Three blind men came across an elephant. The man who touched the elephant’s side described it to the others as massive, like a wall. The one who approached its tail said the elephant was more like a rope. The third man touched the trunk — the others were both wrong, it was a type of snake!
When members and visitors come to the church, what do they find — and how do they describe it?
Evangelism is simply sharing something you are passionate about with others. Some may not like the word “marketing,” but it is a means sharing with others in ways that can communicate the whole picture.
The sites mentioned here combine new approaches, fresh ideas and improved methods in a way that blends telling stories and telling the Story.
Internet Evangelism Day
Did you know that April 21 was Internet Evangelism Day? Apparently, not many did. A Christian Post columnist noted only 30 tweets with “internet evangelism” and less than a dozen uses of the #ieway hashtag that day.
This site provides more than a one-day focus, however. As you might expect from a site that promotes digital evangelism, information is offered through a blog, Facebook, RSS feed, Twitter and an email newsletter.
When I first signed up for the twice-monthly Web Evangelism Bulletin a few years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. Tips for presenting the Roman Road? Good opening lines for witnessing?
Instead, users find tips on setting up a social media team, storytelling helps, movie discussion guides, book reviews and free e-books, photo-editing apps and tech tips. Readers also are given the ability to share their tips with others.
Formerly Collide Magazine, the site describes itself as a resource for church communicators, with a goal of inspiring, challenging and equipping.
A post section contains essays, tutorials, reviews and recommendations. Visitors can find points to ponder, resources and DIY articles.
Its store contains everything from posters to apparel to books and DVDs.
EchoHub is the driving force behind the annual ECHO Conference, exploring creativity for “artists, geeks and storytellers.” This year’s speakers will include author Jon Acuff and representatives from Willow Creek, Cross Point Church, Google, LifeChurch.tv and the Center for Church Communication.
Center for Church Communication
The nonprofit Center for Church Communication exists to “make the church matter.” Acknowledging “churches have the greatest story ever told, but struggle to tell it well,” it provides a church communicator resource built on three lab hubs: knowledge, connections and resources.
Want to connect with others? The connection lab functions to discuss topics including marketing a church weekday school, presenting the gospel on a website or reactions to the readthisbeforeyoudie.com website. And it encourages and facilitates setting up local labs to connect communicators.
The resource lab contains links to a job board, freelance directory, events calendar and a church marketing directory.
On the knowledge lab, Firestarter recognizes churches “excelling in brilliant communication,” and promotes Outspoken, a collection of more than 60 church communicators discussing how to use media to share the gospel, available in print and digital formats from Amazon.
The resource I have found most useful is Church Communication Sucks, a blog designed to “frustrate, educate and motivate” with the “clarity of Jesus Christ.” Posts include topics such as “Facebook Evangelism.”
Jesus communicated effectively with stories. Today, effective communication can make the message easier to hear and encourage the spiritually blind to “…open your eyes and see — how good God is” (Psalm 34:8, The Message).
Ken Satterfield is advertising coordinator for Word&Way.