*** The Top Offices: Purchase Agreement has been signed! ***

I’m sure you have been following the fund-raising campaign for the purchase of the Top offices throughout the summer! Several thousand Christians were mobilized to pray and give so that the dream would become reality. If you are one of them, I want to say a big “Thank you” again on behalf of the entire Top Chrétien team and all the Internet users who benefit from this ministry.

Here’s how things went: the Monday after Pentecost Sunday, during a time of prayer, God put it on our hearts that the time had come for us to own the offices that we rent and expand the space to give the team more room to accomplish its mission: proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ through the Internet.

A few days later, though we hadn’t said anything to him, the owner contacted us and proposed that we acquire full ownership, that is, of our offices and of the other part of the house, which was more than double our workspace. After having had the property evaluated and negotiating the price, we reached an agreement. Then we approached you Top users to gather at least 300,000 Euros for the down payment to the bank. You answered the call with great generosity and encouragement. See this page, it is such a blessing!

Now, by the grace of God, we have met half the total. We believe that God will provide for what is missing. So, with great confidence in God, we signed the purchase agreement on September 16, 2010, as you can see in the video below.

TopMission, the organization, will buy the property. TopMission manages all the activities of the web portal Top Chrétien such as, TopChrétien.com, ConnaitreDieu.com, MonEglise.net, etc.. The President of the association, Nathalie Texier, was mandated by the General Assembly to carry out all the necessary steps. You see her signing the document in the video. TopMission is a recognized general interest organization, empowered to receive donations, give tax receipts, and, of course, buy offices to accomplish its objective.

Here is the agenda set at the signing: The final sale will take place November 30, 2010. Meanwhile, we have 20 days to prove that we have taken steps to seek the remaining funds from banks. Then, we have 40 days to obtain a loan agreement. That’s what the document states. However, we believe that God will provide for the full amount and we will not need a bank loan. This may sound crazy, but crazy and faith are two very similar words in the dictionary! We’re not crazy, but we have faith. How God will do it, I do not know; But, he will do it, that I know!

If we pay cash, we will not have to pay rent every month, and we will be able to invest more in Top Chrétien’s projects. Also, if God has already provided half the amount, why wouldn’t he provide the other half? Why limit God? It’s his work. It’s his kingdom. It’s for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died that we are buying this property! So count on him! He made water gush out of the rock, rained down manna, fed a prophet with crows … he is the same God we serve. As a friend wrote me recently: What God commands, he pays for!

Join your faith with mine and together let’s experience God’s provision. This purchase will not only be an encouragement to Top Chrétien, but for all of us, will also be further proof that our God is alive and that he owns gold and silver!

PS: If God leads you to talk about our need to those around you or to help the Top take this second step, we would be very honored. To donate, please contact:
David Broussard
Phone: 678-205-6859
FAX: 866-516-9404
givingfunds@ccfof.org

Mailing Address:
Christian Community Foundation of France
829 Stansbury Drive
Marietta, GA 30066
USA

The Christian Community Foundation of France is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #20-3098434.

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

*** Billy Graham’s Son ***

Those of you who know something about my life story are aware that my first full-time job, after military service, was working for Billy Graham. That was 25 years ago in 1986! At that time, I had the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at a university specializing in Computer Science in Toulouse. I gladly accepted, but after praying, I realized that God’s will was something entirely different! I had to return to my mother’s home in the Paris area. Young in the faith, it was not easy for me to obey, and I must admit that I resisted as much as I could. But one day I surrendered and I said to God, “If it’s what you want, then I’ll do it. You win!” It was the end of my computer dreams … At least, that’s what I thought, but you know Top Chrétien and you see that God had the final word!

At that time, I found myself unemployed! That lasted six months. After six months, I was desperate. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I prayed to God, saying, “I can’t take this anymore. I am in this situation because I wanted to obey you. You’ve got to help me!” Shortly afterward, the phone rang, and Marcel, an elder from my church in Pontoise, said to me, “Have you ever heard of Billy Graham? He’s an American evangelist who is coming to preach the Gospel at the new Paris Bercy Auditorium (the Palais Omnisport in Bercy was brand new at the time). He is looking for a team of highly-motivated youth, willing to work without being really well-paid, so I thought of you!” I didn’t know Billy Graham at all, but I joyfully accepted. So that’s how my first job in life came to be preparing an evangelism crusade that would affect tens of thousands of lives in Paris and also many others by satellite retransmission.

