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In the Newspaper!

July 16, 2010

Hey!  The following article (and above image) were published in the West Australian Newspaper today, so I thought I would share it with you.  Praise God for the way He is working online!

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Paddock is parish of millions

Mark Brown is an Anglican priest who has embraced the future, ministering to millions of followers on his Facebook page from a rusty old worker’s caravan in a Narrogin paddock.

Fed up with people abandoning mainstream churches, the Rev. Brown, 38, took a groundbreaking step and followed them out of the parishes and on to networking site Facebook to spread the Christian message.

A recent Christian Research Association report revealed a large decline in church attendance. Only 16 per cent of 1718 Australians surveyed at the end of last year attended a religious service at least once a month, down from 23 per cent in 1993.

“Where are people?” the Rev. Brown said. “They’re not at church, they’re on Facebook and so I’ve said ‘well, that’s where I’m going to go’.

“I’m not going to sit in an old, dusty church building waiting for people to come to me. I’m going to go to them and that has been my drive for about four years.”

The father of four is a world pioneer in Christian engagement online after setting up a church in virtual world Second Life several years ago. He has a Bible-teaching blog but his focus is Facebook, creating pages dedicated to scripture postings, discussion and support.

Just one page in his “Facebook ministry”, facebook.com/The Bible, has 3.3 million followers, 4000 discussions and last week had 700,000 online interactions. He often receives 200 responses within 10 seconds of posting a comment on the page.

“An average church has 20 to 40 people,” he said. “I’m running a very large ministry touching about four to five million people and growing by 250,000 to 300,000 a week.

“In a typical day I would get 50 to 100 private messages – anything from ‘I’m suicidal’ to ‘My cat’s lost, can you pray for me?’ If I were to make the determination that I need to have that face-to-face contact, my ministry would be dead in the water in minutes. Many of the people I work very closely with I will never meet and that doesn’t bother me at all.”

To purists shocked by the thought of online confessions, the Rev. Brown said at least people were addressing their issues. He told serious cases to see a doctor, pastor or police.

“They’re not going to church. They’re looking for meaning and answers in the context they feel most comfortable, and that’s Facebook,” he said.

The Rev. Brown, who was chief executive of a New Zealand charity until returning to his home State in March, will work from his in-laws’ paddock for a year while starting a not-for-profit organisation to oversee his work online.

He is content in his modest office; just don’t mess with its internet cable.

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Picture by Mogens Johansen/West Australian.

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The portion for today is: Ezekiel 31-36; Luke 21-22
To access the complete plan for the year click here: click


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28 Comments
  1. Lee seng Kean permalink

    Praise God for your ministry!And thank you Rev. Mark Brown!

  2. Michelle permalink

    Praise God for He is good and He makes way for those whose hearts are turned towards Him. May He bless this ministry exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or imagine . May He extend yr tent pegs .
    Bless you Mark.

  3. That is great that you are getting recognized in the paper!! Is it a local paper and do you know around how many people read it? I am going to send a copy of the article to my friend who actually lives somewhere in Australia, just not sure exactly where :)-

    Take Care & God Bless You!!

  4. Diana permalink

    You are doing a great job! I am praising the Lord for people like you, standing up for what really matters. I get your daily message via email everyday and it means a lot to me. Keep it up!

  5. Kay permalink

    Great pastor Brown. wonderful words in the paper. Were it not for you i would not be trying to get closer to God and to my Faith. Thank you again. You also got me in touch with a wonderful person.

  6. Marty Shafer permalink

    Praise God for the wonderful works you are doing, you have certainly touched my life…and do everyday…..Your scriptures and words have kept me going in the right direction..I am so totally blessed its truely awesome,Mark you are doing such a wonderful job of reaching out and touching so many people with your words of inspiration….God Bless you and I thank you….You are truely amazing…..

  7. Bianca permalink

    Well done Mark!! Congratulations!!! Please also add that you have followers from various religions!!! Your blog and facebook has no boundaries! May God continue to pour out his blessings to you and give you the strength and guidance to lead his sheep!!

