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FBC Sylacauga member develops iPhone app for witnessing, follow-upcomment (0)

December 17, 2009

By Jeremy Henderson

Need to know how to share your faith in Christ?

There’s an app for that.

Or there will be soon. And in an age when the Church is keeping technological pace with the world as never before, Bryan Taunton, a member of First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, in Coosa River Baptist Association, thinks it could revolutionize personal evangelism.

“It’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen,” Taunton said of the Salvation app, an application currently under development for Apple’s iPhone by Sylacauga-based Footwash Ministries, an evangelism and church resource ministry he founded in 2008.

iPhone applications are software that can perform tasks from finding the nearest Starbucks to giving the weather forecast to finding directions to a destination. iPhone users can select which apps they want on their phones and download them either for free or for a fee, depending on the app.

The impetus behind the Salvation app is a statistic — 85 percent of Christians don’t know how to share their faith, Taunton said, citing a survey from The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

“We’re designing this app to help Christians walk someone all the way through the plan of salvation, through the sinner’s prayer, and it includes a 30-day study guide that walks them through the next steps,” he said.

The Salvation app should be available for download from Apple’s iTunes store to both the iPhone and Apple’s iPod Touch by the end of January.

Taunton said there are talks to develop a version for BlackBerry and other platforms also.

Tim Childers, pastor of First, Sylacauga, can hardly wait.

“Oh man, I’m excited about it; I think it’s very creative,” said Childers, who currently has several Christian resource apps installed on his iPhone.

“I think it’s just a wonderful tool in our hands,” he said, pointing to the fact that if the salvation presentation results in a decision, then the app provides a means of following up with the new believer.

Taunton said it’s that particular aspect — the interactivity — that makes the app so unique and potentially effective.

Of the millions of Apple apps, “there are only three that have anything to do with salvation, and they’re not interactive at all,” he said. “The biggest thing as far as the use of [the Salvation app] is equipping the believer in being able to share the gospel.

“But the hope then is that if that other individual accepts Christ and is able to download the application, then if they input their information to say they’ve joined [a church], we’ll send a letter out to that pastor … so the church is made aware that this is a new believer.

“This is truly modern-day evangelism at its best.”

For more information about Footwash Ministries or the Salvation app, visit www.footwashministries.org or contact Taunton at 205-746-8864 or btaunton@footwashministries.org.

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