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. . . learning from each other
W-E-B Issue 174~ October 2009
Monthly ISSN 471-0323

News this time...


"I look at a stone-cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow, it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before." - Jacob A. Riis


Ceri Longville, a student at Redcliffe Bible College in Gloucester UK, has just published her college dissertation on church websites.

Having been a church webmaster for five years, Ceri saw the clear need for research. She says, "While working as web developer of a church website, I could see the potential for it to be used as a tool to make the church more accessible and relevant to the non-Christian/unchurched folk in the local community."

Her 'Reaching the Community with Church Websites' is a valuable insight into the potential for making church sites truly 'outsider friendly'. Very little research has been published recently on church sites, as far as we know. Download this free 95-page PDF e-book, and also add your comments when you have read it:


Robbie Williams' latest release 'Bodies' contains some significant spiritual concepts - an ideal starting point for us to use. "And your Jesus really died for me | I guess Jesus really tried for me."
- video:
- audio with lyric:

Using popular culture:


Create Conference, 14 November, North Parramatta, NSW, Australia - a day conference for churches and other ministries to consider vital communication issues:

On October 9, Leadership Network and Catalyst arranged 'The Nines' conference, where they asked over 75 leaders, "If you had just nine minutes to share with church leaders, what would you tell them?" The videos are online:

Innovate09 conference sessions are also online:

The Center for Church Communication draws together on one page some reports and notes from the recent Cultivate and Story conferences in Chicago this October:

If only all Christian communication/web conferences would video their sessions and place them online, multiplying and continuing their effectiveness!

CITY VISION ONLINE TRAINING - City Vision College is the accredited Internet-based distance learning program of TechMission. Its mission is to provide practical online education to those involved in urban ministry.

The original curriculum for the college was developed in 1990 as a joint Urban Ministry degree program offered by Grace University in Omaha, NE and the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. The AGRM, founded in 1913, is an association of over 300 ministries that help the homeless, addicted and needy in cities throughout North America.

Students may enroll year round in the college's certificate or degree completion programs. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Missions with an urban ministry emphasis is available. Individual courses may also be taken for personal enrichment and professional development.

In 2008, City Vision College began to offer an Addiction Studies program in partnership with the NET Institute which can be taken in either a degree completion format to earn a Bachelor of Science or as a certificate program. provides training in the Twelve Core Functions of the Substance Abuse Counselor and is intended to prepare students to attain the Certified Addiction Counselor credential in the states in which they reside.

Check our other training links:


Mark Brown writes, "I am in the midst of something quite extraordinary with the Bible Fan Page on Facebook. It has just passed 800,000 fans and according to Inside Facebook, is one of the fastest growing pages with 'vanity URLs':
What is amazing, is the ministry that is happening around it: prayer, support, evangelism and so on. I have Muslim and atheist evangelists targeting it!"

Mark Brown is the guy who started the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life; he has just stepped down from this responsibility.

And don't be an annoying Facebook user:


Check Animax35 for needs and news relating to Christian cartooning:

Make your own online cartoon. Xtra Normal Text to Movie system allows you to create your own fun little cartoon movies. This looks like so much fun. Then you can post the cartoon on your own site, share it around, whatever:


Pastor Ralph Wilson is an expert on marketing, and his Web Marketing Today website and newsletter have been online for an amazing 15 years. As an anniversary offer, he is giving away some of his e-books that are normally pay-for. Although some of his writings apply only to business marketing, many principles also apply to Christian ministries and web evangelism, so take the chance to grab the offers:

Check also our own book page recommendations. These include a growing number of free e-books, usually in PDF format, including links to 1000s of public domain Christian and secular classics:

Users of the Amazon Kindle can easily convert PDFs into the Kindle format, and save them in their personal Kindle library.


The latest version of Google Earth has some remarkable features. If you have not used it, download it here:

The vertical satellite shots have been manipulated with false perspective so that you can have a simulated forward view, as if flying over the landscape, complete with hills and skyline showing correctly. You can move in any direction, at the speed you choose.

Have fun - you can visit anywhere you have ever been, or would like to go. 'Fly' over Rome, or up the Jordan valley from the Dead Sea.

There are growing opportunities to use Google Earth in ministry. The TopCretien team offers a Google Earth display of where people are responding to their outreach websites.

Google Earth enables any mission or outreach group to facilitate a virtual 'prayer walk'
around a town or city.

Someone with good local knowledge can record any Google Earth journey around a town, pointing out features and prayer needs, and this can be shared with others. (All it needs is a microphone plugged into the computer.) Combine it with a Skype conference call:
and you can create a virtual prayer meeting with friends located anywhere. You can also integrate this with Google Maps where these provides extra information.

Of course, virtual prayer-walking may lack the power of physical proximity. On the other hand, arranging a prayer walk in a hard-to-reach country is not easy. Some colleagues traveled to a certain West African country for such a prayer walk two years ago, visiting several towns. No major prayer walk has happened in that needy country since.

