Starting with God .com
Let’s face it…not everyone has the luxury of getting to spend time with the college students they’re hoping to reach for Christ, in person, every day. Sometimes you’re a Campus Minister that has a ministry spread across multiple campuses, some even a day’s drive away. Sometimes you’re a College Pastor that gets to spend good time with students during the year but then they leave for the summer. Or sometimes you’re a College Student yourself but you had to transfer to a new school. In any of these cases the internet and social media are instrumental in maintaining relationships long distance.
So say you just saw a college student come to Christ, and you are freaking out because you can’t be there with them to help build up their faith and get them started on the right foot. In these cases, poking someone on facebook just doesn’t seem to quite cut it. Well it may be that ‘StartingWithGod.com’ could be just want you need.
What it is and why we like it
Starting with God is a website for the new believer. While it could relate to a range of audiences it was specifically developed by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) to help develop new believers via the internet. It has articles covering a range of topics that are likely to be on the hearts and minds of baby Christians. It also has online Bible Studies and resources for helping new believers get connected in their local Christian communities. However the most helpful aspect of this website are the emails that new believers can subscribe to.
Helping the new believer find the assurance and foundation in their faith that they need
Helping the new believer start to read and learn from the Word
Helping the new believer avoid the pitfalls of religion
Helping the new believer learn how to pass on their new found faith
How to use it
Encourage new believers that are either long distance from you, or you know for a fact respond best to an online format, to explore this website and sign up for one or maybe two email subscriptions. Signing up for one at a time, however, is likely the best option. That way the new believer does not become overwhelmed and has time to really meditate on the new email sent to them each week.
You could also look to see if there are any articles on the website that address an issue that you know is particularly confusing or is of interest to your student(s) and send them the link to the page.
Tip: Sign up to receive the emails at the same time as your college student. That way you can know what they are learning each week and can even engage them in meaningful conversations about the material. However, if you plan to use this email system often with many students then it would be better to simply familiarize yourself with the content of the emails in general.
The only unfortunate aspect of this website is that it is rather limited in how much it can offer a new believer in the long run. Eventually the content will run out and the new believer will need to find a new catalyst for growth. Hopefully by this time, either you or the website has been able to help them get connected in their local community offline.