Thousands Coming to Christ Daily via Internet Network Outreach
By Kyle Patterson
The internet is full of cute cat videos, attention getting social media posts, click bait news headlines, rumors, gossip, propaganda, fear and thanks to at least one collaboration of over 50 ministries, evangelism. Internet evangelism that is, bringing thousands of people to salvation in Christ, every single day.
Jesus.net based out of Holland has created open sourced online tools, a detailed process and strategy for sharing the Gospel to the online world. Through search engine marketing and demand generation activities Jesus.net is applying the latest marketing trends around the world and applying them to Gospel based tools and outreaches available in over 30 languages.
Led by Executive Director Jan-Willem Bosman, the ministry collaboration tracks and publishes in real-time daily commitments to Christ through their network of websites, landing pages, online courses and apps across the online world. The ministry has developed and is continuing to actively develop more "open source" tools to mobilize local partners in over 30 languages to use their tools, applied to local context to share Christ with seekers at the time of inquiry. Ministries including the Billy Graham Evangelical Association have utilized their tools on sites like PeacewithGod.net.
Mark Appleton, Director of Internet Evangelism for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) believes the 24x7 access is a key component of the BGEA fulfilling it's mission in reaching people for Christ,
"Through May of this year, over 37 million visitors have come to the site in the five years it has been live. 7 million indicated a response to the Gospel invitation and 1 million of them have requested follow-up from us by filling in the forms on the website. What adds to the effectiveness of the site is personal gospel ministry that goes on by volunteer coaches throughout the process. Just this year volunteers have sent over 700,000 personal emails in response to spiritual inquiries on the site, have had over 22,000 live chats with visitors on the site, and mentored over 6,000 students in online discipleship courses."
Recently Jesus.net discovered in Holland that 2,000 searches were being performed a day with the words, "I want to die." Jesus.net and their partners decided to create a website answering this search query with a website and landing page leading people to Christ. This and other outreaches are working, to the tune of around 5,000 people per day.
Since Jesus.net and its associated tools started, over 90 million people have heard the Gospel through the ministry's outreaches and 12 million people have indicated accepting Christ online.
The opportunity to reach people online is a motivating factor along with Jesus.net's leading tools for partner ministries according to Appleton of the BGEA,
"The internet allows us to reach beyond geographical boundaries and connect with individuals in the midst of their own walk of life. And it's not only that we can do it, we should do it."
But the outreach doesn't stop online. The ministry according to Bosman seeks to connect online activity with offline churches and ministries that can continue the discipleship process, something Bosman believes is essential to spiritual growth and long term growth of the newly converted.
"People are seeking and asking questions. We design our outreaches to meet people where they are at and lead them to Christ," said Bosman who has a vision for the whole world to be able to access the Gospel by 2020.
The ministry focuses on developing resources in the 40 most popular internet languages worldwide then empowering local partners to use the tools and customize them for their culture and context.
"In the book of Acts after Peter preached, 3,000 people were saved in a day. Today, by God's grace we are seeing this on a worldwide scale through the internet."
The dream is that everyone, everywhere would have access to know God and share their faith with others online. The ministry has started a movement and you can help through prayer and giving.
The ministry has developed a 4 part strategy that includes:
Access- a vision to make the Gospel freely available to everyone online.
Know- filling the earth with the knowledge of God.
Grow- a platform to help people grow I their faith.
Share- allow people to share their faith online.
What Jesus.net has started is building into a global movement for the Gospel and the results are speaking for themselves but there is still work to be done. The latest stats estimate 40% of the world's population has access to the internet, "Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today (view all on a page ). In 1995, it was less than 1%. The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013. The first billion was reached in 2005," according to internetlivestats.com.