“Hello. I would like to become a true Christian, but do not know how to do it. My family is non-believing. Can you help me?” Mary writes in Czech Republic.
In a recent article, the Washington Post (quoting Gallup) lists Mary’s country number three in the world for the highest number of people claiming to be not religious or atheist.
No wonder Mary and many like her growing up in the Czech Republic, don’t know where to turn.
The good news is that many are on the Internet searching and finding an answer on the website HledamBoha.cz (KnowingGod).
This Internet ministry was first launched in 2011. The ministry grew, and in 2017, it became an independent orga
nization, focused on sharing the gospel through digital media. Honza Hermansky, the project leader, became its first director. Honza was recruited and is being mentored by Hank Paulson, who also serves on the Czech ministry board.
The ministry is still growing. Honza says, “Last year we reached more than 400,000 people who visited our websites and saw our videos. Approximately 1250 people decided to follow Christ and we saw more than 800 people going through our online courses. There are more than 50 volunteers involved in the project. Most of them are volunteers called e-coaches, who are helping to answer the seekers contacting us on our websites and in the online courses.”
● Seekers are visiting the site through search engines and landing pages, using the words God, Jesus, loneliness, guilt, forgiveness, etc.
● A large number indicate they decided to follow Christ and prayed a prayer toward the end of the website.
● Those that do, can share their questions with a trained, volunteer e-coach of the same gender and from the same local area.
● Besides responding to their questions, the e-coach encourages enrollment in several courses: “Journey to God,” “WhyJesus?” and “How to read the Bible.”
● At some point, the e-coach invites the person for a coffee or social event with the purpose of meeting others and getting involved in a small study group.
● Eventually, people find Jesus as their Savior, but also a community of fellow followers of Christ.
● Ultimately, some may become local church-based e-coaches themselves.
Though it only takes one step to come to Christ, in a post Christian world, this step often is too big to make at once. Instead of asking people to come to “our side,” the coach comes across and leads them in their journey. We call this a “stepping stone process.”
The KnowingGod program was first pioneered by a French pastor, Eric Celerier, who joined efforts with a team from Holland who had developed the Why Jesus? online course. Gradually, the ministry grew to include partners and languages around the world under the name Jesus.net (also a strategic 4D partner that Hank Paulson consults with). It’s exciting to see ministries partner, learn best practices, and share with one another.
The program is not only a lifeline for seekers like Mary, it also is an encouragement for Czech churches and their e-coaches.
Jiri, one of the e-coaches says, “I believe that the site KnowingGod is one of the ways people can get the message of the Gospel. A searching person can, in a discreet way – like Nicodemus – talk to a spiritually alive Christian. It is a fantastic opportunity. As an e-coach in this project, I sense that I participate in God’s search for lost men. I’m excited about that!”
“Thank you for helping me find God.” -John
“Today in the train, I prayed the prayer about accepting and following Jesus, like it was written in your web pages.”
“I’m happy I found KnowingGod web pages. My wife and I accepted Jesus and started to go to church.”
Far from being satisfied, with so many in Czech Republic still searching for answers, Honza and his team continue to develop new websites and courses to reach more seekers. All of this comes with a budget of $60,000 for an entire year, including staff, advertising, and training of e-coaches. That’s less than one dollar for every visitor – or better yet, less than $50 for someone like Mary asking for help!
No wonder 4D wants to see the ministry on a continuing growth curve, being an instrument for missional churches and most of all, an instrument in God’s hand.
● Pray for the ministry, its team, the e-coaches and that they may be able to help many people like Mary find Jesus. Make sure you sign up to receive Honza’s email updates.
● Forward this web page to your friends who may be Czech or have an interest in sharing the Good News with Czech-speaking people
● Help Honza and the team grow to the next level and be part of their support team by donating $50 per month so they can respond to more people like Mary.