NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWayonline, an Internet filtering system, has expanded its Ministry Discount Program, originally offered only to churches and paid church staff.
LifeWayonline is a service of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Now, in addition to churches and their local, regional or state cooperative ministry organizations, participants eligible for LifeWayonline discounts include schools, childcare and other Christian ministries administered by those organizations; Christian seminaries; full-time paid staff and faculty of a qualifying organization; and full-time active and furloughed missionaries of a qualifying organization.
The program does not include Christian and denominational publishers or their employees; for-profit organizations or their employees; students, members, volunteers, leaders, directors, trustees, part-time staff or part-time faculty of qualifying organizations.
The discount program includes filtered Internet access for $15.95 per month, a discounted rate from the full standard price of $19.95. Other features are educational and promotional materials related to Internet safety, including videos and brochures; free downloadable resources, including a PowerPoint presentation, sermon and lesson materials related to the Internet; text and graphics for church communications materials and websites; resource lists; free web space to host a church’s Internet site; and up to 10 free e-mail accounts.
Ministry Discount Program accounts may be opened at info.lifewayonline.com (see Ministry Tools) or by calling 1-888-454-5965.
In June, a Ministry Advocate Program was implemented, offering churches and ministries the opportunity to partner with LifeWayonline in educating individuals and promoting the need for filtered Internet service. Participating organizations will share in a portion of those ongoing revenues in the form of a 10 percent credit to their LifeWay account.
Tim Vineyard, director of LifeWay’s e-business group, said, “Part of LifeWay’s responsibility and accountability is knowing how to balance business and ministry. This product does that.”
Speaking to a group of about 65 pastors from the Nashville, Tenn., area May 25, Vineyard said, “My challenge is to make you aware that it [Internet pornography] is an issue in your congregation. LifeWayonline offers a way to help congregations battle this problem.
“You have to protect, first of all, yourself, and second, your church, day cares and schools,” said Vineyard, adding, “One way to do this is by reviewing these materials and planning an Internet safety seminar for your church.”
Gary McClure, manager of LifeWayonline, said, “We are striving to make it as easy as possible for church leaders to communicate the increasing compromise of our families from unprotected Internet access. Educational materials, ministry kits, promotional items, on-site presentations, as well as the discounted service are tools we believe will be extremely effective.”
Research reveals Internet abuse is rising at an alarming rate, even within church families, McClure said.
“Our service can be an additional resource to pastors and Christian counselors who deal frequently with this problem,” he said. “While LifeWayonline equips churches and individuals with the highest-rated filtering technology available, we realize it is much more than a technology issue. It is an issue of character. If we can help block temptations before they arise, we also help people sustain strong moral character.”
LifeWayonline filters out more than 20 categories of offensive material including pornography, alcohol and drug use, gambling, weapons and bomb-making, violence, hate/discrimination, profane language and selected chat sites.