No. Church Online *IS* the local church reaching out online. Sometimes when I mention my involvement in online ministry, people wrinkle up their noses as though those of us sharing The Gospel online are secretly out to compete with and shut down local churches. Quite the opposite! When people commit their lives to Christ through online ministry, they cannot help but share their new hope in their existing communities and make a difference where they live.
Thoughts on this?
It’s been wonderful connecting to a number of new online ministry contacts this week. With the April 1 release of my ebook “The Art of Online Ministry” quickly approaching, I’m fielding questions about my practices of online outreach, my history and experience, and why I believe online evangelism is important.
My friend Brian at Rocket Plant Studio kindly took some time to ask me similar questions (as well as some specific ones about online prayer), so I’ll share this interview to give you a better introduction to me.
Hi, Friends! As you can probably tell, DanaByers.com is being made over at the moment. Give me just a few days and you’ll be as pleased as I am with the design EIGHTDAY STUDIO is preparing for me.
To thank you for stopping by, take a second and sign up now to receive my free ebook “The Art of Online Ministry” in your inbox on Friday, April 1!
Recently I spoke to a pastor who’s discovered that his local culture isn’t yet engaging much in chat room conversations. People in his part of the world have a greater interest in observing or only having private chat room conversations where their comments aren’t public knowledge. No matter which part of the world you live in, whether you’re the content creator for a Facebook page (been there, done that – super fun!) or a volunteer in an online church (love doing that, too!), you want to be prepared with some questions to start conversations.
Here are a few to try:
- Is this your first time here?
- Do you agree with what’s being said in the message? (Why or why not?)
- How did you hear about our Facebook page/online church?
- Has that ever happened to you before? (referring to a quote, online message, or video on screen)
- If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
- Can I pray for you?
- Do you have any questions about God? (Search the Bible by topic to provide answers.)
What have you asked people in a chat room or on a facebook page to get a conversation rolling?
The question I’m most often asked by pastors lately is: “What equipment is needed to launch an online church?”
Here is the list of equipment* I suggest (and in some cases, provide) my partners:
Macbook Pro 13″ (around $1200 USD)
Final Cut Express Software (around $199 USD)
Wireless Mic – B3 omnidirectional lavalier & Sennheiser transmitter $400
Canon Vixia HF21 HD Camcorder (around $499 USD)
Camera Case & tripod $50
Training for Volunteers $0
You can certainly purchase higher quality items, but we find that these are portable and provide for a simple setup when recording.
*Note: In no way am I personally tied to the manufacturers of these items. They are suggested based upon my personal experience using them.
When you look at all the ministry tools available to us, you’ll see there are many creative ways to spread the Gospel these days. Over the past few years I’ve tried a number of different online and offline approaches to evangelism, discipleship, and general ministry, mostly while a volunteer staff member at LifeChurch.tv and traveling through a variety of countries.
Maybe you’ve heard of some of these types of events:
- Online Prayer Outreach Events
- Live Events (incorporating a simultaneous online experience)
I define each of these approaches and give tips on how to host events like these in “The Art of Online Ministry”. Download your free copy right here on April 1!
Recently I came across the list of questions below. They’re basic enough that I barely thought twice while reviewing them, but I promised myself I’d process them awhile and return to them in a few days’ time to see if any needs for change stood out to me.
1) What’s going well for you?
2) What are you trying to ignore?
3) What’s boring you? (gone stale, too comfortable)
4) How do you want to be remembered?
5) Who do you love?
I was truly surprised to discover that making a few simple changes (that these questions helped me uncover) would lead me into the most productive and prosperous (not financially, we’re talking ministry here, folks!) 2 months I’ve had in my life. Dramatic statement, I realize.
So…will you take a little time to consider these questions for yourself?
God is for you. Let that be enough today.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31b NIV
For the past 2 years I’ve been taking notes on various aspects of online ministry and my experiences with what works. A few months ago some of this valuable information was used to create a 12 week church online training program provided to international BlueDoor.tv partners. Two weeks ago it all came together into a handy-dandy little guide I’ll make available free to people everywhere on April 1.
Here’s a peek at some of the topics discussed in The Art of Online Ministry: Keys to Launching an Online Church:
PART I: FOUNDATION – general information about what’s needed to start an online church (equipment, volunteers, messages, etc.)
PART II: FUN! – a detailed explanation of the vision behind online ministry and how to gain real traction in online outreach efforts. (Every suggestion made in this part of the guide is something I’ve personally tried. You’re going to enjoy reading about it!)
I’m looking for people interested in receiving the eBook early to review it on a blog and help spread the word. Interested? Click here.
Join me in praying that this information gets into the hands of thousands of leaders who catch the vision for sharing the Gospel online so that millions would come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.