*** Imagine! ***

Oh no, that’s not a photo of my boat. But, when I saw the name -IMAGINE- on this nice speedboat during a stay in Corsica, I couldn’t keep myself from taking a picture for you. :-)

IMAGINE is also the beginning of the statement which sums up the dream of Jesus.net (a network of international partners whose goal is evangelism through the Internet). Here it is: “Imagine a world with every single person having free access to the Gospel, knowing God, growing in Jesus, and sharing faith easily…” This is what we want to do through this tremendous network, Jesus.net. Share the Gospel with everyone and everywhere.

IMAGINE is also a vision for the future. I want to imagine, by faith, everything that God is going to do. I already imagine Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, reached by the Gospel. Did you know that in Jakarta alone (capital of Indonesia) there are 17 million Facebook users? Would you join me in prayer for this country?

IMAGINE is just a simple word allowing us to dream and to see what God can do through ordinary people like you and me. When I started Top Chrétien in 1999, I think I was far from imagining all that it has become today. Would I have imagined such developments? Such encouragement? Such an impact in the lives of Internet users of whom you are perhaps a part? Here are some testimonies to illustrate my point.

“My brother decided to return to church after many messages received via PassLeMot. Thank you Lord.”

“A cousin who isn’t a Christian thanks me because PassLeMot does him a lot of good and reminds him not to forget God.”

“I was an atheist and my life changed on this website. It’s too immense, and there is no word on earth to describe it.”

“Thanks to the Top I have the feeling of really being part of a big family.”

“I knew a young Christian through your website, oh so helpful. He gave me a Bible in Arabic and he put me on the way of the Lord Jesus. Since then, I never cease to grow in faith and obedience (despite difficult conditions) because I was born and live in Algeria.”

“Thanks to your messages, my life changes from day to day.”

“Top Chrétien is a revolutionary tool that allows us to receive and share.”

So keep moving forward and IMAGINE what God will do. ”The sky’s the limit” as the saying goes. And I think that’s what God wants for the Top and for each one of us …

Thank you for being a part of this dream of God. I imagine you like Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ arms on the mountain while Joshua and the people of God were fighting in the valley. Thank you for holding up our two arms, our vision and our passion, while our team is in the battle.

Together, IMAGINE what God will do with us in 2012! And let him use us as he sees fit. What do you think? Do you have stories to share?

Together for changed lives,

Eric

*** Things are Happening! ***

ONE PASSION …

Things are happening in Israel! Jews for Jesus, an international evangelistic organization, is ready to become our partner for the Hebrew website.

Things are also happening in Indonesia. We are testing an original evangelism approach in French via Facebook. Did you know that in Jakarta alone (capital of Indonesia) there are 17 million Facebook users? We are now in contact with an organization in the country for our first steps. Let’s pray...

Curious to see our Facebook version of ConnaitreDieu? Click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/connaitredieu Great, isn’t it? I like it!

Our "video learning platform" is ready. TopFormations is already running on it and soon we are going to use it to offer training specifically for people new to the faith like "12 Days to Discover the Bible" or "40 Days with Jesus".

Take heart, friends. The journey will be long, but our cause is wonderful.

All the Best for Jesus,

Eric Célérier
Founder, TopChrétien and ConnaitreDieu.com

*** Christian Terrorist? ***

While two terrible attacks shook Norway, a suspect was identified and arrested.

And because this man had put “Christian” as a religion on his Facebook profile, some journalists rushed to an unjust and dangerous mixture! Here’s what we heard: “A terrorist attack committed by a conservative Christian …” “A fundamentalist Christian sets off a bomb and shoots people …”

As Christians, we sympathize with the suffering of the Norwegians. We, like everyone, are shocked by this tragedy. We are praying for the bereaved families and this afflicted country. Christians are absolutely opposed to all violence. According to the teachings of Jesus, they believe they should love their enemies and bless those who persecute or mistreat them. Being a Christian and a terrorist is totally incompatible.

Eric Celerier

P.S.: And what do you think? Do you have a message for the Norwegians?

*** Make a Buzz with ConnaîtreDieu.com! ***

The Top Chrétien Team is doing everything they can to get ConnaîtreDieu.com moving!

Many Internet users are on a spiritual quest and our deepest desire is to help them discover the God of love as a response to their questions. To this end, we launched a ConnaîtreDieu.com poster contest on Facebook open to all!

The principle was simple: to provide Internet users with the  ConnaîtreDieu.com logo and invite them to participate by creating their own posters for the site. The participants then saw their posters directly online on the ConnaitreDieu.com Facebook page, and had to encourage their friends to vote for their posters (number of  “like” clicks on Facebook acting as votes).

The great thing about this contest is that people who did not yet know the ConnaîtreDieu.com website voted for the posters. A “word of mouth” effect was created for the website and new people could hear about God in this way. We pray that they were touched by what they read.

The contest also helped develop ideas for highly innovative posters that the Top team can use to promote the ConnaitreDieu website and thus, ConnaitreDieu.com can touch even more lives! Finally, different Internet users could get involved with us by sharing their posters. A truly united team effort brought forth its fruit!

