rethink evangelism

Internet Evangelism – Are You Engaging in this Phenomenon That is Taking the World by Surprise?

Peter Guirguis Online Evangelism 101 28 Comments

Last week I published a post about whether you thought people can get saved online or not.

I got a few different types of responses in the form of comments and tweets.

Most of you thought that it was possible and that God can use anything to reach out to people including evangelistic type messages viewed through the Internet.

So now that we are on the same page, let’s go deeper into the exciting world of Internet evangelism.

There are so many benefits for the Christian that engages in online evangelism as the rewards that are reaped aren’t just in this life, but also in heaven. (By the way, this blog is for Christians but we have another one in the works for non-Christians as well).

Let’s start with the basics, what is online evangelism?

Online evangelism is the practice of sharing Christian digital media with non-believers and those who are back-slidden with the intent to bring them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Some examples of online evangelism are sharing a testimony with others on websites like YouTube or Vimeo, sharing a web page that presents readers with the 4 spiritual laws (more on this later), or sharing Biblical truths one-on-one on Facebook or Twitter with someone in your social network.

These are just a few examples of online evangelism and we’ll be writing about these strategies as well as others on this blog.

Why online evangelism?

We are in the 21st century and the average person has access to either a computer, cell phone, or tablet. Even in impoverished nations around the world, we find that many poor people have cell phones as they have become extremely affordable.

All of these devices act as a channel or a medium through which the Gospel message can be preached. People can come to know Christ by hearing or watching messages served on these Internet channels.

READ  Can People Get Saved Online?

Does online evangelism actually work?

If it’s done the right way then the answer is, yes it does. I know of a pastor who gave his life to Jesus while watching the Gospel message being presented on TV.

While the TV wasn’t connected to the Internet at the time, it was still a digital channel that presented the Gospel just like the screens that we use to navigate the Internet today.

A real live example

This pastor that I’m telling you about has an amazing testimony.  Early on in his life, he was not a believer but his wife was.

He had gone to Vietnam and returned with many mental and emotional wounds just like so many other brave soldiers who served in this horrific war.

In his own words, this man described himself before his conversion as being a bad husband and living a life of sin.

He felt like there was no hope and one night he decided that he was going to kill his wife and then kill himself.

He sat one evening in a fit of rage waiting for his wife to come back home so that he can carry out his final act.

He had a gun in his hand and was pacing back and forth in his living room.  This was going to be the night that he was going to end it all.

But God had other plans.

While this man was waiting for his wife, the TV was turned on and all of a sudden, a preacher by the name of Chuck Smith came on.  He began to answer some questions in an interview and began to communicate the Gospel on TV.

After watching the TV program, the raging man felt convicted by the Holy Spirit.

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The conviction was so overwhelming that he began to see that he needed God in his life.  Within a few minutes, this man got on his knees and asked for forgiveness of his sins and he gave his life to Christ.

The pastor I am speaking to you about is Raul Ries, pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs.  You can read more about Pastor Raul here.

Many more examples of people coming to Christ online

There are thousands of more examples of people from all over the world who have come to know Christ because the Gospel was presented to them in some kind of digital form.

Just ask all the people who have dedicated their lives to Jesus through Global Media Outreach, a ministry we’ll be writing about later on in this blog.

Check out their excellent 3 minute video intro below.

Would you like to help bring people to the Savior using the Internet?

Proverbs 11:31 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

So why not be a wise steward and win people to Christ?  You’ll be pleasing your Savior as you’ll be fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples.

What do you think are the reasons why more Christians aren’t helping to spread the Good News?  How can we encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to share Jesus with their family, friends, & co-workers?

[Image courtesy of Douglas Shelton]

Comments 28

  1. I think there are peripheral reasons, but one central reason.  One peripheral reason might be that we are taught that we never discuss religion or politics in polite company.  As if letting someone know how they can have eternal life is somehow rude.  I think society has made many such impositions on us so that Christians, for the most part, remain silent.

    But I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I believe that God provided the central answer.  We today are a lot like the Christians right after Jesus’ ascension, they met in private and prayed together, but they had no witness outside their own group.

    And then came the day of Pentecost and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  On that day alone, two thousand were saved.  Later, in Acts 5 we read about Peter and John being threatened by the religious authorities, and their answer was, whether we should listen to men or to God, you be the judge.

    Filled with the Spirit, these early believers were unstoppable.  Filled with the Spirit, WE would be unstoppable too.

    I am definitely interested in pursuing online and personal evangelistic methods, but even more, my heart desire is to fully surrender myself to the Lord that His Spirit fill me in such a way that I would be truly effective for Him.

    And I am hoping that others will join me.

