“Active Christianity” mission initiative reaching more people
BCC has done missionary work in different parts of the world for decades. Today the Christian message is conveyed via websites and social media as well, which reach around the world. A small staff at the Oslo headquarters maintains them.
By: Johanne Reiersrud – Photos: BCC
“We started in 2008 and have seen a steady rise in readership the last ten years. But before summer something happened,” says Milenko van der Staal, editor of the website Active Christianity.
Van der Staal has responsibility for a staff of four employees, in addition to several volunteer workers. He is among those involved in publishing content several times a week in 13 different languages. Inspiration for dynamic, active Christianity is provided in articles, e-books, and posts on Instagram and Facebook.
2018 – Breakthrough rise in readership
“We`ve been systematically and steadily working on both content and platforms for several years,” says Milenko. “In 2016 we moved the website to the address activechristianity.org, and in the course of 2017 were well established in 12 languages.”
Last year the website had a pronounced increase in total readers. This spring its Google rankings improved significantly causing an almost immediate doubling in daily hits.
“It was a small breakthrough. After that, we have continued to improve and have seen increases from around 5,500 daily visitors to about 18,500 in August,” smiles Milenko.
Milenko van der Staal is editor for the website activechristianity.org, which is currently experiencing an exponential increase in readership. Photo: BCC
Biggest increases are in North and Latin America
The new visitors to the site clearly favor English and Spanish, and are for the most part from North, Middle, and South America.
“We see a big interest in Christianity in these geographical areas. For that reason, we consciously implemented English as our primary language, but on social media we plan an expansion in Spanish too.”
Commitment to social media is a central part of reaching more people. In addition to the website, Active Christianity has a Facebook profile and two Instagram profiles in English. Altogether, Active Christianity has over 100,000 followers on these two platforms.
“Social media provides much greater freedom to communicate more directly and more personally with people. We write about many different themes which Christians are interested in, and research which themes our visitors are interested in reading about,” clarifies Milenko.
Lauren works with social media at the main office in Oslo. As of today, social media profiles are in English, but soon efforts will be expanded to include Spanish. Photo: BCC
Literature bank is a source of inspiration for a happy life
In addition, our most valuable content and church literature can be found in articles and e-books on the website, where it`s possible to search under different categories. By using the website, BCC`s members have a useful reference tool when they want to share the Christian message and life they have chosen with others.
Milenko van der Staal explains that his personal motivation was his own Christian life.
“I have become happy by listening and using the word that Jesus brought to us. The gospel of Jesus has a positive, uplifting effect in my life, and I want to be a part of sharing it with as many as are interested in hearing about it.”
Launch of new test project in October
Milenko and the rest of the staff at Active Christianity wish to continue to develop and use new platforms. In October, they will launch its first webinar, and invite Facebook followers to participate online.
“The webinar will address current themes in sessions of 30 minutes each. Several different English-speaking evangelists are invited, and it will be possible to send in “live” questions. It will be interesting, but it`s the first time we`re trying it, so we`re crossing our fingers that the technical aspects work as they are supposed to,” smiles Milenko van der Staal.