How Christians Blow it Online: The Friday Five with Tami Birdsong

I like the idea of every Christian being a "digital scribe." Could you explain that? 

Throughout history believers have used everything from palm leaves to the printing press to share the gospel—scribes have documented the faith. Today, the responsibility to communicate that same gospel is yours and mine. We live in a time when every nation, every tongue, every age, every race, and every denomination of faith—and unfaith—is instantly connected online. We ask people to take an online Digital Scribe Pledge and choose to influence culture rather than be influenced by culture.

As Digital Scribes we see ourselves as networkers, connectors, servants, activists, and passionate ministers of the gospel. We are out to change the game in our online communities for the fame of Jesus Christ and for those He loves who have yet to secure eternity. We encourage Digital Scribes to invest 2-4 hours a week learning the technology of this new mission field and we give them the tools to do that.

What are common mistakes Christians make in communicating the gospel online? 

The biggest mistake we make is that we casually log online and forget who we are and whose we are. It's a subtle, dangerous shift. Christians too easily blend into the social landscape. We watch the same movies, feast on the same scandals, express the same tolerance, and waffle around in the same gray areas. We do all of this on a very public stage so our words and actions become amplified.

On the flip side, some Christians go the opposite direction and literally wallpaper social networks with scripture verses without ever really engaging (or influencing) anyone. We have a post on 10 Ways Christians Blow it on Twitter that recently got a ton of great feedback. As Christians we are not here to broadcast our theology and be understood. We are here to listen, understand the culture, and share Truth with Holy Spirit compassion and discernment. Sounds like a missionary to a foreign country, doesn't it? In many ways, that's exactly what it is.

If you could give one piece of advice to a Christian communicator about his/her online presence, what would that be?

Walk so closely with Christ in your daily life that the communion you experience with your Father easily spills into every other conversation you have. Evangelism is simply sharing with others (conversationally) what God is doing in your life. Relax. Keep it real. God will do the heavy lifting of changing hearts. He's just asking you to show up and live in such a way that others see His love for them. People all around you are hungry for Jesus. We need to see the online space with His eyes and listen to others with His heart. Be prepared for a digital exchange to go from routine to holy in an instant. And, be willing to point others straight to Him.

3/21/2011 4:00:00 AM