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Launch of New Online Tool for Church Websites

Contact: Tony Whittaker, Coordinator, Internet Evangelism Day, +44-1283-702334 (UK office hours), office@InternetEvangelismDay.com; or Internet Evangelism Coalition, Billy Graham Center, 630-752-5156

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- "Does your church's website communicate to outsiders as well as to the members?" asks a new web resource. A church site is the congregation's 'shop window' to its community. To fulfill this function well, it must be enticing, people-centered and easily understood by outsiders. Unfortunately, many churches are unsure how to achieve this vital mix.

So the Internet Evangelism Day team has just launched an online self-assessment tool. It leads a church through a series of questions, to highlight areas of their website which may need development:

"I think it will be very helpful to churches," comments Gene Anderson of Resurrection Lutheran Church, California.

A church site which has been prioritized for non-Christian visitors can be remarkably effective in reaching the community. "Week in, week out, more visitors turn up at our church on a Sunday because of the website, than anything else," writes one growing church in London UK using these principles.

The Internet Evangelism Day ('IE Day') website also explains other types of online evangelism, such as outreach sites, video clips, blogging and podcasts. There is even a free 'conversation starter' screen-saver to download.

Church Focus Day Increases Awareness

The IE Day team also encourages churches and other groups around the world to hold their own 'web awareness' focus day on (or near) 29 April 2007. The IE Day site provides downloadable video clips, drama sketches, posters, handouts and a PowerPoint presentation, making it easy for any church to create its own 'IE Day' program. This can as brief as a 2-minute spot within a worship time, or an entire themed church service, seminar, or midweek meeting.

Churches that have already held their own focus day are enthusiastic. "It was a real eye-opener for many," writes one in Muncie, Indiana. "We held a midweek evening presentation of 90 minutes, for other local churches," says another from Dawlish UK.

A Canadian church leader comments, "I used a 10-minute presentation that focused on how anyone can get involved in reaching out to the Internet community. I also added a section on using our church website as an evangelism tool, as some of our members have already had great success with it."

IE Day is supported by a wide range of Christian leaders. "I am glad to commend Internet Evangelism Day,” says John Stott.

Internet Evangelism Day is an initiative of the Internet Evangelism Coalition, an umbrella group of major interdenominational Christian groups involved in Web ministry. IE Day's purpose is to explain to the worldwide church the potential of the Web for effective proclamation of the Christian Good News by:
- a detailed resource website
- encouraging churches and other groups to hold an annual web awareness focus day

Interviews available: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/publicity 
Photos available: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/photos 
Recommended photo for this item: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/churchphoto 
Additional articles - ready-made material: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/articles
Leaders supporting IE Day: www.InternetEvangelismDay.com/supporting