If you have been involved with social networking for any length of time, you have probably come across one of these services. The four services represent a myriad of GPS-enabled apps that can let people know where you are.
The most well-known is Facebook Places. On the rise in many metro areas is Foursquare. Lacking some of the social connection aspects, Google Places has been a market fixture for a while in many different forms. My new favorite is Soundtracking. Not only can you “post/tweet” where you are, but you can tell everyone what music you are listening to.
As you can tell, I am currently rocking a little Marty Mikles and transMission’s new album, “Majestic” (https://www.facebook.com/satransmission).
All of these apps give a user the opportunity to show where they are and what they may be doing within the confines and purposes of the app. Foursquare even turns this process into a game. Whomever is checked into a “place” becomes the Mayor. Some retailers have started giving special discounts to the current “Mayors.” I am still the Mayor of the Albany Salvation Army which does not get me any discounts, Geesh!
All of these GPS-enabled apps can help ministers and leaders by simply showing where that person is. It is a concept that is becoming known as “Presence Evangelism.”
Presence evangelism is not so much verbal persuasion, but action persuasion through deeds, good works, sincere love and friendship. To put it another way, it is the Church being Christ’s arms reaching out into the community. Christ’s love is shared through the examples of serving, caring and helping the community’s needs.
Presence evangelism goes beyond saying you are going to do something or go somewhere to actually doing something and going somewhere. By utilizing effectively some of these apps, a minister/leader/guide can show people where they are and how they are making an impact in the community. It shows where they are ministering at and with whom. One of the things that Jesus did very well was being with His disciples. He ate with them, laughed with them, partied with them, and traveled with them.
Would it hurt you to show people where you are today and how you are making a difference in your community and in the kingdom?
SAFETY NOTE: As with any programs, there are situations that are not always true all of the time. I would discourage you from revealing too much about the location and activities in certain areas, ie. counseling people, your own home, who you are visiting in the hospital, etc. Using your best judgment is often the best step you can take!