• an annual worldwide focus day on a Sunday near the end of April, as the culmination of Digital Outreach Month. Churches and other groups are encouraged to create a focus spot or digital training day, either on that Sunday, or indeed at any time of the year.
• a year-round resource guide about web, mobile and digital media outreach
Digital Evangelism Issues
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We offer a range of free articles and related resources for anyone wishing to write about online evangelism. You may also use any of this blog's posts as short filler items in print media. Read more To reference any blog post in print, you can shorten the URL to IEDay.net/blog/ archives/1234 (of course replacing '1234' with the actual posting number).
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A UK team has just launched a new online resource with video shorts, aimed at mid-to-late teens.
It answers questions about faith in an outsider-friendly and accessible way, so it is ideal for youthgroup members to use and share.
Founder Darren Quinnel writes:
Message to the Masses is more than just a website and resource – we exists to ignite a faith-sharing passion in young people’s hearts.
Our aim is not only to see young people understand their faith but also to help and support them in defending that faith. We do this through online multimedia and social networks, with users being able to create their own account profile, share their own personal story of Jesus and help their friends to start their own journey to discover God.
Starting a journey with Jesus doesn’t mean you know all the answers, but through Message to the Masses young people can discover answers for themselves and create firm foundations to help them understand, defend and share their faith!
It’s out! The incredible Tom Hooper 2012 movie is now released on DVD: USA | UK. This is a renewed opportunity to use this incredibly redemptive story as a discussion starter in many different situations.
Resources to help you:
Damaris Leader’s Guide, Extra Questions booklet, and video clips all available as free downloads. Incidentally, Damaris have just launched Film Clubs to help community groups, workplaces, neighborhoods, churches or coffee shops run a film discussion groups.
Ministry in the Digital Age
Strategies for Best Practices for a Post-Website World
David T Bourgeois
Happily there are at last a growing number of books about various aspects of digital ministry. Dave Bourgeois’ new book is primarily written to help Christian ministries understand how to integrate the Internet into their existing work.
What are the best evidence-based practices to implement? How do you best truly integrate digital, rather than just bolting on a few social networking options to an unchanged structure?
For these things are no longer optional luxuries. Any ministry or non-profit without an effective digital and social media policy, owned and understood by the whole team, is doomed to near invisibility and likely failure.
Dr Bourgeois takes you through both the strategic planning and the practical steps for implementation. On his book page, he explains the background to the book, with an online preview of the introduction and appendices. Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature also previews part of the first chapter, or click Google Preview button to see extra taster pages ▶
Pop Goes the Church: Should the Church Engage Pop Culture?
Tim Stevens makes an inspiring case for leveraging pop culture to reach out to people in the language of their lives, with compelling biblical backing for this approach. He offers a new perspective that give relevance and impact to the church by using popular culture – stories from movies and music – to point people to the gospel. He encourages us to get out of our comfort zones and look people in the eyes, meeting them wherever they are.
Although he writes in the context of using pop culture as an evangelistic starting point within local church ministry, his insights equally apply to using it for online evangelism, which is a huge and barely used opportunity. There are embedded ‘echoes of eternity’ in many movies, music lyrics, and other stories. An outreach site using Bollywood films as a starting point could be hugely strategic in India, for example.
Incidentally, you do not have to agree with the application of this approach in every example he cites of how different churches are using the pop-culture as a starting point. What one church may feel to be appropriate within its particular culture and demographic may not necessarily resonate with you. Each must use this approach as they are led.
The book is still widely available from Amazon and other outlets, with plenty of very cheap used copies too. In US, the new price is $4, with plenty secondhand at $0.01. Read a number of taster pages using Google Preview button ▶
Helpful advice from Socially Stacked – a good source of tips for social media communication. And a second infographic below from WhitefireSEO on how social media boosts your web site’s search engine positioning.
Choose your comfiest chair, make yourself a tasty coffee (or other beverage as preferred) and settle down for a 45-minute journey with Professor Brian Sturm to learn more about story.
