The Internet Mission Field

Though it may not be what first what comes to mind as an evangelical mission field, the Internet has proven to be one of the biggest mission fields that is ripe and ready for harvest, that can be reached without gathering up monetary support.

I have been blessed to have been able to complete a course at Crossroads Bible College of Indianapolis which was entitled “New Media for Urban Change”. This was an innovative course in which students were introduced to “the Digital Divide”, methods in which people learn and are taught, as well as utilizing the ever-expanding tools on the World Wide Web.

Technology is reaching out to us across the internet with many tools and programs that are Open Source (available for free) which allow us to, in turn, reach out to others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!

My course instructors Pastor Bryan Hudson, Hosea Baxter of Crossroads Bible College, and Neil Cox did an excellent job of awakening the “monster” inside of me. I mean monster, in a good way, as I was devouring all that they taught and actually applying it as we went.

Today I came across an article written by Dan Henrich called “Internet Evangelism for the 21st Century.” If all goes well you can view by clicking HERE.

It has now become easier for me to reach others for Christ while not being so limited by physical limitations. The time of day, physical location of the other party/parties are not even a problem in us growing each other in Christ, IF… and here’s the big one, IF we both have a computer and access to the internet.

As computer technology continues to progress to the point where many people are carrying around mini computers in their hands, I believe the access to devices will finally become more accessible. Likewise, the costs of obtaining a computer/device will go down and then to, the free use stations at libraries and many internet cafes will allow even the poorer of the society to take part.

That is why I so enjoy being an active member of Ask Anything Saturdays which takes place at the Unleavened Bread Cafe at the corner of 30th and Central, in downtown Indianapolis. Here, just anyone can come into the cafe for some good breakfast and on Saturdays (between 10 am and 1 pm) I and a few other community servants, will help people with finding out whatever they want to know by using the internet.

We help people who are afraid of the computer, but must use one to apply for a job or set up an e-mail account. We introduce people to the internet and the many tools available online for free. And, most importantly of all, we introduce strangers to the Lord Jesus Christ or lift up the brothers and sisters of the body who need encouragement and prayer as well as some hands-on assistance.

Question of the Week: What’s your mission?

A new friend of mine is inspiring me to blog more. She has challenged me with a question of the week to take place on Mondays. So here is the first one. “What is your mission?”

I am going to answer that for myself, sharing it with you on this blog, then ask you to either comment with your own answer or giving a link to the answer on your blog. This exercise should challenge our minds and our motivations, while allowing us to share our life experiences and lessons for the benefit of all.

For me, personally, my “Mission” is to become a more Godly woman while sharing the love of God with others. It is a mission of eternal importance. That translates into my NEW IDENTITY … I have an internet and missionary identity of Ellen5e.

That’s it “Ellen(five)’E'”. Ellen is my birth given name. The Five ‘E’s are what God has revealed to me as key to what I am to focus on while using my God-given talents of communication through art, music, photography, word and deed.

The Five E’s are:
1) EXALT God — worshiping, praising, proclaiming God’s goodness
2) EQUIP the Saints — study the Word, full armor of God, learn new skills & pass on what I learn
3) EDIFY the Body — help fulfill needs, build up and encourage
4) EXAMINE myself — strive to keep myself in line with God’s plan
5) EVANGELIZE the World — take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the World.

So I use these five “E”s to gauge whether I am making the best use of my time. It’s sort of like a shortcut to help me remember what I believe are the goals of my earthly mission.

Well, that’s my “mission”. Now, would you be kind enough to share your mission with me? I’d really enjoy hearing what drives you forward.

That is your mission, should you choose to accept it! This message may self destruct in ten seconds… nine… eight ….

NEW YEAR — can I start over?

Do you remember the times when you were a kid and things weren’t going your way (especially if it was while you were learning the rules of a new game at recess) and you would look to the teacher with puppy-dog eyes and say “can I have a Do-Over please”?

There have been many, many twists and turns in the month of December 2008 for me and my family. So, here at the very beginning of 2009 I would like a Do-Over.

I’d like to just start fresh with a clean slate from square One.

IF it were possible this is what I’d do:
— erase ALL of my email inbox right now without reading any of it. Just tell my friends to resend anything that is important.
— take all the post-it stickies all over my desk office and spilling out into other areas of the home and miraculously have the info on them stored where it should be or thrown away!
— have a very trusted friend come into my home and help me blast through the piles of receipts and papers and files and throw out all of it except the “important” (defined by taxes, medical, assets). Now that I think about it…it might take more like a group of friends… but they’d need to know what they’re doing, ‘cuz Lord Knows, I don’t.
— tear up my Social Security Card and recreate my identity. Start with fresh credit records, medical records and all the other “Past”, so I could have it stop dragging me back into the past.

I really think it would be funny if someone stole MY identity… they wouldn’t know what they were getting into. They certainly couldn’t go out and ruin my credit… we don’t use credit cards and there are so many medical bills that they would receive instant justice when all those bills came to them!

Do you remember that pop song [Talking Heads “Once In a Lifetime”] where the guy wakes up in Hollywood and he asks himself “Well… How did I get here? ” Well, that is what is running through my mind right now. HOW did I get here? One major life twist after another. Especially as it pertains to health issues, my time up until now has been chaotic when it comes to keeping things filed away in an organizational manner. On top of that the papers just keep comin’ in.

I don’t really make a list of New Year’s Resolutions because I know that it is beyond anything that I can do apart from God’s power. Rather I do reflect and see where I can improve in the upcoming year. One of my top priorities for 2009… get out from under the paper mountain and stop some of the inflow of more paper… UNLESS or course it’s the green variety with the numbers on it. Making money using my skills is also at the top of my list.

I’d say “wish me luck,” but I really don’t need that. However, if you want to pray for my discernment of doing that which is right and obedient as I learn to sort this all out… please do.