The term Christian pen pal doesn't mean what it used to--a chance to write to someone in another part of the country or the world and exchange information about life, and thereby become friends. Now sharing this information is often used as a means to find a life partner. If two people are meeting as Christian pen pals, they have a very important ingredient for a lasting relationship, their common faith. It used to be that writing to someone as a pen pal meant taking pen in hand and writing down thoughts onto a piece of stationery, addressing an envelope and affixing a stamp, then posting it. With the popularity of technology, and especially the Internet, relationships can be completed through emails, chat rooms, and instant messages.
Finding a companion on the Internet can be an interesting process. There are many sites to choose from, some geared to specific denominations, and some more general in nature. These sites provide chat rooms where folks can exchange information anonymously, and there are pictures and bios where one can look over the other individuals in a general age bracket who are also looking for a Christian pen pal. Certainly by beginning one's search with the "Christian" designation should eliminate the questions right up front about similar approaches to life. With the moral attitudes commonly expressed today in TV and movies, it has to be a relief to know that the people who are using these sites to find Christian pen pals will share the same or similar moral values. There is no need to wait for weeks or months for a reply with e-mail correspondence. Electronic correspondence can exchange a great deal of information in the first few hours of their acquaintance as pen pals, and if they happen to live near one another, they can take the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
Being a good friend is mentioned in scripture. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (Proverb 18:24) With this in mind, teenagers with a desire to develop friendships with other Christians have the ability to utilize chat rooms and other sites to develop relationships. The emphasis at those sites is different from the adult oriented sites. A teen Christian pen pal can provide a youngster with a broader view of life by finding out what teens in other places are doing, especially if they are in another country. While young people everywhere have common experiences as teenagers, different cultures handle them differently. This kind of education is invaluable. For some Christian pen pals, the connection is their shared college experience, which can lead to strong bonds. The common faith that is shared between these individuals can be helpful in making it through tough times and forging a lasting friendship based on faith and love for God.
A Christian penpal should be sought for those who desire to communicate with another who shares the same love for Christ, but who lives either too far to visit in person, or too far to speak with one the telephone for an inexpensive rate. Many Christian penpals are created during missionary trips, where the volunteers promise to continue to keep in touch with one another either through the writing of letters or the writing of emails. Some Correspondents have webpages where a Christian penpal blog can be created, and many can log in and submit notes on a variety of topics.
There are organizations that specialize in teaming Christian penpals together based on a variety of demographics. Most correspondents in our modern technological society communicate via the Internet. The Internet allows one correspondent to contact another almost instantaneously. If the writer friend lives on the other side of the world, traditional written letters may take weeks to be received using postal mail. Written letters were very common in the past for corresponding friends, but email and instant messaging have gained popularity in recent years accounting for over 65% of communication methods.
Some may institute a Christian penpal website to gain information on the spiritual traditions and practices of Christians throughout the world. Christian penpals can also facilitate and organize missionary trips through the use of modern communications. Establishing a correspondence friendship relationship could be a valuable asset to the success of the missionary assignment. Those that do create correspondence friendships could have discovered a friend for life. Establishing corresponding friends for children is a wonderful way to help them experience other cultures almost first hand.
It is exciting for most to meet others from around the world. A Christian penpal can allow those in one country to converse with another Of the same faith in another country not just in religious matters, but in cultural, political and personal matters as well. Many times, a Corresponding friend will want to help their counterpart evangelize more effectively, or start a local church. Getting advice and support from a fellow Christian writer is very important. The ability to communicate with others within the same Body of Christ is what we are commanded to do. We should gather together, through the use of Christian penpals, to fulfill this commandment. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him." (2 Thessalonians 2:1)
Christian Penpal ChatroomsChristian chatrooms are a way for people to get connected in a variety of ways. Whether a person is interested in talking with someone from a certain denomination, a sister church in another state, or overseas, these forums provide the opportunities to correspond and connect with others who share similar values. The Internet has changed the way people correspond with one another. This electronic tool is now the most common way Christian penpals find one another and begin lasting relationships.
The desire to find and write to others who share the same core beliefs and values is not a new trend. Christian penpals have been in existence for many years. They have also taken shape in different ways. Corresponders might have found each other by attending the same church and decided to write to one another when one moved away. Or, two people from different countries may have been connected by a penpal agency. Perhaps letters began being exchanged as support for a missionary. Usually these writers are family members, friends, coworkers, etc. who show their support through finances, prayer, and friendship.
Churches have used penpal relationships for other areas of ministry as well. There are churches and Christian schools who have implemented Christian penpals through different events. One such way is to connect inmates in the prison system with those involved in the church. Usually those who work with prison fellowship types of ministry introduce people from the church to inmates, generally of the same sex. This helps to create and develop friendships and a way to share the love of Christ with others.
Not only are prison ministries something a target of writing relationship, but so do establishing friendships through Christian schools in different areas. Teachers can utilize Christian penpal writing as an opportunity to develop writing skills in elementary grades. For those who are in higher grades and computing skills are being assessed, teachers can implement the use of Christian chatrooms. With correct supervision, chatrooms can be a useful source. Christian chatrooms can help students with their social skills and help them learn about others who are like them.
Teachers can also show students how to practice good judgment and safety when it comes to using Christian chatrooms. A good way to implement this and produce safe correspondence relationships can be to create a general email address for the classroom as a whole, by the teacher, and to monitor closely what these students are discussing in their correspondence.
Writing another is a valuable tool in ministry and in establishing valuable relationships with other. Using chat rooms and pen pal relationships can be a great tool to get connected with others who share your faith. Having those who you can feel comfortable with, establish friendships, and create lifelong connections with can be a great gift from the Lord. However, in all things, exercise caution, use discernment, and be safe. "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments" (Proverbs 119:66).
Christian pen pals can open up whole new worlds for people through emails and letters. Many penpals discuss their lives, their dreams, their faith and simply everyday happenings, but Christian pen pals can also become more. Testimonials can be found from Christian penpals who found matrimonial bliss this way. Whether someone wants to meet a mate or find a friend, getting to know a Christian pen pal can be a good first step. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly," (Proverbs 18:24).
One woman found Christian penpals through a free website and commented, "It's a great tool the Lord has used for me to meet people across the globe." A man found his soul mate. "I cannot thank you enough for your Christian pen pals website and want to encourage others to hang in there, pray hard and believe that God is able to use any means possible to bring two people together. A wonderful godly woman from South Carolina and I have made plans to marry later this summer."
Pen pals don't fit one specific mold. They're young and old, rich and poor, married and single. Anyone desiring to meet new people and gain new perspectives can try it. Hundreds of pen pal services exist on the Internet, and most of them are both easy to use and free. After registering, participants can search through a database of other Christian pen pals and find someone to correspond with. The service will provide basic information about the individuals in their database, such as their age, marital status, denomination, and occupation. Some people choose to post pictures of themselves, too.
While similar to dating services, Christian penpals differ in that not everyone is necessarily looking to date or marry. Some pen pals simply want to meet and chat with a person from across the globe. When searching through the databases, you can limit the search to "friendship" only or "penpals" only. This, for example, will eliminate anyone who is primarily seeking a spouse.
After agreeing to be Christian penpals, many people are naturally a bit nervous as they wonder what to talk about with their new friends. The topics are really limitless but, for starters, ask the person how he or she became a Christian. Talk about your state or country, family, future plans, hobbies, or pets. Ask lots of questions of each other to keep the conversation flowing. Most of all, have fun!