Sturm presents storytelling as a way of organizing information, conveying emotions, and building community. A model of storytelling as altered state of consciousness (the story trance) is presented that includes 16 portals to altered states. Three stories are told to illustrate the theoretical model: Truth and Story; What Happens When You Really Listen; and The Stone Cutter. Storytelling ethics and the need for trust and truth are discussed.
Storytelling is the essential ingredient for almost all effective communication, be it evangelism, discipleship, or advocacy for a non-profit or cause.
The latest Damaris movie resources are available from today – for the film Quartet.
The Damaris team writes:
A few months ago we were pleased to provide free official resources for the cinema release of the film Quartet – starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins. Now, in readiness for its release on DVD, Blu-ray and Download (available from 6th May 2013) we have created some more – together with three new downloadable video features. They are all available from the 6th May, completely free, at www.damaris.org/quartet.
Please help us by spreading the word about these new resources to your members in the church, who you think will find them useful for home-groups, services and outreach events.
Hans Christian Andersen said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” That’s certainly the experience of many. And the official resources we have created to accompany Quartet will help people to listen to what music might tell us about love, loss, life, hope, fun and fulfilment – all illustrated by the characters in this delightful and inspirational film.
Quartet is directed by Dustin Hoffman who said: “Someone once commented that ‘old age ain’t no fun’ but I’ve always believed that your soul can expand.” We hope that our resources and this film will help many to experience that for themselves.”
There’s much more on Damaris
Check out the many other culture-watching features on their site – for instance:
Bryan Allain’s excellent book about effective social networking, Community Wins: 21 Thoughts on Building a Thriving Online Tribe is no longer available free. For more on the book, read our original review. Bryan blogs here.
Download the book from Amazon US | Amazon UK or your nearest Amazon store. Tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
No need for a Kindle
You don’t need to have a Kindle to read Kindle books – you can easily download Amazon’s free Kindle software for your PC or Mac (though they do not make the download links particularly easy to find) or smartphone:
The TruthMedia digital evangelism team urgently needs volunteers, working in their sparetime at home. Please republish this page, or share the opportunity widely on social media.
Karen Schenk, National Director Media Strategies, writes:
We have a huge opportunity for people to help share God’s love! Jesus Daily, a Facebook page with over 16 million users, is now partnering with TruthMedia. We are doing follow-up for the thousands of private messages that are sent in to that page. These messages come into The Mentor Center and our mentors can answer them.
Just this week one of our mentors shared that he received a message that simply read ‘thank you’. He wrote the person and engaged in conversation with them. Within a short time the mentor led this person to the Lord. When someone becomes a mentor for TheMentorCenter, we train them each step of the way, including how to transition to share Christ or help a person take next steps in their spiritual journey.
As of a few minutes ago, there are OVER 15,000 messages waiting to be responded to. We are desperate for more mentors. If you or someone you know would like to make a huge difference in people’s lives through this ministry, please go http://www.thementorcenter.com/jesus-daily/ and fill out the application.
1000 volunteers needed!
To answer all of these messages, we actually need over 1,000 more mentors. Please help us get the word out!
Here are two of the messages waiting for responses:
• “Jesus! Please I need help, I always promise God that i would repent, but then I just turn into the old me, I swear and do a lot of bad stuff, I need help!
• “I am muslim and i want to ask you about your religious and may i follow your own thought ok?”
This is an evangelist outreach and the harvest is great. There are thousands of seekers coming through this page wanting to know Jesus. There are also believers asking all kinds of questions about life and faith.
It’s an unprecedented opportunity to have a huge reach around the entire globe. Please pray for us as we journey through this transition and work on simplifying and scaling our processes so that we truly can reach millions. God has opened up an amazing opportunity for us! We want to share it with you.”
Mentoring can be a hugely fulfilling ministry, needs no technical knowledge, and TruthMedia provides full training and support. This short video explains more, and can also be embedded in your own site or blog.
Scott McClennan’s new book Tell Me a Story: Finding God (and Ourselves) Through Narrative is a valuable explanation of the significance of storytelling. Scott briefly describes his book here with a more detailed explanation from CMS. It’s widely available, eg from Amazon US, Amazon UK and other outlets. I’ll be reviewing the book shortly – but be assured, it is excellent.
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