picture of Russ Bravo

Googling the Gospel

Russ Bravo, editor Inspire

How do you connect to people? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about increasingly in recent days, as life gets more hectic and the pressures of work make time ever more precious.

As with so many things, the internet can be a blessing or a curse. It can deliver information to our fingertips at the click of a mouse, give us access to knowledge, understanding, entertainment and much more at very modest cost – and help us communicate faster, wider and more creatively than ever before.

But we all know some of the downsides: pornography, paedophiles, junk e-mail, ‘phishing’ scams where crooks try to hijack your bank account. It can also be addictive, divide families and lure many into gambling habits and more.

Too much time online can see you neglecting family relationships. Yet interest groups via e-mail, hobby websites, instant messaging and more can see you make plenty of new friends. And the constant interaction can see you feel you know these people better than many you see day to day.

Relationships need time, and they need regular feeding. In our stopwatch lifestyles, leisurely conversation is a prized gem that so often seems just out of reach. Even texting and instant messaging can so often be just brief exchanges of information.

So it’s good news that many of those leading the way in the online Christian community are promoting an Internet Evangelism Day focus day on 15 May. They offer churches downloadable resources to enable them to create their own web awareness program – a focus day to inform and envision their members. Increasingly, the world’s population is getting online.

It is a massive harvest field of seeking, searching people. Behind many of the searches on Google, the world’s biggest search engine, are people looking for meaning, purpose, hope, community. Yet the vast majority of all Christian and church websites are for our benefit, not theirs.

Mission is coming home, to a PC near you. Will we hear the call? Learn more at www.InternetEvangelismDay.com.

First published in Christian Herald newspaper, used with permission, © 2004 Christian Herald – this 336-word article is free to reproduce in other print media with this credit line.

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