Internet Evangelism: The Case for Actually Getting Results By John Edmiston
One of the most frequent objections to Internet evangelism and information technology in missions is that numbers and results are seen as worldly and, therefore, as “unspiritual.”
Jesus was transformational. Jesus changed the situation that He was in. The change was visible, measurable, and often astonishing. The changes Jesus wrought were so startling that they threatened the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Roman administration.
If Jesus had not produced any results, no one would have been annoyed.
Jesus would have been safe, and His disciples would not have had to hide. They could have happily discussed the finer points of Messianic Philosophy until dawn.
God wants results; He trains His disciples to get results, and His faithful and good stewards go out and get results.
Faithfulness is much more than patience, persistence, or consistency; faithfulness is the focused and diligent pursuit of definite and clear outcomes communicated to us by God.
The Master sets the goals (take My talents and get a return), but it is up to the steward to choose the method (trading, investing, or just burying the talent in the ground).
We need to be faithful to our “time,” to the spiritual moment we are in, to know the signs of the age, and to minister with opportunities that arise in our place in history.
Martin Luther used tracts, books, and the printing press in the sixteenth century. After WW2, Billy Graham learned to organize and coordinate significant stadium events with multiple denominations. Later, excellent radio ministries such as TWR, HCJB, and FEBC used the high-wattage transmitters of the fifties and sixties and are still relevant today.
Then there were Christian films, Christian TV, and a Christian music and recording industry; even more high-tech, SAT-7 uses satellite technology to reach the Muslim World.
Each of these people and ministries was faithful in grabbing the means of ministry multiplication, emerging in their time and place in history.
If Martin Luther had not nailed his 95 theses to a church door, if no one had taken them to a printer for publication, if Luther had just stayed quietly teaching classes in an Augustinian monastery, doing things the old way, then perhaps there would not have been a Reformation!
In the 21st century, the faithful Christian missionary (or the faithful Christian mission agency) will be asking how they can take hold of the opportunities for ministry multiplication that have arisen in our time in history. One of the most obvious ones is the wise and godly use of Internet evangelism and information technology in missions.
John Edmiston is the CEO of Cyber missions; he has degrees from the University of Queensland, the Baptist Theological College of Queensland, and the Melbourne College of Divinity (all in Australia) and has lectured at several bible colleges and major seminaries during his over 30 years in ministry.
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