Daily Archives: 2009/05/24

1) Asia Scripture Engagement Forum

scripture_engagementThe day after the Worldwide Scripture Engagement Consultation in Melaka, Malaysia, there are plans for an Asia Scripture Engagement Forum.  This is an opportunity for Scripture Engagement practitioners working in Asia to talk with each other about their own contexts and how to provide access to Scriptures, create a climate favorable for Scripture use, and facilitate encounters with the Scriptures. Desired outcomes for Asia SE Forum:

  • Strong motivation, encouragement, and enthusiasm of SE practitioners in Asia
  • Foundation for a multi-organizational community of SE practitioners in Asia
  • Joint action plans focused on SE in Asia.

It’s all slated for Friday October 9, 2009, 8:30am-5pm (Note: You must sign up before August 1, 2009). You’ve got plenty of time, but you’ll need to act in the next 10 days.

http://www.scripture-engagement.org/content/asia-scripture-engagement-forum

2) Find a Bible — Quick-like…

forum_of_bible_agenciesThe Forum of Bible Agencies International recently announced the launch of Find A Bible, an innovative and interactive website that gives easy access to Scriptures in more than 3,000 languages.  According to the release, the Find A Bible site

 http://www.findabible.net

provides the most comprehensive and current database of Bibles and portions in majority and minority languages available. “Through Find A Bible,” it explains, “users now have a single place to search, download, view, or listen to these Bibles through links to Forum member agency websites.” The Forum of Bible Agencies International is an alliance of more than 25 leading international Bible Agencies and other missions organizations with a shared vision: “working together to maximize the worldwide access and impact of God’s Word.” For a list of Forum members, point your browser to…

http://www.forum-intl.net

3) What are your values for Getting the Word Out via email?

ezineI recently came across this “top ten list” from iContact.com regarding getting the word out via email. They suggested that organizations need to… 

  • #10 Build Your List at Every Opportunity You Have
  • #9 Avoid Excess Punctuation or Capitalization — “Don’t use ALL CAPS or multiple exclamation marks within your subject line or body. Doing this will trigger spam filters.” Oops. Warning: reformatting of Brigada Today is coming your way.
  • #8 Include Plain Text and HTML Emails — If you don’t include a plain text message, around 5% of your recipients will see a message with nothing in it.
  • #7 Familiarity Encourages Open — Make the From Name for your messages either your company name or the name of a person at your company. Once you choose a From Name, keep it consistent. In the split second where subscribers decide whether to open your email, the most important factor in their decision is whether the From Name is familiar to them or not.
  • #6 Add a Note About Deliverability — To improve message deliverability, add a message at the top of your emails that says something like: “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add somethingatyourcompanydotcom to your Address Book.”
  • #5 Be Consistent With Your Sending Frequency — Pick a schedule. Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, stick to it as often as you can. This way, your customers will come to expect and anticipate your organization’s communications. Oops. Guilty again. :-)
  • #4 Timing is Key with Business to Business Communication — In most cases it is best to send business to business emails Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found that the best times of the day to send are just after the start of the day or just after lunch. It is best to avoid sending business to business emails after 4:00pm or on weekends.
  • #3 Timing is Key with Business to Consumer Communication — According to iContact, in most cases it is best to send business to consumer emails either between 5:00pm and 8:00pm Tuesday through Thursday, or between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
  • #2 Only Include Relevant Content — Only send content relevant to the recipient. This can take many forms including content on a relevant topic, offers of a discount off a product related to one purchased previously, and so on. By being relevant, people will allow you to continue to contact them.
  • #1 Only Send Emails to Persons Who Have Requested to Receive Them — Unsolicited email is, of course, called spam. Sending spam will ruin any legitimate organization’s reputation and brand value quickly. Rule number one of becoming an intelligent email marketer is never to send unsolicited email.

So there you have it. Any additional values or warnings? If so, just click “comment” below.

4) Web Evangelism Conferences

ieday-poster-150x150In USA, the new Christian Web Conference is the successor to the Internet Ministry Conference, and will be held 11-12 September at Biola University: 

http://www.christianwebconference.com/

There will be a two-hour internet evangelism module in Spanish each day within the COICOM Argentina conference 26-29 August 2009.

http://www.coicom.grid.agathongroup.com/cgr09/index.php

Other  web ministry conferences and video recordings of sessions from previous conferences are available at:

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/events.php

5) Are Orgs & Churches Behind in Using Webcams?

tokbox_logoA missionary colleague of mine was recently lamenting that churches and missionary agencies seem to be lagging behind in their use of video links with their missionaries. Do you agree or disagree? He pointed to easy-to-use tools, some of which have been referenced previously here in Brigada. Of course, the most well-known tool is Skype. However, as my friend pointed out, Skype requires a download. There are other sites like 

http://www.tokbox.com/

which do not. Tokbox is free, like Skype, but doesn’t offer a connection to the public telephone grid (“Skype out”). At the same time, Tokbox remarkably allows you to add as many video conference connections as your internet bandwidth will allow, all completely free. And for what it’s worth, it embeds in Facebook and — Twitter. (Call me old-fashioned, but I still can’t bring myself to try Twitter. I keep wondering why anyone would ever care?)

