About our Web Outreach
Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:00
Please note: the reason we publish these "stats" on our Web presence is to inspire and encourage others that there is a purpose and value in doing this work, and that the results creates not only visibility for the truth globally, but it also helps people find those local congregations where the truth of the gospel is preached and lived.
The local congregation of the Church of God of Carmichael has been publishing what goes on inside our Church building onto the Web for over four years now:
In summary, our website in four years has had over 100,000+ unique visitors and over 270,000+ pageviews.
Here are a couple 4 year reports in PDF format (with graphs) generated utilizing Google Analytics:
In 2010 we established a Facebook page for the Church of God of Carmichael so people could "connect" with us there. We have connected the feeds for the Sunday Morning Podcast and the Bible Study Classes to automatically post to our Church Facebook page. We also use this Facebook page as a method of sending periodic "Event" invitations to our Fellowship meeting, revivals, etc.
Currently there are 147 people connected to our Facebook page, but because of Facebook's viral "grass roots" (friends connection network) nature, the potential for the visibility of any single post can go farther and with more impact at times than other typical methods of Web publishing. For example: if someone "Likes" a particular post on Facebook, potentially all their friends could now also see it. People tend to pay more attention to what a friend would like, hence the effectiveness of Facebook's "friends referral" network. This type of visibility is called "reach" on Facebook. Here are images of the "reach" stats for our Church page for the month of May, 2012 (click on them to see the full size):
Note: For more info, see "Facebook Page Insights" that explains their stats.
Additionally, we have also established a Facebook page for our Bible Story Time (BST) efforts with children. This page also gets automatically posted to from our Church site, and individual BST workers post to it once in a while. Most children cannot be on Facebook because of their age, but we have been doing the neighborhood BST for over 30+ years now, so there are many that we want to "reconnect" with. Currently there are 76 people that are connected to our BST page.
Finally, our purpose is to help other local congregations of the Church of God to be able to become more visible with the truth online. Having done this for a number of years we have learned what works best for the least amount of effort. We offer our services to help other congregations utilize the best Web integrated technologies for the least costs (almost for free.)
If you would like more information on getting your congregation online, you can contact me here.
May the Lord bless every outreach done for his glory!
Friday, 03 July 2009 22:59
"Removing the walls" means, taking the truth that is regularly preached and taught within the walls of our building, and broadcasting it out across the Web. We took our first steps into this strategy half way into June of 2008 - today we report to you a summary of what we have done in the first year, and what the results have been.
What we have done...
1. Started blogs telling about the lessons being taught in a number of our regular adult Bible study classes that we hold every Tuesday. This was expanded later to also allow those in the class to contribute a devotional thought they had written up, or a personal testimony.
2. In September of 2008 we started podcasting the sound files of our Sunday morning messages.
3. Later in the year one of our local out reaches to a Russian community (via the children's Bible Story Time) started a blog of their lessons and also had them translated and published in Russian. Additionally, they utilized the comment capability of the blog to encourage the children to come to the website and answer a question about the lesson. This was to encourage both them and their Russian speaking parents to come to the site.
4. All this blog and podcast output was broadcasted across the Web utilizing the feeds out of our blogs and podcast along with a free Web broadcasting service provided by Google.
5. Finally, we utilized a "mini application" capability called "gadgets" and "widgets" to also further cause our blog and podcast output to be further published on other websites, blogs, and personal portal websites like iGoogle. (Note: some of these gadgets and widgets are displayed on the sides of this web page.)
What has resulted in one year...
The bottom line is that we are now sending CDs of what is preached regularly in our services to 13 different places around the world. These people found us just this last year via the content we have been publishing on the Web:
- We have 8 different brothers we are sending CDs to in Kenya - most of them are ministers. One of them travels often and labors with a number of others to spread the truth of the Gospel to numerous places and congregations in that country. We recently helped him put up a website/blog about the efforts there at http://purechurchofgod.wordpress.com
- A brother in Nigeria who since 2001 has been publishing with others a monthly publication called "Rays of Truth." There are about 9 other congregations of the Church of God he is in fellowship with there. We hope to help him also put up a website/blog about their efforts.
- Some in India that through us have come in contact with the full truth on the Church. Please pray they will continue to seek to follow the Lord in all the light of the gospel.
- A brother in Malawi (associated with others that have already been known in years past.)
- 2 brothers in Tanzania with congregations, who after contacting this website, have come to the truth on the Church. The brother in Kenya has made contact with one of these brothers and will hopefully meet with them soon.
The following highlights the increase in traffic we have seen through our "removing the walls" approach on the Web:
In May of 2008 (the month before we started the new strategy) our web site received:
- 315 visits
- 1209 page views
In the final 30 days of our first year our website received:
- 2235 visits
- 4366 page views
- 26 external to our web site downloads of our Sunday morning message (this is in addition to those who would listen to it on our website so we know for certain that they are not from our own congregation.)
- 22,992 views of web pages, blogs, and personal portal pages with our gadgets and widgets on them (note: this is not the same as a visit to our own website because the gadget or widget is only one small part of another web page, but it does raise the visibility of our content, and when ever someone clicks on the content in one of these, it will bring them right back to our website.)
- 558 external clicks back to our website due to our feeds/gadgets/widgets showing up on other sites
For the whole first year we received:
- 16,247 visits (coming from 136 countries/territories)
- 56,729 page views
- 257 external to our web site downloads of our Sunday morning message
- 141,776 views of web pages, blogs, and personal portal pages with our gadgets and widgets on them
- 2275 external clicks back to our website due to our feeds/gadgets/widgets showing up on other sites
It has been a frutful first year. May the Lord continue to help us find honest souls where ever they are!
Friday, 03 July 2009 21:02
One of Jesus' final commandments to us is:
"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)
We believe that this is still our commission today. To that end we have endeavored to utilize the Web to further broadcast the pure truth of the gospel to the furthermost corners of the world.
For over ten years the Church of God of Carmichael published a website containing our beliefs and a number of good gospel related books. But over the years our presence on the Web had become more and more obscure as many religions began publishing their websites. Additionally, because our website was rarely updated with new content, search engines and web publishing services began to largely ignore us.
The result was that finding our message was very difficult because it was like a message stuck in a bottle and thrown out on the ocean of the Web. You were very lucky to ever find it.
Today we are using a "light house" strategy...
We have "torn down" (so to speak) the walls of our building, and every week we are making publicly visible what is going on at the Church of God of Carmichael. (Through out the centuries the gospel was often preached outside in public places.) This was a little "uncomfortable" for some of us at first, but we understand that we are not here for our own comfort, we are here to do the will of our Savior.
Jesus told us:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
We believe there is a lot of good gospel "light" going forth every week within many true Church of God buildings, but the problem is that if you are not there, it is likely you don't know anything about it.
To get the gospel out beyond our website and broadcasted over the Web we are utilizing many free or almost free resources available today including:
- Social Media (Blogs, Twitter, etc.)
- Gadgets & Widgets
- and in the future - video and greater mobile device (phone) access
In just our first year our visibility and the new people we have come in contact with has grown at least 10 fold! There are many still searching for the truth, or for fellowship with those who are of the truth. We had one brother tell us that he had known of our website for at least two years, but he could not tell from half way around the world if we were any different from many others that have become lukewarm and full of personal agendas. But - when we started publishing out the truth we regularly preach and teach today, he could then much better discern our Spirit and purpose of heart, and he proceeded to contact and communicate with us.
God still has people who want the truth without human agendas attached - we just need to make it easier for them to find and discern it!