My work was really very insignificant. My main job was to stamp letters, and since the machine was very noisy, I was relegated to a garage next to the offices. Often, I prayed for the people who would receive these letters. I was a very young convert and my attitude was far from excellent. Sometimes, I complained as I did my job, and unfortunately, I was also negligent. Nevertheless, these people trusted me even though I was the youngest member of the team. I learned a lot about serving God, about organization, about teamwork, about the big, multi-denominational family of God, and especially, about evangelism. On certain evenings, I had the great privilege, for a twenty-one year old, to sit on the stage and see thousands of people respond to the call. And it was there, on that stage at Bercy, that I said to Jesus. “I, too, want to be a soul-winner. Use my life, use me so that others know you!”

And this is what God has done! He has made me an evangelist, and my passion, which has not changed, is to see men and women find Jesus. And it is by means of the Internet and computers that this is happening! God has blessed me beyond my expectations by allowing me, with this great team around me, to see so many people come to him through the website KnowingGod.net. It now exists in sixteen languages. Glory to God! I know that this has been possible because the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) had confidence in me. Today, I would like to give back to them a “return on their investment”.

In a few days, I am going to meet Franklin Graham (the president of BGEA) and offer his organization a KnowingGod website that our team has specifically designed to reach the USA and the wider English-speaking world.

The meeting will take place on September 21st at 10.30 am (East Coast Time). I would really like for you to pray for this appointment. I believe that it is a time set by God from all eternity, and I would not want us to miss what God wants to do. Thanks for supporting your French friend so that I can represent you well. Stéphane, the coordinator of the TopChrétien web portal, will accompany me.

Will you pray for us?

Be blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** How will you Respond to Pastor Claude Houde's Appeal? ***

Already more than 1000 Christians have committed themselves to support the project and more than half of the needed amount has been promised. This is truly wonderful! Some have promised 10 Euros and others, 10,000! The Bible states: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7  Thank you to each one of these donors, for I know that much effort and sacrifice have been made, but they were made with joy! I am moved when I read the commentaries on the page Together, Let’s Buy Top Chrétien’s Offices!

More and more people understand that this is not just a real estate project. This goes much further: it’s a spiritual challenge! We want to be able to receive new team members, and thus, be able to receive more souls with the Gospel. We want to be able to develop new services on Top Chrétien.

This has been an extraordinary week! Decisions for Jesus by the thousands and, in particular, the son of one of our Top Chrétien team members who gave his life to Jesus on one of our websites, ConnaitreDieu.com! Imagine the joy of this father who found his son who was lost! This father is our treasurer and his son’s decision occurred the very same day that he wrote the letter of intention to the owner stating that we wanted to buy his property! At the same moment that our treasurer was making this very important step of faith, God saved his son. Thank you, Lord!

You see, this son is a living illustration of why we want to buy these offices: so that other sons and daughters will come back to their heavenly Father.

I would like to invite you to watch this video of Pastor Claude Houde of New Life Church in Longueuil. Thank you to him as well as to every pastor, church, or Christian who has added or would like to add his brick to the building.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfssJ7tksWA]

How to make a donation? Go to this page, click on donate to the right, fill in the amount, and complete the form. If you prefer to send a check, the address is indicated.

*** French-Speaking Churches Mobilizing ***

In 1986, I had the privilege of participating on Billy Graham’s team in France for eleven months. Billy Graham was coming to Bercy and the weeklong campaign had to be organized. It was an incredible event during which thousands of people came to Jesus. I was the youngest team member and my role was to put stamps on letters, lots of letters. I had a room all to myself since the machine was so noisy. Or maybe, was it my nature that was too noisy? LOL. At any rate, I was part of these changed lives, what a privilege!

One thing that truly marked me during this preparation was the mobilizing of the churches. Numerous churches of all denominations united to proclaim the name of Jesus.

Today I rejoice to see French-speaking churches mobilizing around another “e-vangelist”, the widget Jesus.net!

But what is this widget? It is a mini-version of ConnaitreDieu which can be integrated into any website, in particular into a church website. And, if a person goes through the course, prays, and leaves personal information, these are sent to the local church in question.

Take a look at the map below (You can zoom it.).  It shows you the churches that have installed the Jesus.net widget. Isn’t this encouraging? In one and a half months, 120 churches have already adopted it. And these churches are from 20 different denominations! Congratulations to their pastors and also to their webmasters.

