Is Instagram the greatest evangelism tool? What if you could start changing the world, one person at a time, with the daily time spent that's equivalent to drinking a cup of coffee... whilst browsing Instagram?
Yeah, sounds like one of those corny online multi-level marketing scams, but it's not. Sharing the love of Jesus and the Gospel on social media is super simple - and less scary than standing on a soap box on a street corner.
Here are some simple steps that work for me:
1. Search a hash tag. Spend 30 seconds and ask God what He wants you to search for. If you're still not sure what to search, start with basics like #depression, #anxiety and #unloved. Trust me, you will find people just waiting to be loved.*
2. Find a post that jumps out at you. I look for people who seem to have a genuine need. Just let compassion lead you.
3. Engage by commenting on their post. Be honest and humble. I often start with a genuine question - "Hey, I saw your post and wondered if you were ok? Do you want to talk about it?"
4. Initiate a conversation. If you get a reply, great! Don't be afraid to ask some more questions. Find out where they're at. Yeah, sure there are people who want to just complain about their problems, but more often than not I find people are touched simply by the fact I took a moment to listen and engage.
5. Give them your best. Jesus is invariably the ultimate answer to any problem a person has, so offer to pray or share a testimony of how God has helped you. Don’t underestimate the power of your personal testimony.
6. Go private if need be. Instagram comments have word limits, and can be a very limiting way to communicate, so don't be afraid to take the conversation to private message - particularly if it's getting personal and you want to protect their privacy. I’m sure you can sympathise with people who may not want to share private stuff in a comment feed for the whole world to see.
7. Share a video. If the conversation isn't going anywhere, that's ok. Another great way to reach out to them is by sharing a short video via the yesHEis app. Find a video related to the topic of conversation that you think will speak to that person, and post it in the comments. Alternatively, you can put the link in your bio**. It will take them to a private landing page to view your video. There's an option for them to click through to a second video about Jesus and salvation if they want to know more.
8. Follow up. With the new app, you're able to monitor if your videos are getting watched. So even if they don't respond in the comments in Instagram (or the comments under the video you sent them), you can still know if they've watched it and follow them up by looking at you share stats on the app.
So that's it! Let's use the tools God has literally put in our hands, and spread the love. Happy gramming!
* NB: Instagram's 'no nudity' policy doesn't seem to be enforced. So unfortunately you may see content that is X-rated. The reality is we are going into dark places so that we can bring light. If such content may be a trigger for you, it might be best not to go searching hashtags on Instagram.
** NB: Links posted in Instagram are not actually clickable. So there's two options. The first is that the person can copy the link you posted in the comments, and then past it into a web browser or app. The second option is that you can put a link in your bio that is clickable. You can only have one link in your bio, so if you have a favourite that you use frequently, it means people can click through to the video straight from Instagram.
We are a small group of 20 to 30 somethings who are passionate about reaching our generation with the gospel. We recognize it can sometimes be hard to start a conversation about Jesus though, so we’ve made it our mission to help believers across the globe share their faith.