The World Wide Web has been with us for over 20 years now. And a lot has happened in that time! For better or worse, the way we communicate with one another and the world around us has changed. Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn… the list could go on and on.
So, what does this mean for missions? Anything? If you’re on this site you probably realize it’s pretty important. It may take some time to learn and adjust to online communication, but we think it’s worth it! Missions newsletters up on church bulletin boards are good, but there’s so much more that can be done. We want to see people get excited about missions and get connected to what God is doing around the world.
While there are undoubtedly some negative consequences to technology, there’s also great opportunity. Here’s a look at just a few of the benefits of using web technology to share your story:
Sharing your story and connecting to your supporters has never been easier. In the past missionaries would leave their country not knowing when or if they would return. Now we can share videos and send text messages in ‘real time’. Keeping an online journal of your joys, struggles, and prayer requests helps keep your supporters in the loop.
When supporters feel connected to what a missionary is doing they’re more likely to stay invested. They’re more likely to keep giving, keep praying, and keep sharing the missionary’s story with their friends. Here’s an example of just that from Love Global Foundation: Joanna & Simon met missionary Kevin Knight during their vacation to Cambodia. They were so moved by the work they saw that they started following Kevin’s story on his web page, donated to his work, and threw a fundraiser, asking their wedding guests to donate instead of buying gifts! They were able to stay connected and get their friends involved too. That leads us to the next point…
Make Giving Easy
Without connecting with Kevin on his missionary web page, Joanna & Simon may never have donated. Even if they had, it would have been difficult for them to ask their friends to give to Kevin’s cause. By using giving technology online, supporters are able to give easily and even set up monthly giving.
Web technology allows your story to be shared over and over again. You can even use it to recruit fundraisers for your cause. Supporters can share your story through social media, host a fundraiser, and ask their friends to give to your mission. As supporters become more engaged in missions, missionaries can spend less time fundraising and more time serving where they’re called.
We all know missions work can be tough. Connecting with other missionaries, sharing prayer requests, and learning from those who have gone before us can make things a bit easier. That’s what’s so great about MissionsPlace.com. At Love Global, we send out a weekly fundraising tips email. There’s lots of other great sites out there too! Join a couple mailing lists or ask your friends which websites are their favourite.
New technology offers a lot of potential for missions today. And you don’t have to be a computer wizard to see results. In 20 years the web has changed a lot and going forward I think we can only expect this trend to continue.
Do you use technology for your mission work? We’d love to hear your thoughts!