Need for Online Missionaries Rises as Web Outreach Booms

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By Kenneth Chan, Christian Post Editor
March 15, 2010|11:39 pm

Building off of the momentum from 2009, the media arm of Campus Crusade for Christ says it is poised to touch even more lives throughout 2010.

“We believe that God has given us the technology and the strategy,” says Allan Beeber, the Orlando director of Global Media Outreach, and “as more and more believers get involved, we think it’s possible to see the Great Commission fulfilled, five to ten times over in ten years.”

What Global Media Outreach really needs now, however, are workers who will reap the harvest.

Last year, 66 million people reportedly visited one or more of GMO’s 100-plus websites to search for information online about Jesus and the hope he brings.

Of that, more than ten million indicated a decision to follow Christ and nearly two million initiated discipleship and requested more information about Jesus and Christianity through GMO’s 4,000 online missionaries.

“GMO’s Web sites allow online spiritual seekers to directly knock on the ‘electronic’ front doors of participating volunteers, who can guide them in their faith,” the ministry reports.

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Notably, however, as more and more people gain access to the internet and visit GMO sites requesting for more information, more and more “mature” believers are needed to respond.

“Google tells us that every day, two million people are making spiritually-related searches on the internet,” says Beeber. “Of those two million people every day, we are now reaching 300,000 a day … and they are communicating with us.”

To meet the demand, GMO says it needs at least 10,000 online missionaries – more than double how many it currently has.

And so it’s encouraging believers everywhere to join the effort by devoting even just 15 minutes of their day to helping respond to the e-mail inquiries received – 80 to 90 percent of which reportedly are sent from outside of the United States.

“There are so many believers who have really wanted to share their faith, but they didn’t know who was open, they aren’t quick on their feet, and they just didn’t know how to do it. Well, this gives them the opportunity every day to be part of the harvest,” says Beeber.

Last year, to get more churchgoers involved in their Web effort, GMO launched “GmoAlwaysReady,” an online missions program available to all churches.

It is also recruiting volunteers one at a time through its main website, www.globalmediaoutreach.com, with applications available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Still, even with the ministry's current efforts, the demand is outgrowing the supply.

Since its inception in 2004, GMO has seen the number of people indicating a decision for Christ grow exponentially from 21,066 people annually to more than ten million people in 2009. The internet ministry had originally projected around five million decisions for 2009.

So far, the ministry has not publicly announced a projection for 2010. But based on current trends, it could be over 30 million.

“It is so exciting just to realize that we may be closer than we have ever realized to fulfilling the Great Commission,” says Beeber. “It’s an exciting time to be alive.”

Presently, Christians participating in the ministry typically spend only a few minutes a day responding to emails and hold another full-time job. Volunteers come from a wide range of professional backgrounds - including business executives, housewives, students, truck drivers, and others - and are often recruited from evangelical churches and recommended by their pastors.

GMO English-language websites include WhoisJesus-Really.com, GodLovestheWorld.com, 4StepstoGod.com, and GrowinginChrist.com, among many others.

 

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