Internet Evangelism: Casting a New
Kind of Net
By Wendy Griffith
CBN News Sr. Reporter
(CBN News) - "I got saved on the Internet" –
that is what more and more people are saying, after logging onto
religious Web sites.
The Internet is just one more tool that many ministries are using
to reach the world for Christ. When Jesus gave the commandment,
‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel,’
the disciples were on foot. There was no television, no radio,
no airplanes, and certainly no Internet. What a difference 2,000
years can make! Or for that matter, 10 years. Today, more and
more people are coming to faith in Christ by logging onto the
World Wide Web.
Twenty-year-old Kristi Tuck, a student at the University of Virginia
in Charlottesville, was a senior in high school when she began
searching for God. She had seen a poster advertising a site called
outreach of Campus Crusade for Christ. Curious, she decided to
check it out, and in the privacy of her own room, invited Jesus
Christ into her heart.
Tuck said, “And I sat at my computer in my pajamas, crying
my eyes out, I was so joyful."
She says that the Internet provided the safe place she needed
to get answers to her spiritual questions.
“I think that was exactly how the Lord needed to reach
me,” Tuck said, “because I'd had very bad experiences
in the past with people telling me, ‘Oh, You're going to
hell,’ and so I would have been very turned off if someone
had come up to evangelize me on the street, or too scared to go
to someone at church and ask questions."
More than one billion people worldwide use the Internet, and according
to CBN.com Contributing Writer Craig von Buseck,
religion is the second most popular subject on the Web -- pornography
is number one.
Von Buseck said, “Religion used to be number one, now pornography
is. But God is number two and He is very well represented online."
CBN News asked von Buseck how important is the Internet, in terms
of reaching the world for Christ, and he replied, “Right
now more than one billion people are online, and what that means to us
today is that any Christian who can log onto a computer can reach
1/6 of the world's population from their dining room table. "
Of the 60 million Web sites, hundreds of thousands are Christian.
That means there is a Web site for everyone: witches who want
to find Jesus can go to www.exwitch.org
and porn addicts who want to get free can go to xxxchurch.com,or
you can start your own Web site.
Von Buseck said, “It's an opportunity for Christians to
get involved and be heard in the market place of ideas."
Todd Johnson, who directs the University of Virginia’s
Campus Crusade for Christ, says the Internet is allowing them
to reach more people with the Gospel than ever before.
Johnson commented, “It affects scope, in terms of the fact
that the Internet is in every single dorm room, whereas my students
and myself, we may not have the opportunity to do that."
But are students really using the Internet to investigate spiritual
One male student said, "Yeah, I've used it once or twice.
I use it to look up different views of the Bible, and just sort
of different ideas and interpretations on it."
A female student remarked, “I can look at the Internet
on my own and people don't need to know that I'm questioning spiritually
or something like that."
Von Buseck says more than 1.2 million people a month log onto
cbn.com for news, information,
Asked if he is able to keep track of how many people actually
make decisions for Christ on-line, von Buseck said, “Absolutely.
More than 100 people every month are receiving Jesus Christ as
their Lord and Savior through cbn.com.
And those numbers we anticipate are going to continue to grow
and grow as our numbers grow."
David Palmer of Christian
Netcast.com, a Web streaming company based in Bangor, Maine,
is helping take Christian ministries to the next level, by streaming
their audio and video "live" on the Internet.
"We believe we're taking the Gospel right into the devil's
playground," said Palmer.
He says it basically gives every ministry a global audience.
It also allows for some interesting testimonies.
Palmer said, “There was a lady a few years ago, she was
surfing the Internet looking for ways to kill herself. She was
contemplating suicide, and she stumbled across a broadcast. It
was actually a live church broadcast, and at the very moment that
she got to it, the preacher said, ‘Someone right now, you're
thinking that your life is just not worth it, but you need to
know "God loves you."’ That woman fell on her
knees at her computer and accepted the Lord."
Palmer says the woman was in Alaska, and the church service she
stumbled onto was in Florida. He says Internet evangelism has
Palmer commented, “You're starting to hear terms like ‘virtual
congregations,’ you have people who live in remote areas
who can't go to a church and worship in a style that they're accustomed
to, or they live in a very remote area that might not even have
a church. These people go online and actually participate in
every aspect of the service, from the worship to the teaching,
even the offering."
Palmer and others say the Internet may be the greatest tool that
God has ever given the church to help take the Gospel to the ends
of the earth.
Learn how to reach people with the gospel on the Internet
More on the Internet Evangelism Day
More from the Internet Evangelism Coalition
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