“Lost” opportunities on the Web
Being used by Holy Spirit (Part 2 in a series)
One of the principle ministries of the Holy Spirit is to draw the Lost to Christ. Yet, one of the mysteries of His ministries is that He chooses to use Believers (and sometimes unbelievers and natural creation) as part of His work of Salvation. Doesn’t it make sense that in our work to complement the Spirit’s ministry that we provide as many resources for Him to draw on as possible.
I believe it’s safe to say that most Church websites provide few if any tools for the Holy Spirit to utilize in His internet evangelism ministry. Most churches have little vision for moving their sites from “informing” sites to “transforming” sites. We call these BUFU (“by us/for us”) sites with little regard, intentionally or not, for those outside their fellowship or around the world. We believe the Church can and should do better to have a greater evangelistic impact. What’s the best way to address this need?
For some time the Spirit has been able to count on Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, The Navigators, Campus Crusade and others websites to provide the Gospel to online seekers. And, apparently it’s working. They consistently report increases in new believers. These wonderful para-organizations have long had a vision for an effective online evangelism strategy. My question is why isn’t the Church engaging the Online Seeker as well?
In our casual observation of thousands of websites our unofficial guess is that less than 5% of churches offer the Gospel on their websites. With nearly 375,000 Churches of all stripes in the U.S., many of whom still have no online presence at all, that’s less than 20,000 (no one has firm numbers to my knowledge).
Of course, like all opportunities (pulpit, tracts, 1:1, small groups, crusades, “Evangelism Emphasis Day” or any other venue) there’s no guarantee many, or any, will discover eternal life at any given time, much less at the exact moment we’re willing and able to make it available.
The principle drawback to these tools is that they’re all limited by time/place/people constraints. With few exceptions, once a sermon is preached its long term effectiveness is limited by those who heard it at a specific time and place. Time and place pretty much limit the longterm effectiveness of the rest of these tools as well. And. it’s been the case since Pentecost. But, no longer…
Next Time: Working in tandem with the Spirit in Online Evangelism
Serving with you,
Rev. Don Walley, Director
The aXiom Network