When God Appears in a Court Room Drama

According to wikipedia this is a new Christian movie thats based on the book God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty:

Cant help but think it looks like a courtroom drama.

Question. Why does it feature the Newsboys? Is the film actually really based around their song?

But I guess at least it stars Superman.

Is Social Media Gods Tool?

While cleaning out my email inbox, I found this great article from newmediacentreofexcellence.org.uk which looks at recognizing the voice of God through communication:

With modern technology, I believe we are experiencing new ways by which God is speaking to us and to the nations. He doesn’t always speak to us in the way we expect Him to, and sometimes I think that God speaks through Social Media. “What?” I hear you gasp; before mass complaints begin to pour in, allow me explain further.

More often than not, we are caught up in HOW God speaks to us, rather than recognising His voice through whatever tools, avenues or instruments He chooses to use. Remember that tweet your friend sent last week, the one that reminded you about God’s promises? How about that blog article you read, the very one that encouraged you to hold on just a bit longer, of which the result is the testimony you now boldly proclaim?

Learning how to recognise God’s voice takes time and devotion, something that can only be developed by spending time in His presence and by engaging with (not simply being a part of) our environment. Technology has turned communication on its head and is increasingly becoming the avenue of choice for interaction. And yes, since it is God’s intention for no man to perish but for everyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe He uses technology, Social media in particular, to achieve this goal. Can we handle with that notion?

Read the rest over at newmediacentreofexcellence.org.uk

10 Things To Include on your Church Website

*Trigger Warning for Satire*

Earlier on today, I found myself in a conversation about Church websites, and what should really be included on them. Here are the list of things we had that should be included on a church website*:

  1. Make sure you include an in-depth history of the church as well – for new comers.
  2. How long have you had a Church newsletter / magazine for? Include all of them on the website. As scanned in, PDF downloads.
  3. Lots and lots of photos of everyone. Don’t worry about any child / vulnerable person protection policies…
  4. Lots of images are good! Need an image? Google has it!
  5. Have “podcasts” available of your sermons. Don’t worry about having them available from iTunes, as people will come to your site anyway.
  6. A step by step theological guide explaining why your services are structured in the correct manner.
  7. Make sure you include a photo of the smiling lead minister and his / her smiling family.
  8. Flash animations. They look pretty.
  9. Blessed with creative musicians? Include their tunes on the website. Have the tunes playing automatically as the website loads.
  10. Ensure you include input from everyone you know within the church. After all, the church is a group of people – they must all have a say in the website. Right?

Is there anything we’ve missed out?

Please bear in mind we are not experts and some of this advice may be well out.

Update – Some extra suggestions from Twitter:

  1. Include directions from 50 miles away in every direction. After all, visitors may not know where your city is. (@gods_toddler)
  2. And ensure the “Latest News” section and “Forthcoming Events” are months out of date. (@grahamsoton72)
  3. And don’t put in service times – after all, churches all have their services at the same time (@grahamsoton72)
  4. Include only your church name on the website. Don’t include your city, state, or country unless it is a part of the name. (@MrChurchGuy)
  5. “To view the information on this page, first please enter your email address here” (@edaross)
  6. Don’t standardize design across pages. (@ubinam_rosarium)

Anymore?

 

Will You be My Facebook Friend?

A couple of months ago I came across a book from the well known Christian Author Tim Chester called “Will You be My Facebook Friend?”. While I read it hoping it to be a useful tool in engaging with todays internet culture, I found something I felt was a little negative about the use of social media.

Church-Sign-TwitterWhilst I haven’t got round to writing a sensible response to the book, Tanya from The Thorns and Gold blog has a fantastic response to a blog series from Tim:

Tim Chester, a Christian author I respect a great deal, has recently written a blog series on the dangers of Facebook. In one post, he wrote this:

Facebook encourages you to live elsewhere. The gospel encourages you to live life here and now.
You can tend your Farmville farm or you can get an allotment.

You can catch up with friends on Facebook or you can go out on a cold, dark night to see real friends…

You can build a new city on Sims or you can be the city of God set on a hill with your Christian community.”

Is he right? Is Facebook opposed to the gospel?

I know where he’s coming from: there is a great temptation to spend time online. It can be more attractive, particularly to introverts, to withdraw from physical social interaction and correspond with friends by computer. Because of the ‘false safety’ of the medium, there is a temptation to say online what you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. This can lead to online bullying or promote an accelerated intimacy which can spark affairs.

To his credit, Tim Chester really lives out what he speaks and is known for being a leader of a church community that genuinely seeks to share their lives with each other. I think this is commendable, and a challenge to the majority of us who don’t make the effort to engage in true Christian community. I deeply respect him for this.

However, I would like to challenge his claims. Like many others, he falls into the false dichotomy of online and ‘real’ relationships

Read the rest over at  tanyamarlow.com