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TruthVine at the crossroads

August 2015 | by Samuel Jack

Our Saviour wants his gospel to be heard by the whole world. New technologies, like the internet and smartphones, give us unprecedented means to proclaim it. Many churches have put these tools to work very effectively, but other churches are still wondering, ‘Where do we start?’ TruthVine is an organisation seeking to equip churches to share the gospel online and offline — and it urgently needs your support.

Samuel Jack, the founder of TruthVine, writes:

‘TruthVine officially sprang into life in February 2013, when I registered TruthVine.com. It began because our church wanted to put sermons on their website, and the software we were using took too long — it was such a fiddle, and I was missing out on after-church fellowship. So I wrote my own streamlined software which could do the job with a couple of clicks and have sermons online just minutes after the service finished. My initial plan was to make a small business out of selling this software to churches. But in these last two years, I’ve come to see that churches have bigger needs, and I believe the Lord has bigger purposes.’

‘If the church is to share the gospel effectively, our biggest need of all is to have our hearts moved to serve God by seeing afresh the glory of God in the gospel of Christ. This is a need the Lord has lovingly caused me to recognize in my own heart. My heart is drawn to many things, but not naturally to him. I love technology, and, not so long ago, the thought of having a new gadget was one of my biggest thrills. I knew, as a Christian, that God should occupy the highest place in my thoughts, but my mind would always wander to things that excited it more. Christian service was a duty that often proved to be a drag.’

‘Then God graciously brought trials of various kinds into our family life. These had the effect he intended: turning me to the Bible and to prayer. As I searched for comfort and help for myself and my wife, the Lord made himself real to us in a way we had never experienced before. In our troubles we discovered God’s precious remedy: joy in knowing Jesus Christ. This discovery, by God’s grace, has done what my most determined efforts previously failed to do: fix my wandering heart and thoughts on him.’

‘Having experienced that Jesus has the power to make a difference in the most desperate circumstances when we ask him to help, my mind now naturally turns to him instead of the gadgets and other things that provided no comfort — turns to him more often, I should say; my heart is a stubborn thing, and work of grace isn’t finished yet! But now I have a new thrill: witnessing to others about Jesus. Experiencing his graciousness and his power has given me a boldness and desire to share the gospel that I never had before. I now understand Isaiah’s heart when, having seen Christ’s glory, he said “Here I am: send me”.

So, two years on, my greatest desire for TruthVine is that God would use us to help His people discover fresh joy in the Lord that will strengthen them for the work of sharing the gospel.’

Where is TruthVine today?

In the two years since it began, TruthVine has helped churches in three main ways:

Sharing sermons on the internet

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Our software slots into any existing church website, and enables churches to record sermons, edit them, and have them online minutes after the service has finished. A number of people have testified how blessed they’ve been by this. On the occasions when ill health has kept them from church on the Lord’s Day, they’ve still been able to receive the same ministry as their brethren with only a small delay.

 

Providing engaging church websites

Whether Christian, or non-Christian, the church website will usually be a visitor’s first port-of-call if they have an interest in a church, so it is important that it makes a good impression. However, keeping a website working, up-to-date and looking fresh is no small job, which explains why many church websites quickly begin to look dated and stale.

TruthVine has provided a number of churches with hassle-free church websites. As well as designing and setting up the website, we provide hosting and ongoing maintenance. Our intention is to enable these churches to focus on filling their websites with helpful content, whilst we take care of everything else.

Supplying attractive literature

Not everybody is online, and community outreach remains a major part of a church’s work. For this, printed materials are often needed. We live in a media-driven age, where, if something is not visually attractive it will hardly be given a second glance. Since the gospel is of such monumental importance, it is vital that the materials we use are presented in such a way as to gain their contents a hearing.

TruthVine is seeking to rise to this challenge. Last year we began supplying churches with invitation cards for special services, church leaflets, evangelistic tracts (in partnership with the Open Air Mission), and posters advertising special events. Our aim is to save churches time and effort by handling both design and printing.

Where is TruthVine headed?

When TruthVine started it had a rather narrow vision. Now, with a larger vision, and two years of experience it is apparent that the project needs more people to be involved, both to fund it, and to be part of its work.

The intention now is that TruthVine should be set up as an independent not-for-profit organisation, with the mission: ‘To equip the church to share the gospel’. It would be run along commercial lines so that, once established, not only could it support itself, but would have something to give back to the Lord’s broader work.

There are six projects which TruthVine would like to work on:

●    Developing our sermon-sharing software to help God’s people get more out of each sermon. For example, enabling sermon outlines to be noted, so that memories can be refreshed at glance, and particular parts of sermons listened to again easily.

●    Providing a hassle-free way of broadcasting services live over the internet, and making it easy for people without much ‘know how’ to listen to the broadcasts.

●    Encouraging fellowship between like-minded churches by developing a shared church calendar that automatically promotes special events on the websites of associated churches.

●    Investing in technology to make church websites even easier to manage, keep up to date, and looking fresh.

●    Providing tools that can reduce administrative burdens (like maintaining Sunday school attendance registers) to allow church leaders to give more time to the gospel.

●    Investing in business processes to bring our costs down and keep prices competitive, so that more churches, particularly those with smaller budgets, can be helped.

Brethren, pray for us!

This is a big undertaking, and we would greatly value your support.

●    Please could you pray for TruthVine, that God’s will might be done. It is not by men’s efforts, but by God answering prayer that TruthVine is where it is now. And it is only by God’s grace sent in answer to His people’s prayers that it will become anything more.

●    Pray particularly that we might be given wisdom by God and good advice by those with experience. If you know of anybody who might share the vision, and with experience which is likely to be useful, perhaps you could consider putting them in touch?

●    Pray also that we might be given the resources necessary, both of finance, and people who share the vision and would be willing to work with us to achieve it. Again, if you know of anyone who might wish to contribute money or time towards establishing this project, please could you put them in touch with us?

●    Please spread the word about TruthVine. Our desire is to help as many churches as we can, and we can only help them if they know about us!

If you would like any further information or can offer any help or encouragement, please visit our website at www.truthvine.com or contact Samuel Jack, [email protected]

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