Internet Evangelism Idea #7: Online Discipleship… Get Creative!

online bible studyThis post is part 7 in the series 20 Ways to Share Your Faith Online leading up to Internet Evangelism Day on April 25. We encourage you to tweet, share, blog & discuss these ideas in your church & circle of influence.

Part of the beauty of being in the body of Christ is discovering that we are made to pursue God together.  The more relational and authentic we are online, the more God can work through us when we connect to people who are far from Him.

About 3 months ago Karen* contacted me via my Facebook profile.  She asked me spiritual questions and shared the painful circumstances in which she’s currently living.  I was most struck by Karen’s confession that she’d lost hope in the possibility of having a personal relationship with Jesus.  I read her Facebook message several times and began praying.  When asking God what I should write back, two simple words came to mind: “Disciple her”.

My enthusiasm grew over the following days as God brought to mind some ideas to disciple Karen.  She and I went through a 25 day online Bible reading plan together.  Every day we read passages together, and each morning I woke up to an e-mail from Karen full of questions and observations she’d made while reading the Bible.

A few weeks into our study, Karen sent me a Facebook message asking if we could talk on the telephone.  I called her and had the incredible opportunity of leading her in prayer over the phone to surrender her life to Jesus!  Shortly thereafter the 25-day reading plan came to an end but our relationship was still going strong.

Next Karen focused on finding a reputable Christian counselor in her city to walk her through some of the life issues she’s facing.  Recently a member of her family passed away and she gathered with friends to grieve and share her hope in Christ.  Currently, Karen and I are reading through The Love Dare as a means of becoming better wives to our husbands.  We plan to meet face to face this summer.

* This woman’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

Dana is the LifeChurch.tv Church Online International Experience Specialist and co-founder of Blue Door Ministries.  She is passionate about reaching people online who are far from God.

7 Responses to “Internet Evangelism Idea #7: Online Discipleship… Get Creative!”

  1. Dana, thanks for sharing this story. There are four things about it that really stand out to me…

    1) There are so many ways you could have responded, but you listened for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    2) Often we try to get a person to receive Christ as their savior the first time we talk with them. But coming to a point where a person is ready to trust God and surrender their life to Him, is usually a process. The 25 day reading plan allowed for God to work over time.

    3) You demonstrated a real love for & commitment to "Karen" by not just suggesting the 25 day Bible reading plan but offering to do it with her.

    4) You didn't try to convince her with your own words, but rather pointed her to scripture and allowed God to speak to her directly.

    Way to go! And thanks for the lessons learned from this story.

  2. Paul, Many thanks for including me on the team to blog about online evangelism. I'm enjoying learning from everyone's suggestions!

  3. Hey Dana, thank you for sharing your experience on how God has used you, and used you through social media.

  4. Thanks, Dana. Discipleship is what our website is all about but we are always praying and seeking other ways and ideas to promote discipling with others. I want to pray about some of what you said and see how we might fit it in as well. God bless.

  5. Great post Dana! I love how God has used the online community to develop and strengthen ties that might not have happened any other way. God is so BIG and the internet is just another way for Him to show up. Thanks for sharing.

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  1. Tweets that mention Internet Evangelism Idea #7: Online Discipleship… Get Creative! « Christian Web Trends Blog -- Topsy.com - Apr 12, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by OurChurch.Com, Amanda Sims and Ditra Miller, Dana McCallian Byers. Dana McCallian Byers said: RT @OurChurchDotCom: New post: Internet Evangelism Idea #7: Online Discipleship… Get Creative! (by @danalbyers) http://bit.ly/9g5ewU [...]

  2. New Series: 20 Ways to Share Your Faith Online « Christian Web Trends Blog - Apr 22, 2010

    [...] Online Discipleship… Get Creative! by Dana Byers [...]