As many of you know, life has had some drastic changes in the last month for me and my family. To be honest those changes aren’t unexpected as there are areas of ministry and calling that I, along side various others who are close to me, including my family, began exploring some time ago.
This newsletter will have several purposes and I implore you to read through as I will be deleting several email accounts and am diligently working to get control of the emails. While I expect this will take some time, I believe that within the next couple of months my email accounts will be under control. I am working diligently at getting all bulk emails related to personal and ministry onto one account, at The Virtual Pew. My hope is, that all of you receiving this will want to receive those updates and will be able to find value in this new ministry. I am excited about this, and for the first time in a long time, feel as if I am using my gifts.
The new ministry I am working with is The Virtual Pew, a Community of Faith on the Web. This came about after much discussion with David Bruce from Hollywood Jesus, and some interaction and assistance from George Barna of the Barna Research Group. I would encourage you to visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ for review. While the site is still under construction, you can get a pretty good idea of this ministry that has already received overwhelming positive response. The Virtual Pew is not limited to just it’s own web site but it has become a part of MySpace and Hollywood Jesus. The Virtual Pew has already received responses by hundreds, and has been visited by over 500,000 people in less than 2 weeks. All of this and we are brand new, not on any search engines as of yet, and are just now starting to go public.
I will be providing various links but am asking each person receiving this newsletter to visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and subscribe to the email newsletter. The email subscription is on the opening page at the bottom left below the photos. This email account will allow for much easier management of the system. On this issue I must give special thanks to Danielle Hobeika, my web site designer, one of the top web site designers in the world, currently working with, and for, Harvard University. She will also be redesigning my personal web site http://www.furches.org/ .
I am also asking that individuals become involved and take part in the forums under the Your Growth link at the top of the page on The Virtual Pew. The sign up for this is simple, and while you may not be in need of the services offered on The Virtual Pew, you may be aware of others who are, or even be in a position to give wisdom and help back to others who are a part of this ministry. I will tell you, as you will be able to tell from the responses listed on the links to follow, there are many people, from all walks of life who are going to benefit from The Virtual Pew.
The truth of it is, The Virtual Pew has already grown beyond my ability to control it. There is that much of a need. You can read through the message boards on The Virtual Pew and get an idea of how you can become a part. I am already needing volunteers in areas such as Worship, Teaching, Bible Study, and more. I also need coordinators in various regions to help in facilitating assistance to those living in those regions. While there has only been so many sign up on the message boards, many more have began communicating with me via email and other methods. Many more will be signing up in the future especially with your help. Even my wife the other day was getting excited about family and friends she knew who were Christians but not plugged into a church. She saw the potential to get those family and friends at a place where they could receive some teaching and begin to grow, possibly even for some, eventually getting them plugged into a local body of believers in their community. If you think about it, you will know people like that in your own life. The Virtual Pew can be a place that is non threatening, yet begin to provide the spiritual connections needed in order to grow.
Before providing the links, I must state, that for those that are followers of Christ, I need your prayers, and assistance in obtaining speaking opportunities. It is imperative that the appropriate support comes into this ministry. We are already working on the development of a Religious Incorporation Status to provide tax deductible giving benefits to contributors. We have also started the development of a board of directors. Currently the initial budget on the year will be a goal of $35,000. I will receive a $400 a week salary, prior to taxes, and in addition to basic benefits.
Individuals can contribute on line at: http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html , or by mailing a check to Mike Furches or The Virtual Pew / 2404 Crawford / Wichita KS 67217 We will likely be obtaining a P.O. Box within the month. To obtain information as to the new address for the future you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or simply become a part of the group.
There are other ways individuals can provide assistance. Churches or organizations can see the value of this ongoing ministry by visiting the links. We are asking churches, individuals, and organizations to consider the value of a monthly gift of support. Any gifts that come in above and beyond the yearly budget will go into safe investment or savings accounts until the establishment of a new budget. As the budget grows so will the opportunity for new ministry, not just in Wichita but wherever God leads. There are already plans to go to Fargo North Dakota, Carlsbad New Mexico, Chicago Illinois, Winfield Kansas, Tulsa Oklahoma, and currently ministry taking place at Riverfest in Wichita Kansas. There has even been some discussion and preliminary plans to do some ministry in the Hollywood and Venice Beach regions near Los Angeles.
Individuals and corporations can provide assistance by scheduling speaking engagements and opportunities. To find out more about this visit The Virtual Pew
Links of interest include:
The Virtual Pew at Hollywood Jesus
Hollywood Jesus at MySpace
Various Blogs of Interest:
Of those I recommend the following:
April 6 – Another Name for Church
April 12 – What A Week
Additional MySpace Blogs
Of those I recommend the following:
April 14 – An Embarrassing Subject for Most Men
April 17 – Roller Coaster Days
Remember that each of the blogs have different discussions with individuals at the end of those blogs. You will also don’t see the many personal messages I am receiving on a daily basis. Whether to provide counseling for a young lady who has been unfaithful with her husband, a Satanist looking for spiritual truth, or a young person contemplating suicide, truth is I am involved in a minimum of 3 online counseling sessions a day with individuals such as those mentioned here and many more.
You can also see from the Hollywood Jesus web site and the group at MySpace, that this area of ministry continues to grow and provide benefit.
Thanks for your time, and hopefully you respond accordingly by subscribing for the mailing list at The Virtual Pew.
God Bless, appreciate the prayers, and for those receiving this not a follower of Jesus, thanks for your understanding, I think you of all people know the need of some of the work I am doing.
Blessings to all,
You can help spread the message about The Virtual Pew. Simply cut and paste the following into an email to one of your friends or your entire address book.
Just thought I would drop you a line and tell you about this new web site I have come across http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ I have become a part of the group and have found the site to be unique and worthwhile. I encourage you to give it a visit, check it out, and if you enjoy it, become a part of the group. You can also sign up for their newsletter on the web site. Thanks take care and take a seat right up on the front pew.