The Great Omission – Seven Reasons #1

“It appears the Church ceded the world “wild” web to the Evil One long ago. And, no, potluck details, Home Bible Studies and “Men’s Saturday Prayer Breakfasts” do not count as reaching the Lost online. They need a spiritual Life-Line to the Savior.”

(Quote from Our Passion at TheaXiomNetwork.com) The “Great Omission”

One of the most puzzling things to me about the U.S. Church today is the absence of the Gospel online. With literally hundreds of thousands of Churches in the U.S., most having websites today, how is it possible that only a small handful actually make the path to Eternal Life available for their site visitors?

Did we miss the conclave where it was decided that Salvation would not be offered to the millions who search weekly for spiritual answers on the web? Why is the absence of God’s Plan so consistent across hundreds of thousands of Church websites? Is there a better answer? If Seekers aren’t finding spiritual help on Church websites where would we recommend they look? More importantly, moving forward, there is a small, passionate group of us who want to see the Church make a “180” and reverse this reality. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it is critical I believe. Why don’t you have the gospel on your Church website? (Am I assuming incorrectly?)

You believe the Gospel or you probably wouldn’t be reading this. You believe others need the Gospel. But, do you implicitly or explicitly insist the Seeker has to come to your Church service to get Saved? Is that the criteria? Folks can only be saved in a Church? Where else could they be confronted with the claims of the Savior besides Sunday morning at 11 o’clock? Why not the “world wild web”? Why not make it available on your Church website. Why not start today!? I have included seven reasons every Gospel believing church must have the Gospel on their website.

There are others but I hope seven is enough to convince the pastor whose heart is sensitive to the Spirit to claim the internet for the Savior and make eternal life available to their Church, their community and the world.

Graphics & Your Online Gospel

Graphics play a critical role in your online Gospel presentation today more than ever. People want and expect images/videos to elucidate any content they’re consuming online. Whether our desire for relevant graphics is why YouTubeTM has become so popular or because that and similar sites have caused us to expect images we’ll have to leave to social scientists.

Graphics & Your Online Gospel

At TheaXiomNetork we include lots of professional graphics in our God’s Plan Gospel Template in the form of still images and videos. We believe it captures user attention and helps engage his or her senses in the overall experience of learning more about “God’s Plan”.
One of the great things about having colorful graphics on your Online Gospel Page is seen above. These are actually photos of the Christmas “Header Video” on the TV in our break room. The idea is pretty straightforward. Our graphics professionals design our videos and we think they do a pretty good job of catching the casual passers-by attention when seen on TVs or computers.
Once you’ve added images or video to your online Gospel page you can encourage members to use your Gospel presentation in many different settings.
How to optimize your graphics for interest
Just open your browser on your Smart TV, go to your Church’s website and let your header video scroll through. Set it so it repeats automatically as people sit around during Christmas parties for believers and unbelieving neighbors, family and others. It will almost certainly spark conversation and possibly the opportunity to share the Gospel and if done well, is as pleasant in the background as any rotating wall-hanging.
Graphics need to be subtle, colorful and send a message without preaching. They should tease the viewer to pique their interest without manipulating.
Interesting graphics are almost guaranteed to spark interest by one or more people with the hope they enquire what it is. With your Church name and tagline  (many Churches use their Pastor’s name instead) you can, if or when the time is right, simply scroll down the screen with the remote and the Gospel is right there on the screen to be shared.
Impact of Church members
Now, imagine dozens or even hundreds of families in your Church showing this on their Smart TV’s in the background during the holidays or year roundImagine the potential interest by the curious at parties, Bible studies, ladies coffees, men’s break time, Church monitors in common areas, classrooms, before morning services on the “worship wall” and any place in Church and home that can access the web.
Small business owners can display it on the monitors in their various waiting rooms if desired. As pastor, just inform your members the Gospel is available and many of them will come up with creative uses.
Its all about making the Gospel readily accessible; all with your Church name displayed. Suddenly, your Church website isn’t a passive source of information but a potentially transformative tool to be used by members and the Holy Spirit.
Obviously, your Header Video will need to change to reflect the season. But, your Church name, beautiful graphics, the Gospel and a built in opportunity for your members to share when able can be used to draw people to Christ.
Feel free to refer to our God’s Plan Gospel Template as you design your own graphics for your ministry during the holidays. You can watch it here as well as the link in the Navigation bar across the top of our home page at www.theaxiomnetwork.com.
Be sure to remind people from the pulpit or in the bulletin that now they can use your Church’s website in their ministry 24/7/365!
* Please note, many images today must be purchased for public use. Let me know if you’d like a few suggestions where to find free and not free images online.
** Don’t be too upset if after all your hard work and expense (especially if you hire a professional) that your beautiful header video on your phone displays as a single image only. Phones don’t usually launch videos without a “Start” button.
You can store your video on your own server if allowed or for free on YouTube  once you have set up an account. It’s fairly straightforward and there are lots of helps online to get you started.
Finally, please send us pics and stories about how your Church was able to use the graphics on your Online Gospel page. (We assume the right to freely brag about how you use them – with credit of course.)
In Him and for His sake alone,
Rev. Don Walley, Director
TheaXiomNetwork
 
