Two of our positions operate holistically: Community Volunteer and Online Social Media Missionary. Holistic covers the mind, body, and soul needs, and is essential to our ministry. It is online ministry working in tandem with real life ministry. Real life church and online church working together for missions and evangelism.
Holistic ministry means that, while the OSMM primarily interacts online, they also help someone find a traditional or house church, connect with local pastors or ministry leaders, and perhaps get help for physical needs, like food, clothing, or financial help for the person in question. On the last, this is the OSMM contacting a ministry that helps people physically in that person’s area and connecting that ministry with the person the OSMM is ministering to. Unfortunately, cross-networking would hijack the apostolic work of the OSMM. The Online Social Media Missionary is kept anonymous.
Sometimes, cross-networking is not such a good idea. The advantages of anonymity are as follows:
- If You Are in a Closed Country…Your work could be under a pseudonym.
- If Your Family Would Get Upset…Work under a pseudonym or keep your work quiet by registering in an online forum specific to your specialty (former atheist to atheist, former Mormon to Mormon, former Buddhist to Buddhist).
- If Your Professional Life Could Be Compromised…Work under a pseudonym.
- Or Work Boldly, Using Your Real Name.
The more you use your real name, however, the more people will trust you with their personal information so you can connect them with a pastor or ministry leader in their local area. One of the things we do not want to do as an OSMM is to act like a typical “Bible Thumper.”
One of the behaviors I object to online is our passion or defensiveness that can be misconstrued as anger towards an unbeliever. You can’t expect an unsaved person to have the same values as you and me. Be compassionate, loving, and uncompromising. Pray for every response that your tone would come across as a trusted friend. The people online are real.Treat them as if they live next door and you’ll have to see them in person.
No matter how angry they become, you are to remain calm. You don’t have to respond right away to an angry atheist. That’s the beauty of the internet. Don’t try to catch them in their words, but establish a friendship. To be effective as a missionary, you must build trust over time before they will let you into their life. Once they let you into your life, cherish that trust and begin to speak truth. Overall, listen to what the Holy Spirit says in regards to that person. Our first priority is to help them get into a relationship with Christ. Second, is to help them find a traditional or house church for Christian fellowship and discipleship.
You can read more about the Online Social Media Missionary job here.