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Social Media Church Interview

I had the privilege recently to be interviewed by DJ Chuang on the Social Media Church podcast. If you’re interested to learn more of our family’s story and about my dream job, check it out!

Church Online: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Receiving emails from partners in non-English speaking countries always makes my day. The latest update from the Czech Republic is no exception. Pastor Michal and Jiri are passionate about sharing God’s love with people in their country, which is one of the most – if not the most – atheistic countries in all of Europe.

I’m often asked how to improve Facebook ad outcomes, whether online experience time lengths need to change, and how to better engage people in a church online chat room. I make suggestions to every team who contacts me, and yet one principle remains true despite an increasing number of online churches popping up all over the globe: One Size Does NOT Fit All.

Church online attendees in Poland might prefer live prayer to participating in a chat room, and the Slovak attendees are used to seeing messages from a variety of pastors. In America some churches provide a more relaxed online experience and others have more concrete processes. This is not a problem unless we fail to take time to assess our approaches or if we are not doing all we can to be most effective at connecting with the specific audience we believe God is working through us to minister to.

My friends in the Czech Republic provide a creative example of trying different approaches. They’ve produced short videos explaining online church and letting people who speak their language gain a more personal view of church as a whole. This is a great idea and I believe it will work well for them. Here’s one of their videos:

Don’t be afraid to make your own path to get to the people you want to reach.


I was fired.

I was asked to leave, and being fired meant I could run after what was in my heart.

How do you really feel about your cause? If you don’t assess your commitment, you won’t be ready for a change in circumstances that forces you to make a choice.

I was once invited to serve in a church overseas, was then notified a person in this particular church requested that the online ministry I was involved in be investigated by a third party, and – though our online ministry was deemed appropriate by the powers that be – I was asked to choose between the local church and participating in the online outreach. In my mind, it was an “and” situation; in their minds it was a case of “or”.

I’ll never forget the phone conversation with the lovely foreign accent on the other end of the line asking, “Dana, you’re not going to give up this Internet church thing, are you?”

My answer was clear, firm, and said with all the passion I felt for reaching people online with the love of Christ. “No.”

So I was asked to leave. They didn’t want to encourage something they felt wasn’t biblical.

Since that phone call in October 2008, I’ve been lied about, mis-quoted, and misunderstood regarding my passion for getting the Gospel out globally via the Internet. Wrong assumptions have been made. Fortunes have been spent. Years have been devoted. And it’s all been worth it.

For which cause will you take arrows to the back?

One Tweak – Amazing Growth!

My friends in Poland at recently added a Facebook “like” button to their archived messages. When a person likes an archived video, it appears on their Facebook wall. The result? About 500 more attendees to their regular online services!

What tweak can you try that might lead to more opportunities to serve?


Free Download: A Social Media Christmas

Would you like to be social media savvy by Christmas? Download your free guide to using social media during the month of December to engage your network in spiritual conversations. Remember – we’re not out to condemn and rack up conversions. We are relational beings and connecting to our social network is the key to one day having the opportunity to share our hope in Christ with them. So start taking steps towards knowing your online friends better this month!

Use this guide to:

* Create church Facebook page content for Christmas

* Share your faith via social media

* Guide Church Online chat room conversations

* Train your team how to use Twitter and Facebook to be evangelisic

What are you waiting for?  Open up your gift from!

I LOVE helping you be the church, online.



Leadership Mistake: Valuing Harmony Over Conflict

I’m sorting out some complex decisions about’s direction at this time.  No option is without conflict.  Have you ever been in a similar spot?

It seems to me we have two choices in situations like mine:


1) Commit to burying our heads in the sand until things all come to a point where they can’t be ignored.

2) Bravely approach things head on so God’s best can be revealed with less delay and damage.

Most of us have an area in our lives or a relationship that isn’t where it should be.  Clearly it’s easier (in the short term, anyway) to choose option 1 and let things stay the mediocre course.

What do you and I stand to lose if we put off conflict?  What could be gained by facing the circumstances head on?


What Happens When Your Dream’s Bigger Than You?

Here’s a true statement that most of us believe:


Here’s a true statement that most of us believe but don’t live out:


This map is a visual example to me of the statement above.


In March of this year I was praying to connect to a few church leaders around the world who are as passionate about global evangelism as I am.  On April 1 I published “The Art of Online Ministry” as a means of helping people who began asking me questions about launching online churches.  Now we’re partnering with one or more teams in each country that has a blue pinpoint on the map above.  Today we have over 200 partners with whom we’re sharing content, resources, and/or equipment.

The funny thing is, my dream keeps growing and changing as I live it out.  No matter where you live, I am eager to help you.  Check out our community page to have questions answered by other online ministers, apply to receive equipment, or download my ebook or some of our partner resources at

Imagine what God will do in your life when you begin living out the dreams He gives you that are greater than your current strength and influence can accomplish! 


PS – Those blue dots on the map above are due to God’s work and the help of some of my great friends.  I’m also part of Dream Year with Ben Arment – check it out!


Apply To Be The Next Funded Project!

If your church is eager to minister online, yours could be the next project funds!

In order to qualify you must:

* Be a local church located in a non-English speaking country
* Have support of the leadership team of your local church
* Apply here.

Please note that application does not guarantee funding.  We will not fund projects in countries or languages which already have an online church presence.  Our donors and volunteers will review all applications to select our next project and announce it on Monday, October 31, 2011.  Deadline to apply is Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

I look forward to seeing your application!


Meet our Partner in Ethiopia!

I have been praying and planning to visit the US this October.

The objectives of my trip to the USA are:

  • To learn from leaders in different strategies in Orlando and Dallas Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Meet Dana Byers and learn from her experience on Church Online (we are in process of launching one online church in Ethiopia by 2012)
  • connect with churches and individuals for ministry partnerships in different states
God has given me opportunity to serve in the Southern and Eastern Africa Virtually Led Movement strategy in Campus Crusade for Christ. I use the Internet, cellphone and other media tools for ministry.  For the last 3 years since I joined on staff, I have seen God’s hand working on my life and via this ministry God is changing many lives.
I am inviting you to give for this leadership development and experience sharing trip to the US. I am left with total amount of $700.
To contribute online go to

Thank you,
Miheret Tilahun

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Please consider assisting Miheret in his travel expenses.  Our family looks forward to hosting him in our home next month!


The Bottom Line —> Be 1 of 60

Here are some cool details I’ll bet you don’t know about’s 2011 efforts so far…

  • We’ve served around 2000 unique individual churches in dozens of different countries.
  • We currently operate on less than $2000/month in expenses.
  • I do not receive a salary from incoming donations for my role as President of
  • No other organization in the world provides the localized, online, and international church planting services we do.
  • We receive an average of 3 donations per month, but it will take 60 committed individuals to achieve our vision.
  • If you are a monthly donor to, you invest more than money…you GAIN a voice to bring about global, eternal change. In October, we’ll begin letting our donors vote on the next country we’ll provide equipment to! 

We’re in hot pursuit of the vision to plant online churches in every country by 2020.  This is your chance to help us cover the operational fees to carry out this great calling.  


FIVE $500/month donors

TEN $100/month donors

TWENTY $50/month donors

TWENTY-FIVE $20/month donors 

*You may also make a one-time gift here.  Thank you.  Blue Door Ministries, Inc. is a licensed 501(c)3 and American donations are tax-deductible.



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