Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith

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Electronic Preaching

In Defense of the
Computing Preacher

We have read a few criticisms of the computer in the work of the preacher recently and wish to accept the warning and issue our own.

Advertisements seeking new evangelists at various churches have stated that they do not want a man who will be trying to convert his machine or spending too much time at the keyboard. There seems to have developed the idea that the kingdom is being slighted when the preacher is on the Internet and his phone line is tied up. One wonders if the invention of the telephone itself brought similar controversy, but we digress.

Surely, there are some frittering away their days, cashing the same support check after playing games and surfing the web in search of frivolous material. In such cases, the warnings ring true.

It must be considered however that the rise of computing and the Internet have afforded the preacher and the church remarkable new opportunities to spread the gospel and make contact with seekers and members alike. Our web site ( has generated dozens of correspondence course enrollments this year, but if we pulled the plug to avoid the appearance that we are lashed to the machine, they would all be cut off and cast back to the world. We have used our electronic mail to admonish wayward Christians to be restored and several have. Baptisms have been arranged online. Did we convert the machine or win back the soul? Was the time poorly or selfishly used? I think not.

It may not look like it, but your preacher is probably sowing the gospel seed through his modem in ways you cannot imagine. Don’t assume that he is wasting his time and your money when you find him with a keyboard and a Bible instead of knocking on doors. He may be answering one of hundreds of Internet queries that he will receive this year, as we have. All these are opportunities to shine the gospel light into darkness and invite lost souls to consider Jesus.

Besides, if you want that door knocking to get done, no law has yet been passed that requires a full-blown gospel preacher to do it.