Josie has been a Christian for 45 years. She reads the Bible, she prays, she works with a local church and is involved in community outreach. She’s not the kind of person you might expect to take a discipleship course about the basics of Christianity.
Yet recently, when this 74-year-old grandmother from Ontario heard about BGEA’s KnowJesus.net course, she quickly signed up online.
KnowJesus.net is part of BGEA’s Internet evangelism ministry, Search for Jesus. It’s a five-lesson introduction to what it means to be a Christian. Josie, who has used BGEA resources to disciple new Christians for four decades, led two of her family members through it.
Josie’s grandson accepted Christ in youth group, “but hadn’t been counseled,” she said, and her son-in-law, who gave his life to Christ in December, was eager to learn more. Her son-in-law came to Christ after Josie guided him through BGEA’s Steps to Peace With God tract.
“We had been praying for him for some time,” she said.
Both family members were eager to go through the KnowJesus.net course, but each had an obstacle: her grandson is in college out of town, and her son-in-law doesn’t have a computer. No problem.
Josie remedies the situation by leading her grandson through one of the online lessons when he comes home. She printed off the lessons for her son-in-law, then typed his responses in emails to her online mentor, Bertha.
“We had a great New Year and spent long hours over the Bible because [my son-in-law] had a lot of questions,” Josie wrote to Bertha. “He is growing daily in the Lord.”
Bertha lives in Florida and volunteers as an online discipleship coach through Search for Jesus. She read about the volunteer opportunity in Decision magazine and thought, “Well I could do it, too.” Months later, she said “it’s like being a missionary without having to leave home.”
Bertha encouraged Josie as she led others through the KnowJesus.net course and said it’s a great example of how one person’s passion for Christ can have the domino effect. The ministry is also good for Bertha because “I can do it at my own pace, anytime day or night. And I’m not tied down. I need to be flexible for family.”
Josie’s persistence and flexibility in leading her own family through the KnowJesus.net course has paid off. Her daughter, although raised in a Christian home, was walking away from her faith, but seeing her mom lead her husband through the course “is bringing her back.” Her daughter is helping him, too.
“It is a joy to see my daughter and him together exploring the Bible,” Josie said. And the online lessons are “simple, easy to understand.”
Josie’s husband, who committed his life to Christ after watching Billy Graham on TV, has encouraged his family in their effort to know Christ better. And Josie isn’t stopping with the online course.
“I have been really blessed in this journey and have decided to join our church … with an evangelical outreach team that we put on every year,” Josie wrote to Bertha. “We go to the … core of our inner city and talk to anyone that will listen about salvation.”
Another Search for Jesus Story
Jeremy, another Search for Jesus volunteer, recently led a young teenager through the KnowJesus.net course. Jeremy was 19.
Because the two were close in age, Jeremy took on the role of his “big brother.” Through Search for Jesus training, he said, “I’ve learned how to be professional yet personal with my students, allowing them to know I do, in fact, care about them and truly want to see them grow in Christ.”
The young teen was already a Christian, but Jeremy helped him understand Scripture better and grow in his faith.