God has used COVID-19 to create the greatest evangelism opportunity in history, said evangelist Nick Hall.
Hall is the leader and founder of Pulse, an evangelistic organization that reaches young people around the world with the Gospel. He told The Christian Post that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide accepted the Gospel at higher rates than normal.
“I think this could be the greatest evangelistic hour in the history of global Christianity and I say that with 2020 as the starting point,” he said.
Other online evangelism groups including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Global Media Outreach and Cru have also experienced a rise in the number of people interested in faith.
Like many others, Hall suffered the loss of a loved one in 2020. His sister died of cancer in February, he said.
“Going through that experience of grief and pain it gave me a head start in experiencing what people were feeling,” he said. “Death is hard, and suffering is hard. There’s no sugarcoating it. But when you come close to death, it forces you to deal with the brevity of life.
"My sister had hope. She had joy even at the end. I just think, in a God-ordained way, if my sister hadn’t died our team wouldn’t have pivoted and put on this program.”
In 2020, Pulse shared the Gospel with over 120 million households from 140 countries during Easter Week alone, Hall said. Of those people, 130,556 became Christians.
“With total views of people hearing the Gospel last year, we had more people in a single year hear the Gospel than we’ve had in the last 15 years combined,” he added.
In 2020, events have shaken many institutions that people once considered invincible, said Hall. When people see that the economy, the government, and modern medicine cannot give them inner peace, they turn to God. Although church attendance has declined, more people are looking for God now, he added.
“There’s a lot of people who are now seekers. There’s been a massive increase in hunger for God,” Hall emphasized. “It’s true in human history that when hard times happen, people are more inclined to turn to God. What’s true all the time is that we aren’t actually in control. We’re forced to turn to something bigger.”
Pulse’s online evangelism broadcasts reached young people around the world in 2020. But the locations with the most interest were India, the continent of Africa, and Russia, he noted. Young people from these countries have a surprising amount of culture in common. They all speak the language of the internet.
“Unlike previous generations, young people around the world share a single culture,” said Hall. “Youth culture is one voice. Young people are listening to the same voices, hearing the same music, watching the same Netflix episodes. Technology for all its negatives has also united the world, and we’re finding ways to use that for good.”
Christians who are adept at using the internet in ministry can find common ground with young people from almost anywhere, he said. This phenomenon opens doors for evangelism in unlikely places.
“[Today’s youth] have been raised by the internet. Everybody knows Lionel Messi. Everyone knows Justin Bieber. Everyone knows K-pop. I’ve met kids in Russia who learned English by playing 'Call of Duty,'” said Hall. “I think it gives common ground.”
COVID-19 further united the world with lockdowns, as people worldwide were forced to wear masks and isolate themselves from each other, he said. With so much common ground, Christians have a great opportunity to reach others for Christ.
“There’s such an opportunity for those who can get their eyes lifted beyond their own circumstance and realize that God is over it. There is more openness now than ever before,” Hall said. “In the history of Christianity, when things are hard, those are the best times for the Church. There is no story when there is prosperity and it results in good things for people of faith.”