Thankful for Church Leaders Stepping Up

Last week I was catching up on old podcasts and listened to the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast recapping their first year of podcasting. In their discussion around technology and communications in the church William Vanderbloemen made a statement that from his perspective this is may be the one area where the church is not lagging behind the rest of culture.

While I might not fully agree with this statement, I do think it is worth celebrating how far church leaders have come when it comes to embracing new technologies and digital communication. Take a look at the App store and you will see the Bible app as one of the most downloaded apps along with countless church apps. There is even a Top Level Domain: .church that is becoming widely embraced by many churches!

5 years ago I felt like I had to beg pastors to pay attention to Facebook if they could get past laughing at me for even considering social media a legitimate ministry opportunity. Today, there is no selling the why of social media to church leaders as they are eager to dig into the how. We have come a long way and for that I’m grateful, optimistic and excited for the future!

What has led to this mass adoption and innovation in the church?

  • Strong Leaders Modeling the Way – Life.Church has no doubt led the way in both creating technology and modeling how to utilize it in the most effective and efficient ways
  • Efficient and Affordable Technologies – with Social Networks being free and website platforms like Wordpress and Squarespace coming along, churches have been able to access powerful and scalable technologies at a minimal cost
  • Pastors Willing to Adjust – I know this doesn’t sound like pastors historically, but when it comes to these new web technologies it seems that pastors are more and more willing to embrace and adjust.

As more leaders are stepping up to lead the way and more technologies are becoming readily available, I believe these opportunities will continue to grow exponentially as pastors are willing to adapt and adjust. In the coming years we will see Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence become a part of our everyday lives and it will be interesting to see how church leaders continue to embrace these developing technologies.

Let’s celebrate how far we have come together in embracing new technologies to further the mission of the church. Let’s not stop here though, we must press forward as our mission is great and the opportunities to accomplish this mission through emerging technologies is only growing!

Thank You PushPay

This past week I had the privilege of presenting at the eChurch Summit at Disneyland Hotel hosted by PushPay. Prior to this event I was already a big fan of PushPay and had helped several churches connect with their outstanding online giving solution. I had met several of the company’s team members over the past few years, but it wasn’t until this week that I felt like I really understood who PushPay is as a company.

Participating in the eChurch Summit truly sits at the top of the list of ministry highlights that I have experienced over the past 15 years. For that, I want to say Thank You PushPay.

Thank you for your INCREDIBLE HOSPITALITY. Your team was incredibly personal and professional in all preparations leading up to the conference. Your team even coordinated our delayed flights beautifully and rolled out the red carpet for my family when we arrived. If that wasn’t enough, the hospitality at the event was over the top in helping me find the right rooms, sit in the right seats and even stay caffeinated throughout. I was blown away and know that this level of hospitality is a core to who PushPay is as a company and how I know you serve the ministries that use PushPay.

Thank you for INVESTING IN CHURCH LEADERS. It would be easy for you to focus on just the product offerings that you provide, but you do not stop there. You have seen the need to invest in the church around the 3 key areas of Leadership, Communication and Technology. I can’t agree more in this need and appreciate that you are making both the time investment and financial investment in leading these conversations. The structure of this conference and the voices that you brought to the table were second to none. Seriously, you brought in John Maxwell, Sean Cannel and Bob Goff along with so many others! By the way, the VIP Dinner was the highlight of the conference for me and allowing me the time to personally invest in about 20 leaders in such a unique was really special. I hope those leaders got as much out of that time together as I did.

Thank you for LEADING INNOVATION. I don’t think anyone will argue that the church has too often received the leftovers when it comes to technology. That is no longer the case when it comes to online giving and PushPay has created a giving experience and now also a mobile app experience that is better than anything available in any sector. I’m so grateful for the investment that you are making in building a team of more than 100 developers who are continuing to push the limits of technology for the sake of the Kingdom.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

For any church or ministry leaders out there who are looking for a mobile app and online giving solution, I can’t encourage you enough to check out eChurch Giving today.

By the way, the dates for next year’s conference are set for February 13-15, 2018. If I were you I would put those dates on the calendar now and plan to bring your team out to Disneyland Hotel for an experience that will be transformative for your church. They have already announced the following speakers are locked in to participate: Seth Godin, Erwin McManus and Steven Furtick.

Instagram Live is Here and Why You Shouldn’t Use It

I love new things, especially on social media! Innovation seems to continue to be the key to success whether you are a social media user or a social media platform creating new features for users. Instagram has been innovating like crazy around their new Instagram Stories functionality and most recently released Instagram Live.

Is it cool? Yes, absolutely.

Should you play with it? Go for it!

I think Instagram Live might have a solid purpose in the future, but I don’t see a significant opportunity for it at this point. As we look at Facebook Live the great opportunity for significant engagement is the viewership that seems to be happening after the video is live. While organic in nature, Instagram Live doesn’t allow for playback meaning that the video engagement opportunity is much shorter. For a viewer to find you they must be looking at Instagram at that moment and looking at the Stories feature to have your live stream highlighted at the top of their stories. Currently, that number of people just waiting for an Instagram Live stream does not seem to be significant.

Over the past couple of months, I have been watching people using the feature often to never use it again. It’s hard for me to find people using it because I don’t get a push message or any kind of alert and just must hope that someone is using it at the right time that I am looking for it.

So, because of the lack of alert functionality and the short-lived engagement opportunity without on-demand live stream viewing my recommendation is to wait on incorporating this feature into your social media strategy.

Know that I expect this to change and I do think there will be a significant opportunity here in the near future. Just not today.

Do you agree or disagree? I want to know!

2016 Look Back: TVApp Series

For almost a year now, I can still remember how my friends and I worked together to create a powerful, flexible and affordable TV Application for Ministries!

Learn all the reasons why your church or ministry need a TV App today. It’s hard to imagine a more effective platform to engage your audience than a TV.

Here's a look back on a series I wrote last year about TV App:

We would love to help you launch your Global TV Ministry today!

2016 Look Back: The Future Series

Last September, I wrote a series of blog posts about The Future Of various things like social media, websites, TVs, etc. I made some predictions on how certain technologies will develop.

Some of my opinions on how these developments impact the church and ministries seem right especially in Mobile Technology, TV and Work.

Let's take a look back:

What are your predictions? How is your church adapting to these changes?