Next time: Stay tuned…
From the Home page of TheaXiomNetwork:
“It’s a simple question, really. If Jesus owned your website would He include the Gospel?”
The Axiom Network: Changing Hearts,
Growing Churches, Transforming the Web
If you’d like more information how TheaXiomNetwork can help you
create a customized, online evangelism ministry in less than 5 minutes visit:

 

Silent Sentinel

Greetings in the Lord. Today I wanted to briefly talk about something that at first may seem discouraging for you and your evangelism team. But, like most seemingly negative things a “silver lining” can be found.

What If Someone Completes Your ODC but…

How exciting to have someone respond to your online Gospel. It may have been awhile if your Church is like most. But, with a Gospel page on your site at least you have provided the Spirit with a tool to use. And, it’s always exciting to be used by the Spirit of God.
What if someone completes your ODC (Online Decision Card) but doesn’t acknowledge putting their faith in Christ…yet. That can be discouraging unless we take the long view and realize that most of us had questions before putting our faith in Christ.
They inform you they have a question about…well, anything. And, this is where a prayerful knowledge of other subjects can come in handy.
I’m not suggesting that knowledge alone is adequate for spiritual combat. But, being informed and able to engage the questioner about issues they might be struggling with can ease their anxiety about eventually putting their faith in Christ and trusting you while not seeing you as a “holy” person and unreachable.
A Small Step of Faith
There really is no such a thing as a “bad” question assuming it’s sincere. At least they’ve shown interest. For most that alone can be very difficult and a real display of faith in you and safety in the Savior we hope they will soon fall in love with.
Their questions could rank in “Gospel relevance” from the obscene and absurd to the erudite and sublime. It’s not a matter of “if” but rather “when” someone writes or asks something offensive, hurtful, rude or even blasphemous. Some will try to “push your buttons” and anger you or cause you to become defensive.
Most will be sincere. Few people would make the effort to dialog with someone for very long in order to insult or offend. They usually move on to those who will engage with them.
The lower relevance question could be a simple question about your Church or the service times or a comment that their aunt use to attend your Church. It could be about anything.
A most relevant question to the Gospel might be “Is Christ really the only way to heaven?”, “How is it possible that good people don’t automatically go to heaven but sometimes bad people do?”
These types of questions mostly require a reasonable understanding and sincere response of Biblical theology along with relevant verses with clear explanations.
A question a step closer to a decision for Christ might be what does your Church believe about…? And, here’s where it can get pretty far down into the weeds.
A Biblical Approach to Guiding the Conversation
As Paul was able to engage pagans on Mars Hill (Acts 17) so we should be able to bridge topics and issues they think are relevant to faith to the Gospel. No one can be an expert on everything or even a few things. Even most “experts” will tell you they don’t know everything about a topic.
Still, are you, or the designated person to do follow up with seekers, able to answer questions about opioids, border crossings, sex outside of marriage, abortion, etc.? People today struggle with issues never dreamed of in the past and it can make a big difference to someone if you have Biblical answers. They may not like your answer but at least you’ve shown you understand.
During seminary I was occasionally a phone counselor for Billy Graham Crusades. We were provided very helpful materials to study to help those seeking answers. We were never expected to give a “canned” answer but to use our knowledge to interact sincerely and helpfully. They have helped shape my life and ministry for decades now.
Of course, the goal is always to gently guide the discussion back to the Gospel. While none of these questions suggest a decision has been made to trust Christ neither can we discount them as off topic. They have shown interest and in similar fashion, it’s how we started our own spiritual journey to salvation.
The enquirer may be testing to see if the response they receive is from someone who seems kind, compassionate and loving or “preachy” and authoritarian. They may have had a bad experience that turned them away from a Church in their past. Of course, we can’t “fix” issues everyone is struggling with but we can show compassion and empathy.
It’s entirely possible they’re looking for a Church home they can be proud to be a part of and attend with their family and make friends. Whatever their motivation at this point at least they haven’t said “No to Christ!”
This is a critical juncture when dealing with someone you’ve never met but only interacted with by phone or email. It’s often more difficult to express warmth For this reason it’s important to have someone “seasoned” and trained in evangelism in your Church. Of course, it may very well be you as Pastor at first. (We’ll talk about building an “in-house evangelism team soon.)
Please REPLY to my email below. I welcome all comments especially those from your own experience and ways you’ve dealt with issues mentioned above. By doing so I assume you are giving permission to share with others.
Rev. Don Walley, Director
TheaXiomNetwork
 
