International (MNN) — Two thousand years ago, Jesus told His disciples that there will be a day when "this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:14, NIV).
"It must have been staggering [to the disciples]," notes evangelist Ron Hutchcraft. "But today, with the internet, with technologies–whether it is Twitter, or whether it is search engines on the internet, whether it is Facebook or social media–we're talking about the vehicle for actually having that happen. Literally, it would be possible for everybody to hear now, because technology reaches every corner of this planet."
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries wants to be a part of that. And they think you should join in, too.
There is hardly a teenager in the United States and the rest of the developed world who does not use some sort of social media to communicate. There are over 800 million Facebook users, three quarters of which live outside the United States. Revolutions in Libya, Egypt, and other nations have been led by groups begun on Facebook and other similar media.
Most people are familiar with this information, but have you considered the Gospel implications?
Hutchcraft points out that even in areas that believers would not normally have access to, "We can go there by way of this amazing technology. So the issue is to capture this new technology for Christ, because it is the most powerful, pervasive delivery system for any message–whether from heaven or hell–on this planet."
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries is stepping as fast as they can on board with this opportunity. The ministry already has 50,000 fans on its Facebook page where there are regular blog posts by Ron and other bridges to talk about Christ. The ministry's teen outreach site, the Doug and Jon Show, has 50,000 fans on Facebook and has now watched 20,000 young people commit their lives to Christ through the Doug and Jon Web site.
Hutchcraft Ministries wants to expand even further. In coming months, Hutchcraft hopes to create more radio programs and even live Web events where people can interact and ask questions from nations across the globe.
The second part of their challenge, says Hutchcraft, is just to encourage other believers on board to use social media to spread the Truth.
"This whole technological revolution has opened up a way for every believer in Christ to truly be a missionary where they are without ever buying an airplane ticket, without ever having to learn a language or exchange their currency," says Hutchcraft.
Whether it's a status update, a tweet, or a written prayer for someone through a Facebook message, you can be a missionary to hundreds of people through social media. Hutchcraft warns against constant Christ-related status updates so as not to become preachy. But incorporating the way God is working in your life with your social media helps people to know they can come to you for God-questions, and to ultimately learn more about Christ.
Hutchcraft is confident that if believers caught a fire for this thriving medium, there could be a Gospel revolution across the globe. "If they can launch revolutions that change nations through this medium, you can launch a revolution in peoples' lives by becoming a face and a voice for Jesus."