Internet Evangelism Initiatives
Global Internet Evangelism Network held at Newbold College in Berkeshire
"The best evangelism is the evangelism you are doing
," Pastor Finley told a packed congregation at Newbold church on Saturday, 30 June. "The evangelism you are not doing will not reach anyone."
The emphasis to the one hundred or so participants of the Global Internet Evangelism Network (GIEN) that were part of the congregation was to put the theme of their conference into action. "Radical Method, Radical Message, Radical Christ."
Starting on Thursday, 28 June, church members and ministers from Britain were among the participants at GIEN from five continents of the world including Africa, the Americas, Austria and Europe. In the Thursday night key-note address Raafat Kamal, Field Secretary, Global Mission and Stewardship director of the Trans-European Division stated that "The Internet is the only mass medium whose audience share has grown during the past decade. The proportion of the population using the Internet for faith purposes has increased by two-thirds since 1998."
Presentations through the weekend then expanded on the opportunities and challenges of using the new technology including a look at Cyber-ethics, Cultural Globalisation, and a review of Internet Outreach projects.
Among the proposals raised at the event, Kirsten Øster-Lundqvist, Associate Pastor at Newbold church, suggested that more emphasis should be placed on encouraging youth to use the Internet for evangelism. "It is the 12 to 15 year olds that do the social networking on sites like 'MySpace'" she told participants. "They are the ones using the new technologies."
Danny Houghten emphasised a positive principle for using the net. In designing net outreach tools he quoted Albert Einstein, "Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler
An event is only as good as the follow-up and it is intended that those from Britain who attended will contribute to the direction of Internet Evangelism in the future. "It was exciting to meet so many people enthusiastic about using the Internet for God," BUC web and IT specialist, Yunuen Carrillo stated. "I now have so many good ideas for the church and the ADC (Adventist Discovery Centre)."
By courtesy of Victor Hulbert. Picture courtesy of Glenn Mitchell.