*** An Open Letter to My Friends ***

ONE VISION …

Our ministry developments are impressive. They are occurring nationally with Top Chrétien and internationally with Jesus.net. Opportunities present themselves one after the other, and the list of projects is getting longer and longer. As our Anglo-Saxon friends say “Every one of them is very exciting.”

Recently the president of a big international ministry told us: “I want this project for 5 million churches…” All of this seems very good but one question keeps growing in me: “What does God want? What should we accept, refuse, put off until later?” I have an evangelist’s heart. I would like everyone to know Jesus but I cannot save the world. It’s Jesus who is the Savior!

I am also feeling the pressure on our small team. Lots of work but few workers. I do not want them to “burn out.” They are very precious, especially my wife.

So what should we do? I know the spiritual response: “Pray, ask God, let the Holy Spirit lead you,…” That’s true, but it’s not that simple! God also speaks through opportunities, divine connections, circumstances,… What I understand is that God expects me to become more and more of a “true” spiritual leader, that is someone who listens to him and obeys him. God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts!”

It’s a challenge for me. The future of a family, a team, and a ministry depends upon this listening and divine direction. Would you like to accompany me with your prayers? I never want to stop learning, growing and, when necessary, changing.

Thank you for your friendship and your advice which are so precious to me.

Eric Célérier

*** Sur la route ! ***

With Franklin Graham ...

Yes, it’s French and for those who do not know the language of Rousseau that means: on the road! I have been traveling a lot recently and I will be “on the road” again soon!

I wanted to keep you informed of my interview with Franklin Graham held last week. You probably remember the blog: Billy Graham’s Son, and perhaps you even prayed for this appointment? If so, thank you very much because this meeting was amazing. God did things beyond my expectations! This meeting was supposed to take 30 minutes, but instead, it lasted for 3 hours. It seems this never happens since Franklin Graham’s schedule is so tight due to his multiple activities (Franklin is also the president of Samaritan’s Purse, a charitable organization that distributes among other gifts, 8 million gift boxes for children at Christmas). At the end of the interview, with tears in his eyes, Franklin listened and shared his own experiences as well!

God's Ambassadors!

The purpose of this meeting with Franklin was to see whether a partnership would be possible between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Top Chrétien to reach even more people on the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And the first result is that five people (four vice-presidents and a director for the Internet) are coming  to Paris in three days to attend our Jesus.net conference, which will take place next week! Can you pray for this conference?

Jesus.net is the name that includes all our international activities, such as various websites -  ConnaitreDieu.com (16 languages) and also a discipleship website we use in several countries (WhyJesus). At the conference, there will be 75 people (website coordinators) from 21 countries! We will discuss the progress made in different countries and give glory to God together! It’s just wonderful to see what God’s grace has accomplished, and it’s so encouraging to see so many people find Jesus as their Savior through the Internet. To Him be the glory!

With Stéphan and Jean Claude, a French chef we met at BGEA

After the Jesus.net conference, I have to go to South Africa for a conference that focuses on world evangelism. Four thousand representatives from around the world will gather to reflect on the proclamation of the Gospel, share and pray together (see my page on the website Lausanne.org). Some people will represent France. The conference was initiated by Billy Graham in Lausanne in 1974. That’s why it’s called the Lausanne Conference. It occurs very rarely and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people worldwide (The Lausanne Movement) so that the name of Jesus, the only name given among men by which we can be saved, still be proclaimed forever!

The Top team has provided somewhat outmoded but very humorous communication for this conference to mobilize the troops for evangelism through the Internet. I will tell you all about it in an upcoming blog. Fasten your seat belts, we will soon take off ;-)

Be Blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** 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.

*** The TOP! It's Each One of Us! ***

Yesterday, someone asked about the campaign for donations to purchase the Top Chrétien offices. I thanked the person. He answered, “You don’t have to thank me because the Top, it’s each one of us!”

He’s right! The Top is like a living building consisting of its members. Pastor Yvan Castanou told me, “Each Internet user must understand that he is a living stone in the building you want to buy.”

Do you feel that you are part of Top Chrétien, of its history and of its future, or are you just a user/consumer of the Top?

