During the past several weeks I have been discovering a whole new world with its own language: bits and browsers, ftp’s and domains, links and listservs. Preaching has now entered the World Wide Web, and all that weaving has got me a little dizzy.
In case you’ve been hiding in a cave for years and never read a newspaper or listen to a teenager, the Web is the graphical (i.e., pretty pictures) portion of the Internet, which is a world-wide network of computers, linked by telephone lines, providing access to a treasury of information and services. In just a few months, the Web has become the hot topic in business and education, and now involves more than 24 million Americans on a regular basis (with more than 100,000 more coming on-line each month).
I know. Some of you are saying, “Don’t waste my time with any more of this computer stuff. I’ve got a perfectly good Smith-Corona.” If that’s your attitude, read no farther; just go back to your log cabin, gather the family around the kerosene lamp and be happy.
For the rest of us, however, there is an opportunity to participate in a technological advance that holds enormous potential to be a useful tool in strengthening our own ministries. Even though the Web is relatively new, churches and parachurch organizations nave jumped on it with full force. Many are simply using it as an electronic brochure; others have developed sophisticated “web sites” that offer loads of useful information and interesting resources.
The Preaching site (https://www.preaching.com) includes a variety of items: selected articles and sermons from past issues; news about upcoming conferences; and a new journal, Preaching On-Line, with sermons and articles that appear exclusively in on-line form. If you’re already on the Internet or a service like CompuServe or America On-Line, you can visit the Preaching site at no cost and look it over. If you don’t currently have access to the Internet, give us a call (1-800-288-9673) and we’ll send you a Net-cruiser diskette you can use to get on-line.
Many pastors ask me if the Internet is worth the investment. For most, I’m convinced the answer is yes. I believe one of the keys to effective preaching in this culture is contemporary application and illustration, and the Web is shaping up as a superior resource for such material.
Each day I check my e-mail, which allows me to communicate virtually instantaneously with pastors and others across the nation and around the world. (Just this week I responded to an inquiry from a pastor in Croatia who learned about Preaching on-line.) Then I check the daily news summaries on the web sites of USA Today or CNN; if I’m interested, I can check the London Daily Telegraph or another international publication. I can access a variety of magazines (U.S. News, Time and more) and newspapers on-line. If I need a political fix, I can visit one of the web sites devoted to the latest political news.
I can check the latest news from Baptist Press, the Presbyterian News Service and other denominational outlets. I can learn about the latest books from Christian publishers like Baker and InterVarsity, or download sermons from the Spurgeon Archive. And over the next few months, more and more information and resources will be coming on-line.
If you want to get on-line but need help, I have one suggestion: go to your seventh-grade Sunday School department and ask for help getting on the Web. Chances are, they are already there.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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