Internet Evangelism Thoughts

Internet Evangelism Thoughts

My friend and fellow PneumaBlogger, Frank N. Johnson over at Strategic Digital Outreach, was recently highlighted on GospelCom’s GospelCon blog. In “Flawed Follow-Up or a Flawed Philosophy of Evangelism?” Frank writes:

[T]hose of us involved in Internet evangelism in the West have, in many cases, devalued face-to-face relationships and neglected (or even abandoned) the local aspect of Christian community. … [W]e … are much too quick to assume that virtual community is just as ideal as face-to-face community. …

It is my strong conviction that the unbeliever must be immersed into Christian community prior to conversion in order for the unbeliever to understand that God loves him/her and to understand the purpose of Jesus’ mission on earth (that’s the point, I think, of Jesus’ statements in John 17:21-23). I don’t think that such immersion into Christian community is possible in the worldwide digital realm to the same extent that it is in the local physical realm. …

I tend to think that our basic philosophy of evangelism is flawed. If our approach was to encourage unbelievers to be immersed into Christian community prior to conversion, we would find that our “follow-up” would be much more effective. …

Our goal with the Internet and other digital means should not be primarily to gain new converts, but to facilitate the introduction of unbelievers into local Christian communities, which are the most effective context for outreach.

Touching on issues I’ve blogged about previously (specifically, A/G church growth stats and our discpleship issues), Frank makes a good case for not placing too much value on Internet-based relationships without a face-to-face, meatspace component. In fact, Frank very says that without prior engagement with a local body of believers, conversion and discipleship may not occur at all. And we have our own statistics to demonstrate that without mentoring and discipleship, coverts don’t “stick.”

GospelCon puts a sharper point on it by asking GodBloggers about their online conversion strategy:

[I]f your website or ministry has an evangelistic focus–perhaps even an invitation for visitors to accept Christ and become a Christian–it’s worth asking yourself: what do we do after one of our visitors accepts Christ through our website? Are we equipping them to grow in Christ and plug into a local church community? If it’s not possible to do that (perhaps the convert lives in a country that is hostile to the Gospel), are we doing our best to provide the online equivalent of the community and discipleship that is normally found in a physical church family?

The upshot of all this is really the delicate question that must be asked: do we pursue virtual conversions at the cost of souls?

I’m not a huge fan of online evangelism, just as I’m not a huge fan of bar-evangelism. Solid, healthy decisions to believe in Christ and make him Lord, to follow him in discipleship and obedience, can only be made soberly, with the facts in hand, and in light of the costs of being an apprentice to Jesus.

That said, I’ve witnessed to drunks (“Waiting for the Harvest”). I’ve witnessed in a bar (once responding to the challenge to explain the Gospel in five minutes to a PI who felt he’d never heard a decent Gospel presentation), I’ve witnessed to skeptical co-workers at a housewarming party. I’ve done street-witnessing. I’m a huge fan of witnessing when the opportunity presents itself, but I’m realistic and pragmatic about the call for conversion—sometimes we really only have the opportunity to defend the Gospel, to plant seeds, to call for repentance, to provide aid and comfort, to be hospitable. Every interaction with a seeker doesn’t necessarily have to lead to an altar call. It didn’t for Jesus, and there’s no reason you have to see every opportunity to open your mouth as a call for the Sinner’s Prayer. Being born a second time is a lot like being born the first time: there’s a gestation period, and premature births aren’t always in the new believer’s best interest.

But is it possible to witness online? I mean, is it possible to lead another to Christ online?

Yes. When God orchestrates the encounter.

Let me give you a brief example. In July of 2000 I answered a technical email that had been languishing in a discussion group inbox in my mail client for a few months. I answered it for no better reason than I was compelled to one night before leaving the office— and it was only one call for help out of several hundred emails in my queue. The next day I was stunned to discover that my email had become a direct answer to a prayer uttered by Kathi Sharpe, a fully committed pagan Wiccan. You see, God had been working Kathi over in her dreams, appearing to her, calling her to serve him. When she had enough of it, she asked God to solve this one technical problem that had been plaguing her for months, and that if he would do that, she’d seriously consider his claim on her heart. That next morning, my email was waiting in her inbox. What followed was a year-long series of correspondences and IM chat sessions where Kathi voiced her frustrations, her questions, and her celebrations. She started out a troubled Wiccan, came to faith quickly, and began growing in faith and maturity immediately. Now Kathi leads an online ministry to Wiccans, blogs, and serves faithfully in her local church. (See the transcript log at The Sharpe Logs.)

