More than 100 million people worldwide have been confronted with the Gospel through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's internet evangelism ministry known as "Search for Jesus," according to new data from the organization.
The Search for Jesus ministry, launched in 2012 as a way to reach people with the Gospel online, marked its 10th anniversary this month with new data: 100 million people have visited the ministry's PeaceWithGod.net websites, and more than 3 million have indicated a decision for Christ and received follow-up.
Internet users receive a gospel presentation and are matched with one of 1,400 trained volunteers who answer questions and chat with users online, live.
PeaceWithGod.net websites are offered in seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, American Sign Language and Russian.
"[W]e're following Billy Graham's legacy of spreading the Gospel across the globe using every opportunity we have," said Mark Appleton, director of internet evangelism for BGEA. "The average person spends nearly seven hours a day on the internet, so we want to meet these people where they are. Search for Jesus has given us the chance to spread the Gospel like never before."
The ministry helps new Christians grow in their faith. It also offers "digital discipleship courses" created for new believers, according to a new release. Meanwhile, the website also includes a church locator tool to help Christians find a local congregation.
"People around the world are hurting. They're desperate for hope," the Search for Jesus website says. "... Through this online ministry, our mission field is expanding to reach people we might never reach in person."
Appleton said each visit to the website has significance.
"We started building this ministry one step at a time, taking steps of obedience and faith in God," Appleton said. "These people aren't just numbers, but real, hurting men and women who finally found hope."
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.