Next time: Scenario 3: A Seeker Completes Your ODC to Inform You That They Have Put Their Faith in Christ.

 

From the Home page of TheaXiomNetwork:
“Humanly speaking, which version of your Church’s website do you think the Holy Spirit would most likely use to carry out His salvific ministry; the version with the Gospel or the version without?”
The Axiom Network: Changing Hearts,
Growing Churches, Transforming the Web
If you’d like more information how TheaXiomNetwork can help you
create a customized, online evangelism ministry in less than 5 minutes visit:

 

Someone Reads Your Online Gospel but They Don’t Complete…

What if someone visits your site but they don’t complete your ODC?

As a young Christian at a large, secular university I was very involved in a great campus ministry. Part of our discipleship training included sharing the Gospel with others. Despite being in the “Bible Belt” our message was often rejected. Our campus director reminded us the Scripture approach to evangelism was to “share the Gospel in the power and name of Jesus Christ and trust God to bear the fruit!”.
Imagine this scenario: A person visits your website, reads your Gospel page but doesn’t complete the ODC (Online Decision Card).
You may not know whether they made a decision for Christ but at any rate opted not to complete the ODC. Let me say here, it’s not if but when this happens. You may not know about their decision for Christ until we stand before the Savior someday. While it may be discouraging not to see “fruit” from your online Gospel message. It’s important however, to remember God, in His wisdom doesn’t always allow us to see the fruit of our labors. But, with an ODC (Online Decision Card) you have done your best to allow others to inform you of their decision.
You may never know unless they visit your Church and inform you of their decision. This can seem pretty discouraging for some Church leaders who value their Gospel presentation and believe it’s an important part of their evangelistic strategy for their Church. And, they earnestly pray for those who will visit their Gospel page.
It’s tempting to get discouraged but we have to remember that we can at least take comfort knowing your online ministry has provided a means for Seekers to be exposed to the Gospel…and assume the Holy Spirit is moving as He desires. I encourage you to adopt the same philosophy we used on campus. You are being faithful and can trust God is using the Gospel on your site as He sees appropriate.
Pray in the spirit as Isaiah spoke, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Take away: Share the Gospel (online) in faith and leave the results to God.
For His Glory Alone,
Rev. Don Walley, Director
TheaXiomNetwork
 
