Starting A New Job Well

Over the past 7 years or so I’ve been a pretty open book. I’ve wanted to take you on my journey in Online Ministry sharing all aspects from leadership development, technology innovation and ministry systems. As I’m in this stage of professional and personal transition I want to continue to be an open book as my hope is to help others learn from what I do well as well as some things I’m not doing well.

As I begin my role as the Vice President of Social Media & Innovation at Dunham+Company I naturally want to start well. Here are some of the things I’m doing to start well:

·       Study Names – I’m terrible at remembering names, but that’s not a good excuse for not remembering them. As I continue to start my new role I’m not assuming that someday in the near future I will remember everyone’s name. Names are important and I’m trying to be as intentional as possible to remember the names of both my new colleagues as well as Dunham+Company’s clients.

·       Research Colleagues and Clients – beyond learning names, I’m trying to find out as much as I can about my new colleagues and clients. Thanks to LinkedIn, Google and Facebook I’m able to learn so much in advance. This naturally creates talking points to get to know each other as well as saving them time to have to fill me in on various details that I can find out on my own maximizing whatever interaction opportunities that we do have.

·       Establish New Rhythms – I’m a workaholic by nature (along with plenty of other bad habits) and a new start allows me the opportunity to establish new rhythms to how I prepare for each day, how I utilize my time in the office, how I disconnect when I go home and so on. I know myself well enough that this isn’t something that I hope I will figure out later, but something I have to establish as soon as possible.

·       Setup Communication Channels – I hate slowing down to setup emails, create passwords, etc. I know that I too often waste time because I don’t setup the most efficient systems on the front end. This time I’m trying to do things different getting my emails, phone systems, text messages, cloud storage, etc. setup effectively on all devices with an efficient system to manage it all.

·       Build Personal Relationships – I’m not one to separate personal and professional. I want to know the people I work with and I want them to know me. Because of my desire to get things done I can often skip past establishing personal relationships with those around me for the sake of efficiency. Because I’m not running a sprint it’s important to me that I take the time and get to know my colleagues and clients in a personal way rather than just know the tasks that they accomplish.

What advice would you recommend? I want to learn as this is such a key time for me professionally and I believe that most of you reading this are either experiencing this same kind of transition or will experience it in the somewhat near future.

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Stories

Just this year, Instagram caught us all unaware with a new logo. This time, they did it again with their latest update - Instagram Stories. What made us all abuzz about this new update is that we know it is a clone of Snapchat Moments. In fact, Instagram’s CEO gives all the credit to Snapchat.

So, what is Instagram Stories?

Instagram believes we all have stories worthy to share. However, posting updates every 15 minutes is not ideal on Instagram while it is exactly the norm on Snapchat. With this new update on Instagram, we can now share various moments throughout the day and not worry about posting “too much.” Instagram Stories lets us capture snapshots and short clips of everyday moments which will be available for viewing for the next 24 hours, after which they’ll be gone “forever”.

It does exactly what Snapchat Moments has been doing for us. That said, I still encourage you to check out Instagram Stories and explore its notable uniqueness.

If you haven’t explored this new feature yet, here’s your quick guide:

1. Make sure your Instagram app is updated to the latest version. If your Instagram app is up-to-date, you should be able to see a series of icons for people you follow on top of the main feed:

 
 

 

2. Try tapping one of those icons. You can view the stories your friends have posted within the past 24 hours. This is how a single “story” looks like:

 
 

 

3. Now it’s your turn to share your own story. Tap the new “+” sign on the top-right corner of the feed.

 
 

 

4. You should end up in this camera view. Aim your camera on the subject you wish to capture. You can either tap the circle below to capture a photo or hold it down to record a video.

 
 

 

5. Now you’ve got a photo or video to share but before you upload it, play around with the type and drawing tools to customize your story more. Tap the text icon on the top left corner and type in your caption.

 
 

Or get more creative with the drawing tool. It’s right beside the text icon. Draw all you want.

