We have the potential to share the Gospel with everyone on earth by 2020, stated the head of an internet ministry.
“We are the first generation in all of human history to hold within our hands the technology to reach every man, woman and child on the earth by 2020,” said Walt Wilson, founder and CEO of Global Media Outreach, during the recent iSummit at Biola University. “Our generation has within its grasp everything that is required to fulfill the Great Commission.”
Wilson, a former Apple executive, said by 2015 there will be WiFi everywhere on earth.
This Sunday, GMO is sponsoring Internet Evangelism Day. In its sixth year, IE Day is a time for churches and individuals to take time to explore new ways to reach people near and far for Christ through the internet.
GMO, the media arm of Campus Crusade for Christ, believes that online mission is not only financially efficient, but it allows people to share the Gospel in restricted regions where traditional missionaries have a hard time entering.
Through the ministry’s more than 100 websites, seekers around the world searching for spiritual answers can connect with online missionaries who respond to their questions. GMO currently has more than 4,000 online missionary volunteers who respond to e-mails from around the world from seekers.
With this new approach of spreading the Gospel, Christians can do missions without having to leave their full-time jobs or relocate.
Last year alone, GMO recorded over 10 million decisions for Christ from seekers who were found through the ministry’s websites. The figure is a huge increase from the ministry’s first year in 2004 when it saw 21,066 people indicate a decision for Christ.
“I believe that God has built this network to accomplish that very purpose [reaching the entire world] within our lifetime,” said Wilson. “We are being called to engage in the battle for human souls, all across the world. We are being given the tools to meet them in their time of need. The moment they step out of the darkness, we are there to meet them.”
There are an estimated 2 million searches for spiritual needs every day.
Michelle Diedrich, communications director at GMO, said during a webinar Wednesday that there is a lot of evil on the internet and Christians should be on the internet helping people find Jesus.
“[M]ore people use the internet than go to church,” said Diedrich. “New thinking is required for outreach in the post-Christian age.”
In an interview with The Christian Post this week, Diedrich said GMO’s goal is to be part of the whole cycle in leading people to Christ: share the Gospel, help people grow in their faith, and help them connect to a local church or body of Christ.
She said online missionaries can go “very deep” with people they are guiding spiritually.
Still, “there are things you cannot do online," Diedrich acknowledged.
"You cannot visit someone in the hospital. You cannot bring them a covered dish if they are sick. You can’t lay hands on them physically. So there are things certainly that the on-the-ground church does that you can no way do online.”
But people being raised through GMO are able to do online Bible studies individually, be mentored, and join weekly online small group Bible studies.
“We really try to offer multiple options for someone once they made a decision to help them grow whether that is chat Bible studies, self-service online Bible studies, or working through materials with the person they are talking to,” said Diedrich.
Last year, 66 million people reportedly visited one or more of GMO’s 100-plus websites to search for information about Jesus and the hope he brings.