Internet Evangelism Day
An Evangelical Christian web evangelism focus day, founded when the Internet was little used for evangelism purposes.
Internet Evangelism Day (IE Day) was a promotional day held in April or May each year, with the purpose of "stimulating and accelerating Web evangelism within the worldwide Body of Christ". Launched before the Internet became a popular media portal for evangelism, it was a day to communicate to the Church-at-large the tremendous potential of the Web for effective evangelism. The event was coordinated by Tony Whittaker in the UK, publisher of the "Web-Evangelism.com" resource guide website and the "Web Evangelism Bulletin", a monthly e-newsletter distributed free of charge to thousands of Christian web evangelists and webmasters/webservants throughout the world. Internet Evangelism Day was intended to be an educational event, a "Web evangelism awareness day", rather than a day for emphasis on fund-raising.
IE Day coordinator Tony Whittaker anticipated a range of outcomes, but high on his list was for churches to be motivated to create effective websites which can reach out into the community, rather than just be an online notice board for members. "It's an exciting challenge," said Tony, "for the potential of the Web is enormous." The Church-at-large subsequently adopted the Internet and website construction for evangelism purposes. This eventually enabled Tony to hand over administration of the Internet Evangelism Day event to "Gospel.com", and focus on the need to take care of his aging parents and the responsibilities that entailed. We can praise our Heavenly Father for the pioneering Internet evangelism work carried out by Tony Whittaker in conjunction with the Internet Evangelism Coalition that was based at Wheaton College, Illinois, USA.
"The Internet's rapid growth, broad international reach and economical cost, offers individuals, churches and ministries an unprecedented opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide." Dr. Sterling Huston, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Chair of IEC Executive Committee.
A focus day for churches, Bible colleges and other groups, because ...
- over 4 billion people use the Web
- the Internet is changing the world
- God is using the Web to transform lives
- "We'd love to use the Web for outreach, but we don't know how..."
Internet Evangelism Day was there to tell about what God is doing on the Web:
- outreach strategies that work online
- how you, your church or Christian group can use the Web for outreach
- planning an Internet Evangelism focus day for your church, Bible college or Christian group
History of IE Day
IE Day was originally launched in 2007 by the "Internet Evangelism Coalition" (IEC), an umbrella group of evangelical Christian ministries and individuals dedicated to developing and promoting Internet evangelism strategies. IEC's administration was based at the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Illinois, USA. The first IE Day was held on Sunday, April 29th 2007. However, as was stated on IE Day's webpage titled Planning Activities for your Church or Group, "if this date does not suit your schedule, you can choose an alternate date at any time that is convenient". Thus, 7th Day Sabbatarian churches (Adventists, 7th Day Baptists, 7th Day Church of God, Messianic Jewish, etc.) were encouraged to hold their Internet Evangelism Day events the day before the formal date. After the launch of the first IE Day back in 2007, subsequent IE Days were usually scheduled for mid-May as part of the month of May being designated as "Digital Outreach Month".