 
 

 

6. Lastly, tap the upload button at the bottom of the screen to share your story to all of your followers.

 
 

 

7. Here’s a bonus: you can monitor how many and which particular people have viewed your story! Check out the little eye icon at the bottom of the story.

 
 

 

8. Another bonus: You can share your reaction by automatically sending a direct message.

 
 

Now you’re ready to share your first Instagram story! Just keep sharing but don’t ever forget that this new format Instagram offers opens tons of new possibilities of sharing content and engage more.

Jay Kranda and I discussed our views and reactions towards Instagram Stories in the latest Social Media Church podcast. How about you? How d’you find this new update? I’d love to hear what you think!

 

First Week on the Job

So, I’m finishing my first week as the Vice President of Social Media + Innovation at Dunham & Company. It’s been a crazy week in so many ways. Going into this week I can’t begin to describe the thoughts and the emotions that I felt.

I grieved leaving CBC for so many reasons as I loved my church and the people I was so privileged to serve alongside. Honestly, I was scared to have a title that didn’t include Pastor. It’s all I know.

I felt exhausted from moving across the country.

I felt nervous that I might not live up to expectations.

I felt inadequate, unprepared, scared, and so many different emotions.

I also felt excited. I felt eager for a new beginning and a new challenge. I felt that desperate need that I was in a place where I couldn’t do this on my own and needed God. I felt this while also believing that God has uniquely gifted me and given me all that I need to thrive in this new role.

Now that this week is wrapping up, I can confidently say a few things about this first week on the job:

  • The team at Dunham+Company is the real deal. They love Jesus, are the most welcoming people in the world and are great at what they do. I mean REALLY great at what they do!

  • I am the right person for this job. This isn’t an accident and the leadership that hired me at Dunham+Company didn’t get it wrong when they offered me the position. I have an even greater confidence that God uniquely gifted me and gave me the experience I needed to thrive in this new role.

  • God is all over this! This wasn’t my plan or anyone’s plan. This is God’s plan and every detail of the past week and the past month are confirmation to just that. While I have no doubt that there will be bumps, I’m going to enjoy the honeymoon phase and know that God prepared me for such a time as this. I’m going to serve Him under the umbrella of Dunham+Company with all of my heart and be thankful.

 

So, what happens next?

  1. I will continue to serve my existing clients (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Life Without Limbs, Awesome Marriage, Key Ministry, The Leaven, and others) in the same way that I have for years and hopefully in even more ways.

  2. I will continue to blog, podcast, create courses, speak at conferences, host webinars and speak into ministry leaders in every way possible around social media and digital ministry initiatives. I actually hope to do this even more if you are interested in having me join your podcast, webinar or conference. Oh yeah, you might be seeing a new book coming out in the not too distant future ;).

  3. I will begin serving Dunham+Company’s existing client base around social media strategy and execution as well as other initiatives like TV App development, streaming media, Online Church, webinars, podcasting, blogging, etc.

  4. I will begin driving much of Dunham+Company’s thought leadership primarily on social media and another unique initiative that I can’t wait to share in a future blog (teaser) soon.

  5. I want to serve your ministry! I mean I REALLY want to serve your ministry! Up until now consulting was something I did on the side as I was able. Now, it’s my full-time job! And I have a team! A really good team! If your church or ministry is interested in reaching the world through social media and online initiatives, I want to help! While I am focused in the areas of Social Media and Online Innovation, I am now a part of a big team that is focused on increasing the IMPACT of your ministry by bringing YOUR VISION + OUR FUNDRAISING EXPERTISE together. I’m a part of a company with a team that has staff members all over the world serving ministries around the globe and we want to serve you. I’m not good at sales, I don’t ever plan to go into sales and our company doesn’t have a sales team. I just love ministries and helping ministries and this is the best sales pitch I can make to ask you to allow me the privilege of serving your ministry.

 

If you have any questions about Dunham+Company and how I might be able to help you, simply hit the Contact link above and I would love to hear from you! If you want to learn more about Dunham+Company simply hit the link below.