In this case, Kathi had a local church resource she could turn to immediately after coming to faith, and at several points in our dialog I deflected her questions to her pastor, who could ultimately provide better counsel. In many ways this anecdote only demonstrates the wisdom of Frank’s charge: Successful conversions require (or at least are vastly improved by) a local community of believers for fellowship, instruction, and growth. But in some other ways it also demonstrates that online conversions and discipleship are possible when the seeker initiates the dialog.

I agree with Frank that witnessing and evangelism are inherently relational. I would not recommend that a church just post the sinners prayer online hoping that this will lead to conversions and discipleship. Yes, this practice has a long and colorful history rooted in the covert placement of nifty evangelism tracts on park benches and doctor’s waiting rooms. And, yes, such impersonal presentations of the Gospel can and do have an impact of sorts. But sometimes the impact is negative, and it really is important for people new to the faith to find a local church and get involved. And the person least likely to know this is exactly the person you’re trying to reach.

Rather than doing online evangelism, I suggest we simply focus on being faithful in everything we do, whether it’s online, offline, in-line at Starbucks, or as we recline at home. Our faithfulness and our own personal discipleship will help assure a ready response when a query comes in over the email transom or in the comments section of our blog. It’s not about doing evangelism, but being disciples and making disciples. And, frankly, web pages do not disciples make.


[tags]BlogRodent, born-again, Christianity, conversion, faith, frank-johnson, gospelcom, gospelcon, internet-evangelism, online-evangelism, pentecostal, strategic-digital-outreach, witnessing, witnessing online[/tags]

21 thoughts on “Internet Evangelism Thoughts

  1. Rich Post author

    Just to clarify, Frank Johnson’s main point is:

    The error we make, it seems to me, is that we think of face-to-face community only as the vehicle through which new believers are matured in the Christian faith, grow spiritually “afterwards,” etc. — as something which occurs _after_ conversion.

    Our error is that we don’t think of immersion into Christian community as something that needs to happen to an unbeliever _prior_ to conversion. John 17:21-23 implies that without such an immersion into Christian community prior to conversion, the unbeliever will not come to know that the Father loves them or learn of Christ’s mission on earth. Without those realizations, the unbeliever cannot be saved.

    See the rest of his clarifying comment at the GospelCon blog .


  2. Frank Johnson

    Thanks Rich, for your insightful thoughts in response to the posts on my blog and the GospelCon blog.

    Obviously, God can do whatever He wants. I have a friend who is fond of saying (about a different subject), “I’m not putting God in a box. God puts me in a box.” In other words, while God can do whatever He pleases, He often gives us patterns by which we can recognize His work. The box He has put me in with regard to this issue is that the unbeliever needs to be immersed into Christian community prior to conversion. Can He do it differently? Of course.

    But the principle I need to follow (whether in face-to-face witnessing or online) is to strongly encourage the people I speak with to find a local body of believers with whom to associate as they evaluate the claims of Christ. If I’m in a face-to-face conversation in Santa Cruz County, then I know a myriad of churches I can recommend which might fit their personality and/or geographic location. If I’m having an online conversation, it’s obviously more of a challenge.

    The exception to this is in creative access nations where we might not be able to point someone to a local body of believers (either because we don’t know of one or because of security issues).

    With regard to Kathi’s experience, I wonder if she had any contact with believers prior to conversion. Maybe she hadn’t been part of a local body, but she had observed the interaction of believers in her neighborhood.

    The expression of Christian life which we see in a Sunday morning service is usually not community in any sense of the word. It’s more often a performance. Attending a typical Sunday morning service, therefore, may not convince the unbeliever of God’s love and Jesus’ mission on earth (because, in that setting, they have no opportunity to observe the love of God as its lived out in the relationships between believers). In fact, I don’t think our paradigm of church life in general is particularly conducive to evangelism or discipleship.

    But inviting an unbeliever to a small group or a backyard barbecue can be very effective.

