The Ten Commandments of Online Witnessing
Thou Shalt be Humble.
Upon this one commandment do most (if not all) the other commandments hang. Humility is the key to reaching out to others. If arrogance fuels your witnessing, people take note and very rarely desire to listen to more than two sentences from you. If you are struggling in this area, pray for help. God will listen.
Proverbs 29:23- A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Thou Shalt Not Pick Fights.
Thou shalt not fight with thy neighbor, nor they neighbor's friends, nor thy website admins. This one should go without saying, but how often do we find Christians actually trading verbal blows with unbelievers and believers alike! What unChrist-like behavior to exhibit. If you feel the onset of AIMrage, step back and cool it. Go take a shower or have a run though the park. If it feels like people are being more unruly than normal, give the internet a rest for a day and come back to it. Doing nothing at all is better than ruining your Christian testimony online.
Proverbs 15:1- A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Thou Shalt Listen.
Don't cometh crying to me when people don't want to hear you because you won't heareth them!! You want to make an impact right? Well so does everyone else online (well okay, maybe not everybody). But eveyone at least wants to be heard or they wouldn't be online in the first place. Give them that respect and open your ears and mind to what they say. Many people are driven to the online world because of stress, depression and lonliness. Reach out to them and hear their cries of desperation. When you hear them out they will return the favor in kind.
Proverbs 1:5- A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
Thou Shalt Use Thy Bible Search Engine With Great Ferver and Dilligence!
How canst thou take on the forces of the Evil One without thy sword? The answer is YOU CAN'T!! The internet has one huge advantage that witnessing in real life will never even come close to comparing to- Bible search websites. Twenty years ago if you were witnessing to a person and they produced a difficult question you had no answer to it might take a week or longer before you could get back to them. Not anymore. Drop the question into Google and have your answer. Type some text into a Bible search engine (like Blueletterbible.org) and have a verse in 5 seconds. What an amazing tool! Don't waste it!
Hebrews 4:12- For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Thou Shalt Avoid Chatroom Arguments
What? Know ye not that nothing is resolved by arguing in chat rooms? Think back for a moment. Was there ever a time you were in a chat room and were just hit with an amazing spiritual epiphany? No? Me neither. Why's that? Because there are 20 other people in there talking which distracts you and whoever you're talking to from getting the message. Chat rooms should primarily be used for one purpose in regards to witnessing- meeting people to talk to one on one. Which is the more ideal witnessing situation- on a loud, profane, crowded bus, or in the quiet of someone's living room? The same principle applies here. Leave the witnessing for instant message and watch your results change drastically.
Acts 8:31- And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Thou Shalt Begin With the Gospel Always
Remember that it is not by thy strength thou doest what thou doest. The Holy Spirit is the person that does the work of bringing people to an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's going to have a time of it if you're always butting in with different doctrines/beliefs/religious discussions. From the outset, your best bet is to present the word of God and see how it registers with the person. The Bible is the most powerful tool to use with unbelievers because it can say so much more than you or I can. It is the water of life, and people are thirsting. Keep the Romans Road and other great verses handy at all times (even memorize them if you can).
1 Corinthians 1:17- For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Thou Shalt Not Ignore Questions
Wouldst thou like to be brushed off? In Commandment #6 we realized that our first approach should be the gospel, but what if people have reservations due to skepticism in matters of the Bible, theism or any other aspect of Christianity? Answer their question if you are able. That is what Pre-Evangelism is all about: breaking down all the barriers that prevent the person from accepting Christ. Start out with the gospel, but if a person wants to challenge all that the gospel is based on, don't ignore this challenge. Study up now before you meet it and when it comes have an answer to every person of the hope that you have in Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:15- But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Thou Shalt Be Reasonable!
The worst thing thou canst possibly do in a conversation is reducing yourself to being beyond reason. Many skeptics will only listen to you if you sound like a reasonable person. Realize this and think about it while you talk. Don't waver from the truths of the scriptures, but also don't dismiss everything an unbeliever says just because they are an unbeliever. Skeptics are fully capable of rational thought and treating them any less than rational normal people will only result in a bitter end to what could have been a useful conversation.
Isaiah 1:18- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Thou Shalt Not Waste Time
Art thou called to preach Christ unto all people? Then why are you spending all of your time browsing entertainment and shopping sites? Sure, those things are fun, but are you really willing to be used of God to reach people? If you can't pull yourself away from mindless activities like games and quizzes, why even bother witnessing at all? You are there. Unbelievers are there. Do what you know you should be doing!
Revelation 3:15,16- I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Thou Shalt Be Kind at ALL Times
Is not a believer in Christ a new creature? Sometimes we forget who we represent and what God has done for us. We get distracted and taken in by the cares of the world. We begin to get afflicted by the same things that rob unbelievers of their joy such as depression and anger. When our minds are set on the cross and what Christ has done for us, our hearts are able to reflect that love onto other people. Kindness is simply a demonstration of love and can go a million miles towards showing an unbeliever you really care. Don't hesitate to love people. Don't hesitate to be there for them. Put your differences aside when they grieve. Never beat them over the head with the message you bring. Ultimately when you present the truth in love, they will listen, and many times you will see the fruition of your labors for Christ.
Psalms 126:6- He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
From the former website of and by Daniel Allen
And Posted At Worthy With His Permission