INTERNET COMMUNICATION OPPORTUNITIES
THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OF THE INTERNET
The growth of the Internet has been phenomenal. It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million listeners in the world, and 13 years for TV to reach that amount. But the Internet reached 50 million users in only 4 years. By mid 2005, only 11 years after the launch of the World Wide Web Consortium in 1994, there were already One Billion users of the Internet on planet Earth. Five year later at the end of 2010, Internet usage had grow to over Two Billion users world-wide.
Amazingly, by 2010 over 75% of Americans (around 204 million) were using the Internet, with over 60% of households having Internet access. In Scandanavia, home usage rates are even higher. The explosive growth of the Web provides the Body of Christ with a profound opportunity to use this new media as a means of communicating God’s message of love and truth to the masses of people throughout the world. The potential for communicating the gospel message over the World Wide Web is truly awesome. And distance is no hindrance. It is as easy to reach a web surfer in Mongolia as it is to reach a web surfer in Malibu, California. And the cost is exactly the same!
POPULARITY OF RELIGION ON THE INTERNET
A research study released by Reuters News Service in December 2001, found that “more adult Americans use the internet for religious purposes than for gambling, banking or trading stocks.” The survey found that “each day, more than 3 million U.S. adults find religious information online.”
The researchers discovered that most of the users were involved in serious research rather than chat room participation. In fact, 65% of these 3 million daily adults were searching for religious reference material, 50% were looking for information on other faiths, and 25% were seeking spiritual counseling advice. The study found that those most active online were also most active in their local congregations, with 86% reporting that they prayed or meditated every day. The survey indicates a tremendous potential for using the Internet to communicate serious doctrinal truths. It’s a fact, when most people now look for information, they no longer go to a library or book store-- they go to the Internet. And this is where God’s profound truth needs to be presented.
THE FOURTH NEW MEDIA AND ITS GLOBAL POTENTIAL
Among Christian denominations, Seventh-day Adventists were pioneers in the use of mass media to fulfil the Great Commission. The work began with James White using the print media, and developed into an extensive world-wide publishing operation. Radio was introduced by the Voice of Prophecy, soon followed by The Quiet Hour, Amazing Facts, and Adventist World Radio (AWR). Then came the television ministries of Faith For Today, It Is Written, 3ABN, and now the Hope Channel.
In the last five years there has been an incredible explosion of the Internet as a 4th media to communicate information to the masses. This new media has the ability to reach “into all the world”, by literally reaching into every home having a computer with Internet access or TV with a web-access box. Through the Internet, the gospel and prophetic message can potentially reach every cell phone with web access, can reach every airplane seat with wi-fi access, and can reach every laptop with mobile-connection or hot-spot access. The message can be communicated 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, in every language and to every nation & culture, propagating the crucial Bible truths desperately needed by the world as we enter into the final generation.
AdventWeb believes that the pioneering spirit of the Body of Christ must now be directed to take advantage of this new media that has a tremendous potential for effective and low-cost global communication.