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'God has given us a phenomenal tool - the internet' - interview with Peter Graystone of the Christian Enquiry Agency 

 

In 2010 the Christian Enquiry Agency was re-launched with a brand new website.  Now www.christianity.org.uk has 2,500 visitors each week.  We asked the coordinator Peter Graystone how it's going


 
What can the Christian Enquiry Agency do that others can't?
What I long for is that people who would never set foot inside a church will discover Jesus Christ, who means so much to me, in their own homes.


How?God has given us a phenomenal
God has given us a phenomenal tool - the internet.  Like the air we breathe it gets everywhere, even behind closed doors.  So people can find out about Christianity safely behind their computer screen.  Our website www.christianity.org.uk is like an encyclopaedia of everything you might want to know about the Christian faith.  There is information about what Jesus did and said, and a Christian viewpoint on topics such as worry, money and falling in love.


Can't people read that in a book?
We do something a book can't.  If people click 'Find Out More' they are immediately in touch with a real person and we respond in an individual way.  We can send them a Gospel of Luke.  We can pray for them, because two hundred men and women have committed to praying once a week for whatever they ask.  We can find them a local church, answer a question about faith, or start an email conversation that continues for as long as they choose.


What kinds of question do people ask?
Recently I've been asked, 'What makes you think there is life after death?', 'Isn't religion the cause of all the world's violence?' and 'Why do Christians hate gay people?'  These questions bother people.  It's brilliant that there is somewhere they can ask them confidentially.  The truth is, they bother me as well - so the conversations are heartfelt.


How do people find out about it?
It comes close to the top of any online search that uses the word Christianity.   But most visitors find us because thousands of churches add the address www.christianity.org.uk to everything they produce that gets viewed by the public.  You see it on the bottom of posters, newsletters, or as a link on websites.  One person got in touch with us because a church had printed it on serviettes wrapped round hot cross buns they were giving away.  Individuals can help too - just add it to the automatic signature at the bottom of emails that you send.  It's the easiest evangelism you will ever do.


Do you charge churches for using the website address in their outreach?
Don't be daft!


And are people really coming to faith?
AD reached the website because he typed, 'God I'm depressed,' into Google.  It led him to the page about depression on our website.  We started an email conversation and it transpired that he had been trapped in his home by agoraphobia after a bullying incident at school ten years before. 

We chatted for weeks about what God could do for someone after an experience like that - about forgiving and being forgiven. Then he asked if I could find him a local church.  It was a pleasure to give him the email address of somewhere nearby.

I heard nothing for some time.  Now to my utter surprise I've had a message saying that he has invited the pastor for a cup of tea.  Just imagine the courage that has taken!  Please pray about that meeting and whatever happens next.


Of course.  Is there anything else we can do?
Keep writing www.christianity.org.uk on everything.  If you would be prepared to receive a weekly message and pray for people who have asked us to, send an email to enquiries@christianity.org.uk with 'Prayer partner' in the subject line.

Include your address as well if you would like to be on our mailing list and hear from us twice a year through the post.  For more information telephone 020 3490 3315 or write to CEA, FREEPOST WC2947, South Croydon, CR2 8UZ.
 
Baptist Times, 06/09/2013
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