online. This type of personal chat can be very effective in sharing the Gospel. A friend of mine recently had an Instant Message prayer meeting with a friend she met online, and the woman she was praying with received the Holy Ghost! I wonder if she had the evidence of *typing* in tongues? Just kidding!
You can of course share your faith sensitively by email with anyone you meet on the Internet. It is important to be aware of good evangelistic sites that you can refer them to, especially pages that explain particular questions they have. It is also effective to send “eGreeting Cards”:./cards/ to those you are in touch with.
The Internet is as vast a territory as the imagination. Because of this, the opportunities to reach out to others are vast as well. Think of ways that you could expand the effectiveness of your _Online_ time by spreading the Apostolic faith.