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CP blogger Barry Bowen is the author of this blog.

Posted 7/25/14 at 7:15 PM | SHOW Times

Church Website Feature: Ask the Pastor

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In 2011 Barna Group published the list 6 Reasons Young Christians Leave Church. The article revealed, "Young adults with Christian experience say the church is not a place that allows them to express doubts ... In addition, many feel that the church’s response to doubt is trivial."

Have you addressed the doubts of people in your church? If not, then now might be a good time to start. You could add an email form or email address on your church website for people to submit questions about Christianity or ask members to submit questions via Facebook or Twitter. It could take time to research some of the answers.

Many pastors probably worry about questions they can't answer. However, there are apologetics websites and Christian researchers that might be able to answer the questions that stump the pastor. FULL POST

Posted 7/14/14 at 10:04 PM | SHOW Times

Funerals: An Opportunity to Stream the Gospel

Two years ago teenager Caleb Justice and camp counselor Brett McLean drowned at Experience the Valley camp. Christian News Northwest reported, "According to some reports, both slipped and fell in the water at the same time; other reports were that McLean dove in to help Justice out of the water."

Caleb's memorial service was streamed over the internet. Friends that could not attend were able to view the service over the internet.

Albert H. Quie, former congressman and former acting CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, eulogizes Chuck Colson.

Live streaming of funeral services appears to be growing. Two months earlier Christian Post live blogged Charles Colson's memorial service which was also live streamed.

These memorial services allow churches to share the testimony of Christians that have faithfully served Jesus Christ. There might be people in your community unwilling to enter a church building but willing to watch a memorial service online. FULL POST

Posted 7/11/14 at 4:06 PM | SHOW Times

Is Your Church Preparing for Back to School?

Photo: Openclipart - Public Domain
Welcome Back to School

In a few weeks summer vacations will end and students will go back to school. Is your church preparing for this?

Here are two ideas for your church youth ministry:

  • Give each of your Bible study teachers and volunteers a list of students that are church members and ask them set aside some time and pray for each student.
  • Prepare an events calendar for the coming school year and post it on the church website and share it on Facebook.

Posted 6/18/14 at 10:27 PM | SHOW Times

Advice for Becoming an Internet Missionary: Schedule Weekly Outreach

weekly schedule
Photo: Wikipedia - Public Domain

The person that taught me the most about evangelism and Christian missions never shared his faith on the Internet.

When my dad (now deceased) was minister of education and outreach in a Baptist church, he oversaw the church visitation program. Dad spent each Thursday morning and evening visiting church visitors and members. On Fridays he taught Bible studies at nursing homes and regularly visited people in hospitals.

My dad loved telling people about Jesus. He preferred visiting people to sitting in a desk at his church office. (This was before technology made Internet evangelism practical.)

Outreach was a way of life. It was a significant part of his weekly schedule. Today Christians may follow his example of setting aside time weekly for outreach.

Do you have a regular time slot set aside for sharing your faith, discipling people or doing other types of online ministry? If not, please consider making Internet evangelism a way of life.

Posted 6/3/14 at 5:11 PM | SHOW Times

Witnessing by Showing Gratitude on Facebook

I am thankful for my parents that loved me unconditionally. This photo was taken at their 50th anniversary. My dad died seven months later.

Sunday I was thinking about how I use Facebook to connect with friends from the past and present and realized that my posts rarely reflect gratitude. Even though I'm thankful for my friends, many of them may not know how I feel about them.

So I decided to post something each day showing thankfulness for people and things that have impacted me. As I was developing this idea, a song came to mind: My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.

My Favorite Things - The Sound of Music

On June 1st I wrote about my parents: "On June 1, 1963 my parents got married. Last year my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary. My dad died in February. I am so thankful for the times we shared." FULL POST

Posted 6/2/14 at 5:25 PM | SHOW Times

Observations of Internet Evangelism Day 2014

Photo: Mostphotos/Vladyslav Starozhylov

As a veteran observer and participant in Internet evangelism, I would like to share my concerns following yesterday's event: Internet Evangelism Day.

