The first-ever GoStudents Online Mission Project happened April 5-12 and will be an ongoing ministry opportunity. Students reached out to their own spheres of influence with the Gospel through this a digital/home mission project.
The Coronavirus pandemic has created a tremendous opportunity for Oklahoma Baptists to engage the people God has placed near us with conversations about life and eternity. The week leading up to Easter provided a great platform for Gospel conversations and easy opportunities for people to invite others to their drive-in or online church experiences on Easter Sunday.
An Online Missions How-To Guide was created and posted at gostudents.org. The guide was downloaded 1,269 times during the week of outreach.
“It was such a joy to see so many students and youth leaders engage others online by posting Scripture, quotes, videos, pictures and more in an effort to get the Good News of Jesus to their friends,” said Brian Baldwin, student evangelism and missions ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists. “Only God knows the true impact that was made.”
Baldwin provided instructions for others to use to be involved in the GoStudents Online Mission Project.
What is an online mission project? (Information)
Here is what Oklahoma Baptist students are being asked to do:
- PRAY—Ask God for a burden for lost people and opportunities to share (James 5:16).
- LEARN—Use the online training guide at gostudents.org to learn how to share the Gospel digitally (James 1:15).
- PLAN—Make a plan to reach the lost people students know online (Hab. 2:2).
- DIALOGUE—Post, text, tweet or share anything to start conversations (Prov. 20:5).
- CARE—Seek to care for people in this time of the Coronavirus and beyond (Phil. 2:4).
- SHARE—Share the hope that Jesus provides to rescue from hell (Rom. 10:14-15).
- REPORT—Report faithfulness so we can celebrate it. (Acts 5:14)
Why is an online mission project important? (Inspiration)
Christians from the early church until now have always been leveraging technology for the sake of the Gospel. In the 16th century, Martin Luther used brand new printing methods to create pamphlets, woodcuts and tracts that ended up in the hands of millions across Europe, fueling the Reformation.
Two hundred years later, George Whitefield used a secular media empire—owned by Benjamin Franklin—to organize revival meetings and send copies of his sermons throughout the Western World, fueling the first Great Awakening. In the 20th century, Billy Graham pioneered TV and radio programming to reach a live audience of more than 200 million people and hundreds of millions more around the world, fueling the modern evangelistic crusade. Today it is easier than ever to send a message instantly to anyone in the world who has internet access.
How does one engage in an online mission project? (Application)
“Use social media platforms humbly yet clearly to communicate the hope you have in Jesus and the difference your faith makes in your life,” Baldwin said. “Remember the goal is to make a difference, not make a point, so don’t engage in arguments as you share online.
“Consider this list of good, better and best ways to share online. Good: Share content on your social media wall like verses, quotes, videos, pictures, stories and compliments. Make sure and share with the purpose of starting conversations. Better: Engage people directly to create dialogue. Check on people, comment on posts so they will talk back, text messages, social media direct messages. Try to go around online traffic, straight to the person. Best: Use your voice to share the Gospel and your testimony—video recording, audio messages, individual FaceTime calls, group Zoom calls, phone calls. Think non-tech as a way to share as well: hand written letter, card, gift, etc.”
If ready, what does one do? (Activation)
“Don’t simply talk about engaging people with the Gospel online, actually do it!” Baldwin said. “Get online today and start having natural conversations with lost people. Look for ways to turn that natural conversation into a spiritual conversation.
“The training guide at gostudents.org provides some thought-provoking spiritual conversation starter phrases, videos, pictures and more to help you get started,” he continued. “Better yet, be creative and come up with your own! As you start, look through your social media friend list, phone contacts, etc. Make a list of names of people who may be lost who you can reach out to. Set a phone alarm for each day to remind you to pray for them, care for them, and share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
Baldwin said the opportunities for the Gospel to go out online are endless, and the list of excuses for not to share are small.
“This past week, hundreds if not thousands of Gospel conversations were initiated online,” he said. “Will you be a part? Will you encourage others to do the same? Especially during this season of life, let’s all be faithful to do our part in serving our King and His cause.”
Visit gostudents.org or contact Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the online mission project.