(Photo: BGEA / Russ Busby, File)
I have 300 Facebook friends – but does anybody really care about me?
Such is one question that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) poses on its new site, PeaceWithGod.net, an Internet evangelism initiative created to reach people online with the Gospel message.
“Every day, people are searching online for answers,” said Preston Parrish, executive vice president of ministry for BGEA, in a statement. “In their time of need, we are presenting the only hope we have in this world – the hope found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Launched in its beta form late April, the site provides answers to several questions like: “Why does God allow natural disasters?” “Why am I here?” “How can I find peace?” And “What happens when I die?” It also gives seekers hope through a simple Gospel presentation presented via text, video, and testimonies.
“Millions of people go online searching for answers to their questions – questions about things like having peace with God, personal pain, anxiety and dealing with stress,” John Cass, director of the Internet Evangelism ministry, previously stated. “We know the ultimate answer is Jesus, but we also want to help them find practical, biblical solutions to their problems.”
Thousands have already made a commitment to Jesus Christ after entering the site and reading and watching the simple online Gospel presentation based on John 3:16.
BGEA, along with Jesus.net, an international network of more than 40 partners, along with BGEA created PeaceWithGod.net in order to reach people at the heart of their gathering, now online.
“Today’s generation lives on the Internet,” said Parrish. “We live in a day where all over the world, 24/7, people are interacting with each other via the Internet. If we want to meaningfully connect where they are dealing with the issues and questions of life, it’s imperative for us to be taking the Gospel into the Internet. Much like our historic strategy of going where the people are – into stadiums, civic arenas and public gathering areas – we are doing the same as we reach into cyberspace with the Good news of God’s love, and His offer of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Christ.”
Graham, 92, was the first evangelist to use radio, television and motion pictures to spread the love of God around the world. Continuing now into social media and the Internet, BGEA aims to proclaim the Gospel by every effective means possible.
“What we are doing today is simply what Billy Graham was doing. We are gathering people, we are preaching the Gospel, we are inviting people to the stage [although] the stage is a little bit different,” explained French pastor Eric Célérier, founder of Jesus.net.
Soon to become interactive as well, the new website will feature trained “E-counselors,” available to chat online with spiritual seekers. “Discipleship Coaches” will also offer follow-up training to those who have decided to make a commitment to follow Christ, encouraging new believers to find a local church and get plugged in.
And for those who are already believers, plenty of opportunities exist to serve their community online. From donating financially to serving as a volunteer counselor or coach, many can participate in the worldwide commission to help bring Jesus Christ to those who are looking for answers.
Updated on the SearchforJesus.net, a website that explains the Internet evangelism project started by BGEA, real-time decisions by visitors to the site are shared as a source of encouragement.
On a recent occasion, a person in Cortland, N.Y., committed to Christ. Another in Redondo Beach, Calif., did the same, followed by another in the United Kingdom.
People everywhere, hungry for answers, found healing through Christ, which PeaceWithGod.net provided.
“I’ve been doubtful for the last 30 years. It’s my time to believe!” Scott LaValley commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“Wanna get my life back on track with God,” CJ Leblanc also wrote. “Someone pray for me.”
Thousands of others posted similar messages.
“This new website provides a clear presentation of the Gospel that gives all who visit a chance to respond,” said Cass. “A person may not say ‘yes’ right then. But, we have had 300,000 people wandering around this site. They’ve heard the Gospel. God’s Word is not going to return void.”