• 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
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 ▶
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.
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.
Actions suggested include installing the Limit Login Attempts plugin, changing your login name from the default ‘admin’ if you have not already done this, and using a better level of password.
Login change (with new password) is described here – a very easy change procedure, but you MUST allocate all your existing posts and pages to the new user login that you create before you delete your old ‘admin’ user profile.
They mention several other useful things to implement. A further easy option to consider is an htaccess file that prevents access to your wp-admin area except for your own IP address, or a limited range of IP addresses. If your ISP allocates your computer IP addresses in a range starting with, say 83, htaccess allows you to do that. The htaccess file can be put into your wp-admin folder, which is simplest.
All this applies to WordPress.org software installed on your own server, not to a WordPress.com page that WordPress themselves host.
Photo credit: incredibleguy/flickr | Creative Commons with attribution
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.
Over Easter 2013, the team who produced the Falling Plates video encouraged people around the world to share it widely. They also make suggestions for sharing it as a conversation starter.
Before Easter 2013, 400,000 people had already viewed Falling Plates on YouTube. Over the Easter period, there were a further 200,000 views! The team report here on the impact.
The film captures the main theme from the Bible in images and concepts that resonate with 21st-century audiences.
#FallingPlates portrays in four minutes the universal themes of life, lost love, death, pain and faith in a God who interrupts our lives to show his love.
Executive Producer Howard Crutsinger blends stunning still photography from modern life with special video effects to illustrate the experience of so many.
Life begins happy and content as it was created by God to be. But, it’s shattered in pain leaving men and women broken, stained and burned. Into that pain, God the creator, who desires a true relationship with each person, proves his love to restore individuals and humanity.
#FallingPlates is a joint production from Cru and Strong Films. Strong Films creates short films that powerfully inspire and start conversations. Cru (also known as Campus Crusade for Christ in the United States) is an interdenominational organization committed to giving people the opportunity to respond to God’s offer of love and forgiveness.
You can embed the video into websites, blogs, or Facebook, or share the YouTube URL http://youtu.be/KGlx11BxF24 on Twitter and elsewhere. On Twitter, use the #fallingplates hashtag, so that this will be seen as a trending item.
Falling Plates in other languages
Different language subtitles have also been made and the team encourage others to do this.
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.
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.
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.
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