This weekend, I competed in an event called 48 Hour Launch with “Team ChurchSurfer”, which included some very dedicated and now very dear friends, Chante Newcomb, David Hunter, Mike Crane, and Joey Miller. We also had support and contributions from several other people including my wife Laura Davis, Michael Brooks, Tony Burgess, and Chris Littleton. Everyone who pitched in touched me in a way they probably don’t understand, because they chose to work on a project that is much bigger than just creating a website and mobile application that helps people find a church. By supporting this project, it demonstrated that, like me, they desire to serve God and serve the community by using their time and skills to create things that will help others. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who were part of the 48 Hour Launch weekend…it really means a lot to me.
For those who might be interested in what went on at 48 Hour Launch, I thought I would share my presentation speech with you on my blog. While other teams used their four minutes of time to tout the usefulness and cool features of their mobile apps and websites (and they definitely were really good!), I chose to use my time to share a personal testimony and give glory to Jesus Christ for saving my life. Unfortunately, we did not win the competition, but we do have a functioning website that is waiting for churches to sign up and fill out their information so that people can begin finding a church to connect with. So please encourage your pastor to sign up at ChurchSurfer.com and contact me directly if they need any assistance!
15 years ago this month I was sitting in an empty apartment over in the East Lake housing projects with two people I had never met before, smoking crack. A few weeks later, after a late night bender, I got up, snorted a couple of lines of cocaine and went to Easter church service. Two months later I kneeled down beside my bed and asked Jesus Christ to save me from myself.
I know and you know that a website will never be able to change people in this way. But love does change people. Relationships change people. People change people with the love they receive from God. People make up the body of Christ. So even though a ChurchSurfer website will never replace the work that the body of Christ does…it can connect people who need love to people who are ready to love them unconditionally.
You see, church is full of hard to get along with, judgmental people….but church is also full of people like me, who have been forgiven of terrible things and who just want to show the same love and acceptance to others.
ChurchSurfer’s goal is to break down the barriers that typically keep people from visiting church, then a lot more people will experience what I did.
What if you went into a church that you had no information on other than the appearance of the building and the name on the sign? Would your feelings of uncertainty contribute to a negative experience? What if you went in the same church feeling good about your chance of connecting…like it aligned with your beliefs and preferences? Would that slight mental change make it more likely that you would have a positive experience? I believe so. And I also believe that positive experiences in church encourage more involvement and stronger relationships.
So what we’ve done is build a website and mobile application for Chattanooga that helps connect new residents, visitors, and locals to churches, to faith-based and family-friendly events, and to community service opportunities through nonprofit organizations and ministries. We can now give people a website and mobile application full of useful information to help them enrich their lives and the lives of others through love and service. It just so happens that we can create a profitable business and jobs in the process. It’s up to you to help make it happen. Vote for ChurchSurfer.”
I hope that this new website will prove to be a useful tool to connect “those who are searching” with a church that they will eventually call home.
Glory to God!
Josh Davis, the “churchsurfer”