• 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
New smartphone app for children: The Most Important Story Ever Told has just been released by MIS (Most Important Story), the international children’s ministry, based on their evangelistic book of the same name.
For the month of April, to mark Internet Evangelism Day, the team are generously offering this app FREE (normal price $1.99).
Currently available for iPhone/iPad; Android is coming soon.
English and Spanish versions are available now, Farsi and Arabic will be published shortly, with other languages to follow.
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.
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:
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.
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)
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.
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.
Buscar Iglesias (Church finder):uses GPS and Google Maps/Google Places technology
Siguenos en Twitter (Follow us on Twitter): only available on the Android version
Sobre Nosotros (About Us) – links the user to our ministry’s web page
Please help us and let the Internet Evangelism community know about this project!!! (You can copy this article and the graphics to use on your site, blog or newsletter.) For us, this is really like a dream come true.”
App to explain how to start a spiritual conversation (multi-language web app): God’s GPS.
Of course, any smartphone user can also keep their own choice of downloaded video clips on their phone – conversation-starters or presentations to use in the context of a one-to-one discussion. Sources of video clips include Damaris (relating to popular culture), Focus (apologetics), YesHeIs (in various languages) and Global Short Film Network (conversation-starting, often short parable-like stories). Many video shorts on YouTube also have a download option, enabling you to build your own library of video shorts, which of course can also be projected in meetings, youth groups, etc.
This new tool AppMachine sounds like it will boost the ability of non-profits and ministries to create mobile apps. “…perhaps the most powerful ‘create your own mobile app’ product we’ve seen,” says The Next Web team.
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.
Mobile Ministry Introduction
…incredible opportunities for mobile phones in Majority World
The mobile phone is arguably the most powerful personal communication tool in history.
It is transforming development, health care, finance and education across the Majority World. Even feature-phones can access the Web, social networking and online ebooks.
It leverages, on a 24/7 basis, the potential of social networking and video shorts.
The potential for evangelism and discipleship is barely yet appreciated. The opportunities can be seen in this video ▶
Any mission, evangelism or discipleship team or church which does not integrate mobile phones into their ministry strategy is simply missing a God-given tool.
Missions and ministries, stop thinking just paper. If you distribute discipleship booklets and studies, let them out ‘into the wild’ – put them free online for anyone to download as ebooks. Why distribute a few hundred a year on paper, when you could give away thousands online to those who could never afford them, or ever encounter them? There is a huge need for appropriate electronic discipleship literature in the Majority World, as well as a portal that lists such free literature by subject.
Any blog, website, portal or sales outlet which does not work well on a mobile phone is slashing its effectiveness and reach.
Churches, ministries and the missions community are starting to explore the incredible potential of mobile phones in evangelism and discipleship.
A strategic free 40-page ebook Mobile Ministry Made Easy: A Simple Guide to Begin or Advance Your Use of Mobiles gives useful practical advice, ideas and case studies, with a particular emphasis on the needs in the Majority World.
If you don’t yet have a smartphone, you may not realise their compelling advantages. These include having with you 24/7: a still/video camera, diary (which can syncronise automatically to other family members, work colleagues, church etc.), satnav, photo album, note-taker, alarm-clock/watch, Kindle e-reader (there’s a free Kindle app – and there are plenty of free classics to choose from), news updates, games as well as all the usual web services – browsing, email, Facebook, Twitter. Free (or very cheap) apps extend this functionality in many ways.
The downside is battery life. Expect to recharge almost daily. But there are many battery-saving tips and apps, and you can plug smartphones into the USB port of any computer to pick up a charge, and a pocket emergency back-up battery is a useful accessory.
Easy to use
Smartphones are remarkably easy to use. Their touch-screens are usually much more intuitive than the buttons on feature phones. You do not need to be remotely techie to use one. Indeed, they are considerably easier to grasp than, say, normal laptops.
You don’t need a contract
You don’t have to buy a contract to have use a smartphone. If your phonecall usage only merits PAYG service, you can buy your own smartphone even secondhand (using your existing sim-card if you wish) and access most services through wifi. People legitimately sell new or nearly new handsets, often because they are unneeded contract upgrades. With due care, bargains can be found on eBay. Always check the reviews of different models at the excellent online resources such as TechRadar and CNet. Read more on why and how to buy a smartphone.
A further bonus to Jesus-followers is the free phone YouVersion Bible app – offering you multiple versions and languages, many of them downloadable so you don’t need bandwidth to use them. YouVersion has transformed bible access in the last few years. It can be installed on any type of smartphone, as well as some Java-equipped feature phones. You can highlight or bookmark verses, add notes, and more. Here’s a series of video shorts about YouVersion:
Mobiles have become transformative across Africa. It is an amazing story. Any plan for evangelism or discipleship in Africa, which does not integrate mobile phones at some level, is severely handicapped. Education and distance learning can use mobile phones.
Want to get regular updates about mobile phone potential in Africa? (Or any other topic of interest?) Set up a weekly Google alert, using the words “mobile phone africa”.
Please click on 'Recommend' button to say on your FB Wall that you like this blog.
Please also join our
Facebook Fan Page:
Add this blog's headlines to your webpage or blog:
You can add this animated headline box to your site with this
easy Headline Animator code or a larger box displaying latest blog postings, by adding our simple code to your own site. Alternatively, please make a normal page or blogroll link using this code.
We will give a rank-boosting back link to any site using any of these methods to link.
Please use this short
news release in newsletters, websites, other blogs or your Facebook profile. (You may also copy or adapt blog posts as filler items in print or online media.)
Our Paper.li daily: subscribe by email | embed on your blog or site:
Best Christian blogs
A feed syndicating 100s of top Christian blogs on one page