How to Talk about Your Faith Online So People Will Listen

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When Jesus gave the Great Commission, the only way to spread the gospel was to physically go to places and speak to people. This is why we see Paul speaking in various synagogues and marketplaces (Acts 17:17). Early Christians had to be in the presence of others to communicate with them. 

Mass communication became possible without the necessity of proximity through inventions like the printing press, telephone and radio. This impacted the ways Jesus’ message could be spread and shared. Thanks to the internet, today’s marketplace is the entire world, and we can communicate with people nearly anywhere at any time.

It’s easy to think that everyone has access to the gospel. But there are still many people that don’t. So we still must take the “going” part of Jesus’ commission seriously. At the same time, we need to learn how to be good ambassadors for Jesus online. The internet is where our perspectives, values and beliefs are often most widely visible, but it’s also where people tend to be most careless with their words and callous toward others.

Here are some tips for talking about your faith online. 

Demonstrate love in your interactions 

Because we don’t always see the people we’re interacting with online, it’s easy to communicate in ways we never would in public. You can see this almost anywhere people interact online. Sometimes folks who would never be cruel in person have no problem being sarcastic and mean when communicating with others in the comments sections of blogs and social media. 

Remember that everything we write online is for the benefit of other people. These are people that Jesus loves and gave His life for. If we want to communicate in a way that resonates, we must speak gracefully and kindly. The manner in which we interact with others is just as important as what we have to say. And when we communicate in a Christlike way, people are more likely to listen. 

Remember your invisible audience

Imagine that you’re going back and forth with someone in the comment section of a blog post you wrote about faith. The other person is not being as respectful as they should be, and you’re faced with a real temptation to be snide in response. Remember that there is an invisible audience reading your replies, too. They may never comment, but your tone will impact how they perceive your message, the faith you represent, and the things they see you share in the future. 

This is also helpful to remember when you’re weighing whether to respond to someone’s question. You might think, “This one question will require about an hour of my time to thoughtfully respond. Is it really worth it?” But the person who asked might not be the only person with this question. Or someone else might hear similar questions and not know how to respond.

Keep in mind that many people are reading what you say (and how you say it) when you interact with others. And they’re drawing conclusions about you and your ministry. 

Earn trust by truly listening and engaging with others 

It’s easy to post things online—anyone can do it. In fact, we’re all flooded with content every day. But it’s important to note that simply starting a blog or sharing your faith from time to time on social media platforms isn’t necessarily going to make a huge impact. It requires persistent effort and diligence. But our opportunity to minister online greatly expands as people learn to trust us. And that comes when we stop seeing the world as consumers of our content but as other people with real concerns, cares and even expertise. 

As we listen and truly engage with the concerns and questions of others, they can come to know us as people who genuinely care about their welfare. In many ways, engaging online follows many of the same rules we see as engaging face to face with others. People trust us as we build relationships with them. Online, that translates to being someone who shows up and consistently demonstrates care for people. 

Take advantage of available resources and tools 

You don’t have to recreate the wheel to minister online. There are so many resources and tools available to help you keep people informed and engaged. Sharing trustworthy articles from online sources like the Cru blog or Jesus Film Project® is a great way to start conversations. 

In fact, Jesus Film Project has some free resources you might find helpful. We Are All Missionaries is a 4-week curriculum intended to increase people’s enthusiasm for sharing their faith. You might find it inspirational for yourself, but it could also be modified to use on social platforms.

Becoming Like Jesus While Being Yourself is another valuable tool to help you understand how your personality impacts the way you (and others) approach faith. This resource helps you get to know yourself better and improve your ability to communicate with different kinds of people. 

You might also want to share some of Jesus Film Project’s films. On our YouTube channel or our “Watch” page, you’ll find feature-length movies, short films, and inspiring series—many in multiple languages (the JESUS film itself is available in more than 2,000). These are easy to share and absolutely free. Share a video and ask one of the included discussion questions from our website to start spiritual conversations today.
Plus, with the free Jesus Film Project App, it’s easy for anyone to access and share these films. Download our free app on the App Store or Google Play, and you’ll have a library of films in the palm of your hand. Share our app with others who might find this resource useful, too! Together, we can help people all over the world experience the story of Jesus in their heart language.