Perhaps you have used the +1 button to mark a helpful link in your Google search results. Maybe you have used it to mark an interesting article you have read. But have you thought that using the +1 button can help you share your faith?

As the above video shows, when a  person who has a Google profile clicks the +1 button, Google automatically uses this click like a recommendation. This means if your friend clicked +1, this would show up in your search results.  Even if there isn’t anyone you personally know who liked the page, Google will still display the number of people who have liked it.  This “like” or recommendation of sorts is to help you have more confidence in knowing the site you are about to visit — that it will actually have the information for which you are looking.

So, what if you liked a page that has a presentation of the gospel? We already know that millions of people a day are searching online for spiritual related information. It is safe to say that some of these millions might be people we know. If they were searching on Google, they would see the sites that you have clicked +1.  It is a virtual recommendation from a trusted friend. What if you +1ed an article that helped you grow in your faith? Your friends would be able to see this article when they searched.

The brilliance in sharing your faith this way is that it takes less than a second and meets people in the moment they are searching.  You can’t know or be there in every moment of everyday.  But by clicking +1 on pages you like, it is like you are leaving a sign to point people who are searching in the right direction.

If you are interested, help people find Jesus by visiting GodLife.com and click +1 on the gospel page or any of the GodLife articles that help you grow in your faith. What other sites can you +1 to share your faith?

Did you remember when the Charlie Brown Christmas special would come on TV? Did you now know there is a Charlie Brown Christmas app? It’s True!

I think the BEST part of that TV special was when Linus recited the story of Jesus birth. What a wonderful reminder of what Christmas actually is about is with the real Christmas story. Now, technology has changed, and Charlie Brown is in app form, but the message hasn’t changed. Jesus is still the reason for the season.

Have you also heard about the church who is doing a virtual christmas choir?

I remember a few years ago when a large church orchestrated a twitter play. Throughout two days they had different people tweet as if they were Biblical characters tweeting first hand experience of the birth of Jesus. Another fun way to give voice to the meaning of Christmas in the digital age.

Do you plan to use technology in sharing the Christmas story this month? If so, how?

Short.

November 21, 2011

News comes to us in short bursts.

Blogging has become something we share in short sentences. (Thanks Twitter).

A view of the gospel can be presented in less than 10 words.

Beauty. Fall. Sin. Waiting. Hurting. Jesus. Restoration. Glory.

How would you present the gospel in 10 words or less?

Stonewashed Bootcut Gospel?

November 14, 2011

There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t love the fit of an old pair of jeans. Let’s be honest, it isn’t just women who will search high and low for the perfect pair. Now according to an article in Tech Today, there is a body scanner that will tell you your exact size for a perfect fit. Once you have been scanned, you will be able to shop virtually knowing everything recommended to you is a guaranteed perfect fit. This is marketing at it’s finest. Meeting people right at their point of need.

What if we took this same approach to evangelism? No, we are not “selling Jesus.” But we DO want to meet people in their point of need. As Annie, our intern, pointed out this summer “God made everyone different … and He relates to us all differently. God is always and forever the same, but while consistent He’s also dynamic.” Her point was God is the same, but he relates to us each differently because we are different. He fits everyone like a perfect pair of jeans.  So, as online evangelists, we need to use the tools available to us to see what people need so that we can present the gospel in the most relatable way possible. When we really focus in of the  key terms we write into our blogs, the questions we ask on facebook, what trends we look to respond to in twitter we are being more effective at presenting a Jesus who is real to people.

Photo Jeans by Petr Kratochvil

iReform

October 31, 2011

A few weeks ago, some of our staff were having lunch together and brainstorming some ways to have fun. Someone remarked that we should do something for Reformation Day (This is the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church, thus igniting the Protestant Reformation.)

“But we aren’t trying to reform church policy,” someone pointed out.

“Yes,” said another, “But we ARE trying to reform the digital age for Jesus!”

Thus this crazy idea was hatched. A group of digital reformers we on a mission to spark a digital formation.

