The Apple News You Might Have Missed

I will admit that I’m an Apple fanatic.  4 years ago, I waited in live for 15 hours to get the iPhone 4 that I felt was going to be a game changer.  While I won’t be waiting in line again for the iPhone 6, I do think Apple’s announcement last week was the biggest in years!

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus look awesome!  Better cameras, bigger screens, faster processers, longer lasting batteries, etc. are going to be a great step forward.  Even more exciting than the phones to me is the Apple Watch.  I like my Pebble, but I felt even when buying it that this was just a small step towards what the Apple Watch will now be able to do.  This will likely be the first step Apple takes towards many future wearable technologies.  In my opinion, Apple Watch still wasn’t the biggest announcement made by Apple.

So what was?  Well, I believe Apple Pay will be the biggest game changer of all of the announcements that Apple made.  I believe this will change the way we exchange money.  Just as checks, credit and debit cards, and PayPal have changed the game in the past; Apple Pay will do this for the future.  I hate carrying around a wallet and while Apple Pay won’t completely remove the need for my wallet, it sure will thin it out and allow my credit cards to be replaced by an easier and more secure form of payment.

Any business that isn’t quickly thinking about how to begin accepting payment through Apple Pay is already a step behind.  I don’t think this just impacts business though as churches and nonprofits need to also pay close attention to this development.

Have you heard from church members that they are either concerned about security when donating online or it is just too complicated?  Being ready to accept Apple Pay for donations could just meet a great need for your church or nonprofit.

Take a look at the announcement from Apple:

Becoming Emotionally Healthy

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6 months ago I began a much unanticipated journey towards emotionally healthy spirituality.  I connected with Pete Scazzero who was in need of some digital communication support for his ministry Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in New York.  I was excited about the opportunity to serve this ministry that was on the verge of great break through, but little did I know that the ministry would transform me far more that I would transform it.

While getting started I naturally began poking around the website and reading Pete’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.  Conviction began to set in as I began to notice that much of Pete’s story was similar to mine.  You see, I work hard for the sake of the gospel, but I too often use that as an excuse to justify my workaholism.  My unhealthiness didn’t stop in my work habits and life balance, it also was a part of my inter-personal relationships and my desire to keep peace rather than address issues.  Honestly, my list of issues could go on, but the book is not about habits that we need to break as much as it is about practices we need to embrace.

Pete told me when I got started that this is more radical than I know, and now 6 months later I see it clearly.  I’m honored to be a part of this transformational ministry and hope you will join me in this journey of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality!

Curious where to start?  Here’s my recommendation:

  1. Take the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Personal Assessment - http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/personalassessment/
  2. Experience Session 1 of the EHS Course - http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/ehs-course-session-1/
  3. Read the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book - http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/product/emotionally-healthy-spirituality-new/
  4. Begin to develop the practice of the Daily Office - http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/product/emotionally-healthy-spirituality-day-by-day/

 

If you are a church or ministry leader I cannot encourage you enough to integrate the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course into the life of your church.  To find out more about this course click here.

Will you join me at iMinistry 2014?

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It’s almost time for one of my favorite events of the year: the iMinistry Conference!  If you are an Online Church Leader or thinking about doing Online Ministry this is the event for you!  The conference is less about listening and more about engaging with some of the brightest leaders I have ever been around.  You will be able to interact with leaders from Seacoast, Saddleback, LifeChurch.tv and more!

Click here to register today!

Still not sold?  Consider these 5 reasons:

1) Interactivity is Key

The iMinistry Conference is not a conference where you are spoken to from a talking head on stage for 3 days. With our Round Table and Panel format, you will get to hear from a variety of voices and interact with them each day of the conference.

2) You Will Build Lasting Relationships

While the conference is great, it is only 3 days. The relationships you will build are vital throughout the year as you continue to take steps in your ministry. We intentionally build our schedule to provide opportunities to connect during the conference.

3) You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel

You will meet men and women who have been involved in doing Church Online for 5+ years, who you can have up close and personal conversations with and learn from their successes and failures.

4) You Will Meet Like-Minded People

Do you ever go to conferences and wonder who is doing ministry online in the midst of the hundreds or thousands in attendance? If you’re lucky, there will be one breakout session that is kind of related to what you do. This is an ENTIRE conference dedicated to doing church online.

5) Find Your Inspiration for Your Next Step

You will be exposed to new ways of thinking about doing ministry online. It may be exactly what you need to give you that “light bulb moment” to take your ministry to the next level!

 

I’m confident that you are now ready to register so go ahead and head over to http://iministryconference.org and register now!  I look forward to seeing you there!

