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Leading People to Christ in the Chat Room
I began hosting a chat room on thelife.com in order to learn how to do it. I thought the skill might be something I would use one day with FamilyLife’s internet ministry. That still hasn’t happened, but now I feel committed to show up every week even though there are days when I’d rather not. Last week I had one of those ‘rather not’ days.
It wasn’t long before I suspected that one of the women in the room was probably not a child of God. Andrea expressed longings to be happy and was confused because the good things she was doing didn’t produce happiness. (She shared that she is a lawyer and lives in London, England.) She also said she had given up on the Bible when her father committed suicide.
After a little more conversation, I asked her permission to share how she could know God personally, and when I finished, she said she wanted to invite Jesus into her life. She didn’t need persuading, she just needed to be shown how.
When I invited her to pray, her first comment appeared… “(crying)” and then she followed through.
Later we laughed when she told us that when her cat saw her crying, it started meowing. It’s beautiful how all the chatters seem to hold their breath (and their comments) when someone is giving their life to God, and then how they all cheer and welcome the new believer into the family afterwards.
"Before going into thelife.com chat room on another Tuesday a few months ago, I prayed that God would lead someone there that would want to know Him.
… I had recently read a new acronym from one of our chat hostesses, i.e. SNGA (Someone Needs God Antennae). As I was leading my chat Bible study that day my SNGA went up because of certain questions coming from a new chatter with the nickname, Marleena. As we chatted I also sensed that she was a young person, maybe a teenager.
Our topic was “Experiencing God’s Love” and when we said that receiving Christ would result in our experiencing God’s love, she said she had heard about receiving Christ, but she believed in Him and felt that ought to count for something.
“Why", she asked, “do I have to do anything else?”
“Well of course it counts, but,” I asked her, “does the fact that someone offers you a gift automatically mean it’s yours?”
‘No.’ she said.
Another question, “What do you have to do to make it yours?”
“Receive it,” she said.
Then she typed, “O-o-oh. O-o-oh. I get it.”
“Do you want to receive God’s gift of His Son?”
“Yes”, she said.
As I led her in the prayer, the chatters added messages such as: "...being quiet now while chat-leader prays with Marleena" and then cheered when we were done.
After she prayed with me, (as the rest of the chatters waited quietly), she asked, “Am I like you guys now?” We assured her she was part of the family. A minute later someone else came into the room, and she announced, “The people in this room just prayed with me and I am just like them now!”
Everyone probably has their own way of leading someone to Christ in Chat. Since it is most effective to post one sentence or thought at a time, I often introduce the Gospel by saying, “There are 3 things you need to believe and understand, and one thing you need to do.”
Then I continue by typing the first three (posting them one at a time)
Often I will stop there and ask them if that makes sense, and if they believe these three.
And then the one thing they need to do follows:
“You must receive Him.”
Often at this point they will ask how they can do that. So I explain that they can do it by praying and we can do it together right now if they want to follow along as I lead them.
Then I post a suggested prayer, again one thought at a time.
“Lord Jesus, I need you…” and I wait until they also type in “Lord Jesus I need you.” And so on until the Amen.
One of the benefits of receiving Christ online is that they are confessing their faith, through their prayer, before all the others in the room. In this way they fulfill the command in Romans 10:10, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
But we aren’t done yet. As you may have noticed they didn’t get a whole lot of information to this point, so they are asked to click on the ‘Feedback’ link at the top of the chat page. This enables a mentor to connect directly with them to begin the discipling process. Often they keep coming to the chats as well, so they learn in the same environment where they received Christ.
Several chat leaders originally received Christ in the very chat rooms where they now lead chats and help others receive Christ.
As I write this I realize that it’s Tuesday again. In about an hour and a half I’ll log in as chat-leader and interact with a dozen or more individuals about a pre-set topic. I wonder what God will do today?
If you would like to be part of this Chat Group, go to www.thelife.com and you will find the days and time they are functioning.
*After being a widow for several years, Ev, married Jim Roth in August, 2008.