Welcome to Word Online
Dear Relay Trust Family
In 2020 we had our first conversations with Martin Charlesworth about Word Online. These conversations continued and today we are pleased to announce that Word Online is now part of The Relay Trust resource portfolio. We want to see Word Online develop further under The Relay Trust umbrella, and together we hope to reach a much wider audience. The Word Online resources will be made available on The Well, so those who may not have access to internet can still enjoy the videos. Please visit Word Online’s website: www.wordonline.orgwhere you can find all the resources and stream or download for free.
In The Relay Trust we see many potentials with Word Online as a concept. We would like to see a library of resources which covers the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation and potentially other relevant topics. This is a very big task and together with Martin we will discuss how we can achieve this goal.
We have asked Martin a few questions about Word Online:
Why did you decide to develop Word Online? Initially I had a desire to tell the story of the life of Jesus as a single narrative using all the materials of the four Gospels and linking them together into a single big storyline. This was intended to be a discipleship resource which would enable many people to get to grips with the biblical text in a straightforward and relevant way based initially on telling the story of Jesus.
Who was the intended target audience? I always had in mind an international audience of people who primarily use English as a secondary language and who generally have had little opportunity or time to study the Bible in a formal way. I also focused on church leaders who may benefit from a “library” resource so that they can find help in engaging with specific biblical texts they are using in training or in preaching. Currently Word Online has 184 half hour episodes available online which cover every single passage in all four Gospels. This is called “The life of Jesus”. In the next few months, we are going to add in a second series called “The spreading flame” which covers all the book of Acts in 47 episodes.
What was the greatest challenge encountered during the process of developing Word Online? There were two great challenges. The first was the preparation of the materials for the “Life of Jesus” series. I spent two years preparing the 184 talks. It was a huge effort! The other main challenge was the recording process. This took another two and a half years and involved a lot of technical and practical challenges – but we got there in the end after nearly five years!
How do you hope the resources will be used? Each episode is presented on the website as both a video and an audio. There are transcriptions and subtitles. We have also created study questions. Podcasting is available on various platforms. This format is designed to enable a wide variety of uses from listening on your headphones on a bus, to preparing a sermon, to group discipleship training sessions.
What is your hope for the relationship between Word Online and The Relay Trust? I am delighted that Word Online has been invited to form a partnership with The Relay Trust. I shall be working part time for The Relay Trust in the Content Department. I shall be managing the Word Online website, writing new content for Word Online and also working on other courses that The Relay Trust plan to develop in the coming years.
Where do you see Word Online in coming years? It is exciting to know that Word Online is going to be part of the content stored on “The Well”. This means that Word Online can become a key training and discipleship resource wherever “The Well” goes across Africa – I am thrilled about this possibility! Furthermore, we hope in days to come to translate Word Online materials into other key languages for use in Africa – starting with French. This is also an amazing opportunity to extend the reach of Word Online!
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Martin has worked over the years as a teacher, in business, as a church leader and, more recently, with a variety of Christian charities. He has lived for many years in Shrewsbury in the UK. He is married to Jane and has three children and a growing number of grandchildren.
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