As Jesus.net we have the vision to connect faith in Jesus to the questions, thoughts and concerns of searching people in order to give them access to a range of “stepping stones” to assist them in their spiritual process. For this process, we have defined four different phases. These are explained below.
Important note: there is no fixed path that people need to take, they are the ones that decide. How and where they enter the ministry process depends on how they search, how they’ve been introduced to the website, tool or resource and dependent on their level of spiritual understanding.
Building bridges to people who need the Gospel
In this phase, we focus on connecting to where people are at in their lives. Often this is based on the things they search in Google. For example, the felt needs of people (such as: Does anyone love me?, Who cares about me and my life?, Does anyone know who I am? What is the secret to a good life?), life questions (such as: What is life all about? Why am I on earth? Why is there evil in the world?), worries/doubts/fears (such as: I am lonely, I want to die, I lost my job but now what?). By connecting to these felt needs, life questions or worries, we want to recognize their need, show interest and understanding while offering them perspective and hope in finding answers to their needs. In doing so, we try to bridge between the felt need and some element of faith in God/Jesus. As a next step, we point them to a website, tool, course or resource in the KNOW-phase where they can learn more about who God and the person of Jesus. These resources explain how the Christian faith can be relevant for issues and questions they are dealing with. Marketing channels, how they get to the Gospel, would include social media pages, events, printed pieces, push cards, etc.
Some examples from Jesus.net partners: http://twr.jesus.net (overview TWR-landingpages), www.ik-wil-dood.nl (I want to die-Dutch), http://peacewithgod.jesus.net/landing-page-archive/ (archive BGEA)
Presenting the Gospel and inviting a response
In this phase, we share the heart of the Gospel and offer an opportunity to respond to it. We share God’s love for people and His desire to be in a relationship with them. Additionally, we help people get to know Jesus through an online course such as WhyJesus? in which participants are offered content and a personal e-coach to explore who Jesus is. During this phase, we also offer people the opportunity to respond to the Gospel-message by a prayer, sending in their questions/thoughts or signing up for an online course or other resource. In this phase, we also encourage the new believers to take further steps to GROW in their faith.
Encouraging new Christians to strengthen their faith
In this phase, we assist (new) Christians to deepen their relationship with God/Jesus, encourage and equip them to apply their faith in everyday life. We do this by offering a growing number of online courses, tools and resources on various topics (Bible-reading, Prayer, dealing with finances, marriage-principles/counseling, etc). During this growth-process, we encourage the visitors and participants to take a next step and SHARE their faith.
Mobilizing Christians to share their faith
In this phase, we assist and equip visitors to share their faith in God and lead others to Christ. They can share what they have experience(d) and learn(ed) in their relationship with Him and help others step by step to follow Jesus. This sharing will result in opportunities for contact with searching people who will gain ACCESS to the Gospel through the initiative of believers.
Connecting inquirers to local churches
In all of the described phases, we offer ways to connect offline to a local Body of Christ – a local church, an Alpha-course or some other form of offline connection with believers. This is because we believe the local Church is the place where people can really grow spiritually. Most of the time, this transition from online to offline takes place in the KNOW or GROW-phase. Each of the ministry partners works on providing a quality follow-up network for searchers and (new) believers in their respective language/area.