Maybe a few of these activities still survive. Sometimes!
What changes digital has wrought!
Infographic from Mozy.com
Maybe a few of these activities still survive. Sometimes!
What changes digital has wrought!
Ministry in the Digital Age
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 ▶
Where to find it
It’s also available in Kindle, and, slightly cheaper, in epub, mobi and PDF formats direct from IVPress. You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks – just download the free software/app to your PC/Mac, tablet or smartphone.
Win a copy
Do any of these things by 6 June, then email me to say where I can find it along with your postal address, and the winner, chosen at random, will receive get the book:
Share your thoughts
When you’ve read the book, please add feedback about it on our comment section below.
Michael Hyatt’s excellent Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is currently very cheap as a Kindle ebook ($4.82/£3.14). Check our other reviews of digital communication books and our page of free ebook downloads.
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.
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:
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.
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:
“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.
The HooteSuite video below, though it is primarily discussing businesses, clearly explains the importance of social media connectedness at every level in any organization – charity, non-profit, ministry – and emphasizes that in the end, it is just people and relationships. (Note, used in the video are commercial abbreviations ‘B2B’ meaning ‘business to business’ and ‘B2C’ meaning ‘business to customer’.)
Particularly highlighted in this video: social media needs to permeate through the entire organization, and is not something that is just ‘done’ by the marketing department. Richard Branson is cited as an example of a CEO who is constantly tweeting.
There are still relatively few non-profits and ministries that are really using social media effectively. Often, it is individual Christians who seem best at carrying a social networking conversation forward.
Social media won it for Mary Seacole
Social media can be powerful in influencing national decisions too. I just heard today that here in UK, an online petition at Change.org, widely publicized through email, Facebook and Twitter, has persuaded our government’s Education Department to keep the life story of Mary Seacole on the national educational curriculum, and indeed move her from ‘optional’ to ‘mandatory’.
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born woman who on her own initiative went to support soldiers in the Crimean War. An excellent role model, you might feel, yet some politician thought that she should be dropped from school lessons in favor of political and military historical figures – the likes of Lord Nelson and such worthies. Happily, 36,000 people signed the online petition and changed the decision. The moral pressure from the voice of the people can sometimes be powerful.
Also in UK, there are also two major reforendums coming up soon. One is on whether the UK should remain in the European Union. The other, for Scotland only, is whether Scotland should become an independent nation. Both are major questions that will shape UK and Europe for generations. It is likely that social media will play a big part in attempting to influence the undecided. Indeed, the probable winner in each case will be the side that can best reflect and retell the national story in social media.
Read more on why we must be hardwired for social media, on the BigBible blog.
This is our digital world – the one that moves 640 Terabytes of data every minute.
The minute in which 1300 people (mostly in the Majority World) started using a mobile phone for the first time. Ever.
In the last minute since you started reading this, countless people engaged with the good news online in multiple ways.
That’s why Internet Evangelism Day is set for 21 April. Mark your diary. Share it using our short news item. Use the day to help your church members. Consider appointing a digital advocate in your church if you do not have one.
Infographic source: Intel Free Press | Creative Commons non-commercial use
Even a year is a long time in digital and social media. Where will we be digitally in 2014? 2015? How can we keep up to speed? Adapt and change? Use the tools that are being given to us?
What are the biggest digital challenges and questions you face? For your non-profit, ministry or church? Please share them here.
It’s amazing! The growth of mobile phone use around the world is now at the point that for most communities and most countries, almost everyone owns, or has access to, a mobile phone. Even areas with the lowest penetration – Africa and India – are already at about 70%. See the infographic below and Our Networked Society In Numbers for some more informative international infographics, figures and trends.
Do you have a mobile ministry story to share – please add to our comments section.
Erik does it again – explains the incredible reach and significance of social media in the world today. This is his latest incarnation of his well-known video summary. You can download it for meetings and seminars. Play length: 3:51.
A challenging, indeed chilling, statement by Erik in the video:
* business-speak for ‘return on investment’
For ‘business’, substitute ‘non-profit’ or ‘ministry’. Without a social media strategy, you will likely shrivel and maybe die. Leadership teams need to urgently read books such as Community Wins, Reach, Viral and Platform.
A social media strategy is something that most members of the organisation should own and be part of. If a member of the team, or more worryingly, the leader, replies to the question, “What is your social media strategy?” with the answer, “Oh, I believe we have a Facebook fanpage somewhere,” red warning lights should be flashing!
Check our other recent items about social networking.
Web users are very fickle, and will leave your website within seconds for multiple reasons.
One major turnoff is asking people to register for things. OK, there are some things for which registration is essential, and motivated people will have no problem. But there are other situations where registration is a major disincentive to takeup, as this infographic shows. Consider very carefully whether you need to create such a hurdle on your website.
If you absolutely need a registration, make the process very use-friendly, explain why you need each piece of information requested, and test it with typical non-web-savvy users. Perhaps even give a worthwhile freebie (eg. an ebook) as an incentive to register.
Infographic from janrain.com