Mike Rosen-Molina talks about using social networking systems for online evangelism.

There are many websites that try to harness Internet connections for missionary work, explaining how churches could use online video and Twitter feeds to catch web surfers' attention. Andrea Useem's Congregational Resources explains and demystifies social networking for religious leaders, while Carlos Whittaker blogs about his faith and social media at Ragamuffinsoul. Sites like these emphasize that one big obstacle to Internet evangelism is that the Internet is, at heart, a pull medium -- meaning it's often more difficult to reach a reluctant audience using the web than it is using older media such as television or radio. So while static webpages might be good for drawing in people already curious about a religion's tenants, actually getting the attention of someone who wasn't... that was a little more tricky without coming across as spam. That is, until the advent of social media, and its accompanying ability to build relationships online.

"Creating a web site is perhaps the most basic way to use the Internet for evangelism," agreed Rev. Michael White, a United Methodist pastor and author of Digital Evangelism: You Can Do It, Too!. He noted that newer social networking sites offered more opportunities for outreach because they could better enable conversation than a static page.

"People of faith can use such social media as Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. to reach out both to 'seekers' (those looking for more information about religious faith) and believers alike to share the tenets of their faith, encourage deepening one's religious faith, answering questions of doubt, and much more," he said.

Lots more at the link.

(HT: SO.)

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