Has Internet Evangelism Reached the Tipping Point?
A senior staff member of a church operating an Internet campus recently told me that they no longer debate the theological pros and cons of Internet ministry.
Using the Internet for evangelism and discipleship had reached the tipping point for this congregation.
The church, like many others today, has empirical evidence that people are being reached online. Lives are being impacted by the gospel.
Online missionaries get to experience that pretty quickly.
Online connections with seekers seem to get “very deep, very fast,” even through email. It’s surprising, really.
Ministry that is personal
* There is no one here to be happy about my recommitment to Christ. V.C., Cairo, Egypt
* I have problems with reading the Book of God. The moment I take my Bible and start reading, trying to concentrate, I will start to think of my Mum. She is sick. She cannot do anything for herself. When I go to church, I take the whole time in church crying. Man of God, please pray for my Mum, so at least she can do a few things for herself. And for me to be able to read my Bible and concentrate on what I’m reading. T.S., Gaborone, Botswana
* Ey Bro. Sorry that I was so quiet. Have been busy. How does one fight lust? I am struggling a lot with it and I feel that I will never see victory. M.O. Johannesburg, South Africa
The online world is populated by millions of seekers just like my new friends here. Those who have not heard or understood that Jesus is their Savior. Those with questions. Those looking for hope. Those wanting biblical wisdom. Those wanting to obey the Lord.
Christians doing ministry online have the awesome privilege of making themselves available to individuals at the precise moment of need. We can’t do everything, of course. And we’re not in physical touch. But, we can answer their biblical and personal questions. We can discuss scripture. We can pray that God will connect them to a local church. We can show genuine compassion.
Ministry for all ages
The best part about Internet evangelism as a ministry tool for the local church is … anyone can do it.
One Sunday, our pastor mentioned an 86 year old woman who, with tears in her eyes, said she was so sad that she could no longer serve the way she used to because she has to be driven everywhere.
Internet evangelism is an incredible opportunity for churches to reengage seniors in meaningful ministry. You don’t have to be technical to be an online missionary and it can be done with any computing device and Internet connection. Our senior saints have a treasure trove of God’s love that could be shared with those seeking spiritual direction and fellowship online.
“With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.” Job 12:12
Ministry that goes in two directions
God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change. 2 Peter 3:9
Recently, one of my online friends, an 80 year old retired Army colonel, and university professor, wrote to tell me how much he loved Jesus and was recommitting his life to Christ. He then shared the very sad news that his beloved wife of 56 years had just been diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Since then, we have shared stories, prayers, tears, and even some laughs.
This week, I got a note which said, “Friend, thought whatever your political persuasion you would be able to appreciate this humor, Ronald Reagan Tells Russian Jokes.” I laughed, and my heart swelled.
The indeterminable depths of my friend’s courage and his hope secure in Christ had reminded me that, “At one time I was without Christ … having no hope … But now in Christ Jesus we have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Some church leaders and others will continue to investigate the issues of Internet evangelism and outreach. They will ask if authentic Christian community is possible. For others of us, the questions have been answered.
The tipping point has been reached.
The above article, “Has Internet Evangelism Reached the Tipping Point?” is written by Gordon Marcy. The article was excerpted from www.outreachmagazine.com website, where it was published in May of 2012.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”