Are You Ready to Be Second? Christian Recruitment Online

Tim Hutchings

Abstract

I am Second is an American religious movement that uses online video narratives to promote the Christian faith. This case study analyses I am Second’s evangelistic strategy, with particular attention to four areas: the website, Facebook page, blogs and YouTube. I am Second combines online and offline resources in sophisticated ways to mobilise grassroots support and draw attention to its stories, hoping that visitors to its website will watch more evangelistic content and contact an online missionary for conversation. I find no evidence within my selected samples to suggest that supporters are using the Internet to conduct their own evangelism, but branded merchandise and local events are discussed with enthusiasm. Even if supporters are hesitant to share evangelistic content through email or social media, they hope to start conversations with non-Christians by wearing, gifting and displaying intriguing brand logos. 

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