    A few years ago, when my wife and I were leading a small group, one of the families gave birth to their second child. Everyone got together and brought them meals for a couple of weeks. We didn’t think much of it because it’s just something you do in the Christian community. One of the mother’s friends, who was an unbeliever, asked her later, “What made those people do that for you?” It became the perfect opportunity for the mother to share the claims of Christ with her friend and invite her to participate in our small group (which she, along with her husband, did until the small group disbanded).

    Again, my thinking is more in regard to what should be normative than what must absolutely be required. I probably didn’t make that clear enough in my posts and comments.

    Thanks again for the conversation — I appreciate it!

  3. Rich Post author

    Yes, Kathi did have some exposure to Christianity before her conversion, but it’s a mixed-bag. She went to Sunday School as a child and knew the Bible quite well, but her SS teachers couldn’t answer her questions and responded very negatively to them, and that was one of the reasons she ultimately rejected Christianity and Christ along with it. And some of her extended family members were rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, fundamentalistic Pentecostals, which only further solidified her rejection of anything Christian, especially anything Pentecostal. And yes, she did visit an A/G church with a family member, but it was more confusing to her at that point than eye-opening or community-embracing.

    On the surface it does appear to validate your point — perhaps it does. But, to me, it’s a matter of the kind and degree of exposure. When does a pickle become a cucumber? What you’ve described (and I like the description) is an ideal kind of exposure to Christian community: disciples doing their faith and manifesting Christ’s love. I don’t think Kathi really had much exposure to that kind of community, and I don’t think you’re arguing that just any exposure to any kind of church culture satisfies the need you’re describing.

    In the end, because faith is inherently relational, except in unusual and extreme exceptions, almost all faith encounters and conversions must require some f2f component, some exposure to sowers, waterers, and reapers. And it may be a moot point anyhow.

    I agree that there is a lot of dysfunction in our Western church culture. (Perhaps you’re not implying that, but I’m inferring it.) While I don’t think we need to attempt to return to a primitivist 1st Century way of “doing church” I do think that the way we do church today isn’t always very “Christian” or even “Jesusy.”

    But I think the dysfunction lies deeper than just a failure to build community, I think the failure to build community is a symptom of a failure to disciple. A failure to seek and embrace spiritual transformation that leads to genuine character transformation.

    There can be no community where there is no discipleship, for the mentoring/apprenticing relationship of a discipleship program builds the bonds that creates genuine community. Any attempt to create a community without discipleship will be an attempt to overlay a community “template” on top of individuals only loosely bonded together. As soon as the vision for the “template” wanes, the community reveals its flaws.

    This is why cults are so powerful: each individual is ultimately brainwashed (a perverted form of discipleship) by someone close to the inner core if not by the core leader himself. This creates very strong bonds between individuals. Those bonds generate community, and when a newcomer appears, the community opens its arms to welcome the newbie. As Martin has noted in Kingdom of the Cults, people don’t decide to join cults because they make intellectual sense, they join because they like how they feel when they’re around the members of the community.

    Sinners don’t generally like how they feel when they’re around judgmental church cultures. This is in contradistinction to the early church where people marveled at the graciousness and winsomeness of Jesus and his disciples. (The antagonism in the NT between Jesus and Co. toward others is almost universally directed at hypocritical religious leadership, not the unwashed masses.)

    But, really, I should let Kathi answer for herself if she gets a chance to drive by here and post a comment.


  4. Kathi Sharpe

    Weighing in here in response to Frank’s question:

    With regard to Kathi’s experience, I wonder if she had any contact with believers prior to conversion. Maybe she hadn’t been part of a local body, but she had observed the interaction of believers in her neighborhood.

    Sort of. I grew up in an ultra-ultra liberal church. I was literally taught, in a church with a pretty white steeple, that the resurrection was a myth and Jesus was not a real historical figure. (These same folks took communion once a month like clockwork, though ::shudders::) That was what I thought “Christian” was until adulthood, when I had quite a few opportunities to see hypocrisy at work — and a few outright liars.

    I can name two Christians out of my entire life, Frank… one being my mother in law (I married my husband a couple of years before we were saved); the other being a guy I worked for who prayed for me daily for the entire five years that I knew him. (drove me crazy, too) I thought the two of them were loons and I avoided all religious discussion with them and as much contact that might put us beyond casual conversation as I possibly could.

