During Lent I decided to run a series called “Scripture Bytes,” which were quotes from the readings, psalms or propers of each day with a related quote from a pope, saint or other christian writer and a picture. These only went to people who subscribed to them, but the list of subscriber began to grow quite a bit. Although I enjoyed the challenge of creating them and the process of creating helped me to personally grow closer to Christ this Lent, I was grateful when Easter came and I didn’t have to come up with fresh ideas every day. It didn’t take long; however, before I began to hear from our subscribers that they missed getting Scripture Bytes in their mailbox each morning. I decided to run “Daily Inspirations,” similar, but much lighter than the themes of Lent and Holy Week. As a result I’m now married to this daily exercise, but it’s better than cleaning. Daily Inspirations is growing and I upload them to Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter each day also, to expand our reach even further.
Social Media is amazing. For thousands of years the Church has worked in small patches of God’s field, sending out missionaries to go forth and “teach all nations.” Generations of martyrs and saints worked their entire lives to change countries and cultures – one convert at a time. Today I can look at our Facebook page and see our stats. We reach nearly 2,000 people a day! I figure that at this rate we’ll be able to conquer the world for Christ in about a year or so, if everyone cooperates.
The problem is that in the end people need to see faces, look deeply into eyes, listen to voices and feel the love before they buy into belief. Electronic evangelization, though good, is impersonal, not cuddly. Other than a photo, which I’ve gotten pretty good at magically Photoshopping 15 pounds off myself, there is no face attached to anything we do on the internet. There are no eyes to look into to be able to judge whether or not the words are truth. If you see one of my Daily Inspirations or Scripture Bytes and don’t know who sent it, it might as well have come from Hallmark or another big corporation. No one’s going to be converted this way. It’s too easy to hit the like button and move on with your day.
As I see it, my goal as an Electronic Evangelist is to get someone to be curious about where its coming from. And if they’re curious perhaps they will want to “come and see.” And if they come and see they might find out. And if they find out, they might look at a face or hear a voice and decide to stay. And if they stay, they might become a Saint. And if they become a Saint…who knows? I guess a seed is a seed no matter how it’s planted.