International (MNN) — What is the biggest mission field to young people? A party? A college campus? The Middle East?
"The largest concentration of young people is on the internet," says Jon Taylor. "It's the largest mission field in history."
Taylor says the internet videos, animations, and blogs on thedougandjonshow.com are a sort of language. Just as a missionary would need to know Chinese–and know it well–to reach Chinese non-Christians with the Gospel, Taylor and Hutchcraft have learned to speak an internet language that many teens speak via facebook, youtube and more. That language includes two main elements: humor and community.
"[On The Doug and Jon Show] we're not being funny for the sake of being funny. We're being funny in order to get the attention of somebody who doesn't care about the Gospel–somebody who is even hostile to the Gospel," explains Taylor. "When you make them laugh, it's like you come into their living room; you're sitting there right next to them, and they feel connected to you… So comedy is really just a vehicle so that the un-churched hostile to the Gospel young person will open their heart. And when they give us permission to tell them about Jesus, we can just let them have it."
The community part comes in as Doug, Jon, and associate Kara respond to comments made on videos, or questions sent their way. Taylor says they get kids' attention by entertaining, but also by building relationships with them, just as any other missionary would.
It may seem like a strange way to join the mission field, but The Doug and Jon Show builds relationships and gives viewers the option to learn about Christ after they watch a video. And it seems to be working.
Feedback comes in about the Web site daily. Just yesterday Taylor received an e-mail from a teen telling him how sorry he was that he had hurt so many people, and that he finally believed in Christ's love. Taylor recounts another story in which a girl came to Christ through The Doug and Jon Show and e-mailed them for prayer for her unreached family. A few days later, her sister came to Christ through the Web site as well.
Mission Network News has been following The Doug and Jon Show since its inception about a year ago. In that year, we've watched this online outreach grow exponentially. "We're fast approaching 20,000 commitments to Christ in just a little over a year," notes Taylor.
More than that, the Web site is also encouraging young believers to transition into sharing their faith. "It's so hard to get them to go into their school and tell somebody, a peer, about Jesus. But it's really easy to show them a funny video," says Taylor. As more and more come to the site on a regular basis, more and more come to know the Lord as their Savior.
This ministry is reaching thousands, and you can get involved. Taylor says the biggest needs are for prayer, and for the word to spread. Tell the teens you know about The Doug and Jon Show. Visit the site yourself at www.thedougandjonshow.com.