[Guest post by Tony Whittaker, Internet Evangelism Day]
The digital world has changed remarkably in the last year or two. Although a part of Internet Evangelism Day’s emphasis has always been to mobilize individual Christians into digital evangelism, until recently the options we could suggest were quite limited. Writers might be drawn to blogging, or create a website if they felt technically competent. Those good at thinking on their feet could share in chat rooms and bulletin boards. But most of these suggestions were time-intensive and intentional initiatives only suitable for a small minority.
What has changed? The emergence of the ‘three-fold cord’ of social networking allied with video shorts and mobile phones. At last it has become remarkably easy for any Jesus-follower to build relationships and discuss truth appropriately, especially within social networking platforms. Our digital communication culture has become highly visual and dialogue-based, and the sharing of conversation-starting video shorts on Facebook and Twitter is as easy as a mouse-click, though only if we know where to find them:
There are now a few smartphone apps that are genuinely aimed at outsiders, that can be shared one-to-one or in a small discussion group. UK team Damaris has just released a strategic iPhone app called Talking About Jesus (Android version coming soon).
Pinterest.com allows anyone to create a very visual set of curated recommendations, within their own chosen areas of interest, with no tech knowledge needed. Here is a valuable blog post detailing how Pinterest can be used for ministry.
Like last year, we’ll be offering normally pay-for evangelism/communication ebooks free on IE Day, plus the chance to win others.
With 2.3 billion people online and 4 billion mobile phone users, including increasing numbers in the Majority World, the opportunities are ever expanding to share the Gospel message through the internet.
CREATE A DIGITAL EVANGELISM FOCUS IN YOUR CHURCH
Churches around the world will be marking Internet Evangelism Day on Sunday 29 April. Internet Evangelism Day’s online resources are a great way to help your church members learn more about exciting ways to share the good news online. It is easy to create a short focus spot in a church meeting, and even demonstrate these options in real time with projector and online computer: http://ieday.net/plan
EVANGELISTIC IPHONE APP
The new Talking About Jesus iPhone app has been released by UK ministry Damaris. Most Christian smartphone apps offer discipleship help for Christians. But Talking About Jesus is directly evangelistic and offers 18 short videos by insightful speakers such as Philip Yancey, Anna Robbins, Andrew White, Krish Kandiah, Nick Pollard and Gary Habermas: http://talkingaboutjesus.org
THE NEED FOR DIGITAL ADVOCATES
Many churches appoint a missions advocate/coordinator to resource the rest of the fellowship. Internet Evangelism Day urges churches to consider appointing a person for the role of a ‘Digital Advocate’ (choosing whatever title is appropriate) – someone who can help church members find and use the many digital resources that are now available: http://ieday.net/advocate
FREE EBOOKS ON IE DAY
There will be several usually pay-for ebooks available for free download on Internet Evangelism Day, 29 April: http://ieday.net/eb
Digital Evangelism Issues (DEI) focuses on news and ideas for any type of digital outreach – web, mobile phone, video clip, social networking and more. It is the blog associated with Internet Evangelism Day (IED). DEI is edited by Tony Whittaker, coordinator of IED, based in Derby UK.