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WEB EVANGELISM BULLETIN

. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 121 ~ September (i) 05
Twice a month ISSN 471-0323

News this time...

KATRINA MOBILIZES CHRISTIANS
BOLLYWOOD FILMS - CAN YOU WRITE?
COMMUNITY OUTREACH SITES
COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL WORLDWIDE
THE POWER OF STORY
LOOKING AT THE FUTURE
TIPS
OUTREACH TO CHILDREN
ECUADOR MARTYRS
TAILEND

"The fish does not go after the hook, but after the bait" - Czech Proverb


KATRINA MOBILIZES CHRISTIANS

A positive feature within the aftermath of the disaster (though not emphasized in the TV news) has been the involvement of many Christians in the relief effort. A tragedy of this magnitude will require the help of volunteers for some time to come - it cannot be handled by statutory authorities alone.

A group of Christians has set up a site to "help connect the millions of homeless with faithful families around the country that out of the goodness of their hearts are willing to take in someone in need. We weren't sure it would actually take off, but it has picked up some media coverage on CNN, FOX news, The Washington Times, etc. Most of the links we have been able to get to this point are from our fellow Christian websites and we would like as many as possible of the people registering to get a Christian family."
http://www.americaunited.com/

TruthMedia.com have repositioned their evangelistic disaster site TheLife.com - for the third time in nine months - to bring hope to those asking questions related to Katrina. Here is a ready-made resource for you to link to, from almost any type of site:
http://www.thelife.com/disaster

Dave Waggoner at ATS Tracts writes, "Here at ATS we've been working overtime to release a tract specifically for Katrina disaster victims":
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b05sept-atskatrina

A PDF version available here:
http://www.atstracts.org/readarticle.php?id=205


BOLLYWOOD FILMS - CAN YOU WRITE?

Cathy Douglas of CCCI writes, "I am responding to your Bulletin suggestion about sites dedicated to Indian movies. I too see the tremendous potential in that. I am helping to develop a site to reach South Asian immigrants in North America. What an excellent feature that would be on our website - to have Hollywood/Bollywood film discussion. If anyone wants to write such a feature, we want to hear from them."
Please contact Cathy via (inserting the @ and . in the appropriate places:
nayajeevan [at] ccci [dot] org


COMMUNITY OUTREACH SITES

There's a site using the community approach for Detroit. Richard writes, "I am not a web guy but believe this type of site can serve various Metro Areas and connect them to Christ's body."
http://www.lookupdetroit.com/
http://www.web-evangelism.com/resources/community.php


COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL WORLDWIDE

NEW ONLINE MAGAZINE OFFERS MOMENTUM - the compiler hopes to help believers passionately, quickly, and effectively reach the least-reached 27% of our world:
http://www.momentum-mag.org/

THE WORDS WE USE. "When 'Christian' does not translate." Thought-provoking comments about communication:
http://www.goodnewsmag.org/magazine/3MayJune/MJ05msum.htm

JESUS Film Project - has just released 'The Story of JESUS' audio version in a podcast format. It's available at iTunes, Podcast.net and Podcast Alley. Wherever you decide to download it, be sure to vote for it on Podcast Alley:
http://www.outsidetheboxministry.com/2005/08/story-of-jesus-podcast.htm

WHERE IS THE SOUND IN YOUR WEBSITE? Frank Johnson writes in his Strategic Digital Outreach blog, "I'm sure that title may have brought at least a few folks who cringe at the thought (rightfully so in most cases!) of including audio on your website (the kind that plays automatically whether you like it or not). But actually, it's a sentence from a book that seems to perpetually be on my desk at my day job... So what does this mean for marketing your website? It means you will be most successful when you use words that cross from the ear almost directly to the prefrontal cortex, the decision part of the brain. The killer app in web marketing is not sight, it is 'sound', whether heard directly (audio) or mentally (in writing). It is not the design of your website that sells. It is the content - the words:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b05sept-strategic

INDIA: Mentoring pays off. Recent research reveals that new churches have been planted in almost 50% of the villages in Punjab, a state in northern India. That is an almost unbelievable development:
http://www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/2005/dawn25.html

TIME-LINES. If time-line charts help you understand Bible history, check out this Bible study resource:
http://www.thewordseekers.org/

FREE OUTREACH LITERATURE FOR NON-WESTERN WORLD: looking for outreach literature for Africa and Asia, in easy-English, African-French, African-Portuguese, Swahili, or Fulani dialects for the Fula people?
http://www.web-evangelism.com/resources/free-papers.php


THE POWER OF STORY

Last weekend we went to a local festival run by our city council, which included a storytelling tent. The stories were gripping and memorable and I will probably be able to recount them in a year's time. Yet I'm afraid the content of last Sunday morning's sermon largely escapes me already. This, of course, is why Jesus used the mode of storytelling almost exclusively when not speaking in the synagogue. Why don't we?

We are hard-wired to receive and understand messages transmitted within story, and remarkably can visualize an imaginary world almost as soon as we learn to speak. Usually only bookish well-educated people find it easy to receive, understand, and remember propositional abstract truths.

Storytelling is in fact quite a hobby, with regular club meetings. There are Christian clubs too, though consider whether you should stay in the ghetto! If you get the chance to learn storytelling, take it!

"Analytic, abstract thinking is ideal for reporting the regular, the expected, the normal, the ordinary, the unsurprising, the mundane, the things we often take so much for granted that we are hardly conscious that we know them at all. By contrast, narrative thinking, encapsulated in stories and storytelling, is ideally suited to discussing the exceptional," says storytelling expert Jerome Bruner.

