Archive for April, 2006
World Video Bible School (www.wvbs.org) has begun distributing a new DVD developed for evangelism. “Searching for Truth” contains six lessons, each less than one hour long. The topics presented include; The Truth, About The Creator, About Authority, About The Church, About The House of God, and About Baptism. Each of these videos is professionally shot and edited and each presents a powerful message about Christianity.
In a day where getting into someone’s home to teach them the gospel is getting (in many ways) harder and harder, this tool could be a tremendous help. First, DVDs and CD-ROMs create a natural curiosity. With the exception of the dozens of AOL free trial CDs people receive each year, people want to know what is on them. Curiosity can be a powerful ally in this situation. Second, it allows people to explore these issues on their own terms, when they want to. When they are all alone with no outside pressure, they may be much more open to the ideas being presented. Third, these new disks create an easy way for members to share the message – just hand out a DVD. In a time when many members of the church feel unprepared to try to teach the gospel, now they have a tool that can help them get the job done.
The disks are $15.00 each when bought individuallly, but will be sold to churches in bulk for $1 each. According to WVBS, they have sent more than 30,000 of these DVDs out since the first of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about these disks on their website, but got a fast response to an e-mail inquiry that I sent to them. Give them a call or shoot them an e-mail for more information on this new tool.
I am in the middle of reading a new book by Will Richardson, entitled “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Web Tools for Educators.” Now that title is a mouthful! While this book is written primarily for educators, I think it can have great application for the church as well. After all – isn’t the church supposed to be about teaching (Matthew 28:18-20)? The book explains in detail how weblogs, wikis and other technologies can be employed to make learning more dynamic and effective. Some of these terms may well sound strange and unfamiliar, but these tools are changing the way people communicate and learn. Imagine making Bible class curriculum available online for parents to use during the week with their children and even provide feedback to the teachers. Or maybe an adult class can post information about a book that is being discussed and various members of the class can contribute to the conversation. Imagine a ministry team using the internet to hold meetings and continue feedback even though the team members live all over town. There are dozens of possibilities. I will post more as I finish my reading.
Now you can listen to BVBID chapel sermons, presentations and seminars through Apple’s iTunes music software.
The Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver is now “podcasting” its Chapel services through Apple’s iTunes (or any other “podcatching” software (such as iPodder, etc.). Simply download the free software (for both PC and Mac computers) from Apple’s website (www.apple.com) and search under PODCASTS for BVBID. Once located, you can subscribe to the audio program free of charge. Then, each time you start iTunes, the software will automatically check for the latest program and download it for you. Once downloaded, you can listen to it on your computer anytime, or sync it with your portable MP3 player and listen on the go. You don’t have to keep checking to see if you have the newest files, the software does it for you.
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is a word that has been coined by combining “iPod,” Apple’s brand name of portable MP3 audio player, with “broadcasting.” Unfortunately, this term suggests that you need an iPod to subscribe and listen to podcasts which you don’t! Any computer with the right software can subscribe to and play podcasts! Many people are equating podcasting with TiVO, only for radio rather than television. This technology puts you in control of what you listen to, when and where.
What will we be podcasting?
BVBID plans to podcast most sermons, special events and presentations held in chapel. Occasionally we plan to podcast Bible classes taught by our faculty and staff. As time goes on we may plan to do more and more with this technology. If you have any questions about this technology please fell free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THINK is a new magazine published by Focus Press (www.focuspress.org). I have just read the March and April issues and let me tell you that the publication lives up to its name. The articles are very well written and the magazine is attractively designed and easy to read. This new work is edited by Jim Palmer and Brad Harrub, Ph.D. Brother Harrub holds his Ph.D. in Neurobiology and does a considerable amount of speaking and writing on Christian Evidences.
This magazine is full of insightful articles that are both thought provoking and relevant. The writing covered a variety of topics and dealt with issues for men, women, and college age Christians as well. This magazine will help strengthen your spiritual life and give you plenty of food for thought. This new pub is the work of the Woodson Chapel church of Christ, in Nashville, TN. (http://www.woodsonchapel.com/). Check it out.
Ever head out on vacation and wonder if there is a congregation of the Lord’s church near where you will be staying? Are you considering moving to a new city and need to find a congregation there for your family to attend? ChuchZip may be the place to start. Simply type a zip code into the ChurchZip website, select a radius (from 10 miles to 1000 miles) and the site will give you a list of congregations within that radius. It is that simple. The listings will give you the location, the size and even a link to their website (if they have one). While ChurchZip cannot tell you about the soundness of each congregation, it can give you a place to start the next time you need to find the church in an unfamiliar place. ChurchZip is not new, but many people may not be familiar with it. You can find ChurchZip at www.churchzip.com. Check it out.