Reply to Email Questions
You just received a student's email - now what?
1. Read the email question two or three times - make sure you really understand exactly what they are asking.
2. Pray - ask God how to respond.
3. Use Scripture in your answer whenever you can, and point them to Christ.
4. Keep your goal that of leading them toward a relationship with Jesus. Remember, you do not have to solve all of their problems.
5. If there is an article on your www.everystudent.com site or on www.StartingwithGod.com that could help answer the question, put a hyperlink in your response. (It helps to become familiar with your sites.)
6. Remember, you are not just answering an email, you are replying to a person. Write your emails just like you would if you were face-to-face with a friend. Be respectful, responsive, polite, and helpful.
We have found these articles frequently useful to offer:
- God's existence: Is There a God?
- Jesus' deity: Beyond Blind Faith
- Four Laws (gospel): Knowing God Personally
- Why there's suffering: Why
- What God offers those who are suffering: Where is God in...Tragedy?
- Life issues/struggles in relationships: Life Issues
- Does God answer prayer: Does God Answer Our Prayers?
Please be aware of these email series that could be most helpful to offer:
Spiritual Adventure Pack – for atheists/agnostics (on EveryStudent.com)
Gospel of John – for nonbelievers or believers; helps someone know Jesus. (on EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com)
Spiritual Starter Kit – for new believers; assurance of salvation, God’s unconditional love, why he won’t leave them, what to do with sin, importance of fellowship (on StartingwithGod.com)
Skip the Stress – for new or struggling believers; the Spirit-filled life, living under God’s grace, how to trust God (on StartingwithGod.com)
How to Talk about God – for believers who want to reach others; various ways to explain Jesus to others; various approaches. (on StartingwithGod.com)
The Findables – for believers wanting to help make Jesus “findable” to millions of others. (on StartingwithGod.com)
Examples for you
Here are six common questions, and how you could answer them:
You guys are idiots. I can't believe you're trying to deceive students with this stuff. Wake up and realize life is up to you, not to some hoped-for creation of "god."
I want to believe in God, but I don't know how to have faith. I also wonder about all the religions in the world, and how a person knows which one is right?
I think my boyfriend is cheating on me. Should I overlook it or what?
I need God. Everything in my life is going wrong. I don't know what to do.
I have accepted Jesus in my life. What do I do next and how do I do it?
Wow - I think this site is great!! So glad to see someone presenting the truth!
What to do if....
1. Someone writes asking for a financial contribution.
Most financial requests are mass mailed and do not need any reply at all. You can just delete them. But, if that feels rude to you, you could say:
"Everystudent.com is an information Website that sells no products and exists on the contributions of others. As much as we would like to be able to meet people's financial needs, we do not have that ability."
2. The person merely wants to argue.
After a few communications (2-3 should be enough) you discern that he or she does not seem open to Christ. In this role, you need to guard your time and not spend undue hours with someone who simply wants to argue. You could say:
"The people on the everystudent.com team are volunteers, available to help answer people's questions. We are not here to argue, nor do we have the time to do so. I do not think it serves a purpose for us to continue in dialogue. I hope that other Websites or sources can better answer your questions and objections, so that you can come to know Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life, just as he said. I wish you well."
3. The person is being angry, rude and hostile in their email.
Jesus was crucified, nearly all of the early disciples were martyred, so I think we can endure some hostile emails. Try to understand their real question, and return a respectful, honest, and helpful reply. If it's really only vulgarity, delete it.
4. If the question is really off-topic.
You could say: "Everystudent.com is a site to help people understand who God is or what it might be like to know God. And we would be happy to respond to those kind of questions."