Not all smaller towns outside the West are actually in Google Earth at good resolution, but a surprising number are.

A recorded Google Earth journey can also be projected in a missionary's home church, or added to their blog or newsletter. It can provide a wonderful sense of immediacy.

Local residents can also upload their own digital photos of a town to Google Earth, tied to their exact geographical position. This will enhance the Google Earth experience in general for all users, and the value of a prayer walk in particular. Missionaries should ensure that whatever profile they use to upload such a photo does not identify them inappropriately.

Because our minds work primarily with images, and a picture is worth a thousand words, prayer grounded in a physical image is far easier. One major mission is currently planning an integration of Google Earth, blogs and video clips to enable people to better pray for their workers.

If you have used Google Earth in creative ways such as this, please tell us what you did.


Jeremy Feser writes in Collide magazine: "Media is taking Africa by storm. An invasion of MTV, Hollywood, and Bollywood is taking place right now, and it's of incredible proportions. It used to be that the street vendors in Arusha, Tanzania, were hawking tourist curios and fruit. They still are, but for every one selling a carving or a mango there are three selling ripped DVDs and three others selling cellphone cases and holsters. It's eye-opening. People living on $70 a month now feel compelled to buy a DVD player and TV (if they can get access to electricity), so they can watch B-rated kung fu movies in Korean. To say the least, it was culture shock for me, coming back to Tanzania after 10 years away."

Lausanne World Pulse this month also covers digital evangelism:

Sandra S K Lee writes about the challenge of digital media:

And Peter Fischer-Nielsen also advocates that churches learn to use the Web:

Check also Lon Allison's short encouragement to use storytelling:


"If we are going to transition the church to the next generation, both existing and emerging leaders will need to understand and appreciate each other's values. This quiz, developed in conjunction with the editors of Leadership, is a helpful start," writes Jimmy Long of InterVarsity. Take the quiz here:

Brian Barela also writes pointedly on how to 'de-museumize your organization':

And the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory offers a free online collaboration assessment, helping your organization to assess how effectively you are collaborating with others:


We can frequently learn important lessons about life and communication from optical illusions. Check this one, and add your feedback:


Essays and art on fear, confession and grace. Download free video and resources to use in your church, and get a free book:


- non-techies look away now

Scripts and resources - thousands in many categories

MP3 - Exporting MP3's Using Audacity:

10 NO-PAY PROGRAMS FROM MICROSOFT - yes really, some useful utilities:

RAPHAEL JS LIBRARY is a lightweight JavaScript framework that allows you to draw vector graphics in your browser! Damian Dawber explains the basics in this very clear introductory tutorial:
Damian is a cool programmer and contractor - here's his portfolio:

GET ELATED - offers a great bunch of webmaster resources. Rather than offering you overwhelming numbers of articles, there are carefully chosen subjects pitched at various levels - beginner, intermediate and advanced. Simon and Matt, who run the site, are definitely 'second mile' people, willing to help far beyond the call of duty. The webmaster forums, although small in comparison with such as or, have been hugely helpful to me.

CSS - stop the irritating dotted line when you click on hyperlinks such as in flyout menus, graphic links etc. Just add
a:focus {outline: none;}
to your style sheet.

FLASH DRIVES - more uses for them:

FREE E-BOOK - GET READY FOR WINDOWS, from Free signup needed first:

WINDOWS 7 - Ten most useful Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts:


DID YOU KNOW 4.0 - the latest version of Media Convergence's short video clip about the state of online communication is now available. It makes a valuable clip to use in meetings or seminars (there are many ways to download a YouTube clip), with fascinating facts and trends:

IE6: the browser that won't die. A surprising number of users still have IE6, and this may not change any time soon:

IE6 usage is 24%, according to NetApps:

although others put it somewhat lower:

HOW LAPTOPS TOOK OVER THE WORLD - The availability of cheaper usable laptops, plus wifi or 3G web access, has switched the balance between being tethered to a unmovable desktop machine, or using a portable go-anywhere workstation:

BUZZ AROUND MOSAIC BIBLE - there's been quite a buzz over the release of this new Bible production:

LEARN CPR - we never know when we may need to use it:

WIND TURBINE MAKES DRINKING WATER - the Eolewater freshwater wind turbine condenses water vapor from the air, even in places of low humidity:

LIFE MAGAZINE - writes: "The picture collection came out a while ago, but Google recently announced that the entire run of LIFE magazine - over 1800 issues from 1936 to 1972 - are now available on Google Books. I wish Google Books had some kind of nice-looking 'splash URL' where you could start a browse of a digitized magazine, but you'll have to start here:

CULTURE24, the guide to British museums and art galleries, has been revamped:


"Don't insult the alligator until after you cross the river."
[Source: Mikey's Funnies ]

graphic by
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