Dozens of churches around the world are planning to participate in a special missions trip that involves bringing Christ and His message to a huge community where the Gospel is not the most popular subject.
So far, nearly 2,000 teens have signed up for the "Online Missions Trip" to bombard popular social networking sites with stories about God.
"[T]his is a two-week opportunity for all of us to bombard Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, whatever social places you go to online, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ," explains Tim Schomoyer, the organizer of the missions trip and youth pastor at Alexandria Covenant Church in Minnesota, in the missions trip's promotional video.
From Feb. 1-14, students from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and elsewhere will use the power of the internet to share Christ with people not only on the other side of the world but across the street and with friends in their school.
Pre-"trip" training on how to effectively get messages about Christ out using social networks begins on Jan. 11 and will continue until Jan. 31.
During the "trip," participants will upload videos and photos, post links, and use status updates to share what God is doing in their lives. Participants will also write notes, send messages, post blogs, create invitations to their youth group, and do other things that will help bring God up in a conversation online.
Online conversations, however, are only the initial step. The goal is to eventually lead people into face-to-face discussions. Outreach events and new-believer follow-ups will start beginning on Feb. 15 and will include a free four-part series from Lifechurch.tv, entitled "What's Next?"
"Afterwards, you'll have maybe some events you'll be using, like events in Facebook to invite your friends to come to small groups or youth groups," says Schmoyer.
Alexandria Covenant Church, for example, will be using the youth curriculum "Gospel Journey Maui" by the popular youth ministry Dare 2 Share and send invitations to a large number of young people in the area to discuss what Christians believe and why, as well as what other faiths believe.
The after-"trip" curriculum at Alexandria Covenant Church is slated to span for about another nine weeks after the online missions trip ends.
Schmoyer says he expects more people to register for the trip before it begins in February because Dare 2 Share recently sent out a special email to about 20,000 youth pastors, according to the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Resources and other helpful materials for the "trip" are already available online.
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