Meet the New Life.Church Open Network

About a decade ago I was a Youth Pastor that struggled to keep up and often felt isolated and alone in ministry. There was always more to do than I could make time for and Sunday was always coming... and Wednesday. I had meetings to attend, details to coordinate, more meetings to attend, volunteers to train, then a couple more meetings. While I enjoyed teaching, message prep often became a back burner task because everything else felt essential and to be completely honest I was a mediocre at best communicator. So, I would often put it off.

Then a Youth Ministry friend recommended a resource from a church in Oklahoma who gave away their Youth Ministry teaching videos and curriculum. The church was then called LifeChurch.tv. Those teaching videos weren't just good enough, but they were awesome and they were FREE! On a tight budget this was HUGE for me and created great value for our Youth Ministry. I didn't use the videos every week, but it often would be a great stand alone message or series for a few weeks while I focused on camp or something else that might be pulling my attention for a season. 

Over time I continued to follow Life.Church as they continued to give away more and more including the Church Online Platform and so many other areas that they have been incredibly generous. Personally their team has been very generous to me inviting me out to their campus on numerous occasions and responding to so many emails and calls. I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am for this church and their generosity.

Now, they're taking things to the next level. As I reviewed what's new I'm blown away by the expanded library of resources, but even more excited about the community that they are developing. Ministry can often feel lonely and isolated and now you have access to this growing community of likeminded leaders to connect with and share thoughts and ideas beyond resources. I believe the impact of this network will exponentially expand the impact of Life.Church as they continue to serve churches in such a generous way. I can't wait to see how this community develops! 

If it wasn't clear enough earlier, all of this is FREE. It always has been and always will be. It's unbelievable and I can't imagine a good reason why someone wouldn't want to at least check it out. Click the link below to learn more.

NYC Favorite Things - A Few More Things

There are so many things to love about New York! There are so many things that we want to share! As I wrap up this blog series, here are a few more things that we love and will miss in New York City:

     Cultural Diversity – this is the biggest thing that we will miss! In our brownstone alone we lived with families from Vermont, Boston and France. Throughout every day we interacted with people from so many different cultures. I liked to interview my Uber drivers and my first 10 were from different countries all outside of the United States. The cultural diversity in the city of New York is like nowhere else in the world and is such a beautiful thing!

     Subway/Mass Transit – the subway system can feel overwhelming at first, but once you adjust it becomes such a natural way to get around the city. I loved the people watching and not having to drive in the city. It also makes your commute time much more predictable as train traffic doesn’t really compare to car traffic. The biggest question is really how crowded the train will be rather than how long it will take. If you have personal space issues, the subway system is probably not for you.

     Unique Neighborhoods – every neighborhood in New York is unique! We loved finding an excuse to check out different neighborhoods and unique spots in each. From SOHO to Williamsburg to Hells Kitchen, we enjoyed the uniqueness of each!

     Parks – a park in New York is not just a park. The creativity of space is so unique in every park. Every square inch of Central Park and Prospect Park is so optimally used. Experiencing a park like the High Line that was an above ground rail line that was converted to a park. The parks in New York City are just so energizing!

     Delivery Everything – we thought living in New York might be inconvenient with groceries, transportation, etc. We quickly found Fresh Direct who delivered our groceries not just to our door, but up 4 flights of stairs and directly into our kitchen. We also found the Seamless app which delivered take out food to us from 300 different restaurants in our area. Oh yeah, and Amazon Prime added 1 hour deliver shortly after we got there.

     Accents – we absolutely love the native New York accent! There’s nothing like a well said “Forget About It!” We had hoped our girls might pick up a little bit while here. Time will tell on that one.

 

We will sure miss New York City! This experience has been indescribable and we’re so grateful to have had this opportunity. There are so many things that we have loved, but we are excited to see all that God has ahead for us. This season has only fueled the desire for more family adventures in our future. We cannot wait to get to Texas and see all that is ahead. While we will no longer live in New York, we will be back often and cannot wait for the adventures ahead!