The growth of the Internet over the last ten years has been incredible. As a result there will soon be a billion Web users worldwide.
While there are hundreds of thousands of Christian web sites, the vast majority of these only interest Christians. There are very few designed to interest non believers. However, the potential of the Internet to attract non-Christians is enormous.
With that untapped potential in mind, the "Internet Evangelism Coalition" (an umbrella group of outreach ministries) has designated April 24 2005 as "Internet Evangelism Day" (IE).
According to a press release from the group, the day will focus entirely on web evangelism awareness day. There will be no attempt to raise funds.
There is a wealth of downloadable material at the IE Day site (www.InternetEvangelismDay.com).
Offerings include a five-minute video testimony from a student who found God online, short drama scripts, PowerPoint presentations, discussion questions and a variety of useful links.
Many churches and Christian ministries, the group reported in the same press release, are already planning to include information about Internet evangelism on or around April 24.
The IE Day team hopes for a range of outcomes from the event. According to the group's release, high on the list is that rather than just using their web site to provide an online bulletin board service for their members, churches will begin to create effective sites for effective community outreach.
According to the IE web site, "It is a mistake to regard the evangelistic potential of the Web as merely tracts on a screen.' Such a perception will greatly limit its potential for outreach. Instead, we must understand the Web's nature as a medium and learn how to work with its inherent strengths. Only then can we begin to use the staggering opportunities it offers us.
"It's an exciting challenge" said IE Day Co-ordinator Tony Whittaker in the release . "The potential of the Web is enormous."
Other leaders shared his enthusiasm. "The Internet is one of the most key tools that God has given us in the church today," said George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization, in the release.
Speaking in the same news release, Dr. David Tucker of Trans World Radio said, "I am excited to see how God will reveal Himself in mighty ways through the uniqueness of cyberspace."
Churches and individuals wanting to learn more about web evangelism can go to http://ied.gospelcom.net/training.php
IE Day is endorsed internationally (http://ied.gospelcom.net/supporting.php) by a wide range of organizations that include the Evangelical Alliance UK, Christianity Today International and Evangelism Explosion International.