Gifts (DVDs, CD cards, books, caps, etc..) worth more than  500 € were offered to the five winners whose creativity we applaud. The first three posters were chosen with votes on Facebook. Then, the ConnaîtreDieu.com jury appointed its own two winners to avoid penalizing the last participants who sent in their posters shortly before the close of voting on Facebook.

A total of 156 posters were sent in, each one making its impact. You can find them by clicking here!

A big thank you to all the brave participants who invested themselves in us! In this blog, discover the achievements of the five winners of this contest, which was a first. To do again? What do you think?

We would be interested in reading your comments, ideas, suggestions. It’s always a pleasure to read them and have your feedback so we can improve and allow a greater number of people to hear about Jesus Christ!

Together for changed lives,

Eric Célérier and the Top Chrétien Team

PS : Visit “Ensemble, faisons connaître Dieu” and make a buzz with ConnaîtreDieu.com !

*** Let’s Evangelize the World! ***

The 2010 Cape Town Congress got off to a great start with more than 4000 representatives from almost 200 nations! It’s called The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. We are all here to reflect on the evangelization of the entire world. The opening ceremony was very beautiful and moving. South Africans are truly warm and welcoming! Unfortunately, 250 Chinese were missing because the Chinese government considered their participation in this conference as being harmful to state security, which seems incredible! Over 1000 police blocked participants when they were getting on their airplanes, and some are currently in prison! Pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters!

Evangelism is a subject for which I have a passion because I would like for many to know Jesus as I know him: He is my Savior and my friend! I’d like to communicate as much enthusiasm and passion as I can around me during this historic meeting. My goal is to share the importance of using the Internet and new technologies for the proclamation of the Gospel. We have an incredible opportunity! Imagine that Indonesia, which is probably the largest Muslim country in the world, is also the third most represented country on Facebook with 20 million users. Turkey is the 4th. France is in fifth position! We must seize the opportunity that God is giving us to share the Good News.

Pray for me, please! I will not have the opportunity to talk with each of the 4000 participants. So, I am relying on the Lord for divine connections with the right people at the right time. And it started well. I met Blair Carlson, who was the Billy Graham campaign manager in 1986 and so my first boss! It has been 25 years since we saw each other and we still look so young ;-) It’s faith that keeps us young … forever ;-)

Let me tell you about two of those divine connections.

A South Korean came to me thinking I could fix his Internet connection because I was wearing a black T-shirt. The technical crew for the congress (of which I am not a member) is also wearing black T-shirts. As I explained to him his mistake, I asked him what his role was, and he happened to be the representative of a very large church (Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea) with which we had already initiated discussions to create a Knowing God website in Korean. However, we had had no news and were somewhat desperate. Since our meeting, this brother has already written and assured me he would follow up. Glory to God!

I also wanted to meet someone very special and very well-known here in South Africa to speak with him about launching the Jesus.net project here in his country. I had heard about him from my Dutch friend Jan Willem who is here with me. And while hiking on a mountain, we even prayed to meet him. And guess who came to sit at my table this morning … a simple table in the middle of 700 other tables! This man! He came because he knew the person sitting opposite me. When he showed up, I told him: “I prayed to meet you, so thank you for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit!”. Imagine his surprise! He was really ready to listen, praise God!

Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to connect with your servants in this magnificent conference. Together we will see more lives changed for your glory!

Your friend,

Eric

*** Together for Changed Lives! ***

Just ten days ago, I asked you to pray for the Jesus.net Conference!

Your prayers were answered because God blessed us so much. He really did way beyond all that we could have imagined.

This conference brought together 75 people (coordinators of evangelism websites) from 21 countries. For four days we shared the progress we have been able to make in the different countries and we glorified God together!

We also took advantage of this special time together to invite Marie-France. Perhaps you remember her? Marie-France gave her heart to Jesus by connecting to the website ConnaitreDieu.com and we filmed her testimony during the fund-raising campaign for the purchase of the Top Chrétien offices.

Since her conversion, God has used her so that five new people experience faith in Jesus!  She is actually in her second year at the Cijem Force school. Isn’t that wonderful?

When Marie-France came to the conference, she spoke simply about what God had done in her life and we were very moved … Many of us cried as she finished sharing with the words: “I am a miracle!” What a blessing it was to hear live and in person the testimony of one of the people who has accepted Jesus as Savior on the Internet. We are so very thankful to God!

There are millions of “Marie-France” whom we would like to see come to Jesus in the coming years. Imagine God’s joy and the angels’ rejoicing in heaven!

I am sure that they are smiling as they watch this video that I counted on sharing with you!

Together for changed lives,

Eric

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

*** Are you relevant? ***

We live in a very different culture from the one the Apostle Paul lived in. His culture was essentially religious. However, he had understood a very great principle: it was to become all things to everyone in order to win some of them. I do everything for the cause of the Gospel, he said! (1 Cor. 9) Besides, he wrote his epistles in the New Testament in Koiné Greek (popular Greek) and not in Hebrew (the language of the Law) … do you wonder why …

We live in a visual and artistic culture made up of music and dances in which the image is extremely important. How do we approach our culture with the Gospel? Are we relevant?

