The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has launched a new form of evangelism designed to reach those using the internet.
A beta version of the ministry's evangelism program was introduced in late April, and has received a tremendously positive reaction in a place where some people spent most of their time.
“We are proclaiming the gospel through multiple means and strategies,” said the BGEA’s vice president Preston Parrish to The Christian Post. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Internet is the future arena for a majority of evangelism, but the Internet is certainly an increasingly strategic arena for evangelism.”
Parrish feels that the Internet is an integral part of the daily lives of people everywhere.
The ministry launched its Search for Jesus Internet evangelism effort to connect with millions of people looking to find the answers to the toughest questions in life.
“It’s really just our latest application of Billy Graham’s practice over the past 60 years-to take the gospel to as many people as possible using every effective means,” said Parrish.
According to Parrish, individuals can ask questions such as “What happens when I die?” or “Why am I here?” in popular search engines. BGEA’s online evangelism effort will then direct them to web pages that can provide them with Christ-centered answers in hopes of communicating the gospel to them through the discussion.
Online E-counselors are available if the users would like to chat more. The ministry’s main goal is to get those seeking answers to commit to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
E-counselors are Search for Jesus volunteers who are prepared to respond to the popular questions asked and communicate the gospel.
“The ultimate goal of the counseling is to lead those searching for answers to biblical truths of the gospel and toward making a personal decision to receive Christ,” said Parrish.
Once the decision to follow Christ is made, the ministry then follows up on the seeker with a series of emails and directions to online resources along with information for new believers.
BGEA will also start to use volunteer “Discipleship Coaches” to mentor and disciple some of the new believers through a five lesson online discipleship course and help them to find a local church.
“We began testing Search for Jesus on a small scale a few months ago and the response has been stunning,” said Parrish.
The vice president told CP that over 60,000 people have made an online commitment to trust Christ as savior through the ministries website PeaceWithGod.net.
“We are thrilled by what we’ve seen God do already and we’re looking forward to what he has in store as we implement this strategy in many other languages and regions,” Parrish said.
Parrish feels the return of Christ is imminent and that now is the time to proclaim the gospel aggressively and reach as many people as possible.