    1. Wow John, after reading your comment I have to say that I feel pretty convicted myself 🙂 You make very good points in your very insightful comment, the most important of which in my opinion is being filled with the Holy Spirit.

      I totally agree that if we were constantly filled then we would be unstoppable. I pray that the Lord would use us in a mighty way to win more souls for His Kingdom.  Thanks for your feedback and also for sharing all those wonderful links on our Facebook page, they are very helpful 🙂

    2. And I’m sure randomly e-stalking atheists on twitter will get you loads of converts. Really, all it makes us do is think “Why is someone with crosses in their profile pic following me? Oh great, they linked to a website saying we can all be converted by harassing us. Wonder how horrible this is. And the same guy is commenting on it, yay.”

      Trust me, I’ve read the book, it’s what made me an atheist. Quoting your favorite parts of it isn’t going to do anything you think it will.

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  3. Peter, I am one of those Online Missionaries for Global Media Outreach and what a delight it has been to serve my Lord in this capacity, The Holy Spirit convicted me in October 2010 and I have been helping people since then.   It all starts with availability because if we make ourselves available God makes us able to do that which he has called each one of us believers to do. 

    I think your parallel efforts achieve the same goal as GMO and yesterday I mentioned it to one of our staff, they loved your website. 

    I remember the very first time I saw this Live Visual of people coming to our websites as Visitors, Commitments and re-commitments to following Christ, tears came down my cheeks, see it for yourself on http://www.greatcommission2020.com.  

    Someday when in Heaven, and if the people you helped get to there were to line up side by side, wow what a picture that will be, to use a simple person like me to be a part in making an Eternal difference…    “Using the internet for God’s Glory”  1 John 5:11-12

    1. thank you so much Mirv for sharing your very valuable insights and feedback. I totally am in love with global media outreach and in fact, I am a liaison in order to get our church members to be online missionaries like yourself.

      I would love to hear your feedback about what it’s been like to be an online missionary. How do you reach people and what are the most effective strategies?

      What we are trying to do also here with this blog and this other web property that we are building to reach non-Christians, is to leverage the power of social media in order to reach the lost. If we can all be one big family and re-sharing outreach type media on Facebook, twitter,  Google+ etc. then I think the multiplier effect can be huge.

      That’s what we’re trying to do here at NAOTG.  This blog is aimed for the believer  so that we can build a network of people and give them access to content that is created  by Christians worldwide so that we can reach as many people as possible.

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  5. We love that you are posting this topic for all to be aware of this gift. My heart is for missions! However, I’m not able to do so because of my family and others matters. The best solution that we came up with was to make a podcast that people around the world can listen to and know about being a Christian and to know Jesus Christ. Its exciting to know that we have reached many countries for the gospel, including some Communist countries. All this is done from our home! We give all the glory to Jesus Christ!

    1. Amen to that! I visited your website and I love what you guys are doing. It’s a lovely podcast and it’s wonderful that you are able to reach people with the Good News using this wonderful technology. Keep up the awesome work that you guys are doing for the Lord 🙂

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  7. “In
    the eyes of many, religion has lost its relevance and is little more than a
    quaint relic from another time.” (Billy
    Graham © Christianity Today, p. 27-28, December 8, 1997)When people are brought to Christ Jesus through the Internet, what alternative do they have, a world fellowshiping in 21st century words vs. KJVese with Christians. We need to leave these words off the Internet as much as we do online

    GOD JUDGES THE HEART

     

    God judges the heart.

    Our words shalt not matter.

    As long as it’s praise,

    The Lord they shalt flatter.

     

    Chorus:

    Too foolish to practice,

    At work, school, and home.

    God judges the heart.

    Let’s praise Thee alone.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Amen, halleju!

     

    Like humans, we know,

    God’s ways sure get olde.

    To witness Him more

    Would be rather cold.

     

    So when we are with

    Our friends that have faith,

    Practice bad habits.

    Just trust and obey.

     

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=78598293746

    GOD JUDGES THE HEART

     

    God judges the heart.

    Our words shalt not matter.

    As long as it’s praise,

    The Lord they shalt flatter.

     

    Chorus:

    Too foolish to practice,

    At work, school, and home.

    God judges the heart.

    Let’s praise Thee alone.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Amen, halleju!

     

    Like humans, we know,

    God’s ways sure get olde.

    To witness Him more

    Would be rather cold.

     

    So when we are with

    Our friends that have faith,

    Practice bad habits.

    Just trust and obey.

     

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=78598293746

      1. Peter, I apologize for not replying sooner, and not noticing the duplication in the lyrics of my post.

        KJVese is what is Christianity’s secondhand smoke. Besides being contrary to God’s nature, it’s totally unwise for today. Let me put this in terms of Abraham pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah.