Click to see the map: http://topchretien.widget.jesus.net/map.php?&print_domaine_num=15

Some examples of church websites (click on a name to see): Centre Evangélique PhiladelphiaEglise Protestante Baptiste de Joinville-le-Pont Église de Pentecôte de Drummondville Evangélique Eglise évangélique d’Echallens EvangéliqueSource de Vie Eglises en Cévennes Eglise de Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Eglise évangélique de Réveil de Martigny Antibes Evangélique Assemblee Chretienne de Chaville Eglise Chrétienne Evangélique

Installing the widget is really very simple. If you have a website, don’t miss this opportunity. Here is the link to register. I would love to see many more churches using this free service. And that together, we throw out the net once again!

I invite you to read this testimony received via the widget that touched me a lot:

“My name is Salomon. I am 16 years old and I have been a believer since I was a child, my father being a pastor. In my church, everyone was blessed except me. It was a friend that proposed that I visit Top Chretien. So, I visited the website, but I was desperate for I believed that God would not speak to me. But today, I fell on my knees and I said the prayer at the end of the widget. I did it with all my heart, and when I finished praying, I felt that God had pardoned my sins and it was as if water was running over me. Today, I am certain that God has pardoned me. From this day on, I put all my trust in the all-powerful God and I give him all of my life. I love him with all my heart! From this moment on, I only live for him. Glory to God! Thank you, Top Chretien!”

Tell me what you think about this tool and what you can do to recommend it?

*** Reaching an Online Generation ***

In terms of size, the Internet is already very large. Let’s just take two figures: there are 1.5 billion Internet users with 350 million of them on Facebook.  The new generation is online! The number of users is exploding and is going to grow to three billion in the coming years thanks to mobile phones with Internet access. The potential to spread the good news is phenomenal (click here to read more about this).

It has been twelve years since I started using the Internet to share the gospel. In 1997, I launched a website to promote the church I was planting in the south of France. Then, in 1998, I launched a Christian portal (www.topchretien.com), and in 2003, a multi-lingual evangelistic website called www.LookingforGod.com. Since that time, sixty million people have visited the websites and millions have accepted the Lord or rededicated their lives to him. I am blessed and amazed to be a laborer in his harvest! But one laborer alone cannot make a big difference. Jesus said, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers [plural] into his harvest.”

Therefore, together with other laborers representing different Christian organizations in about fifteen countries, we developed the Jesus Internet Project to strategically position websites on the Internet, in the main languages of the Internet. Some websites act as bridges to the main websites (landing pages), others present the gospel, others are entirely dedicated to the follow-up of seekers who want to learn more about Jesus. We are calling it the “stepping stones strategy.”

Together, we want to use and promote a common brand: Jesus.net. We invite every person or organization on the Internet to join us. Our goal is simple: make Jesus famous on the Internet! We will develop and offer a tool which is able to transform every website into an evangelistic one. The real strength of Christians is revealed when they overcome their differences to work in unity.

For many, the Internet is an additional audience for their ministry. For others, it is a way to earn money. I believe the Internet is the best opportunity for Christians to work together to make Jesus and his message known.

We need to understand that the Internet is far bigger than any organization and that building one’s “own little kingdom” is not the solution. Together we can do what no one can do alone!

What Are Christians Doing on the Internet?
Christians have launched websites to present their services and their message. As a result, there are a huge number of sites, most of which receive very few visits. If you type the word “God” in Google, you will find 365,000,000 pages—one million pages to visit each day during one whole year.

Christian use the Internet in many different ways:

Type of Website Goal Stats Examples The Challenge
Institutional communication website Make one’s organization or church known From a couple dozen to thousands of visits per day BillyGraham.org, LifeChurch.tv Presenting the message instead of promoting the organization/founder
Personal website Share one’s point of view in a blog, a personal site, myspace.com, etc. From a couple dozen to thousands of visits per day PhilCooke.com, TheDigitalSanctuary.org Visibility is essential; the site needs real differentiating to stand out from the rest
Evangelistic website Share the good news From a couple dozen to thousands of visits per day LookingForGod.com, Jesus2020.com Being well positioned in well-known search engines in order to reach seekers in spiritual need
Content website Make one’s content known From a couple hundred to a few thousand visits per day ChristianityToday.com, FocusOnTheFamily.com Navigation, because the richer the content, the easier you can get lost
Commercial website Sell products and services From a couple hundred to a few thousand visits per day ChristianBook.com Having each item well referenced by search engines
Free resources website Offer a free service, such as a directory, an online community, a search engine, an online Bible, an online church service, etc. From a couple hundred to a few thousand visits per day BibleGateway.com, YouVersion.com, ChristianGo.com Having a simple and effective concept, because the new trend is no more the global portal but the specialized website, concentrating on one main function
Community website To create one’s own website by using existing social networks, in particular Facebook and Twitter From a couple hundred to a few thousand visits per day The group called “I-Love-Jesus” in Facebook already has more than one million members Being able to answer the question, “Now, what am I going to do with all those members?”