Next time: A Silver Lining…
From the Home page of TheaXiomNetwork:
“Which version of your website do you think the Holy Spirit is more likely to use in His salvific ministry; the version without or the one with the Gospel?
The Axiom Network: Changing Hearts,
Growing Churches, Transforming the Web
If you’d like more information how TheaXiomNetwork can help you
create a customized, online evangelism ministry in less than 5 minutes visit:

The Online Gospel as Silent Sentinel

Today anyone who is considering visiting your Church will first go to your website. Wouldn’t you? Get your Church website ready to welcome folks from your Community for the upcoming holidays. Now is the perfect time to add the Gospel to your site so those visiting your Church will see your heart for the Savior and your love for them.

The most obvious benefit of adding the Gospel to your website is that it resides there 24/7/365 and allows the Holy Spirit to lead others there to confront them with the Gospel and their need to put their faith in Christ.
Most likely the unbelieving visitor last Sunday will visit your Church website during the week to learn more about your ministry and upon discovering the  Gospel learns how they can come to Salvation. Would a teenager or member on the verge of some life changing decision, good or bad, land on your Gospel page and find Christ there waiting for him or her?
What scenarios can you imagine that the Holy Spirit could use if your Gospel page was available around the world and around the clock? And, of course, what if it’s not available.
Rev. Don Walley, Director
TheaXiomNetwork
Next time: What makes up a good online Gospel presentation?
From the Home page of TheaXiomNetwork:
“Humanly speaking, which version of your website do you think the Holy Spirit is more likely to use to advance His salvific ministry; the version without the Gospel or the version with; the one before you’ve added the Gospel or after? Which would you rather Him use?”
The Axiom Network: Changing Hearts,
Growing Churches, Transforming the Web
If you’d like more information how TheaXiomNetwork can help you
create a customized, online evangelism ministry in less than 5 minutes visit:

What Should A Church Site Gospel Presentation Look Like?

What goes into a good Gospel presentation, especially one for the web? We’ll look at a few important components but one in particular needs to be pointed out.

What a Good Gospel Page Must Include

A good Gospel presentation must be first and foremost, Biblical. It must be true to the revelation in the New Testament. It must be clear and understandable to the average adult reader meaning roughly 4th or 5th grade.
While thousands of scholarly volumes have been written on every aspect of salvation and the Gospel in particular this is not the time or place to try to razzle-dazzle those who visit your site with scholarly erudition. They need the Gospel clear and unadulterated; not the finer points of theology or highlights about your denomination.
It must include references to Scripture as evidence it’s not of man but God. And those verses will probably require some interpretation and application although in this case sometimes “less is more”. It has always surprised me that we are somehow convinced that a modern Scripture version can’t be understood on its own.
Of course, some terms may need clarification but when possible trust God’s Word and Spirit to work the miracle. Remember, in most cases those who visit your Gospel page will not be part of a Church and may not know the language and terms you and I might easily toss around in a conversation about spiritual matters.
And, today, more than ever it should include attractive and relevant images. Photographs communicate in a way words cannot and can clarify many points being made. Videos are nice to have but not everyone can access videos, especially on their cellphones.
Making Your Online Gospel Usable (and Reusable)
But, after all these elements are included there’s at least one more than needs to be included; namely, a form to allow the visitor to engage with the Church and provide as much or as little Contact information as they want. Having volunteered with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association several times in the past we routinely passed out 4″x6″ Decision Cards at the end of a live crusade to those who wanted to let us know they had made a decision for Christ.
Online it’s important to have something similar on your Gospel page. Here at TheaXiomNetwork we refer to it as an “ODC” or Online Decision Card. It allows the Seeker to inform the Church of their decision or let the Church know they have a question along with any contact information they want to include.
These are just a few ideas I believe will serve  your ministry well. If you have any questions about this topic or anything else don’t hesitate to send an email to my address below my signature. It would be a privilege to hear your suggestions and ideas.
Rev. Don Walley, Director
TheaXiomNetwork
 
