Online outreach – don’t underestimate the possibilitiesPosted: September 14, 2011
This past spring, I took an Evangelism class during my final semester at Wheaton College, a course taught by the much-loved Jerry Root, who sort of had a grandfatherly reputation among Wheaton students. The course required that we share our faith multiple times a week (to get us in the habit – this is something that should result naturally from being a follower of Christ) and one medium in which we did this was through Global Media Outreach.
Global Media Outreach functions as a network of websites answering basic questions about God and the Christian faith, that through search engine optimization pop up early in search engine results from seeker oriented questions, such as “Who is Jesus?” or “How can I become a Christian?” When seekers navigate to these websites, they have the option of filling out questionaires which are then emailed to online missionaries in the GMO network. These seekers can choose to identify themselves as one who just accepted Christ, one who wants to recommit their life to Christ, or a non-Christian that wants to learn more. An online, anonymous email correspondence then begins with the seeker and one of GMO’s online missionaries. Well, it isn’t completely anonymous – you can see each others’ first name, city, and country.
Early in the spring, a pastor from Kenya began writing me. He identified himself as Richard N and consistently asked me to pray for his church in Kenya, that God would provide needed equipment and also that they would be effective in reaching the lost. He then decided to send me weekly updates on the happenings of his church, and lets me know regularly that he and the congregation have been praying for me. In that time I have offered him a few prayer requests of my own, and I can say I’m confident this isn’t any kind of scam – I think he would have quit a long time ago if this were the case! Here’s a recent email I got from him through the GMO website (the English isn’t great, but you can get the gist of it):
Subject: Re: Re: greetings and love from iranda kisii-Kenya!!!!!!!!!
Hello in Christ brother Ryan.
With much greeting to you in Jesus name. Happy to hear from you again, we are finishing well our event on last week date 11 Sept 2011 Actual we will see the hand of God and marcials through our God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit in that event 10 new Souls are received Jesus in they lives!!!! please continue pray for them to grow spiritual day by day all over us here we are praying for as your School.and your Young ministry there.
Your brother Pastor Richard.
Cool eh? GMO for me has been a neat way to see direct impacts for Christ with minimal risk involved (but we shouldn’t be afraid of big risks either). I would encourage any believer with a heart for the lost to apply.