How does Online Missions Affect Offline Missions?
This week's intern update comes from Michael. As part of the internship with GMO, he has become an online missionary. The rest of the interns have noted that Michael is perhaps one of the boldest people in the group. He is often willing to put himself out of his comfort zone to help people. So, we were curious, how/if his experience in online missions would help "offline" missions. Here is what he had to say:
After becoming an online missionary, my view of missions has expanded. I used to think that in order to have a 'global impact' i would have to work with a non-profit organization that packaged food/clothing and sent it to other countries. I used to think that i would have to either give to traveling missionaries or BE a missionary that travels to different parts of the world. I truly feel like a missionary every time I click send to a person from a different country. It has broadened my view of who can be a missionary. It almost seems like there is no more barrier to being in missions, just our own self will. I think online missions are an exceptional way for anyone to get to get to take part of fulfilling the great commission from where they are. I don’t have to buy a $3000 plane ticket to Africa to share the gospel with them, because MILLIONS are looking on the Internet to find answers about God. It has truly been a blessing to get to be there for these individuals who are searching for truth, asking questions on how to grow in their faith, guiding them in their recommitments to Christ and leading them through discipleship; All from the seat of my work desk!
I like online missions because it allows me my own time to say exactly what i want to say, rather than being left in the dark in answering their questions. I have time to search for that verse looking for or to get a quote that i cant remember from John Piper. It allows us to communicate with respect to our own available time. Even though it is much slower than in person missions, God still uses it to work in the hearts of each of us. Its very similar to in person missions since at the end of most of my emails i can still type out my prayer to them, so they are still getting prayed for. They are still getting fed. I think it allows them to get fed better meals too cause i have so many different available resources available to me such as a 30-day discipleship guide, online bibles that i can lead them to if they don't have one of their own, and templates that help me out if I seem to have writer's block for the day.
I think online missions has given me more confidence in my faith because with every e-mail i get to share the gospel with someone in a different and unique way to the individual. Every person has their own story and their own prayer request, so every time i respond and pray for them i get to share Jesus and how HE is the answer to every problem. I've definitely memorized more scripture in the past month than i have in the past 6 months together because how often i incorporate scripture into my responses. I feel like i have more confidence in just sharing Jesus openly with people in the real world as well. I don't quite know how that happens, but it has given me a boost of confidence that it's not about me or what i say, i just have to tell them about Jesus and let God do the rest of the work.
Online missions has helped me share my faith in person at least once a week. Every time someone asks me about what i do at Global Media Outreach, it is an open door to share the gospel with them. I got to share the gospel with two ladies on two separate airplane flights on a work trip who asked what i did and i responded with "I answer people's questions about God." Which then i ask them if they are a believer or not. I think knowing how easy it is to transition into the gospel now that i work for an online missions organization gives me my confidence.
Check out this week's episode of The Real Interns of Silicon Valley here!