As of today, nearly 2000 Internet users have understood that they’re the Top. They have understood that it’s a collective work that we are building together. What an encouragement for our team! How we praise the Lord for their support!

The Top actually counts tens of thousands of daily users. Imagine if each one brought his little stone to the building. We could construct the house pretty quickly! Imagine that each one realizes the opportunity to invest by sowing seed in a ministry of evangelism like the Top! So then millions of people could be reached and discover faith, perhaps even their own families! It’s today that we need you and your step of faith, for tomorrow will be too late.

Mohammed Sanogo has captured it well. Watch this video and you will understand why this former Muslim, now a pastor, thinks that the Top is each one of us.

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

If you are part of those who haven’t yet sown seed for the purchase of the Top offices, could you take a moment to ask God what you should do?

The Top is you, too!

Eric Célérier

Campaign for DonationsMake a Donation now

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P.S. Testimony of an Internet user: ” At our small level we made a gesture that has given us joy. The Top is a blessing for the French-speaking world and for the entire world through KnowingGod.net. … May the abundance of the Lord be poured out over all of you. Gaël

*** A Turning Point for Top Chrétien ***

Top Chrétien has experienced important events like, for example, launching the Thought for the Day, Top TV, KnowingGod.net, MonEglise.net or even this blog through which I am in direct contact with you :-)

And we are actively preparing a small revolution for the beginning of the school year with the launching of Top Music. Also in preparation is version 2 of MonEglise.net which should become accessible on French TV via FreeBox. Isn’t that great?

Today, the challenge before us isn’t programming a new section, but it’s buying our offices. To sum it up, we rent space too small for our team in a large house, and we have the opportunity to buy the entire house and, as the Bible says, extend the borders of our tent.

The Monday after Pentecost Sunday, several Top Chrétien leaders and my friend from Quebec, Pastor Paul Goulet, were praying in my office. During this time of prayer, God clearly indicated to us that we should buy our offices. However, at that time, they were not for sale. The following week, we got a phone call from the owner announcing that he was going to sell them while up to that time he had preferred that we leave! What an incredible turnaround!

So, since that morning, I have been praying for this situation and asking God: What do we do? One morning, my daily Bible reading brought me to 1 Kings 7 when God tells Elijah to go to a widow’s house to be given something to eat. He tells him, “I have ordered a widow to give you something to eat.” However, when Elijah asks the widow for something to eat, she is surprised because she didn’t know about it…In fact, God had already ordered it in the heavenly realms, but it still had to happen on the earth. To feed Elijah, God was going to use a simple widow for whom virtually nothing remained to eat and who was just waiting for her son and herself to die. However, God had another plan for this woman, and through her generosity, he was going to bless her and her son! God will even make her a promise. ‘For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.”‘ And later on, God even raises her son from the dead through the prophet that she had fed! What blessings flowed from her obedience!

This is how God showed me that he had ordered the purchase of our offices, and that he had even chosen Internet users to give for this purchase, even if they didn’t know about it yet! Maybe you are like this woman, surprised by this request, but if God wants to use you, he has even planned to bless you through your generosity, and to accomplish his word through you. I believe it with all my heart!

So, we are launching an information campaign for this project. For many years, we have chosen to be discreet in our requests for donations. Besides, 2 out of 3 Top Chrétien Internet users think that we do not make our financial needs known often enough (survey taken by 22,000 Internet users). We know how much money is a touchy subject in our French-speaking countries, and we do not want to hurt people’s sensitivity! However, it is also important that we make our needs known when we have them. And right now we have a very concrete and urgent need. For thirty days, Top Chrétien is going to very actively make this need known through the campaign: Together, Let’s Buy the Top Chrétien Offices! Of course, we are counting on God and our faith is in him. Nevertheless, we also believe that God wants to use each one of us to meet this need.

You can be part of the on-line campaign. Just click on this link

Together, Let’s Buy the Top Chrétien Offices

Thanks in advance for your prayers, your encouragement, your thoughts, and your generosity.

*** Quality is never an accident ***

Someone once said, Quality is never an accident. It’s always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and talented execution.

Besides, isn’t this what God demonstrated by his extraordinary creation? High intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and talented execution?

God expects the best from us for his work. Let’s drop the “just abouts”, the mediocrity, and let’s seek quality. Let’s pursue excellence in every project we endeavor.