Several years ago, I went to Hungary in the context of my role with CIJEM (a youth movement that I like a lot). That weekend, as if by chance, the “Faith Church” was inaugurating their new facility. So, I asked the young person accompanying us to take us to their dedication service. Imagine three “big” French pastors in a 1970′s Traban. It was a very old, tiny car, and it had no shock absorbers. We arrived at their brand new facility and believe me, I was shocked! The entrance hall could hold 500 persons seated and the main hall, more than 10,000. And it was packed! Perhaps this isn’t your style of church, but that’s not the question! The question is: How could a church experience such growth in so difficult a context as post-communist Hungary? And, it is this same church that offers us the following video clip where we see 1,300 youth dancing in the streets of Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube. They dance to openly testify to their faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ as the answer for their country.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dSIL358NM]

And you, what do you do to be relevant in your culture and bring it the Gospel message? What do you do to become all things to everyone in order to win some of them?

As for me, I try to understand where the Internet is going and how to reach the greatest number on the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. With the evolution of social networks like Facebook and its famous question “do you want to be my friend?”, I think that we have an incredible opportunity to introduce the one who wants to be their friend, Jesus! But we need to reflect, to understand this culture, and then to act in consequence. Of course, not intentionally, this will always evoke reactions from religious people who think that their church culture is sacred. I think that the Gospel is sacred, not culture. And you, what do you think?

*** Could TopChretien Promote Marriage for Single Christians? ***

By asking this question, I know that I am going to stir up some very different reactions. However, my goal is not to create a controversy, and even less, disputes among us, but to approach this question with understanding. I think that certain singles really suffer, and I not only want to sympathize, but to help the best I can.

Neither do I have in mind a project to create a “Christian meeting.” Lots of websites for meetings between Christians already exist, but I don’t know if they function well or if they are effective. In fact, I am truly concerned, even burdened for Christian singles. I have the privilege to be married to a marvelous wife, and I have three terrific children. I would like many others to have the privilege of establishing a home and a family with the values of the Gospel.

I am sad to see Christians who get old without marrying and who cry over it. Some are really fantastic, and I tell myself what they lack is perhaps just getting out of their environment, sometimes a little closed, and having the possibility of being connected to other Christian singles. Now, who says connecting with others can mean the Internet!

I know that we can answer in a very spiritual way that this is God’s affair, and that they only have to pray and God will bless them and allow them to meet their soul mates. This is not wrong, but it doesn’t always happen like that! I believe God always has his role, but there is our role as well. We can also answer in a very dishonest way that Internet is horrible, and that we shouldn’t use the world’s methods. I believe that Internet is like a Swiss knife: one can use it for good or for evil; everything depends upon the objective we are pursuing. Besides, I would like to have the testimonies of Christians who are married today and who met on the Internet. This would help us in our understanding.

So then, what can we do? How can we help singles through Top Chretien? Do you have any ideas? What would you recommend to a single who is waiting in church and would like to be married? Thank you for your participation. Together, let’s make things happen!

*** Do You Use Facebook? ***

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of Facebook: “Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, is a social network website to gather together close friends or new friends. It has more than 350 million members worldwide. According to Alexa Internet, it is the second most visited website in the world. (google.com)

Most youth use Facebook today. If Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th largest country in the world! Using Facebook to share the Gospel seems indispensable to me. That’s why since November 2009, we began our “Jesus.net” fan page on Facebook. This page already has more than 10,000 fans. I would like us together to try to reach 100,000 fans! Do you agree to accept this challenge? Together, I believe that we can do it!

What is Jesus.net? It is the network name which includes the following websites: TopChretien.com, ConnaitreDieu.com, MonEglise.net, GodRev.com, … It is especially the name of Jesus that we want to make known together!

Statistics of Jesus.net Fan page on Facebook

The goal of our fan page is to make Jesus known on Facebook.  You can help us do it! How can you help?

  1. Go to the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/jesus.net and make sure that you are already a fan. If you are not one yet, become a fan right away!
  2. To the left of the page, you have the little phrase “Suggest to friends”. Click on it and invite all your friends to become fans of Jesus.net, too.
  3. Make a comment on the page. Every time that you write something, your friends will know it! So, for example, tell us why you love Jesus… Try to write something every week.

In one of my next blogs, I will tell you how we were able to get the domain name Jesus.net. Again, it’s one of those miracles for which God has the secret!

Until then, I would like to know what you think about this: do you think that it is necessary to use Facebook to announce the Gospel? Do you have any ideas on this subject? Do you have special skills relating to Facebook?

I would like to develop a Facebook application to easily share the Gospel with friends: the Father’s love letter in an individualized style. Unfortunately, no one on our team has this skill. Please pray that we find this rare pearl and if you are this rare pearl, contact me.

Together let’s move into action!