Evangelization is not easy, and because it isn't, many people don't do it. Veteran youth minister Andy Lesnefsky (a personal friend) decided to do much of the hard work for us by investing untold hours into creating this internet phenomenon called #ShareJesus this Lent.
Andy's plan was to get nationally recognizeable Catholic speakers and ask them to record a 2-3 minute video on a specific topic, upload it to him, and he would write a blog post per video to be posted each day during Lent. Here's how Andy describes the mission of RedeemedOnline.com:
Each day of Lent, beginning Ash Wednesday and running through Easter Sunday, you will get a 2-3 minute video emailed to you from a top Catholic speaker. Videos are based on the upcoming Sunday Gospel. They are created for sharing and discussion on social media giving you the ability to #ShareJesus within your social circles. Even if you are't on social media, you can share the videos via email.
Our hope is this project is one of the largest social media projects ever attempted in the Catholic Church and you can be part of it. Sign up now!
This blog post is the key to the evangelization component. Not only does he write a short article that compliments the content of the video, but then he writes specific directions how you and I are to share it online, whether it's Twitter or on Facebook. And don't forget to use the hashtag "ShareJesus" in order to easily search for it and to create a trending topic. For instance, on my video this is what he encourages his subscribers to do:
#ShareJesus daily goal: two posts: one with the video and one without. Don’t forget to use the #ShareJesus with each post.Remember
On Social Media today consider these questions:
- The easiest way to start evangelizing and sharing your faith is to take the jump. Share from your heart and don’t be ashamed of the good news in your life.
- People are hurting. They need Jesus. Will you share with those you love today?
- What is prayer to you?
- What’s your biggest challenge in prayer?
- How do you overcome distractions in prayer?
- Share some of your prayer requests today.
I was assigned "God is Present. Be Present to God in Prayer," as my topic, and given the freedom to make the content however I wanted it to be. After I recorded my video and sent it to him, he retitled it "God is Here" and sent out a ton of super-creative ways to draw attention to the video.
For instance, Andy created several Facebook-friendly (and Instagram and Pintrest) images that are easily shareable and downright beautiful that would draw people in, with a link to the video in the post.
He told me that the majority of hits were coming from Facebook, which is easy to understand. The videos autoplay and one click is all it takes to share it, as well as comments and likes adding to its range of people who can view it.
I think this is fantastic. My video alone has tens of thousands of views on Facebook and an additional 9,000+ on YouTube. Andy really did his job well. Among all of the Lenten things going on, this one has the largest outreach potential. He cast his net wide.
Below is my video. Of course, as a card-carrying narcissist I need to post my own video.