So, today we donned our iReform gear to revolutionize the digital mission!

While Luther had the Diet of Worms, we had web spiders. (nerd joke)

Read the 31.7 “Tweetheses” one reformer came up with. (He chose that number because it is 3x faster than 95).

Join us on twitter as we repost these and come up with some of our own. What theses would you add to the digital reformation? use #iReform to tag it!

While we chose to have a bit of fun celebrating a bit of church history today, we are serious when it comes to believing that God can and wants to transform lives in the digital space. 494 years ago, God used Martin Luther’s ideas and work to spark a reformation in people’s hearts. God is inviting us to do the same today.

We want to hear from you… what ways do you want to change the digital space to promote the gospel??

 

In an Associated Press article released this Tuesday, it is revealed to us that Google has been dealing with mounting pressure from different governments to release internet user information. Google has become king at collecting information. They know what search terms are popular. They know what the most popular site is for teen girls in the city of Cincinnati. They use this information to create better advertisements and products. Now they are under pressure to give this information to governments.

There are two things we should take from this article:

First, if it has been said once, it has been said a million times, be careful with what you put online! There is a reason facebook and google will deliver ads about weight loss to woman of a certain age or suddenly a high school student will get advertisements about different colleges.  It is guaranteed  that any information you put online will be collected by someone and stored. It doesn’t matter how short of an amount of time the information is up, once is is on the world wide web, it is always out there. While generally information collection is used to better focus marketers, there are some very evil people out there who will want to use your information to harm you. Please be careful.

Second, as Christians, we should be aware that our opportunity to use the internet to share the gospel is in fact limited. The article quotes that Great Britain has requested Google remove 6 videos that they felt were national security risks. How easy would it be for countries who are hostile to Christians and Christian beliefs to remove/block content that carry the gospel or christian themes. How long before people in those countries  will no longer have access to information about Jesus or Christianity online?

We must be safe, and we must move quickly!

Dream Generation

July 20, 2011

I love adventure.  I’m a Carolina girl spending my summer as an intern in California, I dream of moving to Europe after I graduate, and my career possibilities seem endless.  Most would say that I’m just young and naive about the real world, but I prefer using my mom’s saying that the world is “my oyster.”  I’m not alone in this “oyster” mindset.  My generation is full of big dreamers and adventurers; we are visionaries.  This could be attributed to pop culture or political changes, but I think that the truth behind the vision is technology.

My generation has grown up with the entire world at our fingertips through emerging technology.  Social media, search engines, and smart phones have equipped us to become world-changers.  This technology not only allows, but obligates, twenty-somethings to dream big.  New technology and the Internet are practically coded into our DNA. So what are we supposed to do with it?

In order to harness our potential, I believe that we need the help of older generations.  In the book of Acts, Barnabus encourages Paul and helps him to develop his ministry.  Barnabus enabled Paul to make an impact in the world for Christ by his example.  Barnabus and Paul traveled together, taught together, and lived out God’s purpose for their lives.  My generation needs people like Barnabus; people to guide the way and share their journey. We have a lot of dreams, but in order to bring them to fruition we need enablers.  We need teachers and mentors to show us the way.

If you look at your community, you will see the potential that these young adults hold.  My generation will soon become the world’s leaders, and you have the opportunity to make an impact.  Connect with them through new technologies and embrace the shift that they are creating in society.  The way people interact is being revolutionized through social media, and it is important that we know how it works.  Allow my generation to show you the future, and then share some of your wisdom in exchange.  If you are an online missionary with younger disciples, then don’t underestimate the power that your e-mail encouragement holds.  Become a Barnabus and enable the younger generation to make a difference in the world for Christ using the tools they have been given.  Encourage them to develop their vision and encourage them to utilize technology to pursue it.  Embrace the dreams of the dreamers.  Embrace the incredible knowledge they hold.  Embrace your opportunity to enable the world changers.

 

~Amber Marshall (SVSP Intern 2011)

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