    I’d met some Christians online, too — most of them were so outright nasty to me when they found out I was a witch that I figured that’s what “your god” must be like (putting it into the way I thought back then…) Meeting Rich was quite a surprise — especially in the way it happened. :)

    The Lord led me to establish an online outreach to pagans and occultists. For quite a few years we maintained a discussion forum; over the last year that has outgrown itself and He’s leading us in other directions now. We still do direct outreach on the internet, though.

    We have found that there are some principles that are rock-solid for web evangelism, the foremost being that the sooner a person engages with a local body of believers, the better.

    We actually make initial church contacts for people; I’ve talked to pastors worldwide about whether they would welcome an ex-pagan or seeker into their church. Most are enthusiastic about doing so, but I’ve run into some who outright refuse to have hell-bound satan’s spawn in their churches (myself included… there’s a fair number of people out there who feel that the occult is The Unforgiveable Sin ::shrugs:: I’m so glad that Jesus disagrees!)

    Got to go… :)

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  6. Kathi Sharpe

    I think the failure to build community is a symptom of a failure to disciple. A failure to seek and embrace spiritual transformation that leads to genuine character transformation.

    Rich, I’d agree. And failure to disciple, for many churches, begins with a failure to even welcome people at the front door on Sunday morning with a smile. Especially if the people at the front door look or dress differently or might not be able to put so much in the offering plate.

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  8. Mark

    You go Kathi… LOL

    Yes, the best situation is to get them connected with a local body of believers, but that is not always possible.
    And in the case of Ex-occultists, you darn well better make yourself available as a safety net for when the local body does something ignorant.

    Not saying it is easy, not saying it is best, but it is necessary to reach some folks.


  9. Rich Post author

    Hi, guys, I have some additional thoughts on evangelism in an article reposted from something I wrote for Christianity Today Library:

    Toward the end of the article, I describe the stunning numbers of people leaving the American church, and I cite some quotes from folks who have evidence that shows our evangelism strategy is too confrontational, too fact-based, and not nearly relational enough. It’s interesting food for thought.

    And it further butresses Frank’s proposal.



  10. mark

    I’m afraid I don’t see where it would butress Frank’s proposal though Rich.

    Perhaps I am missing something, but if Frank says they need to be immersed in the christian community first… but you’ve found them to be pouring out of the seams of the church… I fail to see how they support each other.


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  12. Rich Post author

    Hi, Mark, thanks for the request for clarification.

    I’m not completely sold on Frank’s proposal, but I’m also open to what he has to say about the value of exposure to Christ-in-us through community that makes Evangelism really work.

    Where I think my article butresses Frank’s point is that the evangelism efforts that caused the greatest fallout among the new converts were those strategies that were not inherently relational. The strategy that was the most relational worked best, and that strategy largely coincides with Frank’s suggestion: Build relationships with the seeker/nonbeliever first. As Jerry Cook said:

    [Unbelievers] are drawn to a relationship. That’s why “sinners” were drawn to Jesus. He never attacked them. He simply said, “You can be forgiven.” …

    And that’s kind of Frank’s point.


  13. Frank Johnson

    Perhaps I should clarify my thinking a bit. I definitely do think the article Rich referenced buttresses my position — my heart soared when I read it, for just the reason that Rich points out — that building relationships between believers and unbelievers is the most effective strategy for evangelism.

    As I hinted at in my original article and my comment at the Gospelcon blog, I’ve come to my conclusion through careful consideration of John 17:21-23. In those verses, Jesus says that if His disciples are one and perfected in unity, then the world will know:

    1) that the Father loves them; and,

    2) that the Father sent Jesus (which I take to imply a knowledge of what Jesus’ mission was).

    I’ve come to my conclusion about the necessity of immersion into Christian community prior to conversion by working backwards through Jesus’ statements in those verses.

    First, I ask myself if it’s possible for someone who does not know that the Father loves them and that the Father sent Jesus to be converted. I say No. Without that very rudimentary understanding of the gospel message, how could anyone be saved. How could someone who didn’t understand the Father’s love and Jesus’ mission on earth begin to understand their need for salvation?

    Then my next question is this: if it’s necessary for someone to understand the Father’s love and Jesus’ mission on earth, how do they gain that understanding? Through seeing that Jesus’ disciples are one and perfected in unity.

