Francis Chan is right. Sharing a meme on social media is not digital discipleship. Having a conversation online though is digital discipleship.
First, make time to engage with people. Start with, “How are you?” or ask them about the things they have posted online. Statuses and posts are conversation starters, even the ones about food.
Second, be discerning. I’ve encountered many posts where my fingers were ready to tap out a reply, but instead, I prayed and remained silent. Debates are unnecessary and mostly useless. All they do is create a divide. Invest in the relationships of the people you friend or follow. Get to know them as a friend, not a ministry leader, a pastor, or a missionary. People want authenticity. They want to see Christ in your life first.
Third, don’t be satisfied in simply sharing a meme or someone else’s post. Share your heart about why that post was worth sharing. While keeping your emotions private may be a generational thing, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Encourage questions. Be compassionate. Put the relationship and your concern for their eternal destination above a desire to be right. Reply to them promptly in private or public.
Discipleship is a long process. My goal is to help churches build digital teams that eventually become the whole church body using social media to share the Gospel in relationship to their communities and beyond.
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