One day, a father gave some advice to his son: Whatever work you do, just always do more than what is expected of you, and you will never miss out on a promotion. You will finish at the very top!

Jesus said that to the one who is faithful in the little things, he will entrust greater things.

Gideon was still threshing wheat when God already saw him as a valliant hero, a liberator! God knew that Gideon was going to give his best and count on God, whatever the circumstances.

No matter where you come from, you can accomplish exploits for God. But this will be done in stages. At each stage, pursue excellence, give the best of yourself. Then, move to the next stage. Don’t shoot too high or too far before even beginning, but seek to do a quality job of whatever is entrusted to you. And I am sure that God will take you far!

At Top Chretien, we believe that God wants to take us further. But we are aware that we need each one of you to get there. What can we do together to improve the quality of Top Chretien? I would truly like to have your opinion.

*** Charisma ***

Charisma is a well-known magazine in the United States. It has nothing at all to do with the church of the same name. It has a readership of approximately 600,000 people. Charisma is going to publish its May 2010 issue on the theme of the vision of the Church in 2020. Since we are launching the widget Jesus.net in the USA, Charisma decided to ask us some questions. So here is a sneak preview for you on the TopBlog, their questions and my answers. I thought this would be very useful for all the people who ask themselves: what is Top Chretien? This week, I am publishing the first half, and next week, the second half. Enjoy reading the blog and please let me know what you think, I really enjoy reading your comments…

Charisma: Jesus.net, what is it?

Jesus.net is an evangelism concept that functions 24 hours a day.  The goal of Jesus.net is to help Internet users connect to God and then, encourage them to join a local church. Our mission is simple: “Reach the Internet Generation” thanks to the different Internet websites that we have such as, ConnaitreDieu.Jesus.net, actually available in the sixteen most used languages on the Internet. TopChretien.Jesus.net: a Christian resource website to edify, encourage, and connect Internet users with each other. MonEglise.Jesus.net: a website dedicated especially to new converts to connect them to a local church. Local partner churches in each country always follow up on the new converts. In summary, Jesus.net is “GloCal Evangelism”! A Global tool with loCal impact! Today, according to Alexa, which ranks the world’s websites, Jesus.net is the second most visited Christian website in the world, after BibleGateway.com and just before the Vatican’s website!

Charisma: How did it begin?

Everything began in 1997. I launched my first website that year as I was planting a church in Givors, a town in the Lyon region. At that time, I had no doubt that it was probably the first church website in the French-speaking world! Two years later, I launched TopChretien.com, a French Christian web portal. In ten years, this French website has received more than 50 million visits. But I had the heart of an evangelist! I have to tell you about my first job in Paris. I was 20 years-old and for eleven months, I was able to work with the 1986 Billy Graham Evangelism Campaign team in Paris. When, from the stage, I saw all the people coming forward in response to the call to receive Jesus, I prayed: “Jesus, here’s my life. Use it to help people to meet Jesus personally!” And that’s exactly what God did! Everything began with a simple call which then spread to France to reach today the nations of the entire world! Every day, 1500 to 2000 people say “Yes” to Jesus through Jesus.net. I am grateful to God, and I believe that these are only the small beginnings.

Charisma: I noticed that 1.7 million people have clicked to accept Jesus. How does that work?

Every day, more than 5 million people look for spiritual answers to their questions on the Internet. We buy ads on Facebook, Google, etc. to reach people who are seeking. We announce the Good News to them through a very simple series which ends with a prayer of repentance (ConnaitreDieu.com) Then, these people can let us know their decision by clicking “I have just prayed to accept Jesus.” They can also ask to receive a free Bible and to be put in contact with a spiritual counselor from a local church partner. The 1.7 million decisions that you have seen all come from people who have clicked “Yes, I prayed!” since 2005. Many of them come from Muslim nations. It’s marvelous. In December 2006, after launching the website in Arabic MaarifatAllah.Jesus.net, we were waiting for the first decision! A woman wrote this to us: “My name is Mariana. I am from Nazareth. I would like to invite Jesus to come into my life.” Wow! Can you imagine our joy! The month of December, the first person to accept Jesus on the website in Arabic is called, after a fashion, “Mary” of Nazareth! That doesn’t remind you of someone? It was a super encouragement for the entire team!