        If there are 50 Christian schools where it “shalt be” wise for students to give reports before there piers speaking KJVese, may KJVese be considered wise for stewards of your gospel. Well, I guess that’s just too much. Make that 5 less than 50 Christian schools. Still too much! 5 less than that even.

        How can KJVese be wise for reaching today’s kids? A modern world is just waiting to deceive.

        1. No problem, thanks so much for responding. I appreciate you giving some more clarification and I’m sure that the rest of the community will have a better understanding of it to. Blessings 🙂

  8. I truly believe in preaching the Gospel with whatever tools are available. I also evagelize through Facebook and twitter. Many people view the Internet as the devil’s playground but what was meant for evil we can turn the weapons against the enemy and win souls through our testimony. God bless.

    1. You are right on Cary and we feel exactly the same way that you do. Welcome to this online family of Christians that is passionate about sharing Jesus on the Internet 🙂

  9. Great article Peter. The more people trying to reach out to the lost the better. It doesn’t hurt to have our brothers and sisters in Christ reading these articles either, as they may be spurred into action themselves. At the very least I think online evangelism can be encouraging to other Believers.
    I see no reason why anyone would doubt the ability of online evangelism to work. Does it really matter in what format the Gospel message is heard? In person, over the radio, on TV, the net…you can hear the same message anywhere. When one prays to receive Christ, He hears you wherever you are and the vehicle used to deliver the message matters not. To say otherwise is to cast doubt upon the power of the Holy Spirit to work in any situation. Does anyone really think that God cannot reach someone through any means available in this world? After all…it is not us who converts someone, it is God. We are just doing our duty.
    I think we need to remember that even if someone seems indifferent, or even hostile…the seeds may well have been planted, later on someone else may come along and water them.
    Keep up the good work, and thank you.
    Greg

    1. Thank you so much Greg for the encouragement, it really means a lot. I totally agree with every single word that you have said. Unfortunately, not all Christians feel the same way.

      When I first wrote the article, most Christians feel the same way that you and I do. However, there are Christians that believe that you must be baptized to get saved. Those are the ones that do not believe that it’s possible to get saved on the Internet.

      I take it that you aren’t someone that holds to the belief that you have to be baptized to be saved, right?

      1. No I’m not. Being baptized has nothing to do with being saved in my mind. Baptism is I believe an important symbol, but that is all it is. Baptism is the outward expression of the inward transaction between you and Jesus. Jesus saves, not baptism. If one is placing baptism in with being saved, then one is actually saying that human involvement is necessary to be saved. In one sense, we do need to be involved as we need to say yes to Christ…He won’t force Himself on us. After that, It is all Him.

        I saw that you had mentioned about not writing a post on baptism. I did a four part series on it, and it was pretty well received. For anyone interested you can find it here, http://believinggodtoday.com/2012/03/11/baptism-part-one/

        1. That’s great Greg, thank you so much for sharing that link. It will be available to anyone in this online community and I’m going to go ahead and check it out right now 🙂

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  11. “Modern apostasy and false teaching that prevents men from being saved.”
    The earliest notion of sinners prayer is less than 500 years old. It wasn’t formalized as a theology until around the time of Billy Graham.No one in the Bible ever prayed for their initial salvation. They did however believe, repent, confess Jesus and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of their sins. The sinners prayer is a an innovation that thwarts God’s plan of salvation.First they replaced believers baptism by immersion with infant baptism by sprinkling. Second they later replaced baptism altogether with the “sinners prayer” so that baptism is no longer even part of the plan of salvation. If you prayed the “sinners prayer” for your salvation, you are still lost in your sins, because it is not what God said to do.

    1. One is saved at the very moment he or she submits to the drawing of the Spirit with an expression of the mind and heart, “yes, I believe” or a “Father, forgive me.” The so-called sinner’s prayer may follow helping the truly repentant to express the newfound faith. Baptism does not save, but in the New Testament it is always closely related to the conversion experience.

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  13. I share the gospel on facebook and twitter often. Believe me when I tell you they are seeing your posts on facebook. Just because they don’t get a lot of likes, don’t let that stop you. What seems to disappoint me the most is that almost none of my own church members (I have about 15 who are fb friends) ever like or share or comment with encouragement etc. on the posts about the gospel and discipleship. My dad and I also try to drive traffic to our site http://www.twoedgedsword.org where we have “how to be saved” and other great info.

    I say preach tge word to every creature through every channel God would approve of… that doesnt allow you to partake in sin. God Bless!

    1. Post
      Author

      Amen Trent, I agree with everything that you wrote. It’s no surprise that more Christians are not sharing the gospel on social media. I don’t think everybody feels comfortable and some are afraid of not knowing how to respond. But either way, I’m glad that you are actively sharing your faith.

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