The world of evangelism is changing, and we need to change with it. Over the past 30 years, the church has seen a new idea of "digital evangelism" grow, and we have done our best to adapt to our digital context. Digital evangelism is reaching someone through a digital context, like when your church posts video versions of the sermons or sends out an email blast with some quick spiritual encouragement. But for the personal relationships you are looking to build with your Muslim friends, you will want to focus on connecting with them over social media, which is geared toward relationships.
How can you use digital evangelism to reach your Muslim friends? Or first off, why should you even bother trying to do this in the first place?
Why should we focus on reaching our Muslim friends digitally?
According to Pew Research center:
● 72% of adults in the U.S. use social media
● 70% of Facebook users say they use Facebook daily
● 59% of Instagram users say they use Instagram daily
So the odds of your Muslim friends being on social media are very high. Digital conversations also have a particular level of privacy and safety that meeting in a coffee shop can't provide. If your Muslim friend is afraid to ask you questions about your faith, they might be more comfortable texting you where no prying ears can hear them. The phone takes away the risk of feeling exposed, and creates a certain emotional barrier that can help them be comfortable enough to talk about hard topics.
Don't be confused; digital evangelism is a great tool that we have access to, but it is most useful when paired with genuine follow up conversations in-person.
God uses anything and everything to draw people to him, including our phones, internet, and social media if we let him. Before we get into the practicalities of how to do this, we want to remind you that this is not a chance to debate your Muslim friends about why they're wrong and you're right. Any digital conversation about faith should be done privately so that both of you are comfortable, and don't have to worry about sparking a chain of comments on a harmless post. If you're not ready to approach them about faith, you can still open the door for them to approach you with questions by posting faith-centered and God-honoring content.
1. Stay engaged with them over social media- Especially if you don't see them consistently, if you stay engaged with them by liking or commenting on their posts it communicates that you are invested in your relationship. If they're posting religious content, direct message them a conversation starter or ask if they'd be willing to meet up to talk about it!
2. Post content that shares your faith- In the same way that your small actions in day-to-day life can be a witness to your friends, so can the content you post. If you share Bible verses on your page or a sermon video to your story, it can spark your Muslim friend's curiosity about Christianity. (We try to post bible verses every week on our social media that are worthy of being shared to your stories!)
3. Send them encouragement from a Christian account- Obviously, you won't send them a heavy theological post right off the bat. Start with some light encouragement, like a Psalm, and let them know that you're thinking of them and praying for them!
4. Don't have social media? That's okay! Use any digital resources you have to connect with them outside of when you see them in person. Do you know them from work? Text them about a recent project and ask them how they're doing. See them at daycare? Get their number to set up a playdate.
Evangelism does not look the same as it did when the apostles were sharing the Gospel. Instead of waiting for weeks for a letter to reach a church, we can send a message of love and encouragement to someone in seconds. We want to use every tool available to us to share the love of Christ! Set a goal this weekend to intentionally use social media to connect with a Muslim friend.