Periodically I like to review with you a book that I have recently read. Today I am highlighting the title, Net Casters, Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men written by Craig von Buseck.
Craig von Buseck is ministries director for CBN.com, the Web site of the Christian Broadcasting Network where he oversees all online evangelism and discipleship efforts. He also writes the popular ChurchWatch blog and has served on the faculty of the Jerry Jenkins “Writing for the Soul” Christian writers conference. Craig lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
As I read this book, I had a hard time sitting still. I kept jumping up and rushing to my desk to refer someone to this title, make notes and twitter sentences that grabbed me. This book grabbed me a lot. I felt a re stirring of the passionate fire I felt while in Bible College, years ago. Street evangelism was a regular weekend activity and something we looked forward to all week.
With chapter headings such as: Casting an Electronic Net, Fishers of Men, Weaving the Nets and The Daily Life of a Net Caster, Craig tells us who is leading the way, and just what baby steps we can begin to enable us to be a player online. Harnessing Technology to preach the Gospel prepares us to, “take up the torch and carry this gospel message to the World through the World Wide Web. You can be a part of the NetCasters' revolution.”
How do we reach them? Through vlogging, (taking your blog to the next level with video feed) in chat rooms and through Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts and more.
Craig quotes Tony Whittaker, a leading NetCaster based in the United Kingdom, editor of the Monthly Web Evangelism Bulletin. “ Effective Internet evangelism is almost always one-on-one because a person reading a page is, of course, only one person. So a writer should always be writing as if to one person, not preaching as if to a congregation. The gifts needed for a web writer are those of a journalist not a preacher.”
Millions of Christians are on the internet everyday. Approximately 1.7 billion people are logging onto the Web on an ongoing basis. Craig tells us, “The problem is just as in the real world, Christians and non Christians are not talking to each other. There is a major disconnect” Tony Whittaker named this the 99 percent rule. “Only one percent of Christian Websites are designed to reach the lost.”
Craig quotes Jesse Cary, managing editor of RelevantMagazine.com, “We always want the readers to engage with the content.” Web 2.0 has made this an option with comment possibilities and small community forums as well as placing text, graphics audio or photos- all of which beg for conversation.
Net Casters, brings us the statistics that challenge us to act on this incredible open door.
70% of blog readers are 'influencers', people who are articulate and networked- the 10% of America who set the agenda for the other 90% (D.J.Chuang, digital ministry architect at ForMinistry.com, an outreach of the American Bible Society).
Bloggers comment on one another's blogs, then link to one another- a community is formed.
This easy to read book will teach you many incredible things about internet usage many of us did not know of as well as provide us with small ways one might jump in and participate in addition to larger commitments one might make to become a committed full time Web missionary.
No longer do we have to leave the country to reach those around the world with the gospel. We can do it from our kitchen table. Or home office. We can make a difference and I for one am grateful to Craig for showing us the way in Net Casters.
I hope you will check out Craig's book. If you are looking for a read that will fire you up, you will not be disappointed. And the World Wide Web will be the better for it.
An author I know has set up a site that I recommend to my non churched friends. You might want to stop by and check it out. They are casting their net at, http://community321.com/.
Have a blessed day. From my heart to yours,