Are you wondering how to do missionary work in a socially distanced pandemic?
We were, so we asked some missionaries serving in the UK what they thought members could do to help.
We are sure you are aware of the plethora of Facebook pages and groups, and Instagram accounts. The missionaries work hard to create and post content on those pages. They simply ask that we share that content on personal Facebook pages.
If one doesn’t want content to stay on a personal Facebook timeline, ‘stories’ on Facebook and Instagram are perfect ways to share content temporarily.
The ‘way’ and ‘where’ we do missionary work are more online than ever. That doesn’t change the principles of Christlike missionary service; they do apply online as well.
Here are some thoughts on missionary work:
Sharing the gospel
What exactly is sharing the gospel? Sharing the gospel is about communicating our beliefs and the practices of the restored gospel that Jesus Christ and his disciples taught, and the commandments and ordinances he revealed to his authorised and ordained prophets through the restoration.
We communicate the gospel with those around us, as we understand it by the Holy Ghost. This communication can be done in several ways, and there is no one correct way; we each do this in unique ways but positively and with love.
Why do we need to be involved in sharing the gospel? When we choose to accept and follow Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we become his disciples, and disciples have specific callings or commandments given by the Saviour.
Just as the Saviour asked Peter if he loved Him, then added that if he did Peter should feed His sheep, he asks the same of us.
Doctrine and Covenants Section 4 tells us that those “with a desire to serve are called to the work.” When we share the gospel, we are serving. The Lord does not require any talent or ability, just willingness; merely a desire to love the Saviour, which then leads one to feed his sheep.
Note that the Saviour ministered and shared the key principles ‘one by one’, and so should we.
Success often comes with personal invitations, and starts with individuals, also ‘one by one’.
There are ways to reach groups of people at once these days, but in current times personal messages probably mean more, and are often more effective.
It’s good to click ‘share’ or ‘forward’, however it might be better to write out messages or even telephone people and share by word of mouth.
A personal invitation shows you value that person. The invitation that is clear and appropriate to the one, is more likely to be accepted by the one invited.
The Lord asked Peter to share with others, as God’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of ALL men.
Technology and the gospel
Technology is about the devices we use, the Internet, electricity, and other powers that allow us to create things easily. This includes sharing a simple Facebook post.
Like all things, technology can be used for good and bad, but technology itself is good and is inspired by God. We can choose and experience good and bad in technology.
Why is technology important to God today and in sharing the gospel? Technology helps and supports us when we lack other physical abilities and facilities. It has connected the world and has developed our intelligence.
The Lord can bless us in our good use of technology, and the choices we make and the experiences we have. The world needs a boost of good. We need to strive harder to participate in and share good. Unfortunately, too much bad is being distributed. We can flood the online world with good and drown out the bad.
Following the guidance of the Europe Area Plan, we created articles that aim to help you share the gospel online. You can find these resources at https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/gospel-technology.
Use the UK Digital Channels Team (visit https://digitalchannels.uk) to help you share local gospel experiences through social media, the web, the Liahona magazine, and on your digital platforms.
So, our invitation to members is to share greater good with those you associate with online, in personal ways, on a one-to-one basis.