Christians on the Internet and Social Media

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:39 am

I was reading an article recently about how the new place for Evangelism for many Christians in the West was via the internet and social media. It quoted the "hidden' rump of Christians whose whole experience of Christian fellowship was via their computer screen and keyboard.

Rather ironic, when i-church and other organisations have had an active presence on the internet for a lot of years now. I came here in 2008, when exploring being what a newish, Christian Anglican meant.

I can't say that I have much experience of such via the internet, apart from i-church and reading a number of Christian bloggers.

I wonder if there is scope to explore this allegedly new evangelism to see if there is anything that we can share with or learn from them - best practice perhaps?
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:13 am

I can't say I've seen much new either, Ernest : more or less every Christian site I'm involved with has been around for years. However, I've recently come across Heart Church in Nottingham's podcasts. My friend goes to their B&M services with her goddaughter after having followed an Alpha Course held there. I wouldn't have heard of it otherwise. It's the only one that's new to me.
I wish the CofE had more of a presence, actually. There are adverts popping up every time I use my mobile phone, why can't some of them be about Jesus ? Or about events taking place in a local church ? Or about Alpha Courses ? More churches ought to do what Deddington does and livestream services, too. If every cathedral in the country did it and also podcasted sermons, people who were seeking would have a useful, instant resource.That would be one way of evangelising.

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:40 pm

I suspect that many people access podcasts. I have some from Dave Roberts, an Aussie who has a ministry over the internet, although as a Baptist Minister, he also
has access to Baptist and Independent to organize events.

He was at one time a member of i-church, and I have met him several times in RL, once at a Christian New Media Conference and another time, we arranged a meet when I was working down in Portsmouth as he lives in Bournemouth. We are still friends on facebook, but he now writes books and puts out a daily podcast sermon so, active and prolific - he has quite a following.

He has been on preaching tours to the states twice in recent years and a year or so ago, was invited back to Oz for a preaching tour. He survives (he says) on the goodness of others and God's providence. He is truly a nice man, who suffers from short term memory issues due to an accident some years ago, but if you met him, it would be hard to tell. His evangelism, while internet based and digital, still has a RL application with his work in local churches etc.
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Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:03 pm

I remember Dave from St Pixels, but I don't remember him on i-church - maybe it was a very long time ago? He isn't a Baptist Minister, but he is very active in his own online ministry via Facebook, his website and his books.
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Post by Ernest » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:54 am

Hi Caroline.

When I met him, he was considering taking up an appointment with a local Baptist Church that had been offered to him. He decided not to do so at the time, but as far as I understood it, he was qualified as a baptist minister due to his training and experience? I don't know how that works, but the fact that he was considered suitable for such an appointment made me understand that he could actually do that job.
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Post by Joe Parrish » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:51 pm

The Episcopal Church has a big presence on Facebook which you can find by a search; many of us also post comic church posts on High Church Coyote, or Episcopal Memes, or Methodist Memes. Our Diocese (Diocese of New Jersey) and other dioceses have begun Facebook pages which are a bit useful, but tend to be open by request only. Those are beginning to function a bit as an internet church now, for occasional prayer requests and discussions.
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Post by Pam » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:48 pm

Ernest wrote:I was reading an article recently about how the new place for Evangelism for many Christians in the West was via the internet and social media. It quoted the "hidden' rump of Christians whose whole experience of Christian fellowship was via their computer screen and keyboard.
I think theses articles are usually written by someone to whom the idea of evangelism and Christian community online is completely novel. I never cease to be amazed by how little research people seem to do about what's happening before giving their opinions about what should be happening!

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Post by Ernest » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:30 am

You are quite right Pam!

I recall the disbelief on the faces of some at BAP when I did i-church as a presentation. The opinion of those who questioned if i-church could be real church. I had explained that we don't offer the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, rather a forum for Prayer and Worship as a community.

That was in 2012, and it seems that there still remains a surprise among some about the use of Social Media and the Internet in building Christian Communities.

Fresh Expressions in some contexts is disparaged. While I am uncomfortable about some I have heard about, there is also great work going on in so many contexts that are building communities and using the Digital Revolution to communicate, to enthuse and to draw people towards God's word.

I still have a struggle to convince some in our parish that Facebook can be a boon - only half of our parishioners belong to the group that we started a year or so ago, and the rest are happy to be told about, but not dip their toe in.

It needs a change of culture and perhaps new generations joining before we make much progress with that one.
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Post by Caroline » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:20 am

There's a brilliant book about it. :biggrin:
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Post by Joyce » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:13 am

Yep ! I bought it even before there was a :ereader: version.
Agree it's excellent. It covers everything anybody wants to know about this.

There's probably a post from me somewhere grumbling that a new book about the internet wasn't on the internet. :lol: :lol:

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Post by Ernest » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:51 pm

I have three books about Fresh Expressions, a legacy of my LLM Training. Two support it, one gives a critique of it which was quite powerful.

Very helpful when writing Essays and having to voice opinions, and comment on how others see things. And great for referencing. :thumbs:
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Post by Pam » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:50 pm

Joyce wrote: There's probably a post from me somewhere grumbling that a new book about the internet wasn't on the internet. :lol: :lol:
As the author, I had no influence at all over the production of an electronic version! :lolol:

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Post by Joyce » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:45 am

Pam wrote:
Joyce wrote: There's probably a post from me somewhere grumbling that a new book about the internet wasn't on the internet. :lol: :lol:
As the author, I had no influence at all over the production of an electronic version! :lolol:
I know you didn't,but who knows how many readers complained to the publishers ? (cough)

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Post by Ernest » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:14 am

I wonder why it didn't go to an ebook or Kindle?

I have the hard copy and reviewed it at the time. Must revisit amazon and encourage them to put it onto kindle.
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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:17 am

Just looked. There is a Kindle Edition :)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Online-Mission ... 939&sr=1-1
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Post by Joyce » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:38 am

There is now. Has been for a year or two. They didn't put it up until those of us who'd pre-ordered it had bought their print copies though.
It's definitely worth having however one likes to read. I'm not saying that just because it's Pam's.

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Post by Pam » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:22 pm

Thank you, Joyce, your opinion means a lot to me!

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Post by Emle » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:16 pm

Wouldn't part with my copy but I do sometimes leave it nonchalantly lying around on my otherwise empty guest coffee table and smile when I hear it being thumbed through whilst I busy myself with the coffee/tea tray. :whistle: In these parts it is going to take a lot of convincing that an online Church is indeed very real, many are still of the belief that The Church is just a building not The People and I have found not talking about it often stirs up more interest.

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:31 pm

The trouble for me is that I have so many books that I have trouble locating Pam's among the others.

I must did it out and leave it around, perhaps leave it on the coffee tables in Church for a day or so to see the reaction. :bye:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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