  8. Steve Gill permalink

    I certainly understand the desire to go from your church to the streets to meet people where they are. I think that Facebook is a good place to be…. but I will say, Facebook is as much of the problem as “your coming to them is a solution”. I’m saddened by the way that people are spending way too much time “not being personal with people”. The other day after our baseball game in which the other team crushed our team (I’m the head coach), we went to shake hands as a sign of sportsmanship. I had to tell EVERY boy on the other team to look up and look at me when I went to shake their hands. People are hiding from people in this world. It’s apathy. Well… I love you Mark and I love this ministry… but to everyone else I say, let’s let Mark find us in the streets doing the work that the Lord has given us to do, that way we’re not sitting in Apathy waiting for something to happen in our lives. Please don’t take this personally because I’m sure many of you have bigger struggles than I can even fathom and some of you are already OUT and bearing fruit every day. I’m addressing those who are caught up in this technology so much that they wait and chat and text all day. Remember “Faith is dead without works”. Works won’t get you there…. but we can’t sit around either. Let’s get uncomfortable and go look for someone to talk to face to face. Love to all of you whether you are a believer or not. God loves you. Go enjoy this day that The Lord Has Made. Rejoice and be glad in it.

    • Kathy permalink

      Steve, I agree with you. Thanks for these words. I have a tendency to spend too much time at my computer; then I don’t get anything else done. What Mark is doing on Facebook is wonderful and totally God-inspired and directed. As we say at my church, “It’s a God thing.” But my hope and prayer is that this Facebook ministry gives unchurched people the desire to get into a good, Spirit-filled church to worship and fellowship with others and to hear the Word of God preached – instead of letting this virtual church be a substitute for real connection. Anyone who thinks that sitting in front of your home PC reading scriptures and prayers is just as good as attending a church has never been in a great church where the glory of God was present. The apostle Paul warned us not to give up the assembling of ourselves together. What we’re doing here is wonderful, but there is nothing better than being in a house of God, hugging your brothers and sisters, praying with them, singing praise to the Lord and feeling Him meet us there. That’s my two cents’ worth.

    • I agree, we all need to get the word out that Jesus is coming soon and he is not willing that anyone should perish. People are perishing everyday because they don’t know the Lord. The good news is he is coming back to end all the misery and woes of this world. Praise God!!

  9. Maria Michalski permalink

    God bless you! I discovered you on Facebook and your postings are always inspirational and a blessing to me. Thank you for doing God’s work – you are touching so many lives and making a difference.

  10. Katy permalink

    Mark it is just incredible what God is doing through you. I praise the God that gave you this direction, may He continue to bless you. Just read the article that was published and I admit that I too don’t attend church regularly, yet I love God and see Him working in my life. I enjoy all your Facebook entries and I get the Journey Deeper email. If I’m not able to read it immediately, I save it so I can read it later. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. Lorraine Ryan permalink

    I love that you are doing this ministry. We HAD to do something similar here in the NE part of the U.S. due to the amount of snow we received this past winter. It kept people safe during some very bad weather. And it was fun… we had online chatting going at the same time! Our church has multiple campuses (we like that term more than parishes… we leave that one for the Catholic church to use.) I do want to encourage you to also try to get people to become part of a church community. When someone goes through difficult times in his life… it’s the community that serves to help him or her. Please keep up the great work you’re doing!!!! Blessings on this ministry!!!

  12. Thanks for the hard work you do.We put you and your family into our prayers each and every time!God is awsome isn’t He?He has helped our family for many generations.With love from the Lord Ken & Patty Sevre.

  13. PRAISE GOD, for you ministry and may the Lord continue to bless.

  14. Hi Mark, Thank you for your teaching’s. You make my heart sing. I start my day reading your message. I love knowing God is always here for me and take’s care of my life and I thank him every day for his help. God Bless you and your Family. Patty Sevre

  15. Cameron permalink

    Mark: I refer to you as my “Aussie Pastor”. We have un-saved family in New Zealand. Please pray for them. I really LOVE your office. Wish you and your family could come visit us, here in Nashville. As you may have heard, our churches are over-flowing, but they are full of the lost (aren’t we all lost to an extend?) Our church is Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood. Look us up and come see us. I’m SERIOUS!!! Thank you for your obedience to Jesus!

