Reflections of a Broken Man


On …wow… by StephenMac
September 14, 2010, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Reflections

**Currently listening to Broken Bones – Birds of Prey. Bought the Chemical Brothers – Brotherhood yesterday, and my brother is currently praying for my soul by giving me rock to listen to**

Sometimes, God surprises you.

So here I am, running around Azeroth, killing defenceless little creatures for experience and gold, (if none of this makes sense to you, it’s ok, you have a life) and I help another player. They say thanks, and a conversation starts…

One thing leads to another, and we establish that I’m a Christian. In her words, I’m one of the few people who still cares for others in this world. She says that 90% of people she knows are jerks. The conversation continues…

Many of us have been asked the question, “Imagine you’re on a bus/train/plane/whatever, and someone asks you about what you believe. Answer this question in 30s or less.” I hated that question, but we still kind of prep for it. But even though I talk about it, I haven’t ever thought seriously about what to say if I’m asked online. Despite the bad rep it has, there is a definite place for online evangelism, which has it’s own unique set of challenges and limitations.

We continue to chat. She’s has issues. Serious issues. At 16, she’s had one really crap life. And things don’t look like getting much better. I ask her where’s her hope. She says its in a really supportive boyfriend. I ask her if she’s ever heard about the most sure and certain hope possible, found only in Jesus…

Where do you begin in telling people online about Jesus? Conversations are usually filled with the distractions of the other things happening – in game, on FB, the vid being watched, whatever the person is doing at the same time as chatting to you. As such, you need to make sure that you’re points are short, punchy, and clear. Most of all clear. And relevant. It’s so easy to let it slide when your attention is elsewhere.

I tell her my story. She says, “wow”. I think that sums her overall response to the Gospel. She’s seems amazed by the person of Jesus, someone she’s never really heard of. I tell her of the love of Jesus, who will never abandon her, who will care for her always :: “wow”. This is strangely unexpected. I’m at a loss as to where to go now… Like the JWs in Black Books, you never expect someone to actually want to know more, who are so thirsty for the hope you are holding out that they keep at you, longing to hear about Jesus and what he offers. I mumble incoherently for the next little bit…

Sadly, we sometimes take the words of 1 Peter 3:15 quite blithely. How ready are we with an answer for the hope we have? More specifically, sure, we can explain the Gospel in 30s, but what happens when as a result of your 30s presentation, they say that they’re skip their stop to hear more? Where do you go? What do you say? My mumbling just highlighted the need for not just the 30s answer, but the 3 minute answer, the 30min answer, the second step.

Realising I’m losing the vibe, and possibly confusing her more, I go back to basics. Short, simple, passionate statements. I tell her about how Jesus is the only one who can wash away our mistakes to enable us to be friends with God. I ask her if this is what she wants. I ask her if she’s willing to allow Jesus to change her life. She wants in…

I don’t think it’s possible to pray the prayer online. Maybe. There are some serious limitations here. But we can at least try. It’s a bit weird. hmm…

I ask her to think about what we talked about, and to ask Jesus to help her trust him, and to wash away the mistakes of her life. I don’t know how else to put it, especially online. She thanks me for chatting with her. It’s almost surreal. Well, this is World of Warcraft… I can’t give her a bible, so I give her a website of a friend who talks about Jesus a lot to young punks, and suggest that she read some of the posts about who Jesus is. We log off, and I pray…

Despite the bad rep, there is a place of evangelism online, particularly gaming online like WoW, which has space for extended chatting. But I think some of the principles can be extended to any form of online evangelism. I think the first and foremost thing I need to do is to have a page on this blog that I can link people to with a clear explanation of the Gospel, and references/links for further reading. What other things do we need for effective online evangelism?

Please pray for Stephanie. To have someone tell you about Jesus online is weird enough, but a lot of the things she heard were mindblowing. She, like so many people (even people who play games online), needs to hear about Jesus, and so pray that somehow, God will raise up people near her to tell her about Himself.

EBHG