As Easter approaches, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) is encouraging Southern Baptists to share their testimonies via social media. Additionally, NAMB has plans for a virtual Who’s Your One Tour event on April 21.
“Most of North America is practicing social isolation,” said Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership. “Yet, we know that the gospel can and is still going out into the world. The good news about Christ’s death, burial and resurrection can still change lives and bring people eternal hope, especially in these uncertain times.”
Times of crisis and disruption often lead people to start asking big questions about life and purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has closed off some of the most basic avenues Christians usually have to respond to those wrestling with questions.
In-person church worship gatherings have been restricted to help prevent the spread of the disease, and the shelter-in-place orders facing many cities and U.S. states have made even face-to-face conversation challenging.
But even as social distancing has required physical separation, people still have the opportunity, through social media and other virtual forums, to share the hope of the gospel.
“Whenever we face challenges, we can either view them as obstacles or opportunities,” Hunt said. “We are all confined to our homes, but we also have the Internet connecting us. Many people have an in-home video studio within their smartphones. I believe that if we shared our testimony in short, 60-second videos, we could initiate gospel conversations with thousands of people.”
The goal is for people to create and share videos related to how the resurrection of Christ has transformed believers’ lives. Believers are encouraged to post videos and use the hashtags #WY1Easter and #MyStory. The initiative could extend beyond Easter as well.
“This crisis hasn’t suspended the call of the Great Commission on our lives. It may specifically change the way we share the gospel, but it doesn’t change the urgency for the need of the gospel,” said Shane Pruitt, executive director of next gen[eration] evangelism at NAMB. “I believe the next generation is the most equipped for a time such as this. They’re digital natives, so they’ve been a part of online community for a while. It’s not new to them. It’s second nature.”
NAMB is encouraging believers to share their testimonies leading up to Easter through 60-second video clips on social media, using the hashtag #MyStory. “Whenever we face challenges, we can either view them as obstacles or opportunities,” said Johnny Hunt, NAMB’s senior vice president of evangelism and leadership.
Hunt, Pruitt and other members of the evangelism team at NAMB have been reaching out to evangelism and student leaders across North America to share and hear ideas about how to help Southern Baptists and pastors prioritize sharing the gospel in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The virtual Who’s Your One Tour event on April 21 will include workshop sessions with evangelism topics that continue to be relevant even given today’s current challenges. Among the topics: cultivating a heart for evangelism, creating a culture of evangelism in your church and more. Hunt, Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.; James Merritt, pastor of Cross Point Church in Duluth, Ga., and Catherine Renfro, evangelism strategist at NAMB will be the speakers.
The event is free, but registration is required. The video stream will begin at 11 a.m. EDT. For more information or to register, go to events.whosyourone.com.
“The Who’s Your One Tour was designed to encourage, equip and inspire people to share the gospel,” Renfro said. “The goal for the virtual Who’s Your One event is the same; it will simply be online and will feature several of the same great speakers and resources from the live, church-based events.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Brandon Elrod writes for the North American Mission Board.)