There’s a part of me that always cringes when I see a new book or article on evangelism. Not because it isn’t an important topic, but because I think we as followers of Christ have had the tendency down through the years to look for exciting methods or new technologies rather than faithfully heeding the command of Scripture to share our faith. Innovation is not a replacement for obedience.
That simple caveat out of the way, I am excited that Craig has chosen to address the opportunities of digital evangelism, and I appreciate the comprehensive way in which he approaches the subject. Having spent the last fifteen years of my life working with churches and ministry organizations around the world to help them understand how to use Internet technologies to fulfill the purposes to which God has called them, I’m convinced that these new “tools” offer a great opportunity for the gospel.
I think it is important to keep a couple of things in mind as you read this book. First, Internet evangelism is not for everybody. This is not a tool that replaces other means of evangelism, and I hope you don’t read Craig’s stirring call to become a “NetCaster” as endorsing digital evangelism as the only, or even the best, means to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples (and to us) can be summarized this way—“as you are going . . . make disciples.” In other words, wherever your life takes you, you are an ambassador of Jesus Christ and an agent of reconciliation. Wherever you are, be there with the gospel. If you have never used the Internet before, then this tool may not be for you. But if your daily life takes you into the world of the Internet (whether on Facebook, with a personal blog, through e-mail or in any of a dozen other ways), then it is your duty as a follower of Christ to live your life authentically in front of a watching world and to look for ways to share the life that you have found in Him.
My second reminder would be that it is very important that we not fall in love with a particular technology rather than falling in love with sharing our faith. Technologies come and go. Different situations call for different tools, and a workman with only one tool in his toolbox is very limited in the scope of needs that he or she can address. That having been said, the Internet and other digital technologies can be great tools for seeing people come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
I pray that many people will catch a vision for how God can use them in online evangelism through reading this book.
Executive Director, Internet Evangelism Network
Billy Graham Center (Wheaton, IL)
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