> @stickyJesus 7) Christ followers: the game changers

Dan King HaitiIn celebration of Internet Evangelism Month, this is the seventh in a 15-part blog project discussing the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

I don’t know if it really hit me right away. But as it started to sink in I realized that the game would never be the same after this.

I was in a remote village in Haiti, and I had just tweeted a few photos of our team meeting the people there. Within minutes of uploading those photos, I got an email from Facebook that someone had just commented on one of those status updates. It was a message for one of the people in the photos to put on some sunscreen because they were looking a little sunburned.

The message was from someone in our church who’s serving as a missionary in Morocco. We were bridging gaps of time and distance that no other mission team from our church had ever crossed before!

On this trip the supporters back home didn’t have to wait for us to return to hear the stories. And they didn’t have to pray blindly mere general blessings for the team. They were able to interact with the events as they unfolded, and were able to pray specific for things that started to unfold right before their eyes!

As I read chapter 7 of @stickyJesus, one statement stands out to me more than all the others:

With today’s technology, you can reach in minutes the physical ground that Paul and other game changers covered in years. Like Paul, each one of us can use God’s Word to teach, warn, motivate, and inject God’s perspective into popular culture.

It’s the realization that the message is the same as it always has been, but the tools that we have available to deliver it are some of the most powerful that our world has ever seen.

Sounds like an opportunity to me.

The book has a great list of how to be a game changer online, and I want to highlight a few of them here….

  • “Pray for yourself. Ask God about the best way to share what He is showing you.” There are opportunities around us every moment of every day, we just need His wisdom to help us tell that story.
  • “Be honest and transparent.” People connect more with our brokenness and imperfections than they do the false fronts that we often put up to impress them.
  • “Build a strong sincere, online rapport with others.” It’s first about relationships, then the message.
  • “If you can’t find the words to say yourself, find a wise pastor or writer who is sharing his or her perspective online.” Even as a pastor or writer, sometimes it’s best to let someone else articulate what’s on your heart.
  • “Commit to learning new technologies and tools for online communication.” Have you ever tried to build a house without a hammer and a saw? Nuff said…

We’ve come a long way since the time that Paul had to pass letters on rolls of papyrus through the bars of his jail cell. But we have the same task that he had in delivering the message of the Gospel to the world. Now it’s up to us to use the tools that we have at our disposal to make it happen.

As a believer, you come from a long list of game changers. Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to change the game?

  1. How are you sharing your personal testimony online?
  2. What’s happening around you right now that you use to help you communicate the Message of the Gospel to others online?
  3. What’s happening in the world right now that you can respond to using a Biblical perspective that might help encourage and/or empower someone else?

@StickyJesus 6) Holy Spirit: The Power Source" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/16/stickyjesus-6-holy-spirit-the-power-source/">6) Holy Spirit: The Power Source <– @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/02/introducing-stickyjesus-group-blog-project/">@StickyJesus project –> @stickyJesus 8) Warning: Danger Zones" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/20/stickyjesus-8-warning-danger-zones/">8) Warning: Danger Zones

Christ-follower. husband. father. corporate training development guru. school of ministry and missions instructor. social media editor for thehighcalling.org. blogger at bibledude.net. co-founder and media director for the activistfaith.org movement. social media director for help end local poverty.

19 Responses to “> @stickyJesus 7) Christ followers: the game changers”

  1. Dan, I'm weeping as I read this post. I have a similar story connected to Haiti. In fact one of the reasons we go and lead mission trips there throughout the year is because of an online exchange (via twitter) where I found myself praying my pastor through the crumbled remains of the earthquake. We prayed a lost boy right back into the arms of his mother. My pastor tweeted everything that was happening, where they went, where they looked, who they talked to and everything else happening as they searched. And yes – he posted a few pictures, too.

    It was a miracle, as you can imagine given the conditions they were under in Port Au Prince. Talk about watching the hand of God move and seeing it in less than 140 characters at a time made it no less magnificent. I have no words for how it felt actually being in Haiti this past January and thinking about how God first flooded my heart with love for those people and that country. I'll be back there again in less than a month!

    Great question about sharing your testimony. Today we can communicate it as we live it. God moves everyday in our lives – all we need to do is share it. As things happen in my life, I am quick to give Him praise. Even when the hard stuff happens, I am clear Who I am trusting. We are told to live by faith, not feelings – so even when I feel cast down – I point to where I know my relief will come. He. Never. Fails. (I am my beloved's and He is mine)

    Okay – I am officially wrecked and overwhelmed again by His love for us and that He brought us into this world at THIS time. – Bless you, Dan.

    • Wow… thanks for sharing that Haiti experience Tami! That's exactly the kind of stuff that I've been seeing more of in the mission field. That's powerful when you can connect people like that… as you say, 140 characters (and a few photos) at a time.

      I'm following you on Twitter now, and can't wait to hear more about your next trip to Haiti! In fact, if you ever want to share anything about that trip over at my site, let me know… I'd love to have you guest post regarding your experience there.

      Regarding the testimony stuff… that's our job, right? To tell our story, whether it's in Haiti, in a church small group, at a local outreach project, or sitting in our cubicle at work.

