Updated: Sep 12
Dr. Stephen Phinney | Sept. 9, 2020 |
Greetings, IOM Friends:
And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:25-26)
Meeting with the church has changed dramatically over the past year. Our global virus has changed the way we “do church.” Back in January, the Lord made it clear to us that His church would be primarily shifted to the internet. Even though we maintained local ministry, we quickly shifted our efforts in Christ online. As it turned out, this became a redeeming venue for thousands.
Early in the year, LifeWay conducted a survey, which resulted in 80% of the pastors stating they will shift the focus of their sermons to the topic of the book of Revelation. Thankfully in Christ, we had previously planned to do a video and email series on that topic. On January 5th – we initiated that plan.
Unfortunately, this series was met with resistance within our email community. The topic was too intense for most readers. Some even found the topic offensive. On the other hand, on the internet, that was not the case. The book of Revelation became one of the top Christian topics – still is. While this opened the door to “wacky teachers,” it also revealed an opportunity for sound Biblical teachers. We joined that momentum and found many new viewers.
The good news. Online through our YouTube channel and social media sites, we grew exponentially, resulting in gaining email subscribers who wanted more insight into our online video messages.
Since 2020 has been a time for the church to come out of the “sleepy gradualistic” period of church history, many authentic Christians stood ready. Sad to say, many were not. As an example, the suicide rate among “followers of Christ” has flourished significantly. Plus, we, as the church, have not seen so many deny their faith in Christ as we have in 2020. Another example. This past month, a major survey was conducted among Evangelical pastors in America. The results? Sixty-three percent surveyed stated that they no longer believe Jesus is God. That is a big number.
What is happening to the church? The Lord is simply separating the authentic from the fake believers. The testing by way of fire (circumstances) has always been the Biblical model of separating the “goats from the sheep.” Our global implosion of horrific circumstances has accomplished just that.
Overall, numbers are erroneous. However, numbers are important to the Lord. The book of Revelation makes that clear. We watch numbers; they are important to us as well. We use this observation to determine modes of ministry that are productive and multipliable.
Here are four examples of the results of your prayer and financial investments.
Online Church Service: In January of 2020, we began releasing online church services. In partnership with worship leader Don Moen, we began producing quality services. The number - our YouTube channel has succeeded in 752K views. We are growing at the rate of 44.9K views each month. The growth is contributed to our series on the book of Revelation.
YouTube Subscribers: In January, we had 56 subscribers. Today, we have 936. Subscriptions are important. This modality sets our regular viewership, who typically forward and post our productions within their social media accounts. Plus, once we hit 1,000 subscribers, we can monetize our videos – make money.
New Subtitle: Earlier in the year, we decided to add a subtitle to our ministry – Christ, Culture, and Creator. These strong SEO words increased our “internet impressions.” Shortly after this change, we increased our impressions to 1.8 million. Internet impressions are like “footprints.” Each increase our ministry venues and opportunities.
Social Networks: We primarily use four networks, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. We have been blocked from Facebook for reasons; your conservative services are harmful to our platform. Despite this, our networks continue to grow.
We continue to be productive in our websites – IOM America, Identity Matters Worldview Institute, IM Online Worldview School, and the new iGenZ website.
Our passion is not to grow numerically, but rather in influence for Christ. This was the primary motive in adopting two consulting roles. First being, a Royal Member of the Bugwere Kingdom as Special Counsel to the King, which resulted in King Wayabire joining the IOM Board of Directors. Secondly, in accepting the Executive Advisory Member position to the Presidential Task Force, which resulted in communications with the President. Both positions provide ways to advance the Life of Christ in politics and personal influence to/for each leader.
We maintain excitement as to the growth of our little ministry. Your prayer and financial investment make all this possible. Thank you!