In a culture where Jesus has more fans than the Church or its followers, outreach ministries are finding simple and effective ways to get people answers to who Jesus is.
A recent survey by Global Media Outreach, an Internet ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, found an overwhelming number of positive responses to the Jesus 101 course offered on JesusCentral.com. Among the 1,000 persons who completed the course, 93 percent said their appreciation of Jesus "increased much."
"We recognize that JesusCentral.com is a great starting point for people who want to learn about Jesus," said Mark Weimer, CEO of Global Media Outreach.
The survey also found that eighty-seven percent said they "increased much" in their knowledge of Jesus and 93 percent would recommend Jesus 101 to a friend.
Jesus 101 is an introductory course that surveys Jesus' life and teachings with an emphasis on Jesus' own quotations. The course is designed for those – including persons without personal faith – willing to study one hour per week for six weeks.
Survey results are released at a time when many non-Christians in their 20s and 30s have a positive attitude toward Jesus but are becoming increasingly skeptical and resistant toward Christianity and the church. Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church, conducted interviews on a so-called "pagan" college campus and found most students liked and admired Jesus. At the same time, many had a negative view of the church, saying that Christians and churches have "messed things up."
A recent Barna Group survey also revealed that negative perceptions toward the Christian faith outweigh the positive among today's young Americans.
But with thousands in search for God or answers to life's common questions online and some even making decisions for Christ in front of their computer screen, ministries are maximizing their opportunity on the Internet for outreach.
Global Media Outreach sponsors over 25 websites to reach different groups of people, mainly those in search for answers to such questions as "Who is Jesus?"
JesusCentral.com is a comprehensive site that Global Media Outreach recommends for students searching for simple, clear and credible information about Jesus.
"The survey results clearly demonstrate that JesusCentral.com is a productive and effective learning tool," said Vip Patel, president and founder of the website.
People from 194 different countries have contributed user-generated content on JesusCentral.com, which was founded in 2001.