Good story-telling links:
http://www.stevedenning.com/learn.htm
http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/faq.html
http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/index.html
http://www.eldrbarry.net/roos/art.htm

Story-telling from a Christian viewpoint:
http://www.storytelling.org/Gladney/default.htm
http://www.storyteller.net/articles/47
http://christianstorytelling.com/Training_the_Trainer.html
http://www.godspell.org.uk/story/workshop.html

Any testimony should use good storytelling/journalism techniques to make it both memorable and accessible:
http://www.web-evangelism.com/resources/angie.php

Oh, and to add a bit of memory-reinforcing narrative about our visit to the festival, we also admired solar-heating hot-water panels for sale, and bought a 'bat box' to entice bats to our garden!


LOOKING AT THE FUTURE

TORONTO: If you are within traveling distance of Toronto, there is a McLuhan Festival of the Future, 23 September to 2 October, looking at trends in the world and society. One day is devoted to the Internet:
http://www.mcluhanfestival.com/

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: Jay Gary, a Christian 'futurist', comments on the change of US public perception to evangelism in the last three years:
http://www.christianfutures.com/religious_bias.shtml

UK DECLINING: Meanwhile, a gloomy but realistic report on Christianity in UK suggests that by 2040, only 2% of the population will attend church:
http://www.christian-research.org.uk/intro.htm


TIPS

Non-techies look away now!

PROTECT YOUR GRAPHICS. If you don't want image search engines such as Google to spider all your graphics, you can easily stop this by an appropriate entry in your robots text file:
http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html

SEARCHING FOR CODE? Google can help:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76273

HORIZONTAL MENUS - using unordered lists and CSS, centered or to the right:
http://www.webreference.com/programming/css_lists/index.html

FAVICONS. All websites should have a favicon:
http://www.favicon.com/
Here's a free graphic-to-favicon converter. Though of course not all large graphics lend themselves to conversion to the favicon 16px size:
http://www.chami.com/html-kit/services/favicon/

USE A NEW WINDOW? Latest Alertbox suggests that PDF and other non-html docs should open in a new window:
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/open_new_windows.html

EVEN PABX NOT SAFE. Now PABX telephone systems can be hacked too:
http://nfptechno.netxtra.net/archive/view.jsp?ref=145&cmr=296995


OUTREACH TO CHILDREN

THE WARDROBE IS COMING: only three months till the release of the new Narnia film. It offers many opportunities for the gospel. CPO (in UK) and ATS Tracts (in USA) are producing Narnia-related literature. ATS says, "We already have one tract out and will be releasing a special addition closer to the movie launch. We are also building a website that will have two sides: a resource portion for evangelists, and a gospel section for the lost."
http://www.web-evangelism.com/rd?b05sept-atsnarnia
http://www.atstracts.org/
http://www.cpo-online.org.uk/

This is one of those incredible God-sent appointments. Now is the time to be planning to use Narnia to reach children and indeed adults. The window of opportunity will be relatively narrow - a month or two. When it's gone, it's gone.

WORDLESS BOOK. "If you want a way-cool witnessing tool for your kids, for your church's Harvest Festival or as an alternative to Halloween's ghoulish paint this October, check out the free wordless book-type temporary skin transfers here. Mine lasted for nearly two weeks and I got to explain it to lots of people," writes KidsPlace newsletter about this NAMB resource:
http://tinyurl.com/amnq9

Now is also the time to be planning other alternatives to Halloween, and to be ordering appropriate leaflets. CPO and ATS stock them.


ECUADOR MARTYRS

Christians of a certain age will particularly recall the story of missionaries killed by the Auca tribe in Ecuador. The story has been told in book and film.

Every Tribe will shortly release a documentary with the wives and children of these men and the people who killed them, who as a people-group came to Christ subsequently. Then in 2006 comes the film 'End of the Spear'. Rick Lindholtz writes, "What was extraordinary about the documentary and I believe will also be true of the film 'End of the Spear' is that they crafted the film very carefully so as not to sound religious, Christian, evangelistic or preachy. But it was incredible film making."

End of the Spear (with links to the trailer): http://endofthespear.com/
Every Tribe Communications: http://everytribe.com/
Beyond the Gates: http://www.beyondthegatesthemovie.com/
Article by Steve Saint: http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/1996/sept16/6ta020.html


PS - don't forget: you can use any item from the Bulletin in a blog or newsletter. You can also syndicate the Bulletin content (or any page of the Guide) into your own site with a line of Javascript.


TAILEND ô¿ô

"If you need to remember the value of 'Pi', simply count the letters of each word in the following sentence: 'May I have a large container of coffee?' If you are extra polite and say 'thank you', you will get two further places! (3.141592653 to be exact!)," writes David Tait in 'Praise God Its Monday' newsletter:
http://wwj.org.nz

For an amusing take on the possible advantages of web evangelism:
http://www.cybermissions.org/articles/change_ministry_cyber_joke.pdf


A little girl came home late for supper. Her mother made the expected irate parent's demand to know where she had been. The little girl replied that she had stopped to help Janie, whose bicycle was broken in a fall.
"But you don't know anything about fixing bicycles," her mother responded. "I know that," the girl said. "I just stopped to help her cry."

Not many of us know anything about fixing bicycles, either. And when our friends have fallen and broken, not their bicycles but their lives, NONE of us knows how to fix that. We simply cannot "fix" someone else's life, even though that's what we would like most to do. But like the little girl, we can stop to help them cry. That is the best we can do. And that is a lot!

[By Murray Lancaster, featured in www.witandwisdom.org ]

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