    Finally, how does someone see that Jesus’ disciples are one and perfected in unity? My answer to this is not an absolute rule. It’s certainly possible for someone to come to Christ without a lot of exposure to Christian community (although I think that many who have come to Christ might not realize that they had more exposure to Christian community than is obvious to them now). I have a friend who is fond of saying, “I’m not putting God in a box — God puts me in a box.” In other words, the Scriptures sometimes give us normative patterns which we should follow. Are there exceptions to those patterns? Of course. But in the absence of clear direction to the contrary, we should be mindful of the normative patterns revealed in the Scriptures. I believe that this is one of those times.

    Can God save a person who is not first immersed into Christian community? Of course. Kathi and Mark seem to be examples of this. What should we do about people living in creative access nations — should we not reach out to them with digital means? Of course not. We should use every means available to us including instant messaging, email, discussion forums, websites, etc. (although I would say we should be praying that those people will come into contact with hidden believers). Mark, I agree with .

    But putting the exceptions aside, what is the normative pattern which the Scriptures reveal to us? I believe that the normative pattern is for a person to be exposed to (and yes, even immersed into) Christian community prior to their conversion. That’s how someone sees that Jesus’ disciples are one and perfected in unity which is the normative prerequisite for an unbeliever to know the Father loves them and that the Father sent Jesus.

    There are other passages of Scripture which at least suggest the same principle:

    Luke 10:1-11
    Jesus sends out the seventy two by two

    He tells them to find a man of peace – someone who is open to the Word of the Kingdom – and to stay in that man’s house. Jesus sends out a community (two by two) and that community between two disciples eventually expands to include the household of the man of peace.

    When the disciples leave that city, they leave a believing community behind and that community becomes the witness to Christ’s love and purpose in that city.

    Acts 2:42-47
    The disciples were continually devoting themselves (they were holding fast to, they were persevering in), among other things, fellowship and the breaking of bread. A quick note about the breaking of bread. In Middle Eastern thought, eating a meal with someone signifies that I accept that person completely and without reservation. To eat a meal with someone is to say to them that I want an intimate friendship with them, that they are my brother or sister (part of my family), that I want community with them. The disciples had all things in common and continued with one mind. A wonderful description of Christian community. The result? “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Part of the process by which the Lord adds disciples is by planting the community of Christ in their midst for all to see.

    The Apostolic Pattern in Acts
    The pattern in Acts is for the apostles to take traveling companions with them. Look at how many times Luke uses the terms “we,” “they,” “companions,” etc. The apostles, in effect, brought community with them on their missionary journeys. This idea is also supported by Paul’s sections of greetings at the end of some of his epistles (where he passes on the greetings of his companions). The apostles brought Christian community with them as they preached the gospel and planted churches. It was the backdrop for all they proclaimed.

    1 Thessalonians 1-2
    The power of the gospel to change lives finds its foundation in the way the apostolic band lived their lives among the Thessalonians. The depth of community which was demonstrated by the apostolic band (among themselves and among the larger community of Thessalonian believers) gave a certain amount of confirmation to the message that was preached.

    Mark, the power that you are seeking is not just a supernatural endowment. It comes at least partially through the way we live our lives among the brethren. In 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Paul says, “&hellipour gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction;”

    I’m a Pentecostal through and through. I believe in the gifts. I believe in the validity of and desperate need for miracles in our day. And so if I stopped reading there, I would be convinced that Paul was talking about the miraculous. But he goes on to say, “just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”

    The power of the gospel is found not only in miracles and the gifts but also in the way that Christ’s servants live their lives among the Thessalonians. This is how the gospel came to them in power — as the apostolic band lived out the principles of the Christian life and Christian community in full view of the Thessalonians — among them.

    The rest of 1 Thessalonians 1-2 bolsters this point. Chapter 2, verses 7-8 are especially poignant: “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”

    1 John 4:7-16
    In the midst of a discussion of Christian community (“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God ….”), John says that no one has beheld God at any time (verse 12). But then he seems to change course — “if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” That echoes John 17:21-23  — he’s talking about the same thing — that Jesus’ disciples should be one and perfected in unity.

    What’s the result of that unity? Although he said in verse 12 that no one has beheld God at any time, as a result of the unity of the disciples, he can say that “we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” That’s the mission of Jesus that John 17:21-23 talks about.

