Seekers and Skeptics at Your Door: Internet Evangelism and You
By Rusty Wright
Could God use you to reach people for Christ via the Internet? The answer may surprise you.
What if you could interact personally with seekers at their points of keenest interest, when they felt relaxed and under no pressure to respond and invited your thoughts and insight into spiritual matters? Consider the following story.
Jaime (not his real name) emailed after reading one of my Internet articles about life after death. He was a recent college graduate and didn’t believe in one God; he was, however, terribly afraid of death. From his studies of anthropology, he felt that believing in an afterlife was merely wishful thinking to assuage one’s fears. Nonetheless, he emailed this query: “I’m looking for the truth and I would appreciate it if you would show me a little of what you’ve found.”
I told Jaime that I, too, had wrestled with skepticism and fear of death. I related that my wife’s undergraduate degree was in anthropology and that she has still continued to use her inquisitive mind both in work and faith since becoming a follower of Jesus. I explained that I had come to know Christ in college and sent him links to Internet articles on anxiety, evidences for Jesus’ resurrection and the gospel.
Jaime appreciated the articles, and after reading them he placed his faith in Christ! He said he could see his life changing. His emotional problems were beginning to clear up, his outlook was becoming more positive and he was beginning to think more of others and less about himself. I sent him links to an online Bible and other articles to help him grow in faith. He planned to attend church.
God used the Internet to take the gospel message into Jaime’s living room. Then he used the Internet to bring Jaime into my living room (via email) for some conversation. The result: Angels rejoiced in heaven as a new believer passed from death to life.
I’m No Techie!
“How could I ever use the Internet to reach people for Christ?” you might wonder. Your skills may have thus far been restricted to sending emails and reading the news online. You are not alone. My technical knowledge is also limited. For years, I was even hesitant to use an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) at the bank, for fear I would do something wrong and it would swallow my ATM card.
Gradually, I overcame my technophobia and began to use computers for word processing. However, I still used somewhat primitive setups. Only in 1998 did I switch from the rather archaic DOS operating system to Windows because a friend said I should “get with the (1990s) before the (1990s) are over!”
Figuring Out Your Own Talents
We all have talents and abilities. A key to usefulness is making our talents available to God. Your talents may be in building friendships, engaging in conversations, answering questions, inspiring people or telling stories. God can use those.
My own interests involve communication, especially relating Christ to secular (general) audiences. Over the years I’ve written numerous evangelistic articles to help reach nonbelievers. Several years ago, a couple of friends involved in Internet ministry, Keith Seabourn and Allan Beeber, asked me to send them my articles so they could put them online. Although I didn’t understand what this entailed exactly, they said it would make the articles available free to people all over the world. That seemed like a good thing.
Rusty Wright is an author and university lecturer with Probe Ministries. He has spoken on six continents and holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford Universities, respectively.