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WEB EVANGELISM BULLETIN

. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 130 ~ March (i) 06
Twice a month ISSN 471-0323

News this time...

TWO MONTHS TO GO: 7 MAY 2006 WILL SOON BE HERE
PLEASE HELP US MAKE IT KNOWN - URGENT NEED
NEWS RELEASES
TIPS
RADIO MINISTRY PLANS OUTREACH SITE
COMMUNICATION AND ART
SHY GIRL - A BLOGGER'S STORY
TAILEND

"Truth is not determined by the volume of the voice" - Chinese proverb
"Soft words are hard arguments" - Thomas Fuller


TWO MONTHS TO GO: 7 MAY 2006 WILL SOON BE HERE

Interest is building for Internet Evangelism Day 2006.

If you have been considering using this focus in your church or Christian group, now is the time to start planning. There are new suggestions on different things to do for 7 May, starting with the easiest option - just a short 1-minute announcement, and ranging up to an hour seminar:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/planning.php

Check how different churches created their programs last year:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/examples.php

And do please tell us of your plans, via the voluntary no-obligation registration form. It is such an encouragement to hear of different church's intentions - even if you only plan a two-minute spot:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/registration.php

PLEASE HELP US MAKE IT KNOWN - URGENT NEED

Can you also help to make IE Day known as widely as possible? We have no publicity machine or budget. You, dear reader, are all we got!

Below are two news releases. The longer one is mainly for print publications. The shorter one is ideal to insert into email newsletters. Both are also available to copy from here:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/publicity.php#news

Please copy or print them (could be on your own headed paper) and send to Christian newspapers and magazines that you know. There is still time - just - for monthly print publications to use this in May - if it is sent out in the next few days. You can even change or add quotes to suit your own geographical location, taking leaders' quotes from:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/supporting.php
and last year's user quotes from:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/examples.php

Please also send to Christian radio stations, and the religious section of secular newspapers. Or email them to the editors of Christian email newsletters that you receive, or to the editors of Christian blogs that you enjoy, or any Christian leader.

If you have a blog of your own, or contribute to other blogs, maybe you can feature IE Day? If you use bulletin boards and email discussion lists, can you mention IE Day in an appropriate place?

There are also longer free articles which can be used in print, or inserted directly into any website:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/free-articles.php

Two short audio MP3 items are also now available about IE Day - length 3 minutes and 1 minute. You'll see the links on the site, or follow the link below. These can be used in podcasts, radio broadcasts, church announcements, or any other way you choose. You can also mention them in an email newsletter, quoting this short URL:
www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/audio

Another way you can help: please add details of IE Day to any online Christian events diary you know. And please link to the site from any website - in this case, use the search-engine-friendly URL http://www.internetevangelismday.com/index.php rather than the IE Day domain itself.

Thank you for whatever you can do! We will be so grateful if you could take just 5 or 10 minutes this weekend on two or three of these options.

NEWS RELEASES

long...

Churches Plan a Worldwide Internet Focus Day on 7 May

"I encourage all evangelical leaders to take advantage of this initiative and explore their options for using the Web to win as many as possible to Christ," says Pastor Ted Haggard of the US National Association of Evangelicals. Other Christian leaders also ask churches to use this new resource to learn more about the potential of the Web to communicate the Gospel. Building on the success of the first web awareness day held last year, a second annual Internet Evangelism Day is set for 7 May 2006.

It was initiated by the Internet Evangelism Coalition, an umbrella group of major organizations involved in web ministry.

The IE Day website contains many resources to help Christians understand and use the Internet to touch the world. It explains how to build a church website that can reach out into the community, or start an evangelistic blog. There is even a free evangelistic screensaver to download.

The site also offers materials for a church or Christian group to easily stage a 'web awareness' focus program on 7 May (or at any time they choose). These include a PowerPoint presentation, video clips, music, drama skits, posters, handouts and many other ideas.

Churches who used these materials last year were excited. "People were challenged and inspired! As a result, we will review our church website, add evangelistic signature blocks to emails, and learn how to use Bulletin Boards and Chat Rooms for evangelism," said a church in Australia.

"I want to thank you for the free resources you have provided through your website. This is a huge help for small churches such as ours," claimed a church leader in California.

One surprising aspect that the IE Day team emphasize: web evangelism is for anyone, not just the technically gifted. "There are many ways to share your faith online, without any technical background at all," says IE Day Coordinator Tony Whittaker.

The Internet Evangelism Day website is at www.InternetEvangelismDay.com.

Short MP3 audio introduction to IE Day: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/audio.

[341 words]


short...

