Youth Evangelize the Globe Via Internet

On Feb. 1, youth groups around the world will be going on a two-week missions trip from the comfort of their homes.

Through his online missions trip, Tim Schmoyer is encouraging young people to evangelize their generation via social networking Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace and World of Warcraft.

"Missions doesn't have to be limited to a summer trip where you raise lots of money and go somewhere for two weeks and then come home," said Schmoyer, pastor of student ministries at Evangelical Covenant Church of Alexandria in Alexandria, Minn. "Missions is an everyday thing, and with the power of the Internet it's never been as easy as it is today to go across the world and talk to someone for free."

Schmoyer said young people already spend a great deal of time on the Web, so he's encouraging them to use that time to share Christ with their friends.

An estimated 2,500 teens and young adults from Canada, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesian and the United States have registered at onlinemissionstrip.com to participate in the outreach. More than 1,500 students also have joined the Online Missions Trip Facebook group.

Students are being urged to use thought-provoking videos, photos, instant messages and text messages as a means to start conversations about God. "I want these kids to grow up being comfortable having those spiritual conversations with their friends, not just expecting that it's the church's job," Schmoyer told Charisma.

Schmoyer, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, said that he has long been "discontent" with the ineffective results of youth group outreaches. He said most consist of a church putting on a concert, inviting a popular guest speaker and telling the students to bring their unsaved friends. “I think it was unintentionally teaching our kids to outsource their evangelism to someone on a stage,†he said.

Schmoyer hopes the online missions trip will not only result in decisions for Christ, but that it will cause young people to realize that it is their responsibility to witness to their friends, not their pastor's.

In the weeks leading up to the missions trip, students will be learning techniques for sharing Christ with their friends. Posted on the ministry's Web site is evangelism-training material for youth groups, along with books and videos that teach students how to witness to people from various religious backgrounds. The Web site also details a discipleship process for the students who accept Christ during the outreach.

Though Schmoyer says the Web resources are helpful, he says the most important and overlooked tool on the site is the 24-hour prayer section. "Any life-change that takes place is totally and only the result of the Holy Spirit working in someone's life," he said. "I think the key way that happens is by just saturating this entire trip in prayer."

Schmoyer is asking for volunteers to sign up to pray for the trip, in hopes that there will be people praying 24 hours a day for the entire two-weeks.

Youth groups nationwide are also urging their students to make prayer a major focus of their missions preparation. "We will be encouraging students to concentrate on praying for four or five of their friends leading up and during this trip," said Shawn M. Shoup, student pastor at Destiny Foursquare Church in Rapid City, S.D. "Our students will be plowing the ground spiritually, sending out prayer support letters, fasting and praying in preparation."

Schmoyer said he is praying that the missions trip will not end on Feb. 14, but that it will inspire youth to make evangelism part of their everyday lives.

"Hopefully their mindsets will start to shift," he told Charisma. "That they would develop lifestyles that are sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading as they engage with unbelievers throughout the rest if their lives."


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective