getting attention for the gospel

We have had our own website for our church for the last year. My purpose in setting it up was to provide an easy way for our people to get audio copies of messages they wanted and to refer their friends and acquaintances to our site as well. As such, our site has been a success and a blessing to our ministry.

An unexpected but welcome additional blessing has been the world-wide attention we have received as well. I don’t mean to imply that we have received attention in great numbers! Our site gets very low traffic. But it is interesting to read sitemeter and see where our traffic comes from and why. Our own people are one thing, but we have gotten interest from many countries around the world.

This last week, we had two visits from China. I was particularly interested to see that one visitor spent almost 13 minutes on the site. Both of these visitors used a similar search to reach us, and it is this type of search that I have noticed increasing our traffic since last fall.

What is our ‘big’ attention getter?

Pilgrim’s Progress! Almost all those who arrive at our church site from ‘somewhere else’ are looking for information about Pilgrim’s Progress. Some of them spend a good deal of time on our site as a result.

My prayer is that the Lord might use our feeble efforts to bring some to Christ by this means. Perhaps we will not know of any of this in this lifetime, but may God use what we have for his glory.

I mention this primarily as a suggestion to pastors. Why don’t you take your people through Pilgrim’s Progress as well? Feel free to use our study guides if you like them. I "pinched" a set of study guides from Mount Calvary Baptist Church for the purpose of preparing for our own use of the material. Our study guides are adaptations of these. (I am a tinkerer, I can’t leave well enough alone!!!)

And if you do go through Pilgrim’s Progress with your church, make the audio and study guides available on your site. You will get visits from around the world this way. Perhaps the Lord might not use my sermons to reach someone, but maybe yours are better!

And Pilgrim’s Progress would be a great blessing to your church people as well… sort of a fringe benefit for this project! (And here I thought it was the main point all along!)



  1. I don’t post very often on my blog but it is still interesting to see where the hits come from. The two searches that bring people to my blog more than any other are:

    1. ESV update
    2. Jocelyn Zichterman

    I had a post with commentary that linked to another guy’s blog regarding changes in the ESV. That post has proved to be pretty popular.

    I never wrote anything on Jocelyn but someone posted an unrelated comment about her as a comment to one of my posts. It was an answer to a question I had asked about her health on SI. If you do a Google search on her name, my blog is the 5th entry (as of 1/13/09). A lot of people hit my blog to read that comment.

    • Hey, now you’ll do the same for me.

      Maybe we should all think up popular phrases for search engines and fill up comments on each other’s blog with that… what do you think? Seems a little cheeky to me!

      Anyway, all of this connectivity is just fascinating to me. I little thought that we would get a world-wide audience for these resources. But when I saw those two hits from communist China, it gave me a little start.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  2. Why do you think Jocelyn Zichterman is getting so much play?

    • That one is a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe someone in the Z household is doing a lot of searching on their own name??

      Just a guess!

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  3. This is pure speculation but my guess is that Joe and Jocelyn had a pretty significant impact on people in the BJU, NBBC, Wilds orbits. They were loved by people for their music and ministry and friendship. The news of Jocelyn’s brain tumor became a deep concern for lots of people. Our church prayed about it when the news broke and I’m sure many other churches did, too. So, then they depart from fundamentalism in a not so quiet way and all that promotes interest. Why did they leave, how is Jocelyn doing, etc. She has set up a ministry of dealing with abuse and maybe people are hearing about that and looking for more information.

    The other explanation is that I don’t write anything of interest on my blog and so the only thing that gets hits is this off-topic comment….

  4. Very funny on the self-depreciation, Andy.

    Jocelyn is Jason Janz’ sister too, don’t forget. That multiplies the interest as well, I would think. And then I listened to her audio recording of her story, which tells the whole story of the Zichtermans from her perspective on her abuse website. Actually if you google her name, it’s easy to find the website and then click on the audio recording. It’s an hour long and I listened while I was doing something else, and wow is all I will say. It certainly indicates why more interest might be there. If what she is saying is true, it is an amazing story.

    • interesting… I just noticed the first hit on my blog searching for Jocelyn Z… Thanks, Andy! You’ll make me famous yet.

      The hit came from Milwaukee, WI, FWIW.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3