Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Has the Church done her job?
How we answer depends on how we measure success. Christianity is the largest religion in the world with roughly 2.3 billion followers worldwide. We collectively support a number of approximately 250,000 missionaries around the world.
Christians make up 33% of the world's population but receive 53% of the world's annual income and spend 98% of it on themselves. (Barrett and Johnson 2001, 656)
Each of us can point to the ways that our churches share the Gospel Message. Certainly we all want to see salvation come to those who do not have forgiveness and salvation in Jesus.
Recently our church tried an experiment that is having some success. We decided to approach online communities with basic Christian beliefs. It began when someone asked the question, “How do you make doctrine interesting?” Our eventual answer was, “By making it personal.” We had already felt a drive to try to enter into the vast global internet, but I believed that others were already doing this with more resources and better voices than anything our little church could generate.
I am realizing now that a small voice with short, simple, personal messages, can find an audience. Just as our own churches are valid, regardless of size and resources, so too is the validity of our church’s voice. Each of us, and our congregations, have unique understanding and application of Gospel truth.
We launched a weekly 7 minute video blog called, “It’s Personal” this Fall. The initial Blogcast reached over 15,000 people. About 800 handled the video in some way and almost 200 watched the whole thing. These numbers grow with each weekly blogcast. We also have the opportunity to respond to those who make comments on our Facebook page. It’s a new way to witness – a new way to share faith. It doesn’t have the personal touch I would prefer, and many comments are negative and pugilistic, but it gives the online community the initial anonymity that they seem to desire. Whether or not this leads to salvation or increased Church attendance at our church or any other has yet to be seen. But on the first week we explained basic salvation to 200 people outside of our usual sphere of influence.
I’m including a link to one of our first blogcasts and an invitation to follow us. But more importantly, we are offering to meet with other churches in our region to help you launch your voice. We are learning as we go and we welcome the chance to encourage and share. Perhaps someday we might have a network of churches generating life-giving messages. I also invite pastors and others from our region to guest appearances on our blog with some of your best revelations from God’s word.
Finally I should point out that we’re trying to avoid 7 minute sermons and instead we have members performing written conversations with a narrator, or joint conversations with some scripting. It involves more of us. Perhaps it will involve you too.
Cut and paste (or type) this url to view It’s Personal
Or you can go to our Facebook page; Aurora Hills Church.
Pastor Charlie Clark
Aurora Hills Church