Only a few people participated this year. Mentions on Twitter were sparse. We can search Twitter for how the event was publicized.

Internet Evangelism Day is a grassroots event with practically no budget. If Tony Whittaker continues to serve as coordinator of the event, he could set up a Kickstarter project to fund a promotional campaign to finance press releases and Google ads. Another option would be find an interested Internet ministry that could financially sponsor Internet Evangelism Day. FULL POST

Posted 6/1/14 at 9:22 AM | SHOW Times

June 1st is Internet Evangelism Day

Internet
Photo: OpenClipArt - Public Domain

In the Bible the Book of Matthew ends with a challenge called the Great Commission.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:19-20

Simply telling someone how to be born again is not enough. We need to train new believers well. They must become more than just a convert. These new believers need to become disciples, followers of Jesus Christ.

As you participate in Internet Evangelism Day, don't forget that your Christian friends may also need encouragement. Be willing to share the Bible with them.

If you need some ideas for today, go through the articles on this blog. You can ask your friends on Facebook and Twitter, "How may I pray for you?" Another question to ask is: "If you have any questions about Christianity or the Bible, please let me know here or with a private message and I will try to answer them for you." For more examples of short evangelistic tweets, check out Global Media Outreach.

Posted 5/30/14 at 11:48 PM | SHOW Times

Internet Evangelism Idea: Podcasting the Gospel

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iPods have built-in support for listening to podcasts.

Blogging is one of the most popular methods to share ideas online. This method of communication grew out of journaling. Originally writers described their day and shared links to articles they found interesting.

As blogging grew, creative people pushed the medium in new directions. Adam Curry, best known for being an MTV VJ, and software developer Dave Winer among others wanted to share audio and video files via blogs. They developed this new form of audioblogging which was named podcasting.

While many churches share sermons online, fewer churches create talk shows, audio dramas or concerts for online listening. If you or people in your church or ministry have talents in these areas, you could use podcasting to share the Gospel. FULL POST

Posted 5/28/14 at 10:13 PM | SHOW Times

Church Choirs and Drama Ministries Share the Gospel on YouTube

Photo: YouTube screenshot
Woman at the Well

Possibly millions of people have encountered spiritual truth through a video that have no interest in listening to a preacher.

Church choirs and drama ministries are taking the Gospel to YouTube. Some of these short videos have gone viral. One of the best known viral Christian videos is a music video/skit of the song Everything by Lifehouse. According to CBN News, the skit was performed at Winterfest in 2006. Mission Baltimore performed the skit showing a girl being saved by Jesus Christ.

A video of the skit was uploaded to YouTube and and it has received more than 20 million views.

Lifehouse's Everything Skit

Numerous choirs have performed carefully choreographed songs in the form of flash mobs. The YouTube Christian flash mobs playlist features 28 videos. More than 5 million people have watched Journey of Faith sing the Christmas carol "Joyful, Joyful Lord We Adore Thee." FULL POST

Posted 5/27/14 at 11:54 PM | SHOW Times

Do Your Neighbors Know About Your Church Website?

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Billboard that could include a link to an evangelistic website.

(Special Note: Internet Evangelism Day is June 1st.)

In 2005 Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas, launched a provocative advertising campaign for a sermon series about preventing divorce.

Billboards, radio ads and cards featured a website address: www.MyLameMarriage.com. (Link goes to a backup of the website at the Internet Archive.)

Church Marketing Sucks reported, "The campaign received mixed reviews, including a write up in the Austin American Statesman. Over all [the campaign creator] commented that the campaign did boost attendance and encouraged members when they saw their church trying a new form of outreach."

Rejoice Ministries uses billboards featuring the slogan "God Heals Hurting Marriages" and include the ministry website address. According to Rejoice Ministries, "Costs can range from $400-500 monthly for a sign with a traffic count of 10,000-12,000 vehicles per day to as high as $7,000 monthly for an I-95 sign in nearby Fort Lauderdale, where the traffic count is 220,000 vehicles per day."

FULL POST

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