Record month for new online evangelism initiative
A major new method of web-based evangelism, which has already been pioneered successfully in the USA, is now taking off in the UK ...
More than 1,500 people visited the Groundwire site in October – a 66% increase on the figure for September (900), which was itself substantially ahead of the number for August.
Of the 1,500, half were from the UK and half from the rest of the world. Some 600 people came directly to the site via a simple Google search, using search terms such as “spiritual advice”, “Christian help”, “Chat helpline UK” and “spiritual help chat”. The October visits led to 260 separate chats about Christianity with Groundwire’s network of 'spiritual coaches'. The longest resulting chat lasted three hours; the average time was 26 minutes.
Groundwire works by offering anyone, anywhere in the world, the opportunity to chat online with a fully-trained spiritual coach. The coaches’ task is to help seekers to come to faith and then encourage them to join a local church.
The initiative aims to reach the large number of people who are interested in spiritual matters but who would not dream of setting foot inside a church or coming to a traditional, public mission event. These latest figures suggest, however, that many such seekers are not only using Google to access information about Christianity, but are also quite prepared to chat about it online – especially if they can do so in a completely anonymous and secure environment.
Matt Rich, who heads up Groundwire in the UK, is encouraging Christians across the UK to get involved in this innovative new form of mission, either by volunteering to be a spiritual coach or by encouraging any seekers they know to log on to the Groundwire website.
He said: “We want to connect with the spiritually lost in the way many are most comfortable with, online at any time of the day or night. Here they can share their questions, doubts and fears about Christianity – and are pointed towards some answers.
“Our latest numbers show that Groundwire is now a tried and trusted method of reaching seekers. We are really excited by the figures and know this work will grow as people begin to hear that we are here and available to help.
"Our biggest challenge is recruiting more volunteer coaches so that as more people seek answers to spiritual questions online, we don’t have to turn away those that want to chat.”
All prospective coaches must undergo a rigorous safe recruitment process before they are allowed online. Groundwire is a member of the Evangelical Alliance.