Do you have a passion for loving others and pointing them to Jesus Christ?
As a volunteer with Search for Jesus, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA) online ministry, you can make a real—and eternal—difference in expanding God’s kingdom.
In their search for hope, people from around the world are finding BGEA’s evangelistic website, PeaceWithGod.net, where they can connect with a trained volunteer to talk about spiritual questions, how to grow in their faith, or begin a new life in Christ.
Volunteers can serve from home, a coffee shop, or virtually anywhere with an internet connection.
“When I signed up with Search for Jesus in 2012, I never anticipated the blessing I would receive from online ministry. With each conversation I held, I could sense the Lord’s presence guiding me. I would read back through some of the conversations and think, ‘That was ALL God, because I couldn’t come up with that on my own!’ Serving alongside the SFJ staff and volunteers is such a blessing.” —Linda, Search for Jesus (SFJ) volunteer
Read on for four reasons to consider serving with Search for Jesus.
1. The Power of Online Ministry
When you’re going through a hard time, there’s something special about talking with a live person, noted Dan Martin, director of ministry for BGEA’s Internet Evangelism department.
“A lot of people communicate with us when they’re in crisis and alone,” he explained. “Digital devices have become our companions in our solitude, in our moments alone.
“They pick their phone up and start scrolling through Facebook or Google, asking questions such as, ‘Why am I here?’ ‘Is God real?’ Or ‘What happens when you die?’”
That’s often when PeaceWithGod.net appears in an ad or a search result, he said, and a conversation begins. It may be a one-time chat with a volunteer, or it can be an ongoing discussion.
Making personal contact with someone is key, Martin said, and it really matters.
“Having that conversation keyboard to keyboard is powerful—praying with them, answering their questions, and showing them the love of Christ.
“A personal connection makes the message of the Gospel come alive in practical terms.”
2. ‘An Easy First Step Into Evangelism’
Search for Jesus volunteers are well-equipped using proven BGEA training resources.
They’re also part of a team, which offers support.
“If they have a question, if they’re having problems, or if they get a question they don’t know how to answer, they have people they can get help from,” Martin explained.
Currently, more than 1,500 people serve with BGEA’s online ministry. Many have expressed how serving with Search for Jesus is an easy first step into evangelism.
This experience often gives a person confidence to share the Gospel with their neighbors and others—in person.
“We were made to be used by God, to be instruments in His hands,” said Martin. “When we discover how to do that, whether it’s through online evangelism or our personal walk in life, I believe there’s nothing more fulfilling.”
3. Hearts Ready for the Gospel
While people aren’t always open to spiritual conversations, it’s different for those connecting with Search for Jesus.
“The people we have conversations with came to us and initiated the conversation,” explains Martin. “They want to talk.”
That takes the initial pressure off volunteers, he said, who may wonder, “Are they going to want to talk to me?”
Depending on the volunteer role, conversations can take place in real time, through email or social media, or an online discipleship course.
Email volunteers have extra time to respond to people’s questions or comments. They can think and pray more about their responses, and dig deeper to see what the Bible says.
4. Serve on Your Schedule
Online ministry allows you to connect with people anytime—day or night—from wherever you are.
During the day, you can chat online with a person across the world who may be awake and going through a really hard time.
“Time and location become irrelevant,” said Martin.
“You can be in a coffee shop, your living room, or even riding down the highway as a passenger, talking with someone half a world away,” Martin said.
Knowing that God is working through you to expand His kingdom is inspiring, he said.
“Leading someone to Christ is like seeing a baby born,” Martin said. “It’s miraculous and emotional.
“There’s something spiritual and supernatural about it,” he said. “When you’re a part of that, it’s the best thing in the world.”
Is God calling you to share the Gospel as part of this ministry? Start here.