The New “Facebook” of Evangelism & Discipleship from ISMinister

Here is a newletter post from the international student minister Chris Hardy from Michigan commenting on his experience with facebook…

For those of you over the age of 25 who may not know what facebook is, you’re not alone. Facebook is a website that connects people together via the internet. What started out as a website to connect college students with each other has grown to become a “social network” of over 30 million users worldwide. With a facebook account you can keep in touch with family and friends, post photos or videos of your recent vacation, chat with your friends via the instant message feature, or commiserate with them about how hard it is to get your kids to do their homework. You can also share the gospel, or encourage a brother or sister in Christ who lives half way around the world.

It took me a while , but I finally entered the arena of virtual friendship (I am 50 years old, after all, and still not completely able to program my new cell phone). I made the leap because many of the students we work with use facebook as a primary means of communicating with each other. Shortly after opening my facebook account I began to see the ministry opportunities it made possible.

I was looking at the facebook page of a former student who attended the International Fellowship meetings a few years ago. I had lost touch with him, but reconnected via this virtual community. He told me he had finally finished reading the Bible. I asked him what he thought about it. He replied that he liked the teachings of Jesus, but couldn’t believe the miracles. We sent messages back and forth over the next week or so. We were exchanging our ideas about the supernatural and the claims of Jesus. The long and short of it is that I was able to mail him (how old school) a copy of More than a Carpenter which he read and learned the evidence behind Christ’s claims.

A while later I noticed one of the students who had been part of the leadership team at the International Fellowship was online and I sent her an IM (Instant Message). Soon we were catching up on the latest news from our sides of the world. (It still amazes me that I can type something on my computer, hit a button, and BAM, my words appear on someone else’s computer in Asia!)  Anyway, as we talked about our walks with the Lord we were able to encourage one another to keep going and trust in His love at all times.

Another feature of facebook is the ability to advertise events and invite your facebook friends to attend. I have used this to contact people about ISI events such as Bible studies, social events, and other activities. Students who have friends in their network that are not in mine can invite them to the event. This is a great way of getting to know new people who may be interested in some of ISI’s programs.

Please keep praying for me as I get used to this new way of doing things – I sometimes feel like a computer dinosaur.

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