Church of the Web
In the cyber-savvy 1990s where the amount of available knowledge doubles every 100 days, Christian ministries and individuals are trying new evangelism techniques on the Internet to make an impact for Christ.
Peggie Bohanon, editor of the Internet for Christians Newsletter, shares her faith through a series of e-mails, postings, poems, and even homework help at her Muskegon, Michigan, site (www.peggiesplace.com).
Debbie Nelson of Schaumburg, Illinois, turned a graduate school project into a Web site (www.juliesplace.com) that helps bereaved kids. "I lost my sister when I was six, and I always thought there should be a way for kids to talk to other kids dealing with the same kind of tragedy," Nelson explains. "As I developed the Web site it only seemed natural to include my own testimony about the way Jesus comforted me and gave me hope."
David Bruce, pastor of a small evangelical church in Patterson, California, decided to use film reviews to get Web surfers thinking about biblical themes. His Hollywood Jesus site (www.hollywoodjesus.com) has been visited by almost 2 million viewers.
"We should use pop culture to attract the people ensnared in our culture," Bruce says. "I love our culture the way a missionary loves the culture of the people he feels called to minister to."
CHURCH WEBCASTS: Harvest Crusade, an evangelistic ministry in Riverside, California, broadcasts live events on the Web and video messages explaining how visitors can know God. Around 45 people a week accept Christ through the Harvest site. In fact, Harvest Christian Fellowship has 1,100 weekly online attenders who receive the entire church service on live simultaneous audio and video services on the Internet (www.harvest.org).
"The variety and scope of the Internet ...