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Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Social Media Ministry

February 16th, 2011

Pray for the Internet

February 1st, 2010

9953929Do you ever pray for the Internet? Is this important area something that ever finds its way on to any prayer list? My experience is that it doesn’t – at least not in any church service I’ve ever been to (of course there are an awful lot of services I don’t get to so perhaps someone has prayed for it somewhere).

Here is a list of things you could pray about some time connected with the Internet:

  • People who use it every day – that God would use the Internet to bring them closer to God.
  • People who use the Internet to feed their addictions – that God would release them from the addiction and heal them.
  • For those who are trying to help the addicted through the Internet – that God would guide them and give them wisdom.
  • Christian webmasters/webservants/etc. – that God would give them the inspiration and the gifts they need to do their jobs
  • Christian web designers and developers – that God would use their gifts for His glory
  • Governments – that they would help the Internet to grow and be a resource for all
  • Christian leaders – that they would use the Internet for God’s glory
  • Christian web sites – that they would reach out to many who are seeking
  • Those who are seeking – that they would be lead to the right web sites and find Jesus in those sites
  • Charity web sites – that they would inspire people to be generous in helping others

I’m sure you could add a few yourselves.

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Does the attraction model of ministry work for the Internet?

July 23rd, 2009

Table of contents for Models of online ministry

  1. Models for online ministry
  2. Does the attraction model of ministry work for the Internet?
  3. Conforming Outreach
  4. Social Interaction Model

Everyone who is interested in models of ministry seems to have their own names for things – often because they want to redefine what each one means. Because there seems to be no one definition for anything I guess I’m going to have to do the same thing. I’m going to take a look at some of the models I’ve come across (feel free to tell me about others) and see how they relate to online ministry.

The attraction model works on the basis that people will be drawn to that which they find attractive. So by making the Christian faith attractive people will be drawn into exploring it and joining it.

This model has a lot going for it because it has been proved to work on more than one occasion. Let’s look at its merits:

  1. It works. This is a model that works for everything, people really are drawn to what they find attractive. This works for the precontemplaters as well as those already committed so we can start to draw in those who are not even interested in the first place.
  2. It’s simple because it works on some basic human instincts and you don’t have to get too carried away with being clever.
  3. It works for everyone. Even those people who are in the church find that it works to keep them interested and engaged.
  4. It self perpetuates. People are willing to tell others about things that they find attractive (well most of the time anyway) and so it helps to spread the message.

However, there are some serious problems with this approach as well:

  1. It only works if you can make something attractive. One of the problems that the church in the U.K. has had to face is that often it isn’t very attractive. Small numbers of people in a crumbling old building, keeping old traditions alive (I like some of these old traditions so don’t misunderstand me) is very hard to make attractive to others.
  2. It only works if you have a number of people already interested. This is perhaps were it becomes unstuck for the Internet. To draw people in by attraction you have to have a group of people who already think something is attractive. Without a following there is no growth.
  3. There is a temptation to cheapen the message in an effort to keep things attractive. This is especially true when there are a small number or a very large number of followers. If attraction becomes the focus instead of the gospel things start to go wrong.
  4. It’s primary job is only to draw people in. There is rarely a time when this is all that a website would want to do.

So it can work in certain circumstances but is limited and dangerous.

It is possible to present the attractive side of something to get attention and then use the interest to get a message across. In fact this is how I became a Christian myself. I was a young man and I encountered a church where there were lots of young women. However on the Internet things are a little different than in a church. In a church meeting you have a somewhat captive audience. Once they are in the building they will give the church a chance to say something, they will also come back. On the Internet there is no compulsion to stay. If someone comes to a website and they don’t like what they read then they will simply click away. There is the added problem that unless they have bookmarked the site or come from a site they often visit there is a fair chance you will never see them again.

So in my opinion the attraction model doesn’t really work very well. It is an appealing model because you can persuade yourself that if something looks good then people will come without you having to go out and find anyone but it has too many problems to be a simple cure all approach.

The conclusion is that whilst it is important for a website to look attractive, it is unlikely to make a site successful on its own.

models for online ministry ,

Another way to use Twitter in ministry

May 6th, 2009

Twitter seems to be everywhere at the moment. Here is another way to use this technology to enhance your worship:

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1895463,00.html

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Ministry on the web

April 20th, 2009

The world has changed a lot since I first started the web Christian ministry. Back then there were few Christian websites and even fewer Church websites. Some of the needs have not changed at all and there is still a big demand for help with church websites. However as more and more Christians use the Internet the demand for ministry online has rocketed. Because of my experience in ministry as well as the web I thought I might share some of my thoughts on a blog.

So the scope of webchristian is changing a little. We will still seek to support Christians who are trying to get a website up and running but we will also now include web ministry. I hope this will cover all aspects of Christian ministry including: caring for Christians, evangelism, apologetics, etc.

Why not share some of your own thoughts on this blog?

What challenges and opportunities do you think the churches faces on the Internet?

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