Tebow, John 3:16 Drive Internet Evangelism
Gospel Spread Through Search Engine Buzz Around QB, Verse
January 12, 2012 - When Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards on Jan. 8, it launched a viral buzz over one of his favorite verses, John 3:16, which has led to thousands of people landing on the BGEA's Internet Evangelism website, PeacewithGod.net.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 (NIV)
By Trevor Freeze
Search John 3:16 in Google last week and in the blink of an eye — 0.11 seconds to be exact — more than 104 million search results pop up.
Ironically, it took all of 11 seconds for Tim Tebow's Denver Broncos to score a huge upset in overtime on the night of Jan. 8 against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defense. The Broncos fell to the Patriots on Saturday night in Foxboro, Mass., but that didn't stop the Gospel message from becoming a viral hit.
Tebow — a devout Christian who wore the Bible verse John 3:16 painted on his eye blacks during the 2009 NCAA National Championship game — finished with 316 yards.
And if that wasn't enough…
Tebow's per-throw average: 31.6 yards.
Sunday's overtime TV rating: 31.6.
Pittsburgh's time of possession: 31 minutes, 6 seconds.
But there have been other numbers, eternally speaking, surrounding John 3:16 that have also been registered this week on PeacewithGod.net. The initial website launched by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Internet Evangelism ministry known as Search for Jesus has had a very busy week.
Taking advantage of John 3:16's popularity in Google searches on Monday, the BGEA advertised a PeacewithGod.net landing page around searches for John 3:16 — the central message of the video-driven Gospel website.
Over 10,000 users specifically inquiring about John 3:16 this week have landed on PeacewithGod.net via Google, with more than 200 clicking they had made a decision to accept Jesus Christ into their life.
"That's what makes this online ministry so unique," said John Cass, BGEA's director of Internet Evangelism. "We can respond to exactly what people are searching for at that moment—and it's often a very simple next-step to the Gospel.
"Current events give us the opportunity to share the Gospel."
Churches and individuals can partner with the BGEA's Internet Evangelism ministry by clicking on the How You Can Help tab on the website SearchforJesus.net.
Always one to deflect credit, Tebow did not mention the similarities of the 316 passing yards and one of his favorite verses in Sunday's post-game press conference, but he was quick to give God the glory.
"First and foremost, I just want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," Tebow said. "He's done so much in my life."
In the course of his preaching ministry, Billy Graham delivered countless sermons from John 3:16, which reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NIV)."
Get your copy of Tim Tebow's book Through My Eyes from our online bookstore »