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  • • an annual worldwide focus day on a Sunday in Spring, 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

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Africa infographic: last 20 years, next 20 years

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The latest infographic from GMI (below) charts the huge changes in Africa over the last 20 years, and also highlights the growth of mobile phone access from zero to near universal. The huge benefits to Africa of improved communication through mobile and the Internet have been covered frequently in many blogs and reports – economic growth, development, health and education are all being transformed through digital.

Digital evangelism and discipleship are growing in significance. Indigitous has just completed a 3-day digital ministry conference in Ethiopia, and plans others. Video report above or watch on YouTube. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Cybermissions Africa held a strategic conference in Uyo Nigeria during April, and plan further meetings, seminars and conferences. Check their Facebook page.

With most Africans accessing the web and digital resources using mobile phones, our priority is to develop evangelism and discipleship mediated through mobiles. The Mobile Ministry Forum are the team to connect with for resources, networking and an annual consultation.

20/20: Progress & Challenges in Africa
While there are many reasons for the changes in Africa over the past 20 years, the release of Nelson Mandela and the spotlight he brought to Africa is a significant milestone. As the world mourned his loss in 2013, there is value in looking back over the past 20 years since his release from prison and the next 20 years and ask the question, “Given the amazing progress and significant changes, what is the role of the Church?” This Missiographic strives to provide some insight into this question.

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Did you believe digital usage was this wide? Opportunities for ministry

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If you want to get a sense of the remarkable penetration of digital media around the world, or use some of these slides in seminars to present the challenge of digital ministry worldwide, this is for you:

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3 Revolutions Impacting Internet Evangelism: new shareable infographic from Global Mapping

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Infographics are a great way to communicate a strategic visual overview of any topic. Global Mapping’s new series of mission-related infographics are very helpful. This month they have summarized some vital trends and opportunities for digital evangelism, in this ‘missiographic’ entitled 3 Revolutions Impacting Internet Evangelism ▼

Grateful thanks to GMI for creating this valuable resource, coincidentally in the very week that the Mobile Ministry Consultation is taking place.

What opportunities does this infographic highlight for you? What other areas of digital ministry would you like to see crystalized into an infographic? Please add your comments.



Infographic by GMI Missiographics. Add to your site or blog | Sign up for twice-monthly email alerts with new infographics on global mission.

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Get free world mission infographics newsletter from GMI

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Infographics are a hugely significant way of portraying complex truths visually.

Missiographics, from the mission researchers at Global Mapping International, is a new twice-a-month newsletter designed to bring together mission data and powerful visuals. Each issue will include an infographic with a link to download it, plus suggestions to help you think through the implications it may have for your life and ministry. Sound like something you can use?

I happen to know that one of their infographics in course of preparation will cover the whole scope and significance of digital evangelism.

This publication will launch in October, but you can get a sample by signing up now. It’s free. Subscribe here.

We have featured other infographics in previous posts relating to digital ministry.

What sort of infographics do you find the most useful? Add your comments below.

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YouTube – the opportunity for channels

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If you are a church or nonprofit, a YouTube channel may be an appropriate and valuable addition to your advocacy. Here’s an infographic that may encourage you:

See recent posts on the strategic value of video shorts.

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arrow icon Please also share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 using the one-click links below. You can also automatically syndicate our blog posts to your Facebook Timeline (and/or your Twitter stream) in three easy steps.
creative commons icon You are welcome to use this item on your own blog as a guest blog post, or republish in any online or print newsletter. We also offer other free articles.
LATEST BULLETIN Latest issue of Web Evangelism Bulletin is now online. One-click subscribe to Feedburner summary email here.
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Free mission promoter’s ebook: Bringing the World to Your Church

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Does your church have a missions advocate (by whatever name) – someone who is the go-to resource person to link the fellowship with news, resources and people connected with world missions, and to coordinate support for any who have been sent out from your church to serve elsewhere. Or are you considering appointing such a person? Please share this resource with them and your church leadership team.

Bringing the World to Your Church is a valuable handbook to help mission advocates. Previously published as a paperback (and still available secondhand), it is now published as a free ebook download.