Next time: What if someone visits your site but they don’t complete your ODC?
From the Home page of TheaXiomNetwork:
“Not since Gutenberg has the command to, ‘Go into (all) the world…’ been so close to a reality; that for the first time since the Fall making the Message of Eternal Life available throughout the world is now possible. Soli Deo Gloria.”
The Axiom Network: Changing Hearts,
Growing Churches, Transforming the Web
If you’d like more information how TheaXiomNetwork can help you
create a customized, online evangelism ministry in less than 5 minutes visit:

 

It’s What Leaders Do – Seven Reasons

It’s What Leaders Do

I wrote an essay for an affiliate organization about leadership to encourage Churches to see the Internet as one of God’s greatest gifts since Pentecost. It was intended as a challenge to Pastors of smaller Churches who often have limited resources and don’t feel they can have an effective online ministry. My point was that while no Church can do everything, every Church can do something.

And, getting their ministry online is a critical first step to growing their Church and fulfilling The Great Commission. Where would you tell your members to go to find the Gospel to share with others? Why not your own website? Seven Reasons Your Church Needs the Gospel on Its Website 10 | P a g e © 2018 – TheaXiomNetwork.com Are you the leader your organization needs? I’ve pondered for years what I believe is the most profound definition of a leader.

It says, “A leader is someone who stands in the future and beckons us to join him!” Wait…read that again! Isn’t that amazing? And, they are amazing people to watch, to be around and to minister with. Are you that type of leader in your organization? Do you have such a grasp of where your Church or Organization should go that you are living it right now.

As you look around you see the colors, experience the tastes and enjoy the smells which for you are obvious but for others are only murky, risky and scary. The best most can do is wonder why you would jeopardize so much or what’s wrong with the status quo? Your job then is to instill confidence, motivate action and clear the path so others can join you.

As a leader in the Kingdom there is absolutely no question that the world “wild” web must be a critical component of any ministry for it to stay relevant much less grow and thrive in the future. You know too much darkness resides there and too little of the Body of Church is creatively invested. In your mind the Church of Jesus Christ must, by faith, claim for Him the greatest technical breakthrough since Gutenberg or, humanly speaking, both the present and future of the Church could be at stake.

The question left to answer on an individual level is, what is the fastest, easiest and most effective way to clear the path so others can join you? Stand in the future with the Online Gospel and beckon others to join you in reaching your world for Christ. If you have a vision and communicate it clearly and often others will join you. Please contact us with your questions, comments and suggestions. We welcome them all.

It Can Transform the Web – Seven Reasons

It Can Transform the Web

The Internet, or as we refer to it sometimes, The World “Wild” Web is a very big place. And, it’s safe to say that adding the Gospel to your website won’t upset the secular, even demonic, equilibrium that now seems to reign there. Our rough estimate is that currently less than 5% of evangelical Churches have the Gospel on their sites; hardly the numbers necessary to reshape the Internet in Christ’s image.

Seven Reasons Your Church Needs the Gospel on Its Website.

TheaXiomNetwork.com On October 30, 2009 the Internet celebrated its 40th birthday. From its very humble beginnings, humble by today’s standards, it is estimated the web will grow over twenty times its current size! It is impossible to imagine that amount of data being accessible by most of the world’s population in such a short time.

But, like all good actions in life, it’s never too late to start! When I think about the numbers necessary to truly set the web on fire with the Gospel I think about a now familiar story. It’s been told from the perspective of kids, soldiers and even a retired Wall Street stock broker. One day, while walking down the beach two people observed thousands of starfish stranded on the beach.

