Should We Include A Gospel Presentation On Our Website?
Think Christian, which is well worth adding to your list of regular blogs to read, is talking about whether or not a Christian blog should have a gospel presentation.
So I’m curious what you think about this. Does your blog have a Gospel presentation, and why or why not? Does it seem strange to you that a Christian blog wouldn’t have a link to a Gospel presentation? And lastly, can you suggest any online Gospel presentations that might serve as a good model for such a thing?
Not surprisingly, most of those who have commented are in favor of including a gospel presentation. Perhaps just as not surprising (is that good grammar? — it doesn’t sound right), I’m going to suggest a different perspective.
That perspective will no doubt be unpopular with many believers, but I am convinced that it at least deserves consideration.
I am an advocate for internet evangelism (both through this blog and through my involvement with a few organizations related to internet evangelism). At the same time, I believe strongly that an ongoing demonstration of authentic Christian community is the foundation of all effective outreach.
I have come to this conclusion through contemplating John 17:21-23 where Jesus says that if we are one, then the world will know that the Father loves them and that the Father sent Jesus (which I take to include an understanding of why He sent His Son).
I believe the converse is true: if we are not one (seen by the unbeliever in the ongoing demonstration of authentic Christian community in a local area), then the world will not know that the Father loves them and they will not know that the Father sent Jesus. If they don’t know those two things, how can they be saved?
I believe what is missing from most internet evangelism approaches is just that - a demonstration of authentic Christian community. Further, I don’t believe online outreach can provide that demonstration, at least not in full measure. Digital efforts can be supplemental, but nothing can replace the face-to-face community inherent in the church.
With that as background, it seems to me that most online gospel presentations have conversion as their goal. That is not my goal in my internet evangelism efforts. Instead, my primary objective is to intrigue an unbeliever enough (primarily through the stories of real people in our congregations) that they will want to join us in face-to-face community. They will be evangelized in the midst of that community. Obviously, there are exceptions to this approach — primarily in creative access nations, but I trust my general perspective is clear.
If my primary objective in internet evangelism efforts is to intrigue the unbeliever enough to want to meet believers in face-to-face community, will an online gospel presentation accomplish that? Probably not. In fact, in some cases, it may discourage that.
So my preferred approach is to not include a gospel presentation but to instead focus on the stories of real people (not religious testimonies, but broader life stories which demonstrate how a person’s relationship with Christ touches every facet of their lives) and strongly encourage face-to-face contact between unbelievers who read a church or ministry website and those real people who have been profiled.