It’s a celebration!

We are talking about Internet Evangelism Day, of course! Oh? You aren’t familiar with it? Please, allow us to share.

This year on April 29th, Global Media Outreach will be joining together (virtually) for Internet Evangelism Day. This will be a celebrations of online missions. The “event,” so to speak, is put on by The Internet Evangelism Day Coalition. These wonderful people have put together a FREE campaign solely to promote evangelism on the web.  We are excited to join with everyone to promote God using online resources to spread the gospel. We at GMO have a LOT to celebrate this year on April 29th. For example,

  • In 2011 alone 19 million people indicated a decision for Christ
  • We have 7,900 AWESOME online missionaries working with us to respond to our emails
  • AND we have proven fiscal responsibility which allows us to be accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

And we don’t want to just stop there! We want everyone to hear. We would love to have you join us, and all the others as we get the word out about Internet Evangelism. What are you celebrating in online missions? Let us know! We would love to give you a shout out. How are you celebrating? Who can you invite to celebrate this Internet Evangelism Day? The more the merrier.

Let the virtual conga line begin!

Sharing on Facebook

April 13, 2012

Image from FishwithTrish.com

Earlier this week I found an article that stated 1 in 7 online minutes was spent on Facebook. What a great ministry opportunity! Yet, there is a very real fear that if I start to share my faith on Facebook, I will be banished into the land of “blocked statuses.” How can this be avoided? Here are some great tips in keeping off blocked lists and in news feeds:

Beware the over-share watch list — There will ALWAYS be “that” person on your friend’s list who over-shares. They might treat Facebook like an online diary, post 15 times a day, or only ever post about ONE topic (such as how awesome their dog is).  It would be important to remember that just because you are talking about Jesus doesn’t excuse you from practicing some Facebook etiquette. Please don’t over share, post 25 times a day or ONLY talk about ONE aspect of your life, or I will block you (even if it is good)

Don’t feel like you “HAVE” to share -- There is so much content out there, so much untapped possibility. Neither of these facts should make you feel like you HAVE to share everything you find. It can be easy to start boring yourself with content when you feel it is your “duty” to share.

Let what you share be a natural expression of your heart — what God spoke to you, what encouraged you, what truth you needed to hear that day. Your friends on Facebook want to connect with a real person — not canned Jesus answers, poor but well meaning theology, or judgement. Being a real person helps them to see how Jesus is real. This is powerful.

A picture is 95% more effective than words at capturing attention -- I just made that statistic up. BUT I know for myself, I scroll my news feed looking for photos and videos before I read what people write. I am also less likely to block people if they are just sharing photos and videos than long status posts (unless they are oversharing).

Stop the Presses

March 23, 2012

Photo by Stewart Butterfield on Flickr

Encyclopedia Britannica has stopped the presses- literally. After 244 years, the folks at Britannica have decided to stop printing it’s iconic set of books.  While it feels a bit odd knowing fifth graders all across America will not need to hunt through these volumes for information for their state reports. Well, come to think of it, perhaps they haven’t been digging through these dusty pages for a while. If they are anything like me, when they have a question, they turn to google or another search engine.

So, while Britannica isn’t going to be printing any more information, all their information will still be online. As Jorge Cauz, president of Britannica, points out, printed work is limited. With all the information available, they have had to squeeze and prioritize what information got printed. Online they have limitless possibilities of what topics and to what depth they can post.

Information is going digital. It isn’t that people dislike books, so long as it pertains to novels. It seems, however, when it comes to accessing information, people prefer the quick and easy access of the digital world. But this doesn’t just stop at information for a elementary report or recipe. Christians and non-Christians are looking online for spiritual information. Software and web searches are more used rather than printed concordance. At least twice a week I search for a bible passage reference online. My worship pastor read verses from his phones, and another uses his iPad instead of handwritten notes. Remember the maps at the back of the Bible? Well, google earth may have replaced them. I have seen at least two people use them when referencing one of Paul’s missionary journeys.  Perhaps digital information is more accessible information?