These different ways of using the Internet combine with more or less success. But what is really trendy today is simplification. KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) applies well to the Internet. Even Microsoft, which just launched their search engine (Bing.com), finally understands this. Lots of Christian organizations try to mix everything in one website. As a result, very few succeed (considering the Internet scale). Moreover, the most visited religious website happens to be a Muslim one!

Measuring the “Success” of a Website
Some people think success shouldn’t be measured. In 2007, Brown Governance and the Internet Evangelism Coalition compiled an excellent survey called “International Internet Evangelism Performance Measurement Report.” Below is part of the report:

Two respondents articulated that measurement should be “left to God.” While God will no doubt take the final and ultimate measures of the efforts of individual Christians and Christian organizations, should this keep us from creating, implementing, measuring, adjusting, and reporting on our strategies and efforts? We believe that Christian organizations should not feel threatened by an expectation of results. Results are important to God—if they weren’t, he would not have given us a mission to begin with. We believe that the Church needs to be reproducing and it should therefore engage in measurement to ensure that it is.

There are many ways to measure success for a website. As a missionary on the Internet, my best tool to measure effectiveness goes beyond figures. A ministry CEO once said, “Eric, all these figures are just virtual! It’s only figures and behind them there is probably nothing more!” On that same day, a friend of mine who is a French pastor sent me a short message while he was visiting Algeria. It said, “Eric, guess what I’m doing? I’m baptizing someone who accepted Jesus on one of your evangelistic websites!” Or, consider Mariana, who is living in the Palestinian territories. When we launched MaarifatAllah.com (LookingforGod in Arabic language) in December 2006, she was the first seeker to write us. She said, “I would like to have Jesus in my life!” Since that date, more than fifty thousand Arabs (most from a Muslim background) wrote to tell us the same thing!

A successful website is one which has a lot of visits, a continuing high growth, a worldwide audience, a high conversion rate, is very visible in search engines—and which has very high offline results. To keep being successful in the long term on the Internet, we need to cleverly use not only the best existing tools, but also be ready to start new ways and approaches.

Are New Approaches Possible to Reach the Online Generation?
I think so! Last year we participated in a brainstorming session with other pioneers of the church-planting movement (CPM) and Internet evangelism. One of the results was the launch of a blog called “reachingtheonlinegeneration.com” by Paul Watson to try to apply the principles of CPM multiplication to the Internet. With partners and friends, we are exploring the following avenues:

  1. A new online follow-up service for seekers. The method used by most organizations involved in Internet evangelism comes from evangelistic campaigns; we ask a spiritual counsellor to take care of the “new convert” and we measure the result. But another approach is possible with Internet: using a PUSH instead of PULL approach.
  2. E-learning applied to discipleship. For the last eight years, EO (a Dutch Christian organization) has gotten incredible results by using E-learning. For example, in Poland, fifty percent of the people following the five-week lessons of the E-learning course are joining a local church or an Alpha course.
  3. Artificial intelligence applied to evangelization and discipleship. Why not use artificial intelligence to present the Bible in a more attractive way that is based upon the seeker’s need? It’s now possible.
  4. Viral effect of CPM applied to the Internet. A real viral movement can occur on the Internet. To do so, we need to help new believers to reach their “Oikos” online.
  5. An interactive Facebook application. What do you think of an application that would present the gospel according to your Facebook profile and that would help you testify to your online friends?
  6. An online church. I am not talking about broadcasting church services online as many churches actually do. I am thinking about a church with services, pastors, sermons, prayer rooms, and spiritual growth resources especially dedicated to online people who don’t have a church. This online church would have two main goals: make disciples and start offline churches.
  7. Using the Internet to reach cities. It is possible to target cities according to the needs of the Internet users living in those cities. Did you know that the town where the word “depression” is the most searched on the Internet is Melbourne, Australia? And that the city where the word “suicide” is the most searched is Portland, Oregon, USA?

If you are interested in one of the projects above—and if you want to know more about it—or if you want to be involved in the Jesus Internet Project, please send us a comment. Innovative ideas are also very welcome! Please be praying about how you can be involved in Internet evangelism.