NRB Digital Summit Heralds New Era in Christian Media
By Bill Bray, ASSIST News Service On February 23, 2014
Social Media No Longer a Stepchild of Radio, TV and Publishing at Media Convention
NASHVILLE, TN (ANS) -- Hundreds of social networking staff and website creators spontaneously burst into songs of praise as Dr. Aaron Tabor's Jesus Daily Facebook page reported results for the last year.
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Jesus Daily was the closing presentation at the NRB Media Summit, held all day Friday prior to the official opening of the giant media convention today. The meeting, attended by many from the tech community ended like an evangelistic revival.
Many in the National Religious Broadcasters are beginning to see the emergence of digital outreach as a new era in Christian media. During the all-day focus of 11 presentations from leaders in the digital revolution, it was obvious that the Internet is no longer a stepchild of radio, TV and print publishing.
In the past 12 months alone, over five million have made decisions for Christ on the Jesus Daily page, making it perhaps the most powerful evangelistic engine in the world of Christian media. It was named the "#1 Most Engaged Page" by Facebook in December alone when it had over 320 million unique visitors.
A medical doctor, Tabor edits and runs the Jesus Daily page part-time with only two staff out of his office in Lynchburg, Virginia. His total annual budget for the project is only $300,000 - two thirds of which is spent on Facebook advertising.
Tabor depends on volunteer "Internet Missionaries" and the active Jesus Page user community to keep the debate going. In the social network he is leading there are active non-Christians including Muslims and gay advocates who keep the debate going.
Over 75% of the decisions for Christ were made by international visitors to the site - making it probably the most effective foreign missions outreach last year.
During the presentation of the Gospel, Jesus Page visitors are asked to "Say Amen" if you have just accepted Jesus today. "Many of the visitors have never heard the gospel," says Dr. Tabor, "even here in the USA because a new generation is rising up which have never been to church or been allowed to hear the Jesus story."
Over 340 Internet broadcasters packed into one ballroom for the all-day Digital Summit on Friday and most are staying on for the whole convention. Headline speakers included Katie Harbath from Facebook, Adam Singer for Google, Claire Diaz-Ortiz from Twitter, and Ed Stetzer from Lifeway Research.
Noelle Bud and Chris Burdick from Moody Global Ministries revealed their new strategy that is taking Moody Radio and their other ministries into the digital revolution. Moody is developing hundreds of online communities to minister to all its major constituencies.
Other speakers at the NRB Digital Summit included Brad Davies of Dunham Company, Nathan Tabor of the Christmas Bible Drive, Noreen Hafez of Akamai, Howard Brown of CircleBuilder, Justin Wise of WISE Group, and Justin Blaney of Innovate 4 Jesus.
Organizers of the Digital Summit event, including NRB Internet Chair Chad Williams, hopes that it will become a legitimate "media track" in its own right at future NRB Conventions. It was sponsored by 18 agencies, churches and social networking ministries. The NRB Media Convention runs through Tuesday night, February 25.