Reaching The Online Generation

An Initiative of CityTeam Ministries

Online Summer Missions 2009

Posted on | April 3, 2009 |

As of June 30, 2008, Internet World Stats estimates 1,463,632,361 people around the world use the internet.   Although Asian users account for 39.5% of total internet users, the most used language online is English.  People from around the world are accessing the internet and using English as a trade language to join an international conversation.

Who is God?’ was one of the top three sentences googled in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist. According to Alexa, the top religious website is Muslim.  BibleGateway is second and a horoscope site is third.  People access the internet to ask many questions, but more importantly, people access the internet to ask spiritual questions.

The next generation of Christian leaders - members of this Online Generation - have to learn how to engage lost people online and disciple them into obedient relationships with Christ.  Whether they become internet missionaries, online church planters, or choose another vocation, the next generation of Christians needs to understand the methods outlined in Scripture for discipling the Online Generation.

Course Summary

The Online Discipleship Summer Missions Project is a nine week program.

Summer missionaries will gather in an offline location (TBA) for orientation and training,  June 3, 2009 - June 6, 2009.  They will  learn the principles of starting rapidly multiplying groups of obedient disciples - the same methods used to start over 7000 churches in Sub-Saharan Africa in the last four years!  They will learn how to use online tools to identify communities, meet felt-needs of those communities, identify Persons of Peace, and start Discovery Bible Studies - online and offline.  Each summer missionary will learn how to use blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, YouTube, Ustream, and Viddler to minister to people online.  Finally, each student will develop a prayer network of people they contact and pray for throughout the project.

After training, summer missionaries return home.  They can easily maintain part-time jobs during the summer.  We ask that they commit at least three hours a day, five days a week, to online missions.  During the first hour they will meet in small groups with other online missionaries in their team for accountability, to study the Bible, and to pray.  For the remaining two hours, we ask that they sit down in front of their favorite TV show or movie with their laptop to search for online communities of lost people, find persons of peace, and start Discovery Bible Studies.

At the end of eight weeks, the summer missionaries will come together offline for a two day celebration (TBA).  They will share what they learned in the process and what they plan to do in the future.

Who are we looking for?

Someone who…

  • Loves Christ
  • Is growing spiritually
  • Feels strongly about the lost
  • Is a self-starter
  • Demonstrated good online communication skills
  • Someone who uses one or more  social media to communicate online (Blog, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plurk, YouTube, Viddler, Bebo, etc.)

Summer Missionaries will need (or have easy access to):

  • Cellphone with a text messaging plan (at least 1500 texts per month).
  • Laptop purchased within the last three years.
  • Easy access to broadband - at home, a local library, or other location.
  • Webcam - built into your laptop or as an external device.
  • Microphone - built into your laptop or webcam, or as an external device.

For more information and to apply, contact Paul D. Watson at 214.668.3500 or email paul at pauldwatson dot com.

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8 Responses to “Online Summer Missions 2009”

  1. Eric Celerier
    April 4th, 2009 @ 4:22 am

    Great idea and excellent initiative! Blessings from France.

  2. Paul
    April 4th, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    Thanks, Eric. I hope it raises awareness of lostness online and trains the next generation of Christian leaders.

  3. Wes Bridel
    April 4th, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    I’m glad Ryan King suggested your site. This course sounds very interesting. The internet seems like the best way to reach people who are otherwise not possible to reach,perhaps because they are in a country which doesn’t allow evangelism, or simply in a culture which is so engrained in the dominant religion that they can’t quickly open up. But perhaps they can become interested in someone’s style of sharing and keep returning so that Christ can plant and water the seed of Truth! I love the fact that you are equipping others to use this medium to reach out.

    I think like any other missionary, the most important thing will be constantly seeking the Lord, and with that as the cornerstone, anything is possible. In that light, I though I would link my favorite story at the moment on this subject The Chinese Church. Thanks again and God bless your efforts!

  4. Evan McGann
    April 5th, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

    I’m praying about this, it sounds beneficial. If you have anymore information could you email it to me?

    One thing that might be a problem is I don’t have a texting plan and a ticket to wherever the meeting place is could be expensive for a college kid… but the Lord provides.


    I was part of your skype conference with Russell yesterday.

  5. Anglican Bible Study in Second Life
    April 6th, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    Paul, this sounds very interesting. Have you thought of showing the people Second Life as a place for doing Bible studies? or you do them mostly in skype? You might like the community feeling of doing them in Second Life.

  6. Paul
    April 9th, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement, Wes! And for the link!

  7. Paul
    April 9th, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    That Skype was so much fun! I think you will find all the information you need in the YouTube video I just posted.


  8. Paul
    April 9th, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

    Yes, I’m going to expose them to Second Life. Hopefully we will have a couple of people in the first group of missionaries who have experience in Second Life and will adjust their engagements in that world to search for appropriate opportunities to share the Gospel.

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    Who is God?' was one of the top three sentences googled in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist. According to Alexa, the top two religious websites are Muslim, with BibleGateway coming in at a close third. The Online Generation is spiritual. They are seeking. And the church is the last place they would go to find spiritual fulfillment. This site is dedicated to those walking with The Online Generation and living lives of obedience to all the commands of Jesus Christ.
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    CityTeam Ministries
    Missions Resource Network