We asked digital disciples from around the world to share the tools they believe are vital to the growth of an online ministry. We received responses from Amazing Facts, the Social Media + Big Data dept. at the NAD, and members of the Digital Disciples Facebook group. This list does not necessarily feature ministries, but services that can help online missionaries or digital disciples boost their online presence.

Here’s what you concluded are the best resources for online disciples:

Best Blog

Social Media + Big Data Dept. Blog

This blog features articles from a wide range of contributors from around North America and beyond. New articles are posted regularly and their corresponding Facebook page always has new content for online missionaries.

Why it made the cut:

icon-check Relevant content

icon-check Regular posts

icon-check Wide range of contributors

Best Podcasts

Become a Blogger

Leslie Samuel’s upbeat personality helps add to the amazing tips he provides for improving your podcast and blog. He provides step-by-step advice on how to get started and pushes listeners to think creatively about their blog or podcast. Samuels’ blog and podcast reach thousands, and he has been featured by Business Insider and Entrepreneur.

The Digital Missions Podcast

This new podcast by the Center for Online features interviews with those who have successfully been working in the field of online evangelism. This podcast helps listeners develop necessary skills to help boost their ministry presence online.

Why they made the cut:

icon-check Consistent content

icon-check Clear audio

icon-check Interesting discussions

Best Newsletter

COE Best Practices newsletter

This newsletter helps you stay current with online marketing best practices you can apply directly to your ministry’s web presence. Applying best practices help you grow your ministry’s influence online and by receiving weekly updates, you stay in the know about how to improve your work. This newsletter is for anyone who wants to learn more about online evangelism strategies.

Why it made the cut:

icon-check Well-written content

icon-check Timely

icon-check Helpful points

Best YouTube Channel

Pro Church Tools w/ Brady Shearer

This channel is a way to stay up-to-date with current digital trends and build on your social media platform. A word of caution: Use it sparingly. It’s easy to want to do everything that they recommend then become overwhelmed. Keep your church dynamics in mind and apply their advice accordingly.

Why it made the cut:

icon-check Lively host

icon-check Relevant material

Best Facebook Group

Digital Discipleship Group

This Facebook group, with almost 450 members (at the time of writing this article), is a great virtual place to meet others who share a passion for digital ministry. Group members share resources, ideas, and tips with each other while offering help based on their area of expertise. Digital Discipleship is a ministry of the Greater Sydney Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Why it made the cut:

icon-check Networking opportunities

icon-check Teaching & learning environment is fostered

Best Websites

Center for Online Evangelism

COE is an online mission station that provides resources and valuable information to help those in online ministry. The aim of the website is to teach others how to do what marketing companies do in order to boost the Gospel and Adventist presence online. Whether someone is a beginner or experienced in ministry digital marketing, they can glean valuable info from COE’s site.

Social Media + Big Data Services

The NAD has dedicated an entire department to help the church understand how to apply social media tactics and big data analytics can be used for evangelism. The website is like a mission and information station for training and resources, membership service and market research.

Why they made the cut:

icon-check Easy navigation

icon-check Helpful content

Books

The Bible

You might think that having the Bible as a guiding force in online evangelism goes without saying but it never hurts to be reminded of how crucial it is to have God’s Word as the foundation of any strategy you undertake. The Bible stands on its own and the other tools in this list are not on par with it. Still, we feel it’s necessary to put it out there that the Bible should be in your digital evangelism arsenal.

Evangelism by Ellen G. White

Although the book does not address digital evangelism (that didn’t exist 100 years ago), it fervently addresses the responsibility each member plays in evangelism. The principles are applicable to any form of evangelism and digital missionaries would do well to have this book close.

Why they made the cut:

icon-check Reminds digital disciples of the big picture behind evangelism

icon-check Contains principles that can be applied across the board

icon-check The Bible should always be our guiding force

Events

Society for Adventist Communicators (SAC)

SAC is an annual meeting for communication professionals in the Adventist church. It provides an opportunity for networking and to learn new practices in the communication field. From the latest gadgets and software to phenomenal presentations, this conference should be on any digital disciples list of events to attend each year.

When? October 18 – 20, 2018

Where? North American Division Headquarters in Columbia, Maryland

Digital Discipleship Conference

This weekend event gives digital missionaries opportunities for spiritual growth and networking. Presentations by international and local speakers help attendees refine ideas, develop skills, and learn new ways to share the Gospel in a digital age.

When? July 20 – 22, 2018

Where? University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia

Why they made the cut:

icon-check Networking opportunities

icon-check Spirit-filled

icon-check Job opportunities

Best Design Aids

Unsplash

If you work with a church or ministry website, you know how critical it is to use quality images. However, the budget doesn’t always leave room to have an account with Adobe Stock. This is where sites like Unsplash come in handy. Find beautiful, quality images under a wide range of themes. The best part? They’re free! You’re asked simply to give credit to the photographers.

Canva.com

Whether you’re a beginner or professional, Canva is a must-have design tool if you want to save big bucks on major design software. Users can create Facebook posts, infographics, flyers, album covers, and email and social media headers. You can choose templates or create designs from scratch. Either way, you end up with great looking designs.

Why they made the cut:

icon-check Great quality

icon-check Gives artists a great platform

icon-check FREE

Services

Adventist Church Connect

The NAD provides a website for every Adventist church and school in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. The hope is that we would use the internet to reach our communities. Basically, your church is offered a website and training is provided. The catch? There is none.

Issuu.com

If you’re looking for a platform to publish an online magazine for your church or ministry, this is it. You can’t create content directly in Issuu but you have a variety of options. You can design your content in a software like InDesign, Word, or even PowerPoint then use Issuu to upload, distribute, or sell your magazine (optional).

Hootsuite

This program allows you to manage all of your ministry’s social networks in one place. You can also respond to messages quickly from one dashboard even if the messages are coming in from different sites. To give you an idea of how your ministry is performing online, Hootsuite allows you to track performance through analytics reports.

Adobe Suite

It’s difficult (nearly impossible) to describe Adobe Suite in a short paragraph. Let’s look at it this way: create, design, and edit anything related to pictures, video, audio, photographs, and more. If the entire suite is too pricey for your church or ministry, assess your goals and purchase one or two apps that will help you accomplish those goals.

Wire Cast

If your church or ministry does major live video streaming (or considering moving in this direction), consider Wirecast. This tool allows a user to produce live or on-demand web broadcasts. Some features include chroma key, lower-third titling, H.264, and 3D graphics.

Why they made the cut?

icon-check Practical and useful

icon-check Affordable

icon-check User-friendly

Who did we miss on our list? Share in the comments section the tools you think should’ve made it to our list and why.

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