  16. lLYNN permalink

    GOOD JOB PASTOR MARK. EVEN JESUS WENT OUT TO REACH THE PEOPLE WITH HIS MINISTRY WHILE HERE ON EARTH. WHEN I DID STREET MINISTRY, I HAD TO GO TO WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE, AND THEY WEREN’T IN A BUILDING, THEY WERE IN THE PARK, UNDER BRIDGES, AND ON THE SIDE WALKS AND IN MANY DIFFERENT PLACES. THE DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUNKS HUNG OUT UNDER A BRIDGE ,AND SOME WERE IN A CEMENTARY, OTHERS INSIDE A SMALL DOWNTOWN MALL,AND AT THE SOUP KITCHENS AND HOMELESS SHELTERS. THEY WOULDN’T COME TO US, WE HAD TO GO TO THEM. IF WE DIDN’T HOW WOULD THEY BE REACHED? AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE, I AM DISABLED, BUT THROUGH THE INTERNET I MEET PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST, AND HURTING AND NEED ENCOURAGEMENT, AND TO KNOW THAT GOD LOVES THEM AND THAT HE IS JUST A PRAYER AWAY. THEY NEED TO LEARN HOW TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, TO NEVER QUIT, TO NEVER GIVE UP. AND THIS IS WHAT I TRY TO DO. THIS IS THE MINISTRY GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME. THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR LOVE, AND MERCY AND FOR THE HONOR AND PRIVILEDGE TO DO YOUR BIDDING, INJESUS NAME,AMEN

  17. lLYNN permalink

    STEVE, I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, AND I DO AGREE, BUT WHEN YOU CAN’T REACH THE PEOPLE IN PERSON, YOU MUST USE WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO REASH THEM. I’VE MET AND MADE SOME AMAZING PEOPLE ONLINE AND WHEN I TALK TO THEM I ALWAYS TELL THEM TO FIND A BIBLE BELIEVIG CHURCH TO GO TO. I KNOW THEY NEED MUCH MORE THAN I AM ABLE TO GIVE THEM ONLINE. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME ONLINE BECAUSE I AM VERY LIMITED IN WHAT I CAN DO. I PRAY TO GOD TO PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE HE WANTS ME TO REACH. SOMETIMES IT’S A BRIEF ENCOUNTER, OTHER TIMES WE END UP EXCHANGING E-MAIL ADDYS, PHONE NUMBERS, AND PHYSICAL ADDRESSES. BUT EACH ONE WE TOUCH IS A RIPPLE THAT MAKES MORE RIPPLES AND SO ON AND SO ON.AND AS EACH RIPPLE SPREADS OUT, IT TOUCHES ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER. IT GOES ON AND ON.

  18. jen permalink

    AWESOME !!!

  19. jenifer permalink

    i was pleased to read about the man behind the ministry. thanks for sharing the article with us. as one of your facebook/blog followers, i benefit from your ministry. though i go to church, i love to read your postings and the comments of those whose life God, through you, has touched. i pray that you are able to continue in this ministry. God bless!

  20. Wachuka permalink

    Thanks Mark your really make my days. I am not good at church that why I appreciate you ministry.Keep the good work your ministering to many

  21. Suzanne McClere permalink

    AWESOME!!!!!

  22. thank you for being obident to this call of minnestry

  23. Melanie Boyden permalink

    That is a wonderful article! Thank God and thank you for your awesome ministry. Blessings to you and your family.

  24. Thanks for keeping me posted

  25. Carmen Gonzalez permalink

    Hi, have you had a lot of not so positive feedback? For example, people sort of questioning why do you post about The Bible on line? If so, how do you deal with it?
    I ask because I have been posting Bible verses on my FB wall and some people seem not to like it.

  26. Stacey permalink

    Yea!!! You go Mark! I pray God will continue to richly bless your work. It’s been a blessing to me and a joy to see the same for others 🙂

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