While the nationally televised My Hope program could potentially draw millions to their TV screens, BGEA’s Internet Evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus, is preparing to follow up with viewers who respond online.
At the end of the half-hour program called “The Cross,” viewers will be invited to visit FindingMyHope.org. When people visit that website, they can have one-on-one conversations with trained Search for Jesus (SFJ) volunteers through online chat, or submit a question by email.
About 450 volunteers around the country are already in place to handle what will likely be a high volume of online traffic during My Hope broadcasts later this week. That number includes 100 trained Rapid Response chaplains who will temporarily serve as e-counselors during My Hope. E-counselors chat with people online, responding to their spiritual questions and pointing them to Christ.
SFJ launched in the spring of 2011 and now has 330 volunteers who provide a human touch to the online ministry. The ministry’s evangelistic website, PeaceWithGod.net, reaches people around the world every day with a simple Gospel message, and volunteers are there to connect and follow up with them.
Volunteers not only chat with people online, but disciple them as they grow in their faith. These volunteers are called discipleship coaches. Their role is to lead others through a short, online course called KnowJesus.net, a free course that covers the basics of what it means to be a Christian. With “The Cross” broadcasts reaching across the country, SFJ could see an influx of interest in the course from those who decide to follow Christ.
Other SFJ volunteers will serve as email responders. Email responders typically answer questions left through PeaceWithGod.net, but during My Hope, the questions will come from FindingMyHope.org.
Some people have already visited that site, and email responders are already interacting with them, John Cass, director of Internet Evangelism, said.
“It’s overwhelming to think of the impact [My Hope] can have through the Holy Spirit,” e-counselor coordinator Kara Regan said. “There’s a potential to see millions of people being followed up with.”
Mark Appleton, Internet Evangelism operations manager, said SFJ is supporting the evangelistic reach of the My Hope project. Thousands of people around the country are inviting non-Christian friends into their homes to watch “The Cross,” but SFJ can reach those who watch it on their own and might not have someone around to answer their questions or follow up with them.
For local and national TV listings of My Hope America’s “The Cross,” click here.