ShareGrace -- A Philosophy to Guide a Church's Online Communication
Aderman, James A.
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Marketers understand that methods available for moving people to take action are limited by the communication vehicle. The speaker has one set of communication tools. The writer another. The videographer yet another. That principle also applies to online communication. Research has discovered that for people to be moved to action by online communication traditional selling techniques (that is, interrupting a potential customer in order to seek to convince her that she needs a particular product) do not work with online marketing in our current culture. Instead marketers must develop ways to earn the trust of potential customers so transactions are based on positive relationships, as well as superior product. This research has important implications for churches that are seeking to share the gospel in their real and virtual worlds. As the Church learned to use door-to-door canvassing, printed flyers, as well as newspaper and television advertisements to share the gospel in the 20th Century, it must learn to use today’s new media to share the gospel in our 21st Century age of the internet. The message of God’s grace freely and fully provided to every human being will always remain the same. But the vehicles for broadcasting that message have transformed the way humans communicate. Online media has enhanced the reach of those messages, as well as their impact. Online communication has the potential to touch more people with the gospel than ever before in the history of the world. But the way Christians communicate there is limited, restricted by factors that are governed by that media. This thesis explores a philosophy of online communication that empowers churches to work within those boundaries to proclaim the gospel’s good news to those who are living without it. In addition this thesis suggests applications to this principle for churches’ online efforts to reach the world with the gospel. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Jesus, Mark 16:15).