by Guest Blogger Glen Bowman
Last year, I started a nonprofit organization called Christian Online Outreach. I had been working as a professor at a Christian college and in February I put in my “5-month notice” that I planned to move on. I did not have specific plans for what to do, but felt strongly that God wanted me to move on and that He would provide direction for what I should do next. In April, my family and I were in a major car accident, but I took the brunt of the force, being T-boned on the driver’s side. I laid in hot baths every night for weeks in an effort to recover from my back pain.
Finally one night, I was praying desperately to God, knowing that only He could heal me and give me perfect direction for what to do next in life. It then hit me . . . that I should use the wisdom that God was giving me through my dissertation research to help churches, especially at this time of social distancing. My dissertation described the influence that college students experience from Christian faith sharing through social media. I wanted to know if it was effective and if so, what should Christians be doing or not doing online. This ministry seemed like a natural step to start providing this material (and other wisdom) to help churches become more effective and less offensive online!
For those who would like to read more about the findings in my dissertation, a full copy can be downloaded through this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.11233.53602. I have tried to model some of the outreach practices that college students said positively influenced their thoughts and behaviors here: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianOnlineOutreach. Our company website and a blog giving insights from my dissertation and other ideas can be viewed through this link: http://www.christianonlineoutreach.com/. Below is a summary of our ministry at Christian Online Outreach and an emphasis for why this focus seems necessary in 2021. Feel free to reach out to me through the linked Facebook page or the contact page on our website!
We live in a world today where many people leave their homes less and engage the world through the Internet more. Due to this dramatic shift in culture, Christians should also shift their focus to greater Internet use and more active outreach online for God’s glory and purpose (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Christian Online Outreach’s mission is to help churches and nonprofits improve their online presence, setting up outreach methods accessible to people locally and globally. These low-cost and no-cost solutions can help reach people that they would never contact without using online technology.
In a recent survey, 60% of churched adults responded that they hope even post-COVID churches will keep finding digital means of bringing people together. Christian Online Outreach provides practical online solutions for this purpose without needing a local technology expert to put them into practice. Jesus has called Christians to make disciples, baptize them, and then continue to teach them (Matthew 28:18-20). While baptism requires in-person contact, we can make disciples and continue to teach them through a myriad of means online. Christian Online Outreach helps churches and nonprofits to elevate their outreach and effectiveness using proven methods. Below are the three major categories of means that we seek to serve in this ministry:
No matter where you are located, Christian Online Outreach can help you with your Internet needs. We can assess your current online presence with a free consultation and offer tips and assistance for improving your online ministry.
We can come to your congregation and speak to your members about methods for more effective online outreach. We can also speak to your ministry staff, elders, or any other group as needed for assisting with your outreach goals.
Our ministry is not limited to a confined set of services. We desire to help churches and nonprofits in any way possible to fulfill God’s work for them through the Internet. Feel free to express your needs and vision so that we can assist you.
More about Glen Bowman:
Glen Bowman was born in Mission Hills, CA, in 1979 and grew up in Orange County. As an undergraduate, he attended UC Berkeley and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He became a Christian in 2002 and worked as a psychology researcher on campus at UC Berkeley and for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Afterwards, he attended Harding School of Theology and obtained a master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Overall, he served in ministry in the South for six years before moving back to California. For another six years, he preached at a church of Christ in Los Banos, CA, about two hours from San Francisco. After that, he worked at as an assistant professor of psychology at York College, a Christian college in York, Nebraska. Last year, he stepped down from that position to work as the Executive Director at Christian Online Outreach to equip churches for more effective ministry on the Internet.