Internet Evangelism Day 7 May 2006

A worldwide focus day to help the Church understand effective strategies for online outreach. Churches and other groups can create an awareness program using IE Day's ready-made PowerPoint, video clips, dramas, music and handouts. Or just learn how to build effective church pages, blogs or outreach sites from the detailed IE Day resource site:
www.InternetEvangelismDay.com

[61 words]


TIPS

GLASSY BUTTONS - i.e. navigation or other site buttons that seem shiny, may suit some styles of website, and here's a website that you can use to create them:
http://www.glassybuttons.com/

ADD TO SITE STICKINESS WITH GAMES. Fun little games can draw site visitors back to your site. Do you remember the Spirograph? You can add this to your site:
http://www.wordsmith.org/anu/java/spirograph.html

CSS - see in 18 steps how CSS is applied in order to create a site. Not only do you get to see the code that causes the design changes, but you get to see the page change while you go through the tutorial:
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/livedesign/

NOT ALL BUTTONS ARE NEEDED: form reset buttons are almost always un-necessary and an irritating danger - it is so easy to press the wrong one by accident:
http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol9/use_no1.htm

META TAGS are back, if they ever went away:
http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol9/html_no1.htm

DOMAIN NAMES - tips on choosing a name, from Pastor Ralph Wilson:
http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/domain-select.htm

SLOW DOWN. Be very slow to pass on so-called news by email, unless you can be truly sure it is correct. For example, large numbers of people were passing round a news report that a Christian leader had changed his doctrinal position on something relating to Israel. Only problem was, the report was untrue.


RADIO MINISTRY PLANS OUTREACH SITE

UCB, the UK-based broadcasting network, is working with Trilogie Concept (who produce the French site Connaitre Dieu), to launch an English language version, designed specifically for UK and Ireland.

Connaitre Dieu has had over 300,000 visitors and thousands of commitments made through the site. They have a network of 700 counsellors to give email mentoring to contacts. UCB will be building up a similar network of mentors for this new site.
http://www.ucb.co.uk


COMMUNICATION AND ART

Here's a completely new way of communication. Ilana Yahav is a sand animation artist, who using only her fingers, draws with sand on a backlit glass table:
http://www.sandfantasy.com/


SHY GIRL - A BLOGGER'S STORY

Recently I did a search for 'christian blog', and found a sponsored Google adword listing in the right-hand margin - for "Holy Mama - True confessions from the everyday life of a sorta shallow Christian mom." And I liked what I saw - a high standard of writing which was accessible to non-Christians, very much reflecting our suggested guidelines:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com/blogging.php

So I asked Holy Mama, a.k.a. Kelsey, to share how she got started. She says the budding novelist in her makes her story quite long - but it was so interesting, I thought you'd love to share it:

"In January our church began a year long focus on evangelism. I was nervous. 'I'm not the type,' my soul whined. 'I can't do that, and everyone else is better at sharing Christ. I'm so shy that I'll just pray people into the kingdom!' Also in January, I started a blog. It was a spur of the moment decision, requiring no money, no real technical know-how, and no commitment. So I did it. I didn't realize that this experiment had anything to do with our church's commitment to reach the world for Christ.

I'm just a mommy blog. One of a bazillion. I'm also an unpublished writer - an aspiring Christian novelist. One of, well, a whole lot. From a marketing standpoint, it seemed a good idea to start a blog, and if maybe one day it had miraculously attracted a substantial readership - well, that might sway a publisher into considering my manuscript.

I write from a Christian worldview, but my site isn't one of those geared for other Christians. Christ is in me, and is a large part of my life, and so there's plenty of 'God stuff' mentioned and implied in my writing - but it's not preachy, devotional, or inspiring in nature. It's really sort of silly, fun, and honest. It's just life as a Christian mom.

At the top of my website are the words, 'True confessions from the everyday life of a sorta shallow Christian mom.' And that's all it is. 'Sorta shallow', meaning, I know very well what, and Who, is important in this life, but I don't mind admitting that I like the things that don't matter, also. Like shoes and chocolate. Women relate to that!

If I had to guess, I'd say half of my readers are of little or no faith, or of a faith that is distinctly different from my own. And I like that! You can't be the 'salt of the earth' if you won't leave the rest of the little salt grains that are just like you and get out of the shaker, already!

I'm referring to Matthew 5:13, which also cautions against losing one's 'saltiness.' Sure, that's a risk if you're out in the world. But one worth taking, in order to win others into the Kingdom. I receive the occasional comment or email that is similar to: 'I can't believe this is a Christian site. I like you!' Great! I can relate to nonbelievers, and still be recognized as the salty gal I am. A surprise that came with this blog was how quickly it turned evangelistic. Or, covertly evangelistic, rather, since the blog itself hasn't changed at all. What has changed, is how people respond to it. It's a small, new blog, without a lot of traffic. And yet, people are finding it, reading it, and deciding they 'know me' well enough to start an email conversation about salvation. I'm astounded at the honor that is!

I'm the shy girl who tried to look all happy and holy on the outside when our church announced a new commitment to evangelism - but who just really wanted to run the other way rather than learn to share the gospel! I repented of those feelings, asked God to change my heart and find a way to use me. He has, and just eight weeks later, He's using my writing, and even my silliness to further His Kingdom."
http://holymama.typepad.com/


TAILEND ô¿ô

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.

The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

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