    In verse 16, John says, “And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.” That’s the love of the Father that John 17:21-23 talks about.

    How does the world “know” these things? When they see us loving one another and God’s love being perfected in us.

    Sorry for the length of this, but I felt like I should take the time to point out that my thinking is not just based on one passage, but on several threads which seem to wind themselves through the Scriptures.

    I’m glad this thread is getting some attention because I think it’s a very important question which needs to be answered.


  14. Rich Post author

    Frank, thanks for your additional clarification, it makes a much stronger case than what I’d read before.

    I think where my hang-up is in the statement that the unbeliever should be “immersed into” the Christian community. I think I tend to see it as the Christian community “penetrating” the secular communities. Thus: Jesus sending the seventy, Paul going on his missionary journeys, the disciples going to Temple, Jesus entering into houses to dine with pagans. Indeed, one of the cowardly charges levied against Jesus was that he associated with known sinners — not that he merely allowed them to associate with him.

    The more I think about it the more I think that it’s more than simply creating a “magnetic” community that attracts unbelievers, or simply hoping that our own magnetic personalities attract pagans, we must also focus on intentionally forging the relationships that expose others to Jesus-within-us. It’s not about waiting for them to come around and get immersed, its’ we who must flood them. Not in an antagonistic, confrontational sense, but in a pervasive, catalytic, change-agent sort of way.

    We must associate “going” with “being” disciples as we “make” disciples.


  15. Frank Johnson

    Rich — I think you’re exactly right. When I say the unbeliever should be “immersed into” Christian community, I am not necessarily thinking that means they need to come to a church service or some other expression of the organized church. Truth be told, I often wonder if that would be effective at all.

    Instead, I tend to think that the unbeliever should be immersed into the Christian community that is lived out at backyard barbecues in their neighborhoods, at skating parties for kids’ birthdays, during neighborhood walks that small groups take, etc. Those are the types of arenas in which Christian community can really be lived out anyway — it’s hard to live out Christian community when I’m staring at the back of someone’s head.


  16. Mark

    Ok, y’all…

    I don’t have time to post a longish answer so I will merely touch upon one point here prior to running off.


    The power I am searching for is indeed a supernatural fitting for service.

    If I was to await ‘unity’ I’d be much older and greyer before I gave up and still didn’t see it. :)

    No offense meant, and we may just be having a communications mismatch here.

    I will say that what I have seen as the most important aspect is God’s power upon us as we reach out to those who do not yet follow Him.

    perhaps more later.. gotta shift the little one to History now. :)


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  18. Rich Post author

    Hi, Mark,

    I understand your point and your desire, and I applaud it and wish more of us had the same passion.

    I do think that it’s important to remember what Luke recorded about this same power for service and unity. In Acts one, Jesus commanded his disciples:

    Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

    And in Acts 2 we see:

    When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. … All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

    The King James tells us, “they were all with one accord in one place.”

    Through the years, many have interpreted these passages to mean that the disciples were of one mind and purpose before the Spirit came down. And there are so many injunctions to unity throughout the New Testament that even though it seems we must wait forever for unity, as you note, it may be just as important a factor for Spirit-empowered service as the Spirit-empowering itself.



  19. Tony


    If it’s not too late to add some thoughts (as coordinator of Internet Evangelism Day) – the only web-mediated testimonies we have on the site demonstrate that once someone has come into contact with an outreach website (via whatever means), their conversion has happened through often quite prolonged mentoring relationship with a real Christian (often online).

    The big ministries which have a well-organised mentoring system in place, with appropriate linkup with local fellowships, are doing this well. A surprisingly large number of church memberships and baptisms have resulted from the very well organised in France, for example.

  20. Rich Post author

    Hi, Tony, no it’s never too late to add to the discussion here!

    I like your addition, and your observation that discipleship and mentoring take time (and resources!) is salient. This is probably the single greatest failing in Western church today and largely explains why many denominations (my own Fellowship included) are bleeding new converts like a stuck sow. We fail to mentor/disciple.

    We too often seem to not have patience for it.

    Perhaps this is one lesson such Internet-based ministries can teach the brick-and-mortar ministries. Without discipleship, it’s possible there is no conversion. At least, there is no evidence of conversion.



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