My Evangelism Online: How can I grow in my ministry? How long until it bears fruit?

I have often called myself an online evangelist. What this means to me is that I am not at all shy about sharing my views and beliefs as a Christian.

However, this comes with some problems sometimes. In my mind, all different kinds of evangelism comes with their own set of problems and rewards.

In online engagements, all you have is what someone has typed. I am frequently on a forum similar in functionality as this one. Most of my posts are within the religious section of the forum for about the past year or so, but I also go outside of that section as well from time to time including a decent amount in the philosophy section of the forum.

Some things I have realized while being there…
Most people there have a very materialistic view of the world. So when you tell them about something in the Bible that was miraculous, they often say these things are fairy tales. Still, I get challenged for my views on other things as well as my Christian views on things. This might be how I come across online, meaning, sometimes I am hard to relate to because I have ideas that are off the norm. And then when I discuss those ideas with other people, they usually end up basically laughing at me because they cannot see how I got from point A to point B. It all makes sense to me, but then again, I am a fairly spiritual person so it is natural that what I say comes from a spiritual lens and what they say comes from a materialistic lens. I do not always come across the right way either. I don’t really use ad homs at people or anything like that, but sometimes I am a little less than polite when I am trying to explain myself more and more and people are still not understanding what I am saying. It’s frustrating really. Well, at least it was. I recently had a big breakthrough with my own attitude and how I dealt with things. It is actually a blessing to not get upset about what people are saying to you. This was done with much prayer.

Anyways, I feel like I am keeping at it for a long time, but I am not really seeing any fruit at this point in time. I have talked to a few Christians on the site and I opened up about my struggles with one of them and he assured me that I didn’t have to change my message and that I should not give up. He has been on the site a lot longer than I have and has lead people to the Lord from the forum. His advice was to try and connect with people more. So I have been trying to do that.

My question is really how long should it take before I see fruit from all my hard work? I feel like my attitude is in a good place, but it seems all I get are people disagreeing with me. What can I do to be a better online evangelist?

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Hey Jesse I too to a lot of evangelism related work online so I hope I can offer some help. Firstly for when you bring up miracles in the Bible, while it is possible to prove that because the Bible is historically reliable those events actually happened, a way that may help reach the materialist is appealing to any well documented modern day miracle of Jesus.

This video also pretty much defeats materialism you could hopefully use the information in that while in conversations.

Also on materialism here is a little short thing I wrote

“Referring to an implication of atheism that every thought would be a chemical reaction Dr. Sharon Dirckx is quoted saying “…[I]f everything that we say is ultimately determined by something beyond us, by physical processes in our head, then how can we trust that very viewpoint, or indeed anything we say?.. In a sense, this view shoots itself in the foot because it is meaningless. Every view that we happen to hold based on that philosophy has no meaning…. And so this view actually has many holes, it doesn’t hold together logically, it doesn’t make sense of the world we live in, and we don’t live as if that actually were the case.” John Lennox a Christian apologist put it this way.
“Sometimes, when in conversation with my fellow scientists, I ask them
“What do you do science with?”
“My mind,” say some, and others, who hold the view that the mind is the brain, say, “My brain”.
“Tell me about your brain? How does it come to exist?”
“By means of natural, mindless, unguided processes.”
“Why, then, do you trust it?” I ask. “If you thought that your computer was the end product of mindless unguided processes, would you trust it?”
“Not in a million years,” comes the reply.
“You clearly have a problem then.”
Quite frankly that can’t be right and none of us believe it to be so.” To be conclusive, this infers that humans are much more than physical beings. The ability to reason is one example of what it means to be made in the image of God. Without this principle and without God there is no reason to trust your reasoning”

And for modern day miracles of Jesus I recommend lee strobes book a case for miracles. And also these podcast with Craig keener.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cross-examined-with-dr-frank-turek/id402803400?i=1000407365058

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cross-examined-with-dr-frank-turek/id402803400?i=1000408889156

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I apologize I wrote all of that without directly answering your question, but as to when should you stop I don’t know for sure but I propose that even if only 1 person is reached by your content than it is worth it, but also mabye consider branching out into other platforms such as Instagram Facebook or YouTube and see how that works. But I will pray for your dercernment in this.

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Hello @Daniel.S, thank you so much for your response. I have tried these kinds of general logical arguments with these people and they don’t really work. They end up saying, “It’s a lot more complicated than that. There are explanations for this that you don’t know.” These people are not just your humdrum atheists who would actually think about those videos much. There are a fair few people who know I am being treated disproportionally poorly. But the things is, they blame it on me. However, I recently got a private message from someone who recognized that I was being treated unfairly and they tried to give me advice on how to not get that kind of treatment and they said how to do that was to stop being so zealous, basically. I am starting to prick people in the kind of way that makes them feel uncomfortable. This step has taken a LONG time just basically staying in the religious section of the forum and quoting the Bible. I am dealing with some very militant atheists, a gnostic, a person who is a Muslim who is very educated in evolution, a lawyer who makes millions who lives in China. These people are far from uneducated. But I persist. One of the forum members who is a Christian who has a Phd in some math thing who is really looked up to there has told me not to give up. I had a practicing Jew who I get along well (who subsequently recently referred to Jesus as JC, which blew my mind because he always refers to God as G-d and always refers to Christians as Xians) with say since I had been there people have started to act more human (less debaty). So it is not all bad. I know I am making a difference. But it is very slow progress.

I guess I need to know how to invite people to accept Christ. I don’t know how to do that because I have never done it before. I don’t hold the view that all you have to do is invite Jesus into your heart and you are saved. That is not what being a Christian is about. I have told one of those militant atheist when I felt he was struggling with something and that I felt appropriate to say, “All you have to do is humble yourself and ask for forgiveness.” He didn’t respond to that. He doesn’t respond to me much anymore. It’s not like people don’t know the gospel as I have stated it MANY times already. I guess, like I said, I need to know how it invite people to become a Christian better.

Again, thanks for your post.

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Oh man I’m sorry so many of them are so dismissive especially once they have learned the gospel, that’s truly aggravating for me. And wow that is so much responsibility, I guess the best thing to do is to pray for their hearts to be softened. And I will pray for you in that. I really really appreciate your aditude in this

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It’s fine.

This, of course, is an area that is really tough. I think some principles of street evangelism can be applied. I would try to build rapport with them by connecting over something of shared interest. Then build credibility by dealing with their arguments before presenting my own. Once people see that I have studied and thought about their arguments they are often more open to hearing mine. This also involves asking a lot of questions and providing cogent answers on their terms. Then giving a sound presentation of your arguments with humility and respect. It might also be better to PM people who seem interested rather than talking to an entire group. That can be very distracting and unfruitful. Keep up the good work!

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@Joshua_Hansen

Thank you for your kind words. It is a hostile environment. I find the Spirit giving me the words much of the time, but more study would be a huge plus.

I do not want to study apologetics. I might have to though because some people there do not respect what I know.

Thanks for your post.

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