It is full of valuable practical ideas. The only issue to be aware of – it was written before social networking came along, so you need to overlay its lessons with an understanding of how networking can leverage missions awareness in your church fellowship, as well as connect directly with missions staff and news from around the world.

Check also our other free ebook recommendations.

Digital advocates

There is equally a big need for churches to appoint a ‘digital advocate’ – someone who can resource, guide and train members of the fellowship to use social media, especially in terms of appropriate evangelism. Learn more.

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Infographic: how to get more shares on Facebook

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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.


Social Media and SEO – An infographic by the team at WhiteFire, an SEO Company

Check our other recent posts on social networking opportunities and resources.

If you are a church that has not yet started with social media, here are three reasons to begin. And Internet Toolbox for Churches is wonderful resource for churches to learn how to use digital media to connect with outsiders.

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HELP! How Internet Evangelism Day can help YOU and your church. Please help us: complete this short digital outreach questionnaire and get free ebook Tweeting Church.
arrow icon Please also share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 using the one-click links below. You can also automatically syndicate our blog posts to your Facebook Timeline (and/or your Twitter stream) in three easy steps.
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Storytelling: an expert explains how it works

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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.

Please check our other recent posts on storytelling.

Photo credit: By Ldorfman (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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HELP! How Internet Evangelism Day can help YOU and your church. Please help us: complete this short digital outreach questionnaire and get free ebook Tweeting Church.
arrow icon Please also share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 using the one-click links below. You can also automatically syndicate our blog posts to your Facebook Timeline (and/or your Twitter stream) in three easy steps.
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Storytelling and humor: books and resources

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Many people still seem to feel that storytelling and humor are, if even used at all, minor elements to bolt onto the beginning or end of the ‘real’ message we are trying to communicate.

In reality, these should be integral to all communication, embedded and inseparable. This applies equally whether it is evangelism, teaching, or advocating a nonprofit or ministry.

Here’s a useful short explanation by Dennis Brook: Three Powerful Storytelling Methods to Improve Your Writing or Speaking, first published in the Northwest Christian Author newsletter.

Strategic new book

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.

Storytelling expert Wilton Blake has drawn together a reading list of good (secular) storytelling books.

Check our other recent features on storytelling and humor.

Free ebooks on humor

We often do not realize how much humor is embedded in the Bible, and specifically Jesus’ ministry. Read more, and download free ebooks about humor and the Bible. See our other free ebooks too.

New phone app

10,000 audio messages in 6000 languages from Global Recordings Network and other sources are now available within the new Android phone app 5fish.

Mobile Advance blog explains why audio files can be better than video for some cultures and situations.

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HELP! How Internet Evangelism Day can help YOU and your church. Please help us: complete this short digital outreach questionnaire and get free ebook Tweeting Church.
arrow icon Please also share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 using the one-click links below. You can also automatically syndicate our blog posts to your Facebook Timeline (and/or your Twitter stream) in three easy steps.
creative commons icon You are welcome to use this item on your own blog as a guest blog post, or republish in any online or print newsletter. We also offer other free articles.
LATEST BULLETIN Latest issue of Web Evangelism Bulletin is now online. One-click subscribe to Feedburner summary email here.
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Creating a digital outreach training day in your church

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Internet Evangelism Day encourages churches and other groups to create a focus spot or discussion time to consider how be effective in digital evangelism and integrate it with the rest of their ministry. Although the actual designated Day – usually the third or fourth Sunday in April – is a good time for this, there is no reason why you should not create a focus day at any time of the year.

Why digital?

As never before, there is an incredible potential of digital media to share the good news of Jesus, in an intentional but appropriate way. In the last eight years, the Internet has changed dramatically:

  • the vast growth in digital access via mobile phones, including in the Majority World
  • the advent of social networking, through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and many other niche networks
  • growth of the video short on YouTube and elsewhere, to communicate visually, and often by storytelling

These three developments intertwine into what we might call a ‘three-fold cord’ of strength, echoing Ecclesiastes 4:12. Each gains synergy by functioning together with the other two.

