The Internet evangelism ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, marked a milestone this past weekend as the 5 millionth person indicated a decision to accept Jesus as his Savior through their evangelistic online presence at PeaceWithGod.net.
"This is significant because we're following Billy Graham's legacy of taking the most advanced technical capabilities available and reaching people where they are with the hope of Jesus," said John Cass, BGEA's Director of Internet Evangelism. "This has given us the opportunity to go to the ends of the earth."
The Search For Jesus ministry, which uses Bible passages and compelling video presentations to share the Gospel with visitors to the site, launched in May 2011.
Overall, more than 20,000 people each day are viewing a presentation of the Gospel via BGEA's online evangelism platform. "For decades we have worked to fill venues with people so Billy, Franklin or Will Graham can proclaim the Gospel," said Cass. "The way we look at it, this is similar to welcoming a full arena to hear the message on a daily basis. The difference is that our audience may be in Russia, or Saudi Arabia, or other places where we may not normally be able to go."
For instance, in October 2014 alone, 45,000 people in Iraq, 34,000 in Syria and 33,000 in Saudi Arabia experienced the Good News of Jesus Christ through PeaceWithGod.net.
The goal and challenge, according to Cass, has always been to bring the person who indicated a decision for Christ from online clicking to offline discipleship. To that end, the ministry has developed an extensive network of trained volunteers who are available to live chat with inquirers who visit the site and have additional needs or questions. They've also created follow-up materials for new believers, and actively work to assist the person in finding a local church where they can grow in their new faith.
While the BGEA's SearchForJesus.net Internet evangelism ministry has only existed for a few years, the ministry has found positive synergy with other longer-standing outreaches within the organization, offering an online evangelistic presence and support to Franklin Graham Festivals, My Hope with Billy Graham, and other ministries.
"Even though we're celebrating and giving God praise for the 5 millionth decision for Christ through this ministry, we realize that it's not about the number," said Cass. "Each and every person who has responded to the Gospel message on our site – from the first to the 5 millionth – is somebody's son or daughter; somebody's mother or father. Each person is someone who has been prayed for and who is loved by God."
The BGEA proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available, officials state. For more information, visit BillyGraham.org. Get news updates on Twitter at Twitter.com/BGEAnews.