I’ve been out shopping for cars recently, and it has reminded me of one of the shortcomings I’ve noticed among Christian websites I tend to visit. As usual, I intend to fill this gap through our efforts at SoulLiberty.com. Let me explain.
Something I appreciate about car websites is that they put a lot of effort into showing you the main features of each model. I can see the inside and outside, and often do a 360-degree tour. In each view, I can see certain areas featured; click on them and find out more details, see a video, etc. Of course, a lot of this is designed to dazzle the buyer into an emotional state where he simply must have that car becuause “it’s just so cool!”
But aren’t certain things about the Bible just “so cool?” I happen to think so. Then, why not present things in such a way that conveys that feeling to the new or maturing Christian student? If a storytelling professor can make statistics look like the most interesting thing in the world, can’t geeky web designers do the same with the most epic and fascinating story of all time?
Guttenberg invented the printing press for one big reason: to distribute the Bible to as many people as possible. That was a time when Christians were the master of new technology intended to carry out God’s calling. Today, the most high-tech ideas are motivated by material gain or fulfilling other carnal lusts. How can we begin to turn this back around?
One place to start is by implementing today’s technology to aid in teaching Biblical ideas. Yes, churches and ministries are always adopting new tools, but they were new to the world 5-10 years ago. One of my 2011 goals is to bring the Bible itself into a tool that is barely over a month old. That’s the future. Right now, we have some catching up to do.
Go back to the car example: our website applied that years-old idea to the Ark of the Covenant. While a clip from Indiana Jones might invoke the “that’s so cool” thoughts, I felt it would be better to make something different. What we have now is a 3-D model of the Ark that can be explored from the exterior and interior. You can click on icons to learn about key features, just like that Corvette you’ve been drooling over. It’s interesting, informative, and biblical. It links yesterday to today through technology and by linking the Ark’s symbolism to our daily Christian walk.
What I am not advocating here is a wordly approach to evangelism with focus groups, high-pressure marketing campaigns, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with advertising, however. Isn’t that what evangelism is anyway – advertising the Gospel far and wide? I’m also not arguing that putting a little more glitz into a website will have a direct impact on the visitor’s journey to salvation. I’m simply pleading for a higher standard. Give God your best each and every day in everything you do, and it will eventually rub off on others.