What’s the role of Pastors in digital evangelism?
It seems clear that the Internet has become increasingly controversial among Christian groups. The Internet is a place where people consume sinful and wicked content, and because of it, many people have left the church.
So, how does something so evil become the best tool for evangelism and outreach simultaneously?
Many have used the Internet as their primary means of reaching out to people with the gospel message.
Through the Internet, we have the power to reach millions of people worldwide right from the palms of our hands.
Even though many Christians know about this excellent opportunity to spread the gospel online, they still look to their Pastors to lead and do all the work.
In this article, I hope to help pastors find their place in digital evangelism. I also want to help church members take up their position and become digital evangelists.
Let us dive right in!
What is the role of Pastors in digital evangelism?
The role of Pastors in digital evangelism is to train, encourage, support, and acknowledge digital evangelists.
Pastors play a vital role in spreading the gospel through their churches. They are the head of the church and are responsible for nurturing and growing their church.
But, when it comes to digital evangelism, many people ask: "How can I be an"effective digital evangelist if my Pastor doesn't even understand what digital evangelism is all about?"
It is true that most pastors don't understand how to use technology to spread the gospel effectively. And when I say effectively use of technology, I don't mean Zoom or streaming to Youtube or posting to Facebook and Instagram.
Digital evangelism is much more than social media postings; it's about meeting people's needs through content and interaction, building meaningful relationships, and guiding people towards Christ. And this is every Christians' responsibility and not the pastors' alone.
My goal is not to discourage Pastors from using social media platforms to share their messages online. I am only trying to deter pastors from becoming the faces of digital evangelism for the following reasons:
1. Pastors are producers of the gospel
It is in our Christian DNA to sit back and consume the gospel from pastors. Church members love their pastors; they attend church every week take notes when the Pastor is preaching.
You see, when the Pastor is sharing the gospel, people sit back and become consumers of the message and not contributors.
Digital evangelism is about empowering Christians to spread the gospel online, and pastors must play a unique role and not be the face.
2. Pastors already have a lot on their plates.
Digital evangelism is a lot of work, and it requires a lot of planning, research, interaction, and creating content for the web.
When pastors are at the forefront of digital outreach, they get distracted from other essential tasks such as leading, teaching, etc.
The result? Either the church or the digital ministry suffers.
3. Most Pastors will only use technology they understand
Social media and digital evangelism are relatively new, and many churches are still trying to figure out how to use them.
The church is always late to the technology party; we take our time adopting new tech and trends.
Adopting new technology may not be a problem for younger pastors, but the older ones would rather stick to old-school methods. This means that the older generation of pastors won't adopt technologies they do not understand.
Therefore, if digital evangelism is left to the older generation of pastors, there will be no adoption or growth in your digital ministry.
What about Pastor who do not understand technology?
So, let's get back to the question: “How can I be an influential Digital Evangelist if my Pastor doesn't even understand what digital evangelization is all about?”
The simple answer is that the Pastor doesn't have to understand digital technology to be effective online. The Pastor has to acknowledge how vital digital outreach is and build a solid digital evangelism team that does all the work.
The role of Pastors in digital evangelism is to train, encourage, support, and acknowledge digital evangelists.
It doesn't matter whether you know how to use technology or not; the important thing is that you create an environment for members to learn what's possible with digital evangelism.
How Pastors are leading the digital evangelism movement.
A few months ago, I was invited to speak at a National Evangelism Virtual Event. The theme was “ Overcoming barriers to effective digital evangelism and strategizing towards virtual soul-winning.”
This event was initiated by the church Pastor, who challenged his members to go out and learn about digital evangelism.
Even though he knew very little about digital evangelism, the Pastor understood how important digital evangelism was.
Therefore, he empowered his members to learn and guaranteed his full support.
At the end of the two-day event, I trained ten digital evangelists by helping them identify their digital evangelism niches.
I also showed them how to validate their niches, research how and where to find their audiences. We also discussed how to create content people are already looking for and the best platforms to use.
You see, the first role of Pastors in digital evangelism is to acknowledge that digital evangelism is the future for outreach.
Here are seven crucial digital evangelism roles Pastors should consider and play to advance the work of God online.
1. Pastors should embrace Digital evangelism as the future of gospel outreach.
Pastors need to acknowledge that digital evangelistic tools are here to stay. They don't want to miss out on the opportunity to reach more people through digital media.
If you're a pastor reading this article, then you've probably done some research into digital evangelism, and you might even have started using social media for outreach purposes.
