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Issue 2013 #4
Table of Contents:
Poetry & Stories Now on WTM Website
This year we have been finding ways to connect with more people - particularly young people. Internet research shows that poetry is much sought after, and of course we all like stories/testimonies. Even secular people know that to win hearts over, or to market something, you need to present it as a touching little story.
Our founder, Mr. Elliott, understood this. Quite naturally, he corresponded with people and was happy to receive their submissions of poems and personal testimonies. He carefully saved them in black binders. We decided to share them from our website in a NEW poetry section, after finding out that there are millions of searches online for good inspirational and Christian poetry. Our volunteer, Helen Hou, worked with me to design a template for the poetry pages, and now she is putting them on the site at the rate of several each Wednesday. Our hope is that, though people may discover our website through searching for inspirational poems, they will go on to explore the rest of our website, and find things that lead to salvation and/or Christian growth and service.
Some poems may have been published in earlier years by WTM. We like to make sure we have copyright on all of them, or that they are in the public domain, so you can freely use them, should you need a reading to give publicly, or just to print out to pass on to a friend. The main index is here:
At the May seminar in Calgary I learned that we need to use social media like Facebook, blogs, etc., to reach a younger generation. Through July and August, Linda Unger and I talked over the ideas and how to apply them to attract younger people to our mission. We learned the value of storytelling, and that no one can deny the work of Christ in our lives, so sharing stories of people saved through tracts and personal testimonies would work great on a blog.
I installed WordPress blog software in a new folder on our site, then together, Linda and I designed a simple look, colour-related to the rest of our site, and named it - Stories & Testimonies. Gradually we are getting others to submit stories or testimonies besides ourselves. Linda will be the moderator of the blog, and keep an eye on it. We invite you to visit it often!
If you find it hard to keep checking for new stories there on a regular basis, or if you especially like those by a certain volunteer or staff person, simply sign up to have automated emails tell you when there is a new story or testimony posted by that author.
As we have time, we want to see how we should use other social media, but we recognize that we can't do everything at once. We want to make sure we understand and maintain our ethical Christian standards in all of this.
The Bible is full of stories! Jesus told lots of little parables and word pictures/illustrations. Everyone loves a story, but Jesus knew that only those with spiritual insight would understand the truth or spiritual principle that a story taught. It is God's way of hiding gems of wisdom in open sight so that those who might misuse it will not see it. For example, who would ever guess that a baby boy born to a very poor couple would one day redeem the whole world to God?
However, there is a skill to telling a story well, so that it has the effect you want on the listener or reader. We must learn to tell it succinctly, and not get off on rabbit trails. It pays to practise our stories so we can clearly make our point without stating the obvious.
This applies to you too, as you share your own testimony and stories of what God has done for you. It is one of the BEST ways of witnessing. Just walk closely with the Lord and brag on Jesus' love and tender care for you whenever you get a chance. But become a storyteller - and you will be a more effective witness. Rather than making yourself the star of the story, turn the spotlight on Jesus, and what He did, and what He is to you! That's how God does it in the Bible..