In Taylor’s and Carrey’s and Livingstone’s and Judson’s day, it was the map that was the missionary’s best tool.
Today, it’s the iPhone.
That’s a bold statement, but I believe a true one.
An iPhone (or any other less-sanctified smart phone) can open more doors to evangelistic conversations than even a tract!
How? Allow me to suggest three ways and three apps that can help you with your evangelistic efforts.
- WhatsApp. Every Christian interested in overseas work needs to have this one. It is an international staple. Oversees, for one reason or another, texting can be expensive, and so many people use WhatsApp as a free messaging tool to keep up with each other. It also works well for starting group conversations. A believer can harness it to connect with unbelievers on a short-term trip and then be able to keep up with them for free from back in America. I found it to be a great tool to maintain connections. I have used it to share the Gospel from my home in America to countries to which I could probably never get access as a cross-cultural worker. The Gospel is going forth unstoppable. One of those ways is through pixels and emojis on WhatsApp.
- The Story. This app is a must-have for plane trips. Stumbling over your words trying to explain the Gospel to your seat-mate? Bring up this well-designed app and let its simple Gospel message guide you through the process. Another cool feature of this one is that you can put a smart phone barcode on a tract or church invite. Then, you can see who around the world has scanned and viewed the story from that tract. It’s pretty awesome to see how the Gospel has spread through your efforts!
- The Exchange. Related to the Story is the Exchange – a brand-new app in development by my friends at the Exchange, who produce literature and helps for discipleship with unsaved people. The app is an online version of it. Right now, it is just a well-designed website that walks you through the Gospel and basics of Christianity. Soon, it’ll be an app that any iPhone or Droid can download. You can choose to use “Presenter view” if you are showing it to someone and explaining it on a plane or in a large group. Or, you can share it on social media, email, or text with a customized link that includes the person’s first name when they bring it up. I’m really excited about this one – definitely one to keep your eyes on and start using as it gets up and going!
Really, although I highlighted these three, ALL APPS can be a tool for evangelism. Simple texting or calling can be used to connect or reconnect to an unsaved person. The Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Snapchat apps can be used to show Christ to unbelievers with every status and picture. I’ve heard of Facebook messaging and Instagram profiles being tools God’s used to draw people into Gospel conversations.
The key is to remember that these apps are SUPPLEMENTARY. They do not replace face-to-face sharing the Gospel. Rather, they can be used to pour the Gospel deeper into a person you have already met in person. Perhaps someone from a far-away land or someone who’s moved away.
Whatever the circumstance may be, one circumstance will never change for us – we have been put where we are in order to share Christ with those around us.
So let’s go! First to the App store, then to our neighbor’s house or the local coffee shop or the cubicle beside you, and then – to the world!