What about you? How do you access information?

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?

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)

The gospel…stylish?

July 11, 2011

Today, this is popular:

It’s not profound, it isn’t meaningful— it’s not even that clever. And yet, it still explodes on the internet. It has hundreds of thousands of views, clogs our news feeds, and it easily comes up in conversation.

This is just one example of the power of social media, and more specifically youth through social media. They are the ones who have the influence. They make random and pointless videos, pictures, and words go viral in a matter of hours—FOR NO REASON. They start the trends.

So what would happen if instead of watching Nigel Thornberry remixes, tweeting about double rainbows, and changing profile pictures to celebrity lookalikes, the youth started buzzing about…Jesus? What if we gave them a reason to stop taking that quiz to figure out which Disney princess they are, and instead spread the message of God’s love for everyone? Can you imagine what would happen if THAT caught on?

First, there would be the phenomenon that is the message of love. Over 1.5 million people have watched Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday.” The song includes lyrics like this one: “Fun, fun, think about fun, you know what it is.” If they were to be infused and inspired by the gospel, they could be listening to, and sharing lines like this instead: “God loves you, and wants to be close to you.” Now that would be a trend with lasting power.

So here’s the challenge: let’s see how fast God’s love can catch on! Let’s saturate the young people with Jesus’ love so they can spread it in exponential ways. It’s like when you have a cold, and you sneeze on a communal bowl of mints. There’s almost no limit to how far those germs can spread. Just in this case, Jesus is the only infectious REMEDY.

~Annie Josey (SVSP Intern, 2011)

When the church was born (Acts 2), God poured out His Spirit on a group of unqualified, unequipped men who would later turn the entire world upside down with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. In this moment of uncertainty, the first Christ followers in History, cried out for God to meet them in the midst of their weakness and confusion, and on the day of Pentecost, God answered their prayer with the might of His Spirit.

In their time of greatest need, God took the little they had to offer and multiplied it above and beyond what they could have asked or hoped for. In this moment of weakness, God supernaturally moved through them in power to begin what we call the great commission. Now, two thousand years later, God has poured out His Spirit yet again on the day of Pentecost during our moment of uncertainty and weakness.

We had made plans to reach 1,000,000 people with the Gospel On Sunday, June 12th. This is done through blitzing the Internet with ads containing a simple Gospel presentation designed to meet people in their moment of need.

As the market grows, advertisement is becoming more and more expensive. On Friday, June 9, 2011, we were in the midst of a moment of uncertainty. While we believed God for 1,000,000 opportunities to share the gospel on Pentecost Sunday, we thought we lacked the funds to support it. In fact, we believed we would be limited to reaching about one third of that number.

Despite the dismaying odds, we pressed on by faith, and, on Sunday, God miraculously provided. Not only were we able to meet the original goal to reach 1 million, but also we managed to set a new record in GMO history by reaching 1,917,885 people with the Gospel.  Out of these, 185,000 individuals indicated decisions for Christ. In a single day, almost 200 thousand individuals, whom we know of, were welcomed into the kingdom of heaven.

This is a miracle of epic proportions. Praise God for taking the little we have and using unqualified, unequipped people to turn the world upside down. Praise God that His Dominion reaches not only the natural, but the virtual as well. Praise God that His Spirit is not limited to our physical reach and that He is actively reaching individuals through their computer screens.

Please continue to pray for each individual that receives Christ through one of our websites. We are not called to simply reach the entire world, but we are commissioned to make disciples of all nations. Pray that God would strengthen the online missionaries as they take time to love and disciple each person that responds. Out of the millions of contacts we make, each person is an individual with specific needs and a specific destiny. God knows each one intimately and is willing to leave the many for the one. Our ministry should not be defined by large numbers but by our ability to make true disciples of Christ and mature sons and daughters of God.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

GMO Staff

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