Internet Evangelism Day is set for 29 April, as the culmination of Digital Outreach Month.
IE Day is both an annual focus day and year-round resource guide for digital outreach. It has always been our hope that churches would build a digital evangelism focus into their events or service sheets on that day. In earlier years, although this could be an eye-opening challenge, actual involvement in digital evangelism or ministry was not something that many church members were likely to take up. The only options were limited, time-consuming, or needed technical or writing gifts.
No longer! Social networking means that any online Christian can naturally share resources that explain some aspect of the good news, and start conversations with those they are already linked with. So at last, an IE Day presentation can suggest practical ideas and opportunities that most church members can use right now.
14 digital ideas to share with your church
- Announce or publish a short item about IE Day in newsletters/service sheets.
- Download and project a short testimony demonstrating the effectiveness of the Web for outreach, eg Kimberley’s Story | more videos.
- Download and project a video about social networking evangelism on Facebook, and perhaps also this overview of the state of social networking.
- Demonstrate live on screen how to post video clips from eg. YesHEIs.com | GlobalShortFilmNetwork.com | Focus.org.uk directly into a Facebook page.
- Showcase live the new Talking About Jesus iPhone app (plug an audio jack into the phone too?) and discuss/demonstrate other ways that mobile phones can be used to share the good news.
- Implement discussion on whether your church would benefit by appointing a Digital Advocate.
- Recognize and honour any in your fellowship who are already involved in some area of digital ministry, including the church website, and ask them to share their stories. Pray for them publicly.
- Project a live online demonstration of how to open a Pinterest account and add content to it including appropriate evangelistic/conversation-starting material.
- Encourage small home-groups to discuss various digital evangelism opportunities.
- Consider if the youth group could create some evangelistic YouTube shorts.
- Tell people about IE Day’s free ebooks and key book recommendations.
- You may only have time for a 5-10 minute spot using one or two of the above suggestions. Or consider creating an entire service or meeting around digital evangelism, and integrate some music and a short drama.
- Encourage the leadership team to consider if there are digital outreach initiatives that could be implemented this year, such as using social media to connect the fellowship with the community, and testing the outsider-friendliness of the church website.
- If you have not done this recently, consider explaining how members can stay safe and accountable online, and also highlight protection software for children. And why not create a few ongoing classes on how to use some of these 14 options, or even some basic web training for online newcomers?
Win iPhone app and new Len Sweet book
Len Sweet’s new book Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival publishes on 13 March: review. There are three signed copies to win. Just tweet about it or post it on Facebook, and you are automatically entered into the competition.
Other recent IE Day blog posts you may like
- Smugglers, pirates, roses and Bible translation
- The books of the Bible laid out as a chemistry periodic table
- Latest Web Evangelism Bulletin
Photo credit: Martin Boulanger/sxc.hu