Charisma: Do your websites have preaching and music on demand?

Yes, according to the language used, the Internet user has access to different follow-up tools. One of them is an online church that presents the Gospel message to people who are seeking. Another tool is a four-week course based on a book by Nikki Gumbel, Why Jesus? and entitled WhyJesus.net! It’s a kind of “pre-Alpha” series online. In addition, of course, we have many Christian resources such as, audio messages, videos, etc. on our web portals TopChretien.Jesus.net and GodRev.Jesus.net.

Charisma: What is your reaction or what would you like to share on the subject of the 1.7 million people who accepted Jesus on your websites overall?

I am simply astonished and blessed. We developed an application enabling us to visualize decisions in real time on Google Earth (See decisions.jesus.net). Actually, on the average, every minute a person says “Yes” to Jesus. I bless God all the time. I am only a pastor in France, but one whose team now has a global impact. What a blessing! When I began in the ministry, I was particularly moved by this verse: “My grace is sufficient for you because my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Therefore, I want to glory more and more in my weaknesses so that the power of Christ is manifested in my life. You must know that at the time I was beginning the Internet ministry, I experienced enormous attacks. The week that the Top was launched, I was seriously affected in my health and in a hospital bed, the doctors not knowing whether I would live or die! I know that if all of this exists today, it is by the grace of God. His grace is sufficient! No, this will never be Eric’s ministries (the Ministries of Eric)! It’s Jesus’ ministry! ADSL (A Dieu soit la louange) (To God be the praise)

More to follow…

Eric

*** Let's Vote! ***

At this period in France, regional elections are taking place. Nevertheless, it is not this type of election that I am going to talk to you about in this blog, but about the opportunities to vote that you can find on Top Chretien.

In our last blog on the Thought for the Day, I remarked that several of you had sent your reservations concerning the voting system on Top Chretien. I have to tell you that I really appreciate reading each one of your comments, allowing me to understand the perception, sometimes different from what one can have of things, as seen from inside the Top Chretien offices and from the side of the users, of whom you are a part.  In a future blog, by the way, I will have to show you the Top Chretien offices…

Top Chretien.com has two voting systems: one for the articles and the other for the comments.

One of you said that he/she didn’t appreciate voting on the articles because it seemed to express a judgment of pastors who write certain articles. Moreover, in considering the star system, permitting a vote on the quality of the article, we realized that, in the end, practically all the articles, excepting those of TopInfo, receive votes that are very close. Most of them, after several days, have an average rating of 4,5 out of 5, whatever the number of votes.

It is true that this voting system is not relevant, and we are going to change it to a system close to Facebook’s, which states “I like this article” and a short sentence like “So and so (your name) liked this article” will be published on your news feed.

Thank you to this Internet user for the comment that is going to help us improve Top Chretien. We will continue to keep a listing of the “most-liked” articles because it is very practical, especially for TopInfo, to find information on the news which seems the most relevant for the Top’s Internet users.

The other voting system, which had a lot more written about it, is  the one that has the little thumb in the air and the little thumb pointing down for the comments. Eighteen months ago, we put this system in place with the new version of Top Chretien, for a very simple reason. Previously, we were moderating all the reactions ourselves. In other words, before a comment appeared on the Top, it was validated by a Top team member. However, with the Top getting bigger, it became an impossible task, given the great number of reactions.

You must realize that every day, hundreds of comments and reactions are left on Top Chretien. At the end of the month, that can add up to 10,000 comments, which is humanly impossible to manage!

So we found this solution: the Top Internet users moderate the reactions, thanks to the little thumbs. In fact, when you vote on someone’s comment, you participate in the moderation of the comment. Thus, if a comment is voted negatively many times (four times), it is automatically removed from Top Chretien’s comments. So, the objective is not to put a grade on the comment, nor to keep you from expressing yourself, but simply to avoid having serious things which sometimes appear  on Top Chretien. Nevertheless, the unfortunate side is that certain comments are sometimes removed even though they add to the debate.

