If you haven’t joined us yet for Thir.st Youth Nights, you really should come check it out every (third Thursday of each month except June and December). It’s been awesome and the April session was no different.
Held in a packed room at Kum Yan Methodist Church, online evangelist DAVID LOH spoke on what reaching people for Jesus looks like on social media. If he sounds familiar, that’s because he, along with his fiancée Esther, were the couple who went viral last Christmas for hosting a party for anyone lonely or just in need of company.
Anyway, while he was sharing his lessons and top tips in a message and a time of Q&A, we were busy slapping together the most fire quotes from the night for you, dear reader.
Here they are below (with fresh additional comment from David himself!).
Insights from the Night
“If we walk into a dark room, we turn on the lights. If the lights are not working, we don’t say we have a ‘darkness problem’, we say we have a ‘light problem’. Similarly, our light is the problem; our light isn’t shining.”
David was talking about the need to shift our perspectives when it comes to evangelism: we must take ownership of our faith and shine our light wherever we are in the world.
DAVID: Especially in the online space, it’s easy to complain how social media is toxic and dark, but it’s precisely for this reason God has given us the mandate to be light in the world. We owe the world light.
“If a non-Christian lands on your Instagram, will they meet Jesus?”
This simple question is what frames David’s approach to his online presence on Instagram and TikTok, he challenged the youths in the audience to consider what their social media accounts look like in relation to the question.
DAVID: During a recent Chinese New Year visitation, a non-Christian friend shared with me that he watched all my Christian content when he faced a dark period in his life – and he now attends church.
You see, your non-Christian friends may not follow inspiring and encouraging Christian accounts like Thir.st – but they follow you.
You might be the only contact point between them and Jesus.
The question is, will they only meet us or will they also meet Jesus?
“You just need 30 seconds to change a life.”
Giving the story of the Good Samaritan a twist, David said that we actually behave like the Levite and the Priest when we scroll past hurting people online. He shared multiple stories of how he encouraged strangers while scrolling through Instagram, and those same people eventually came back to him months later to let him know that his encouragement or prayers had impacted them. The takeaway for him was not to walk past – or scroll past – hurting people; just 30 seconds of dropping an encouragement and letting people know they are seen can amount to much in God’s hands.
DAVID: Many of us think that we have to be an influencer or have a large following to make a difference online.
But changing a life can start from something as simple as leaving a comment or a DM!
Just from this simple act, I have seen how it has led to strangers eventually coming to church with me.
There was even once, when a youth approached me on the street. She told me that I prayed over DM for her mother who had cancerous cells – and her mother was healed by God!
I had no idea this happened because I had prayed for so many people online! All of us can leave a comment or DM to encourage somebody, it really just takes heart and intentionality.
“Evangelism is a journey of repeated disobedience to fear.”
David shared honestly that, though he has evangelised both online and offline to many people, he still feels fear. But that’s all fear is – a feeling. As such, his encouragement is to go the other way: learn to choose obedience over fear.
DAVID: You will surely face disappointment and criticism from people when you choose to follow Jesus. There’s no way around it.
I just don’t want the testimony of my life to be that I obeyed fear more than the One who loved me and died for me.
“As an ambassador of Christ, we need to be able to speak not only the language of the Kingdom but also the language of the world.”
Drawing from a sermon at FOPx about being an ambassador of Christ, where speaker Hosanna Wong shared that a qualification of being an ambassador in real life is to be able to speak the language of the host nation as well as the language of the represented nation, David highlighted the importance of learning the world’s language in our evangelism efforts.
He urged youths to be careful that they don’t wind up speaking Christianese to the world. The Gospel must be shared in a way that is intelligible to its hearers, and Christians have the responsibility to know culture and speak the language of the world, being all things to all men.
DAVID: Let me show you what this might look like. On the day of the O-Level results release, we knew that the topic of grades would be all students talked about.
So we did a TikTok where Esther, my fiancée, opened up about how she failed her O-Level exam but still came to find hope.
That TikTok garnered close to 130,000 views and many students reached out through DMs asking Esther how she overcame this difficult period. From there, we got to chat with them privately and journey together.
From this example, you can see how we understood and leveraged tools like TikTok, as well as the recency of the O-Levels, to reach out and encourage Gen Z.
What did you think? If you aren’t fired up for evangelism now, then… come down to the next Thir.st Youth Nights and we’ll pray for you!
Speaking about Thir.st Youth Night, the next session is gonna be on personal calling.
What does chasing your dreams mean? How do you make your life count? If you’ve got questions like these on your heart, don’t leave them there – ask them for yourself at our next Thir.st Youth Night in May at Chapel of the Resurrection!
- Which one of David’s insights stood out to you? Why?
- Consider your online presence: does it point others to Jesus?
- Based on these tips, what is one practical thing you can do to share Jesus with your followers?