One fellow picked one up and threw it back into the sea. The other guy said, “Why are you troubling yourself with throwing one back into the water. Does it really matter? The other guy responded, “Well, it matters to this one!” I know every Lost and Saved soul matters to you. That’s part of the joy and the burden of your ministry. I want to stress that having the Gospel on your Church’s website can make a difference.

Yes, it does matter and it matters today! Given the resources of the Holy Spirit I also believe the smallest, seemingly inconsequential tool can be used to make the Web a better, more hospitable place for saint and sinner alike and change millions of lives if only one at a time. The question remains…why wouldn’t you add the Gospel to your Church’s website?

You Owe It To Yourself (and others) – Seven Reasons #6

You Owe It to Yourself (and others)

Who but the Spirit of God knows whether you could have come to Salvation in a different time, place or manner? I’ve always tended to think that the proclamation “today is the day of salvation” notwithstanding, that my personal moment of receiving Salvation was no sooner, no later and no different than it should have been.

I remember the days immediately following my conversion in college. I told several friends about my new-found faith. Their response was, “Oh, I know all about that, I became a Christian years ago”. My response was, “Well why didn’t you tell me this before?” In the same way, how would someone who accepted Christ through another Church’s website feel if years later they visited your Church services and heard the Gospel?

They might feel a bit like I did…”why didn’t you tell me this before when I visited your Website?” Now, imagine today was the day you would be saved. And, you providentially “stumbled” upon the very website of the Church where you’re now a leader. If you were seeking how to be saved from sin would you be able to find it?

Would you be expected to first visit the Church where you might hear the Gospel or find a tract? Or, visit another Church’s website that did provide the Gospel? And, if a person does receive Christ through your website and lives reasonably close to your Church where are they most likely to visit…and join?

Use By Members – Seven Reasons #5

“Humanly speaking, which version of your website do you sincerely believe the Spirit is more likely to use in His salvific ministry; the version with the Gospel or the version without? Of course, it’s entirely possible He could use your potluck dinner information to somehow bring Seekers to Christ but why limit His ministry to that when bringing the Lost to salvation is His desire?”

Use by Members

If you’re reading this chances are your Church believes, and you probably preach and teach to leaders and members alike, how important spreading the Gospel is. So, what better way to exemplify your sincerity and commitment to world outreach than to add the Gospel to your Church website? People, members and others, are inclined to do what their pastors and leaders “do” more than simply what we say.

It seems instinctual to us to place more trust in those who have gone before and shown us that what we’re asking of them only what we’re willing to do ourselves. By placing the Gospel on your Church website you and your ministry leaders are saying to members that “we are taking a public stand for the Gospel” and broadcasting it to our community and to the ends of the earth. How many times have you communicated with your membership the importance of sharing their faith?

You have developed brilliant strategies that you were sure would work and yet you don’t see much response. It’s not that your most faithful members aren’t willing but who doesn’t fear misquoting a critical verse during their discussion? Who walks around with a Gospel tract in their pocket? Do you? I don’t!

And, few pastors that we know do. Perhaps, one way to encourage them, and yourself, to share more readily and naturally, is by posting the Gospel on your website where it’s available 24/7/365 when your members need it and have the opportunity to share it with family, friends and coworkers. Or, at a minimum, they can refer others to your Church website Gospel page. (There are several more suggestions how you, your leaders and members can use your Online Gospel Page in our Email sequence.) After all, many of those who are likely to share are probably around computers on a regular basis. Who aren’t these days?

How great would it be if all they had to do was go to their own Church’s website where they would find a Gospel presentation available and help a family member or friend understand God’s path to Eternal Life. Seven Reasons Your Church Needs the Gospel on Its Website 8 | P a g e © 2018 – TheaXiomNetwork.com Imagine the Gospel online anywhere and everywhere you or your members have online access.

They’re able to share during lunch at work, when they visit relatives during the holidays, even leaving it on the desktop for the next patron to read after they use the computer at their local library. Still, why wouldn’t you add the Gospel to your Church’s website?