      Love it! Great book Tami! Thank you!

      • I just followed you back! We leave June 28th and I love sharing about these trips. I am grateful we get to return to the same place every time we go. We feel like we are truly part of their lives and we get to see how God is completely redirecting everything for them. I am humbled by your invitation to share. Thank you.

        BTW – we are leading another trip this year, December 10 – 16th. Plenty of time to sign up. If you have any interest or know someone that might DM me via Twitter. We've taken people from other states with us in the past – we simply meet up in Miami! I promise that Christmas will never be the same for those that join us on this trip.

        You are right my friend, it's our job and also our privilege.

  2. A couple general thoughts…

    If I'm planning a trip right now, then I'd want to make sure that I have different people on the team responsible for various functions… logistics, finances, team devotions, etc. But now with this experience, I'd also include a social media point person. Part of that person's 'job' would be to make sure that things are being documented and shared.

    And regardless, I'd personally force myself to take breaks every so often to get a quick picture to tweet, (or if data connection is limited, use SMS to send a text tweet). I think the thing about using social media to do it is that it doesn't mean that we have to sit down for an hour to tell the story. If you have an observation while you stop to eat lunch, then take the minute it take to tweet it.

    Just my thoughts… good to talk again Seiji!

    • Great thoughts. I lead several mission trips every year…and we have just begun to make sure we have a team of people devoted to social media: Facebook, Twitter, and blogging.

      It's an incredible experience for that team…but it allows thousands of others to experience and pray for the trip with us.

  3. Honesty is easy, but it is hard for me to stay transparent..the good and the bad, especially the bad.

    I ask for prayers when they are needed, but sharing the hard stuff is tough.

    I look up to bloggers like Mike Ellis http://mikeismessedup.blogspot.com/ who are totally transparent. He inspires me and Jesus is a definite game changer for him.

    I love your Haiti story Dan…that girl did need sunscreen! :)

  4. Dan, thank you for sharing a real experience that demonstrates the very real reach we have with today's technology. "On this trip the supporters back home didn’t have to wait for us to return to hear the stories. And they didn’t have to pray blindly mere general blessings for the team. They were able to interact with the events as they unfolded, and were able to pray specific for things that started to unfold right before their eyes!" This is a powerful testimony and it further confirms for me why I must get my home church connected!

    I, too, thought the "how to be a game changer" list was good. "Don't get overwhelmed 'doing'. Pray. Then trust God to do the heavy lifting." When I read this point, I instantly felt lighter :-)

    Lastly as I read the comments about the mission trips and about you being in a remote village in Haiti, I thought about the prayer in File 07 where it says, "As your holy eyes scan the fields, let them land on me. Find me worthy to carry Your message and Your promise to Your beloved creation." What an awesome God we serve! It is truly a privilege to carry His Gospel- to be His voice, His hands, His feet.

    Blessing Dan! :-)

    • Thank you! And I definitely agree on the priviledge… sometimes I feel like I can better identify what it must've been like to be someone like Luke… documenting the history of the early church using the tools that he had available to him. I'm not saying that my tweets are Holy Scripture, but I do consider it on honor to be a part of documenting the current History of the Church… even in a small way.

      Regarding getting your church online… I think the best first step is just doing it and living it yourself… as an example. My church didn't send me out to tweet/blog, but are now considering it because I did it…

  5. I love the open heart of this post, Dan. I share my faith in ways that 10 years ago would not be considered evangelism. I listen, listen, listen and pray, pray, pray. Much of the "ground" I cover online is when I log off and get on my knees. I ask the Lord to bring those I've met online into my prayer time and I ask Him to help me pray for complete strangers on the other side of the globe. This has been a fresh dimension of my faith and one I would not trade for anything! I love the time we live in—there's a pulse of possibility behind almost every conversation. There's a unity between believers who cross digital paths and there's a hope of ushering in God's Kingdom to this messy planet like never before. I love that we can fellowship here—on this blog—we can break new ground together and break bread together as we share what God is doing in our midst.

    Awesome post, and very inspiring, Dan. Thank you. You are a digital scribe! :)

  6. I love that you shared this story! I can remember following you when you took that trip and I felt like I was there (a tiny bit at least) You helped connect people that never would have been connected. I felt like I had my own relationship with the people you were meeting, and I loved that.

    This is such a great list for how to be a game changer – like Kawanzaa, felt a small burden lifted as I realized that prayer was #1 … this isn't ME doing this … it's God working through me – and those are very different things.

    Great post dude!

    • You said, "I felt like I was there (a tiny bit at least)"… that's the goal, right? What I think is REALLY cool is how non-Christian friends and family were seeing the same thing! They were 'experiencing' the transforming power of the Gospel through those updates! In fact, I just today had an old Marine corps buddy tell me that he'd LOVE to go on a mission trip with me…

      powerful.

  7. totally agree, and loved your thoughts over at your post! this chapter is kinda empowering, isn't it?

    • TOTALLY empowering! i think that was my overall impression when i read the book, even right from the first few pages – God has a mission, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He uses us, He empowers us… my heart so jumped into it!

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