It is now simple and practical for any online Jesus-follower to engage in opt-in permission conversations across existing relationships with friends and indirectly to friends-of-friends, using perhaps all three platforms – social, mobile and video short. No longer is digital evangelism a specialism, needing writing or technical skills.

Video shorts

The outsider-friendly video short has growing significance. It can be used to start a conversation, or enhance an existing discussion, by posting to Facebook, Twitter etc. Valuable ready-made sources of video shorts, which can be dropped into Facebook with a single click, include:

  • YesHeIs.com (varied categories of shorts in several languages)
  • GlobalShortFilmNetwork.com (often story-based and parable-like)
  • Focus.org.uk (God: New Evidence apologetics for outsiders)
  • Damaris.org (parallels and lessons from movies)
  • the Falling Plates video is a valuable explanation of the good news in a visual style

    Also very significant are mobile phone apps which enable and enhance one-to-one faith-sharing. Sadly, there are very few. Mensajes de Fe is a new release (in Spanish). The JESUS Film is available in multiple languages as an app.

    Phone users can also choose and download to their phones a small selection of video shorts to use in the same way. With growing mobile ownership across the Majority World, these opportunities are worldwide and strategic. MobileAdvance.org is one resource to learn more. The Mobile Ministry Forum connects groups working in this area.

    Digital advocates

    There is a big need for churches to encourage members to understand these possibilities. A strategic way to do this is to appoint a ‘digital advocate’ in the fellowship to inform, educate and encourage members about effective and appropriate use of the ‘three-fold cord’ – read more at IEDay.net/advocate.php

    When Christians in a community choose a range of social networking friends that includes many who are not yet Jesus-followers, it becomes likely that a majority of people in the community could be digitally connected to at least one believer.

    Churches and digital

    Churches can also use social media corporately, and many are finding this an incredibly effective voice in the community, rather than just as an internal communication system to members. It is possible to be outsider-friendly, but sadly, many churches only use social media as an internal communication tool. InternetToolboxforChurches.com is a key initiative to learn more about this.

    In the last year, a number of Christian books ieday.net/books.php have been published on Christian use of social media, some of them free: ieday.net/eb. We have never been better resourced!

    How to create a focus day in your church or group

    • Reproduce (or link to) this short news item in your church announcement sheet, church newsletter, blog or website, or any other media: ieday.net/shortannouncement.php
    • Create a short focus spot in a meeting, or even theme an entire service around digital evangelism opportunities. A very short focus spot might be little more than a verbal announcement. If more time is available, then you could add components such as a video short (for example the YesHEIs cartoon), PowerPoint slides, an interview with a church member involved in digital ministry, or an explanation of the ‘three-fold cord’ – perhaps with a live projected demonstration of posting video clips into Facebook.
    • Build on this awareness to plan a ministry or church digital strategy if you do not already have one.
    • Consider appointing a ‘digital advocate’ to resource your fellowship or team.

    Questionnaire and free ebook

    We’ve produced a 10-question survey about digital evangelism on SurveyMonkey. It’s not so much a yes/no questionnaire as a conversation to learn from each other. We will very much value your input: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LN63THN

    As a thank you, you’ll get a free ebook download: Paul Clifford’s well-reviewed book Tweeting Church. He has also authored Podcasting Church, Church Video Summer School, and The Serving Church. Check his resources at TrinityDigitalMedia.com.

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    GET UPDATES BY EMAIL & TWITTER Get our blog posts by email, once or twice a week: Feedburner email | or by Twitter:

    HELP! How Internet Evangelism Day can help YOU and your church. Please help us: complete this short digital outreach questionnaire and get free ebook Tweeting Church.
    arrow icon Please also share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +1 using the one-click links below. You can also automatically syndicate our blog posts to your Facebook Timeline (and/or your Twitter stream) in three easy steps.
    creative commons icon You are welcome to use this item on your own blog as a guest blog post, or republish in any online or print newsletter. We also offer other free articles.
    LATEST BULLETIN Latest issue of Web Evangelism Bulletin is now online. One-click subscribe to Feedburner summary email here.
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