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Online evangelism: who does it well?

Online evangelism: who does it well?

A little crowdsourcing assistance if you please:

My business partner Rebecca Wilson and I have given a few workshops recently on message development and communications in which we have ventured the opinion that a church or diocese’s message ought to have a little something to do with Jesus. We’ve met only occasional resistance. (Some folks think that another organization should provide the content about Jesus, and they will link to it from some page deep within their website.) More frequently we’ve come across two sorts of responses.

There are folks out there who think they are talking about Jesus, about what God is up in the life of their parish and its members, but whose website and printed materials suggests otherwise.

And there are folks who are honest about the fact that they don’t know how to talk about Jesus, or about anything particularly spiritual without coming off as sappy, or preachy, or otherwise scaring people off.

We try to talk this second group of folks through some simple questions that will allow them to describe God’s activity in their lives, and some types of content—such as oral history interviews that focus on particular turning points in a person’s life—that lend themselves to producing accessible spiritual content. But we are realizing that people are looking for some simple, yet moving language about Jesus, about the Episcopal tradition, and about what the Church is for, that they can adopt, and adapt, as their own.

We are wondering what sorts of brief—because brevity is the soul of web-based communications—materials you have seen that effectively introduce Jesus, and our church, to people who aren’t going to sit still for explanations of the substitutionary theory of atonement, or pocket lectures on Richard Hooker and the three-legged stool.

Anything to share? We’ll credit you in our next workshop.


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Ann Fontaine

Jesus? what a concept – for a church that claims to follow Christ – now there’s an idea!! LOL

Jim and Rebecca, Godspeed in this venture. I’m afraid you have already found the rule and articulated it well, and that your search will only produce the exceptions that prove it.

Not that those exceptions don’t need to be held up for more to see and be convicted by, but if Episcopalians are so afraid of seeming creepy or pushy or whatever about Jesus, then what in God’s name are we doing?

If people only hear our excitement when they hear us talking about how great our activities are, but not about the Why of it, then the cart is well in front of the horse. At some point you can’t even see the horse anymore from the vantage of the cart. In which case you go find the horse and learn what it’s up to.

Torey Lightcap

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