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CP blogger Barry Bowen is the author of this blog.

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

Internet Evangelism Idea: Podcasting the Gospel

Photo: Flickr/DeclanTM - Creative Commons
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?

Photo: Flickr/Jamie - Creative Commons
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

Posted 5/26/14 at 5:20 PM | SHOW Times

Internet and Cell Phone Ministry: Be an Encourager

dialogue bubbles, chat
Photo: Pixabay/Open Clips - Public Domain

During my childhood AT&T phone service was famous for its advertising slogal "reach out and touch someone." The phone company's commercials encouraged or inspired people to call family and friends.

In the Internet and cell phone age, we have instant access to people around the world. Our Facebook friends list, Twitter followers, instant message contacts, email address book and cell phone contacts offer numerous ways for us to start a conversation.

One of the ways we can be a witness for Christ is by being an encourager. We can call a friend from our childhood and let them know we were thinking about them, inquire about their health, laugh about past experiences ... and tell them, "If you ever need someone to pray for you, let me know."

 Most of the articles on this blog are about public forms of communication that anyone can view online (examples are sharing articles and videos), but often the most effective communication is the private one-to-one conversation. FULL POST

Posted 5/23/14 at 4:05 PM | SHOW Times

Pastor, Does Your Church Know About Internet Evangelism Day?

Internet Evangelism Day will soon be here. Has your church heard about this opportunity to share their faith online?

On June 1st Christians will use Facebook and other websites to tell their friends about Jesus.

Pastors, here are some ideas about how to inform your church of Internet Evangelism Day:

  1. Announce the event in your church bulletin.
  2. Share a link to the Internet Evangelism Day website on your Facebook page or Twitter account.
  3. Tell your congregation and Sunday school classes.
  4. Announce the event through your email list.

For more ideas about promoting Internet Evangelism Day, check out the article How we did our Internet Evangelism Day program.

Posted 5/22/14 at 11:55 PM | SHOW Times

Can the Gospel Go Viral?

Photo: Memegenerator/Barry Bowen
Have you invited your Facebook friends to church?

In March the movie God's Not Dead opened in American theaters. Near the end of the movie one of the movie characters, a member of the Christian band Newsboys, recommends that his audience text their friends the words "God is not dead."

Movie audiences responded. #GodIsNotDead soon trended on Twitter. Fans of the movie posted photos on Instagram displaying the words "God Is Not Dead." A collection of the photos can be viewed on the movie Facebook page.

Can the Gospel go viral? Absolutely!

There are two events planned for June that involve sharing the Gospel on the Internet.

Yes He Is, the sponsor of #goeverywhere, asks the question, "What does it look like when Christians all over the world stand together in a single moment, make the most of the opportunity and share the gospel?"

We can answer that question with action.

There are so many ways to take the Gospel online. Consider telling your testimony or sharing Bible verses, a video or meme with your friends and neighbors online. Invite your Facebook friends to attend your church and pray for your friends list. FULL POST

Posted 5/20/14 at 4:08 PM | SHOW Times

Christianity + Search Engines = Awesome Opportunity

Special Note: Internet Evangelism Day is June 1st.

DuckDuckGo, the small search engine competitor to Google and Bing, announced its redesign today. DuckDuckGo is known for its focus on privacy and instant answers. The search engine does not track its visitors or share their searches.

DuckDuckGo is using open source software and volunteer developers to build its instant answers platform. Check out DuckDuckHack to learn more about in.

If you are wondering about instant answers, you've seen them on other websites.

Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo have added new features to their search engine results pages: bios, definitions, related searches, theater showtimes, and results of sporting events

Imagine a mainstream search engine with a Bible verse and location database. This is the kind of feature that DuckDuckGo can build. If you search the site using the keywords "map Bible Israel" (don't include the quotation marks), a map of Jerusalem appears with the location of the Bible Lands Museum. But so many locations in the Bible could be added to the map.

Besides contributing to instant answers, Christian volunteers can also translate church and ministry webpages into various languages.

Bing has a translator widget that churches and ministries can embed into their websites to make pages available in different languages. Bing also allows for community translation. Volunteers can correct errors in translating of pages.

Google's translator plugin can translate a website into more than 60 languages.

FULL POST

Posted 5/16/14 at 3:20 PM | SHOW Times

Three Simple Facebook Projects for Internet Evangelism Day

Facebook sign
Photo: Pixabay/geralt - Public Domain

Here are three simple projects a church, ministry or individual can do on Facebook for Internet Evangelism Day which is scheduled for June 1st.

  • Invite church members, ministry supporters and friends to participate.

With only a few steps, you can create a Facebook event and select which friends to notify that might be interested. After the event is set up, you can share posts, photos and videos. Instructions are available here.

  • Use your Facebook friends list as a prayer list.

Pray for the salvation of each of your friends and their families. You may have friends that no one is praying for them by name for their salvation. FULL POST

Posted 5/13/14 at 6:19 PM | SHOW Times

Fixing Broken Links on Websites

Broken chain represents broken links on websites.
Photo: Pixaba/Nemo - Creative Commons

Last night I visited several Christian ministry websites and found several links that no longer worked. One recommended website no longer exists. Another ministry removed a page while reorganizing its site.

Wikipedia describes this problem as link rot. When a page or site no longer exists, the visitor may receive a 404 error message.

Bloggers and website developers can use software to check their sites or blogs for broken links. For churches and ministries using WordPress, the Broken Link Checker plugin is a helpful tool. I've used this tool to fix link rot.

The software will scan your site and verify each link and then provide a list of the links which no longer work. Then bloggers and web developers may delete the links or change them to refer to other pages or websites. FULL POST

Posted 5/12/14 at 11:31 PM | SHOW Times

Recruiting Millenials and Retirees to Share the Gospel Online

Internet
Photo: OpenClipArt - Public Domain

As we approach Internet Evangelism Day (scheduled for June 1st), this blog will share more ideas for pastors and interested Christians about how to share the Gospel online.

LifeWay Research and Barna Group have studied how millennial Christians share their faith. Researcher Ed Stetzer reports that 25% of millennial Christians "look for ways to share the gospel and only 27% of them intentionally build friendships with unbelievers in order to do so."

Since millenials are a connected generation having grown up with the Internet, this group of believers could play a major role in Internet outreach if churches and ministries will offer them proper training. Retirees represent another group in the Church that could engage in significant online evangelism if equipped with proper technical training.

By giving church members permission to contribute articles, videos, pictures and songs to the church website, church leaders can identify people with talents for internet evangelism.

FULL POST

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