WWJT, or What Would Jesus Twitter?

True story: I went out to get my mail the other day and as I came back in noticed someone had placed a small piece of paper into my door. So I grabbed it, brought it inside and took a look. Turns out, it was a tract telling me about Jesus and how He loves me and died for my sins and wants me to go to Heaven and be with Him for eternity. Good thing I didn't have any questions, because whoever left the tract there didn't bother knocking on my door and talking to me as a neighbor and friend. "Thank you, Jesus, for the courage to leave that tract behind. I sure hope that peron gets saved!"

I know, I know. Evangelism is hard. It takes guts to put yourself out there like that. Well, for some people it does. For others, it comes quite naturally. Then, there are people like this guy, who goes to the opposite extreme. Instead of putting a note on your front door, he'd just prefer to knock and then proceed to tell you that you're going to Hell. That's not exactly the best approach there either, pal, even if what you're saying is true.

I've always found the best way to start a conversation with someone about Jesus is to just be yourself. While I think it's true that post-modern culture is crying out for someone with the cojones to proclaim truth and stand by those convictions, it also wants people who are willing to engage culture and not be openly combative. Part of evangelical Christianity's problem is that far too often we are so focused on proving that we are right and everyone else is wrong that we miss the opportunity to engage in real dialogue and, therefore, show unbelievers we care about their life's experiences. Please, don't devalue that. Instead, just be who you are, point others to Truth and, because you have illuminated Truth, it allows Jesus to step in and begin transforming hearts and minds. That's His job. Ours is to pave the path for Him.

I think a great opportunity to do that, then, is to utilize the new paradigms that increasingly govern our culture--that is, social networks, the Information Age, new media--to spread The Gospel. It's all about starting a conversation and encouraging dialogue, and a wonderful way to do that is through online social networks. That's my niche as an evangelist, and my new career is opening greater opportuities for me to do that.

Indeed, my new gig at Vec3 has turned what was once a hobby--randomly perusing the Internet, blogging, tinkering with my own meager rest stop on the information superhighway--into something much more. Now I'm getting paid for it, which is sort of like waking up one morning and playing eight straight hours on my PS2...then getting paid for it. Not a bad way to bring home some bacon.

OK, so maybe I'm overstating things a little bit. It still is a job, after all and, yes, I'd rather play NCAA Football than spend four hours typing up an SEO report. But God has blessed me with a new career, more earning potential and the chance to learn a lot of really cool stuff.

So it's spilling over onto my site here and my evangelism efforts, not only because I'm meeting new people in real time but because I'm putting what I'm learning about search engine optimization and social media marketing to try to boost traffic to the site. The hope, then, is that by utilizing some internet marketing strategies, I can A) get more visitors to the site; B) get more people to read the stuff that's here and, as a result, C) come to know just who Jesus is and, when they do, decide to follow Him. (Here's a link that explains that spiritual process, if you happen to stumble across my little space here and want some nuts and bolts about this thing we call Christianity ... and, no, it's not about Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart or Robert Tilton, for crying out loud. Stay away from those characters, and just stick to finding out about Jesus.)

Some of the tools of Internet evangelism, if you will, that I'm going to be utilizing is Twitter, Del.icio.us, Pownce and, of course, the biggies like MySpace and Facebook. There will be other sites, too, so stay tuned. So, if you're hip to all that stuff, join in and let's get some social networks started and tell more people about Jesus. It's an exciting new frontier for spreading The Gospel.

To that end, I've done some tweaking here. If you'll notice, there's some new graphics, some new links to social media sites (I'm hooked on Twitter and Pownce right now) and, yes, the Candid Christian guide to the 2008 presidential election. I try to stay away from politics as much as possible on this site, but it's too big an issue to ignore. The plan, then, is to compile some information about the major candidates and post them every two days, archive it all and, finally, I'm working on an editorial overview of the candidates. I doubt I'll push one person over the other--again, that's too polarizing and I don't want that--but there are a few things I'd like to say.

Oh, and by the way...yes, I realize that I didn't give Mitt Romney the same two days as the first post here as I did for Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Two observations: 1) it wasn't intentional, and 2) I'm not governed by equal time rules. Hey, we may promote democracy, but this weblog is a pure dictatorship. And it's good to be king.

(Notice that's in lower case? That's because I'm not The King.)