As in all web tools, please remember to exercise caution regarding security. TokBox apparently has *no* security features whatsoever. Let the user beware. For users that can’t or won’t use a VPN, maybe Skype is a better option?

How ’bout you? Do you think we’re behind on this stuff? Any comments on TokBox’s lack of security or privacy? To comment, just click “Comment” below…

6) Creating National Networks for Digital Evangelism

ieday-poster-150x150Internet Evangelism Day and Guide Network have produced a page explaining the strategic value of national or regional networks, which link digital evangelists together, along with other media and mission agencies on the ground. (Thanks for this tip, Tony!) They know from experience that these can be hugely strategic, and are already enhancing effective evangelism and cooperation in several regions of the world.: 

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/building-networks.php

And their speaker panel offers experienced speakers about different aspects of digital evangelism, for mission conferences or mission agency consultations:

http://www.internetevangelismday.com/speaker.php

7) Free Tract Explains Protestants to Eastern Europeans

Eastern_EuropeThe tract “Protestants: Who are they?” is available as a free download in Russian, English, Ukrainian, Georgian, Romanian, Macedonian or Bulgarian at the site: 

http://web.me.com/kerbyrials1/Booklets/Free_booklets.html

The non-denominational tract explains what evangelical Protestants believe, since they are often confused with non-Christian cults in Eastern Europe, or are accused of having departed from true Christianity (e.g. Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism). Versions are in both PDF and Word formats allowing you to modify the tract to meet your needs. Missionary author Kerby

eastern_eur_tract_email 

only asks if you translate it into another language, that you send him a copy so he may provide it to others.  He’s especially looking for Serbo-Croatian, Czech and Polish next! (Thanks Kerby!)

8) Be First in Brigada Today

first-placeWant your item to be seen *first*, at the top of the list in Brigada? We publish all the items we receive, however, those who pitch in to help cover Brigada’s expenses are treated with special dignity — because they’re helping pay the bills. We move them to the top, so they’ll be seen first. Just follow the instructions for submitting an item (at our website, brigada.org, by reading the guidelines when you select “Submit an item”), then click on one of the “Donor” links at the top of this page. Both are safe, the one with PayPal and the other with one of the most well-known “real” online merchants on the web. Neither requires you to open an account with anyone … and neither ever spams you. Or, if you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.)

9) The Back Page: How do you Recruit for the Team You Lead?

volunteerismThis good question was raised in North Africa this past week. I guess I’m not the only one needing good help. My friend in North Africa listed these sample ideas: 

  • When considering whether someone would make a great teammate carefully examine his/her fruitfulness in the past.  If someone has great character and fruitfulness in another context they’ll probably make great contributions.
  • Believe God is going to do great things.  When you believe it people will want to be a part of it.
  • Pray, pray, pray.
  • Stay in touch over time w/ people you want to work w/.  Eventually lots of them will come to points in their lives where they will seriously consider it.
  • If you want to have American teammates go to the same conventions & gatherings each year and follow-up, face-to-face, w/ key people.
  • Write great newsletters that make people want to be a part of what you’re a part of.
  • Ask people.  When I used to be in the home office I was astonished how clueless missionaries were about how powerful their words could be in the lives of young people.  It’s amazing how few missionaries ask people who visit to prayerfully consider a call.
  • Find ways to position yourself as an authority/value giver.  If you have learned anything that you could pass on to others, find a context in which you can share it. 

Got other advice? Admonitions? Stuff that’s worked for you? Reality checks? If so, Please list them below. Just click “Comments” and fill in the box — anonymously, if you prefer.

Thanks for helping us figure this out.

Doug

Comment on this item by clicking “Comment…” below.

10) Closing Stuff

DISCLAIMER — We can’t screen ‘em all. Please forgive us if a particular site contains offensive information — or no information at all! We try to visit them in advance, but often write “on the road” so we simply can’t preview everything.

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COPYRIGHT — (We actually have to say this stuff so the material can’t legally be used by those who are not likeminded.) This issue of Brigada Today is Copyrighted 2009. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available on the Brigada website, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Jesus Christ to reach the unreached. To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted. When you quote or paraphrase material from Brigada, please include this phrase: “For a free subscription to Brigada’s weekly missions publication, write and/or visit Brigada on the web at http://www.brigada.org/.”

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