The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique circumstances and its share of difficulties. This crisis, however, has also created its fair share of people looking for a solution to their fears, struggles and hopelessness and that brings the obligation on our part to clearly share the hope of the Gospel.
In a time when the church is gathering digitally, there are many guests and online visitors joining us who are hoping to find hope. Over the last four weekends, the church has moved completely online. Many pastors, next gen leaders and evangelists have reported they’re preaching the gospel to a greater number of souls than normal.
One of the key aspects of serving this new audience well is giving an effective gospel invitation online. Here are several applicable practices to keep in mind:
Keep it Fueled with Prayer
Pray, pray and pray some more. You are desperately in need of the Lord to speak through you in a way that transcends video screens. In many homes, there are hard hearts sitting and waiting to be broken by the Spirit. Prayer is the fuel for every aspect of the preaching ministry. Only He can touch those hardened hearts.
Keep it Biblical
Every Scripture expects to be preached in light of the Gospel. Every Bible communicator should have expectations upon themselves to deliver the Gospel every week to those who are logging on to watch their messages. Most likely, every time you preach online, you will have people watching who are spiritually lost. Be sure to tell them how they can be found. Especially in these times of hopelessness, people are looking for hope. And, we know, hope has a name – Jesus. Your church members are sharing your feed on social media. They’re inviting their friends and family to church. If we take sharing the Gospel online seriously, then people will take seriously the task of inviting the lost to tune in. In fact, your whole sermon should be a gospel invitation.
Keep it Short
Most communicators are preaching online messages in the 25 minutes to 30 minutes range. Your invitation to respond to the gospel should be short and concise. Get to the point of what you’re asking them to do, and get there quickly. Something about preaching to a camera in an empty or near empty room can cause us to lose confidence. Often, our default as communicators is to ramble when we’re short on confidence. The longer we talk about responding, the more confusing we become.
So, spend as much time preparing for the invitation as you do the sermon. Just like you already know where you’re going in your sermon, you need to know where you’re going in your invitation. Then, get there quickly. There are too many potential distractions on the other side of that video screen – kids, a neighbor starting their lawnmower or even an oven timer. Every second is valuable. Use each one wisely.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Shane Pruitt