If that’s you, then you’re already a step ahead. Embracing digital technology is the first step to outreach in the 21’st century and beyond.
Digital evangelism is the future because it allows us to communicate with people where they live. It breaks down the barriers of proximity, allowing you to reach people around the world: and it gives us access to people who wouldn't typically come to church.
2. The role of Pastors in digital evangelism is to introduce digital evangelism to the church.
As a lifelong Christian myself, I think we've become more consumers and not contributors to the gospel.
Somehow the word GO has turned into COME, and so we are more comfortable inviting someone to our church than going out and spreading the gospel.
We've lost the urgency that once existed in the early Church when Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:1").
So, after you’ve embraced digital evangelism, the next step is to share it with your members.
The best thing about digital evangelism is that anyone can do it, and you don’t need money as you can utilize free tools.
Digital evangelism empowers every Christian to share God with others. It removes proximity barriers and opens up new doors of communication and service.
Every church member has something to give, and there are billions out there walking around with internet devices in their hands waiting to hear from God.
3. Pastors should encourage and empower their church members to become digital evangelists.
Evangelism is every church member's responsibility, and we can't just sit and wait for our pastors to do the work.
Furthermore, we cannot do business as usual and expect people to find us. We have to find new ways to let the world know we exist and that we have the gospel they‘re looking for.
The good news is that we now have the power to be found and create a meaningful impact on those around us and the world without travelling.
When you introduce digital evangelism to your congregation, you will enable them to do things they never thought possible before.
So, pastors should encourage their church members to get involved in ministry through digital evangelism. If you're a church member then you should help your fellow members understand the importance of digital evangelism and outreach.
It's time to get creative!
4. Church Pastors should help create a technical team to support digital evangelists.
Here at Delmethod, we ask people their most significant challenge with digital evangelism, and the most common answer is technical challenges.
Many church members know about digital evangelism and are willing to start if only they could get help with technology.
Therefore, pastors need to set up a tech team or a group of volunteers to provide the necessary training and support to those who want to learn how to use digital media platforms effectively.
The technical team's responsibilities should include things like:
- Setting up accounts on social media platforms
- Learning how to use these platforms effectively
- Creating digital content
- Search engine optimization ( SEO)
- Content research
- Website design
- Graphic design
- Video productions
- Getting feedback from others
- Helping to build relationships
- Providing guidance and mentorship
- Supporting each other
- And much more!
5. Pastors should acknowledge and support their digital evangelists in the church.
How important is evangelism to your church? If it's essential as I know it is, then it should be at the center of your services. That requires you to create time and space to acknowledge people doing ministry online.
Pastors must recognize the efforts of digital evangelists and thank them publicly for their hard work.
The church must also provide a safe space for digital evangelists to share their successes and challenges.
One way to support your digital evangelists is to create a special day ( Digital Evangelism Day) where evangelists can present their ministries to the congregation.
6. Pastors' role in digital evangelism is to equip, coach, and pray for their digital evangelists.
Pastors play a crucial role in digital evangelism by equipping their church members to become effective digital evangelists.
They must also pray for their digital workers to experience breakthroughs in their lives as they win souls online.
Another vital role Pastors should play is coaching their virtual workers.
Digital evangelism is about meeting people's needs, and in many cases, the digital ministries may not be about the gospel.
For example, I recently helped a friend of mine to start an online health ministry. This ministry aims to help people with diabetics and other weight-related diseases get off their medicine through plant-based food.
Event though many digital evangelist are experts at helping people, they may not be sure how to connect their services to God.
That's where Pastors come in. You may have to do a lot of training to make sure your digital evangelists have the skills to connect their services to God, who is the cure and giver of life.
7. Pastors should take care of the spiritual needs of their evangelists.
The Internet is the most crowded place on earth, and with that comes a lot of frustrations and discouragement, especially for the people trying to do good.
That's why evangelists need special attention from their Pastors. They need someone who understands what they are going through and can guide them through this process.
They will need a spiritual leader to make sure their teachings align with the church's mission. Remember that digital evangelists are not only representing the church but God too.
Pastors should be spiritually guiding their digital evangelists through the internet noise and helping them grow stronger in faith and impact online.
I hope this article was helpful to you, and I pray that you’ve found some valuable insights to help your church or ministry to start using technology for the kingdom.
If you are a pastor and still have questions, please get in touch with me through the contact page or book a 15-minute video call.
If you agree with all or some of the information here and would like your members to see it, please share, and I have a few resources below to help them get started.
Thank you, and God bless!