Global Media Outreach (GMO), an Internet ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International, announced Thursday that it has named Dan Pierson as the new director of its Response Center in Californias Silicon Valley.
Pierson, a retired manufacturing company owner, said that he hopes to use his people skills and experience in team building to train volunteers who answer emails from respondents to GMO's many evangelistic websites.
"I'll be training them within a scope of an existing training manual and online video," he told the Christian Post Thursday. "We're training online because many times these folks are in different states and different countries."
While GMO only has two Response Centers, in Los Gatos, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., according to Pierson, the coalition currently has 600-700 volunteers from numerous states and countries, including Russia, Sweden, and France, answering anywhere from 1 to 5 emails a day.
"Dan has helped our response center move to the next level," said Walt Wilson, founder and chairman of GMO. "We have already trained a number of people on the West Coast. Dan's role will be to train volunteers who answer email from respondents to our websites, as well as complete our discipleship program."
Nearly two-thirds of online Americans use the Internet for faith-related reasons, reported the Pew Internet & American Life Project in May 2005.
Americans along with other online users are not only finding their way to GMO's websites but responding positively to them.
GMO reports that through its websites, which present the gospel every 5 seconds, more than 680 people indicate decisions for Jesus Christ every day, with one person making a decision every two minutes.
"The future is really unlimited," remarked Pierson, noting that 100 million new users are logging online everyday. "Spiritual searches online is the second most sought after information."
The mission of Global Media Outreach, according to a statement, is to utilize the core principles of Campus Crusade to win people to Christ, build believers in their faith, and send them to win, build and send others, through creative and proactive use of Internet-based communication technologies.
Once an email is received from someone who has made a decision or is interested in learning more about Christianity, response centers then direct the email to one of their volunteers, who will communicate with the respondent to find out his specific needs and eventually connect him to resources that will further his life of faith.
For example, new believers can be directed to a new website developed by GMO, www.keystochristiangrowth.com, which outlines ten keys or concepts that are important in the life of a growing Christian.
But one of the main goals of response centers is to plug seekers into a local church as soon as possible, said Pierson.
"We're here to support the local church not take from it," he said. "There is no replacement for faith-to-faith building or mentoring that happens all in the context of a local church."
Michelle Diedrich, who also works at the Response Center in Los Gatos, reported to the Christian Post that the Center has a church-finder database which volunteers and staff members use in locating local churches for respondents.
"We know through Campus Crusade's 50 years of winning, building and sending that our response program must complete the circle for new believers, rather than just make a one-time contact," said Mark Weimer, CEO of Global Media Outreach. "Our response centers provide a great online way to conduct follow-up with new believers and connect them to local churches."
As GMO enters the 21st century, it continues to look for new technological venues to present the gospel. Pierson said that using I-Pods to present the gospel is a possibility the organization is considering.
One of GMO's newer projects is a website documenting the testimony of a terminally-ill 16-year-old girl named Stacie, who died earlier this year in March. Her testimony of how Jesus Christ changed her life led to hundreds if not thousands of people being saved in Florida, according to Diedrich. A recorded video Stacie's testimony will also be included on the website, www.staciestory.com, once it launches.
For more information on Global Media Outreach, visit www.globalmediaoutreach.com.