On May 12th of this year we will commemorate the 47th World Communications Day. The papal theme for this day is “Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization”.Inasmuch as St. Francis of Assisi actually never said, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary”, the principle of the errantly attributed phrase at work here is that we are all called to unceasingly evangelize the good news of Christ Jesus through our every word and action. To incorporate that call into this digital age of communication, which has been intertwined into nearly every aspect of our daily exchanges, we are forced to consider what are some of the most effective ways to invite people into new or deeper relationship with Christ our Lord.
Some of the most common and necessary ways to evangelize the faith will continue to be through television, radio, websites, videos, articles, and blogs. Yet, being that most us are engaged in some way or somehow in digital based communication, and we are all called to evangelize the faith unceasingly; we also ought to consider what are some of those ways that people who are not led to start a blog or produce Youtube videos can still effectively lead others into considering Jesus Christ?
Below I’ve written five very easy methods through which anyone can respond to the call to share the faith in these new spaces for evangelization without much effort at all. If you can think of others please share them in the comment box. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and perspectives on this subject.
- Evangelize through the Name of your Wireless Router or Hot Spot:
Have you ever searched for a WIFI connection and all types of different names of routers populate? Usually these names are just basic factory settings, such as ‘NETGEAR’ or ’2WIRE..’. Businesses usually the name of their business as the name for their wireless connection, because they want to make it easy for patrons to find, as well as use it as cheap and easy way to market themselves. We are no different from businesses in this regard. Our business is Jesus Christ, and we also want to make it easy for people to find Him. Do this – change the name of your home router or phone/tablet hotspot to Jesus Christ or something along those lines. Even if your wireless connection is locked, just by seeing the name of Jesus appear on their phone will draw their mind to Him, even for just a moment. This may very well be a mind that may not have been thinking about Jesus at the time, or may not have even considered the name above all names for quite awhile. We can never know the possibilities of someone encountering the name of Jesus.
- Evangelize through your Email Signature Block:
For a number of years I have used the phrase, ‘Jesus Loves You. Jesus is There For You.’ in the signature block for all my personal email accounts. I also had that phrase on the back of my business cards. Simply putting a quote or phrase from the sacred Scriptures or from a Saint is very easy way to evangelize and invite the audience of your email to make a consideration of Divine truth.
- Evangelize through your Profile Picture:
Nearly every account that we established online asks us for a profile picture. As we would expect, most people use a picture of themselves as their profile picture, but another way to evangelize the faith through digital media is to occasionally change your profile picture to something that will draw your audience into the mystery of Christ Jesus. Holy Days, Feast Days, and other memorable occasions are a great time to change your profile picture to something relevant. The thing about social media websites, such as Facebook and Google +, is that people can scroll through your previously used profile pictures; so that is yet another opportunity to reach someone through an image or message.
- Evangelize through Quotes from the Saints:
Not everyone feels the call to be confrontational and post status updates on social media that might invite vitriolic responses. Yet, simply posting quotes from the Saints is a great way to present Divine truths in a non-confrontational way. Most people seem to like pithy little quotes that they can agree with, and the saints are good for those. They have a way of drawing people into the truth of Scripture without presenting it as Scripture, which some people like to easily dismiss for whatever grounds.
- Evangelize Through Birthday and Special Occasional Wishes:
Many of the social media networks will make it their business to tell you when one of your connections is having a birthday, changed their relationship status, got a promotion, changed their job, and etc. A simple way to evangelize during these moments is to simply congratulate them and attached a ‘God bless you’ at the end or another type of short or prayerful intention. Not only do most people appreciate them, but it may draw others who read your comments into a Divine consideration. This methods may take some effort on your part. I have over 2,000 Facebook friends, and sometimes there could be 10 people having a birthday on the same day, but offering a blessing or a prayer is definetely worth it, and an essential aspect of evangelizing the faith.
© 2013. David L. Gray. All Rights Reserved.