• 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
• is the blog for Internet Evangelism Day ... main IE Day menu:
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).
Church website testing tool
Use our free self-assessment tool to provide you with a customized report on ways to make your church site reach out into your community. Read more
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.
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.
You can put free software on your computer or smartphone to read it – you don’t need a Kindle. Amazon don’t make the computer downloads very easy to find – do a search for ‘Kindle for PC’ or ‘Kindle for MAC’ on Amazon. For smartphones and iPads, search the app listings.
What’s it about?
Former BBC journalist Robbie Lane explains how you can get free publicity for your church. The book includes practical advice on writing press releases, doing interviews on your local radio station, using social media and getting your church website noticed. Though it is written from a UK background, there are many areas of advice that work internationally.
You may have see the YouTube video of James Cheoung’s gospel presentation, sketched out with felt pen on a pad of lined paper ▼
This is itself a summary of the approach he takes in his book True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing in.
New World Gospel Presentation free app
Now, InterVarsity have released a smartphone app, the New World Gospel Presentation, which enables you to share the good news in a similar way, by finger-drawing on your touch screen over a preset image, along with your own verbal presentation and discussion. InterVarsity explains:
Our Evangelism Department launched our free gospel-sharing app for iOS and Android in December 2012, primarily among InterVarsity staff and students. It has been very well received among our initial target audience, and is likely of wider interest than just our organization. In fact, we will be doing a major update in a few months so that it is readily accessible for non-InterVarsity users as well.
Happily there is a growing number of free short ebooks on social and other media for church ministry. Note the word ‘short’. Long books can be great, but a surprising amount of wisdom and practical advice can be condensed into 10-20 pages. It is, perhaps, the 15-minute TED lecture approach, applied to text.
You can read them quickly, and keep them as reference manuals.
Media Relations 101
This new 11-page PDF booklet by Jerod Clark explains how to relate to the traditional media (local press, TV, radio) and get your church’s story and news covered in the community. Download the PDF file from ChurchJuice.
34-page PDF ebook from Church Tech Today and seventy8 Productions. Gives an overview of social media basics, then takes you through Facebook, Twitter and G+, and ends with an explanation of building a church social media strategy. To download it, you just need to go to their Google+ page and follow the instructions. You don’t have to have a Google account, but adding them to your G+ circles will enable you to get updates of the book.
You would have had to live on a different planet for the last several years, to have missed the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ slogan – on t-shirts, mugs, posters, as well as the many derivative humorous modifications.
But what is the story behind this UK wartime poster, and why did it never see light of day until the 21st century? This 2:46 video explains its rediscovery in a second-hand bookshop. Read more.
Why does it communicate so well and succinctly? What biblical principles are distilled in these five words? Add your comments.
“It was a last-ditch effort. Nothing else had worked. No one had answers to my questions, or comfort for my pain.
The bullying was more than I could handle and I just wanted to be free of it. I recalled seeing something on the news about Amanda Todd and voices in my head told me I would end up like her, so why bother looking for help? I should just do it – end my miserable life.
I thought I was past the point of no return, so I Googled, ‘what happens after I commit suicide?’ It was a very dark curiosity that led me to the first link that came up. The website offered someone to talk with – someone who would pray for me.
Pray… for me? Someone would do that? The smallest flame of hope flickered inside me. I began typing, tentatively at first. I was hesitant to trust someone, but the anonymity of the Internet gave me some courage. It wasn’t long before I got a response and began a conversation that would completely change my life.”
The TruthMedia outreach websites receive stories like the one above on a regular basis. It’s their desire to reach those in need through volunteer mentors and innovative Mentor Center software. Full training is given to volunteers, who can choose when to take on inquirers to talk to by email, as their time permits. Learn more. Other large digital ministries are also need such mentors, in many languages.
Ministering to felt needs is an entirely biblical way to share the good news, if it is done appropriately. A valuable research study on How Adults Become Christians shows that for many lasting adult conversions, the trigger that started them on their spiritual journey was a life crisis.
Thanks to Disney for releasing their 6-minute short animation Paperman completely free to watch below, embed or download. (And it won an Oscar for best animation.) Unfortunately, since it won an Oscar, they seem to have withdrawn some of the free ones, or allow them to be embedded. Check this one, or search YouTube.
Paperman is enchanting, and if you have ever seen French film The Red Balloon, you’ll notice a clear homage to that magical story (widely available on DVD).
Note how Paperman demonstrates the special power of animation to tell a clear visual story, even without dialogue. Free of the constraints of audible language, silent animation instantly gains a worldwide cross-cultural potential. The audience can create their own mental narrative and backstory, identify with one or other character, and formulate some lesson or question to take away.
Animations can be used in multiple ways. They can carry a direct evangelistic message, or else be used as conversation-starters based on a parable-like spiritual truth. And many apparently secular animations also have embedded spiritual parallels and can be used in a group setting (youth groups, other meetings), one-to-one using a downloaded animation on mobile phone, iPad or laptop, or be embedded in Facebook and Twitter posts as an informal conversation starter.
Alma, for instance, is a chillingly compelling animation with a clear message of inadvertently selling your soul, and therefore an ideal conversation gateway. Paperman itself can point to elements of our search for God, and His search for us.
Susan Cain argues that introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated. Our world often prizes extroverts – but Susan makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.
Often, introverts are excellent strategics, planners, leaders – and evangelists- because they may be good at listening.
They are often great graphic designers and artists, website creators or tech people, film-makers, writers and bloggers. Recognize the introverts in your team or church, and use their gifts!
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