For the past few years, there has been a day set aside to focus on using the Internet for evangelism — sharing your faith online.
Tony Whitaker edits a newsletter called Web Evangelism Bulletin that I have subscribed to for many years, and it is full of thoughts, strategies, examples, and practical web how-tos on sharing your faith on line. Below is a press release about Internet Evangelism Day.
Churches to Hold Web Focus Day April 27
"How can we use this new-fangled Internet thing to share the gospel?" Christians are asking. A worldwide "web evangelism focus day" is helping to provide answers. Sunday, April 27, has been designated as Internet Evangelism Day. Churches can download free materials from the Internet Evangelism Day website. These materials make it easy for churches to create a short presentation about online outreach on or near that Sunday. A PowerPoint, video clip testimonies, drama scripts, music and handouts can be used to create their own customized program lasting from one minute to 50.
Church leaders who have already used these materials are excited. "This is a huge help for small churches such as ours," writes a church leader from California.
The Internet Evangelism Day team emphasizes that web evangelism is for anyone, not just the technically gifted. "There are many ways to share your faith online, without any technical background at all," says IE Day Coordinator Tony Whittaker.
Christian leaders are also enthusiastic: "I am glad to commend Internet Evangelism Day," says Dr. John Stott.
Churches can start planning their focus day now. More information is available at www.InternetEvangelismDay.com
Free Church Website Tool Released
The people behind Internet Evangelism Day also provide year-round resources about online outreach. The ministry explains many ways that Christians can share the good news, including through church websites. Churches often find it difficult to create a site that will engage with outsiders in their area, and find themselves asking, ""How can our church website help us reach out into our community?"
A new online tool released by IE Day provides churches with a free 15-page evaluation report. Users assess their own website by answering 55 simple questions. Their customized report is immediately displayed online, ready to print or save. The report’s recommendations are tailored with specific practical suggestions, based on the questions that were ticked. View the evaluation tool here: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/design
A church site which has been prioritized for non-Christian visitors can be remarkably effective in reaching the community. "Week in, week out, more visitors turn up at our church on a Sunday because of the website, than anything else," writes one growing church in London.
The tool also provides the parable ‘A Tale of Two Golf Clubs’ (which is available to republish) to illustrate the principles of effective church websites: www.InternetEvangelismday.com/golf
Church leaders have welcomed this new resource. "This competent evaluation tool provides a valuable service to churches that will help them strengthen their effectiveness in outreach through the Internet," says Dr. Sterling Huston, director of North American Ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Gary McClure of LifeWay Ministries agrees, saying, "This checklist is an invaluable tool to identify critical areas for improvement. Every church should study this regularly and act on it!"
For more information, visit www.InternetEvangelismDay.com
Contact: Tony Whittaker, Coordinator, Internet Evangelism Day
Tel: +44-1283-702334 (GMT office hours)
IE Day is an initiative of the Internet Evangelism Coalition, a group of online ministries, at Billy Graham Center, Wheaton. It is completely free with NO fund-raising component.