As a result of your reactions on this subject, we have reflected, and I would like to propose to you a new system. In addition, I would like to know what you think about it. We will continue to put beside each comment a little button which allows an indication that one likes the comment or not. And if a comment is disapproved by several Top Internet users, it will be “marked down” instead of being eliminated. That is to say, one could always read it, if one so desires. It will always be there, but it will be marked as having been disapproved by several Top Chretien users.

This will allow for a debate not to be cut off and, at the same time, if something is truly bad, to indicate it. Thus, if a user continually leaves “closed” comments, we would be able very simply to deactivate the possibility for the person to leave comments.

Here is what we found after having read your comments. I would like to know what you think before putting it into place. While waiting, if one of your comments disappears, know that it’s not the Top team that has eliminated it, but that it is the users. Therefore, moderate your words! ;-)

Thanks for your attention, for reading, and for your comments on this subject.

Eric

*** Thought for the Day: Do you like it? ***

Did you know that the Thought for the Day is the most used service on Top Chretien? This week we went beyond the symbolic mark of 30,000 email subscribers to the Thought for the Day. Now we would really like to have an iPhone application for the Thought for the Day. Besides, we are looking for an applications’ developer who would want to help us. ;-)

Let me tell you about how the Thought for the Day came about. It’s an astonishing story, as it often happens in what God does!

My friend, Pastor Bertrand Colpier, invited me to preach at a Youth Rally in 2000. I had probably misunderstood the date of the Rally, and I arrived at Bertrand’s home two days ahead of schedule, which really didn’t suit him at all… but God had a plan!

At that time (already 10 years ago), very few pastors were using the Internet. Imagine my surprise when I saw Bertrand writing a short pastoral thought by email before going to bed.

-”What are you doing, Bertrand?” I asked him.

-”I am writing a brief thought for the day for the Christians of my church who have Internet.”

-”What a good pastor! And how many are there?”

-”7!”

-”And you wouldn’t like to write it for 700?”

-”700? But how is that possible?”

-Since we have a free day tomorrow, we could propose a new service to the Top Chretien Internet users: Thought for the Day. What do you think?”

-”OK, I’m ready to do it. It’s a great idea. Thank you, Lord!”

The next day, we wrote to all the website portal users. The Top was only one year old. The first day, one hundred Internet users subscribed, and we rapidly attained 700. Thank you, Bertrand, for becoming the first author of the Thought for the Day! In 10 years, thousands of Thoughts have been sent, and hundreds of thousands of encouraged Christians have posted comments on the website portal. Glory to God!

Today, Carolle Wright (pictured in this blog) manages this service and follows up on the Thought for the Day authors. Carolle is a Top Chretien missionary, and you can support her (Click to know more about Carolle).

We have French-speaking authors, for example Samuel Foucart, and English-speaking authors, such as Rick Warren or Joyce Meyer. Carolle prays to know which Thought to put on which day. Her concern is that the Thought for the Day appears at the right moment and best responds to the Internet users’ needs. And God knows them, the needs!

“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,” states the Bible in Proverbs 25:11. (The Message)

When we read the comments, we are amazed to see how God speaks and acts through this tool.

The most commented Thoughts for the Day

The most read Thoughts for the Day

And you, have you been blessed by the Thought for the Day? What do you think of this Top Chretien service?

*** Music Maestro! ***

A few months ago we sent out a survey entitled “Together, Let’s improve the Top!” More than 20,000 Internet users responded. We spent time sorting out the responses, the requests, and the very numerous encouraging messages. Have you already tried to read 14,000 encouraging messages? I have, and I am so pleased that Top Chretien is such a blessing. Thank you, my God, for causing this tool to be developed! Of course, there were also the inevitable criticisms, but for the most part, they were constructive.

This feedback, negative or positive, is essential for us. Besides, that’s why the Top Blog exists! It enables us to improve, and to be in contact with you, the Internet users whom we serve. If you would like to study the survey results more closely, click here. You’ll see, they are very interesting.

One of the greatest requests was that we add a section dedicated to music and worship. It’s true. This is missing on the Top Chretien portal. Stephan, the Top Chretien portal manager, and several Top team members went to work on it. So, you should soon see the arrival of Top Music.

Nevertheless, we still need your opinion to make sure that we have truly understood your request. So, what would you like to find in a section dedicated to Christian music? Your opinion is indispensable. Don’t miss the opportunity to give it.