Talking New Technology & The Church at i4j LIVE

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Hey everyone, I’m excited to announce that I will be participating in an online show: Innovate for Jesus Live.  The live broadcast will be held this Tuesday, September 2, (11 PDT/ 2 EDT) on http://www.i4j.org/2014/new-technology-and-the-church-live-september-2/. Along with Jason Caston of iChurch Methods and Rich Birch of UnSeminary and Liquid Church and I4J host Justin Blaney, we’ll be discussing new technologies for sharing timeless truth.

If you are not yet familiar with Jason and Rich here is a little bit about my fellow guests:

Jason Caston is speaker, trainer, programmer, and author of The iChurch Method Series.  Additionally, he is also the Internet Church, Digital Platform, Internet Church, and Innovation Specialist at T.D. Jakes Ministries.
 

Rich Birch serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at unSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications. More from Rich Birch at www.unseminary.com.

 

You can join the conversation around this event before, during or after the event on Twitter using the hashtag #I4JLIVE.

My Interview with William Vanderbloemen discussing NEXT

I’m excited to share with you this interview with William Vanderbloemen.  William has been a good friend for several years and is doing a great work through Vanderbloemen Search Group.  I hope you will take 10 minutes to watch this conversation as we discuss church trends, pastoral transitions, retirement for pastors and more.  You will see in the first minute of the video that we had some bandwidth issues, but know that it smooths out during the second minute.  Here’s the interview:

Nils Smith interview with William Vanderbloemen about NEXT from Nils Smith on Vimeo.

I hope you will go to Amazon today and purchase William’s new book, NEXT: Pastoral Succession that Works.

Vemory automagically finds and recreates your best memories

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Out of all of the projects that I have had the privilege of being a part of Vemory is probably the most fun!  I was brought into this project about 6 months ago and it has been incredible to watch it develop and now LAUNCH!  Before even reading further go ahead and pull out your iOS device and start downloading the Vemory app here or go to the App Store and Search “Vemory”.

Rather than I go into detail describing the app, take a look at this 1 minute video:

I can’t wait to see what you create and share on and through Vemory!  Expect to see many Vemories in my social networks in the coming days and weeks!

If you would also take a minute after downloading the app to give it a good review and let others know what you think.

 

Using Zoom for Ministry

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If you are not yet familiar with Zoom, I encourage you to quickly become familiar. While I am using technology constantly to connect with people all over the world and I have a greater need than most, I think you will also find great value in Zoom for your organization or ministry.

So what is Zoom? It’s many things, but i would compare it most to Skype and Google Hangouts combined except much better. I do a lot of conference calls every day and I prefer for those to be face to face. Beyond just the video conference call, it is very easy to utilize the text chat feature, record the calls and share your screen. You can actually have 20+ people on the call and some can join you by actually calling a phone number or just clicking a link and seeing each other face to face.

So here’s what I love the most about Zoom:

  1. Simplicity- it is easy for me to setup a call, invite others, and most importantly for them to join the call
  2. Price- it’s FREE to get started, but honestly worth paying $10/month for unlimited calls and recording the calls
  3. Improvements- I have only been using Zoom for 2 months and have already seen improvements in the technology and excited for their webinar feature that is about to release that will allow for 20 presenters and 1,000 viewers.

I could honestly go on about Zoom with their great mobile app, coming conference room integrations, etc.  I will stop here and simply encourage you to give it a try.  Go check it out at http://zoom.us.

Before I end this email I want to encourage you to think about the online small group opportunities around Zoom.  Think online small groups/Bible studies.  You can easily have an online small group of 3 or have an online Bible study where hundreds login to more of a presentation based Bible study that can also be interactive.  The opportunities are limitless, the cost is minimal and the technology is now SIMPLE!

Online Church Leaders is Here!

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After over 6 months of preparation, I’m excited to announce that Online Church Leaders is here! Go to http://OnlineChurchLeaders.com to sign up for your FREE account today!

This has been a labor of love, and I feel so grateful that Community Bible Church has been generous enough to allow me to invest in other churches in this way.  We are essentially giving away all that we have learned about Online Church over the past 4 years in this FREE training program!  It’s not just what we have learned at Community Bible Church, but collectively among other friends pioneering this new ministry opportunity from LifeChurch.tv, Saddlback Church, Seacoast Church, Dream Center, and more!

Here are some of the learning portals included in the training:

  • Building Your Platform
  • Creating Your Content
  • Attracting Your Crowd
  • Developing Your Volunteers
  • Online Giving
  • Measuring Success
  • and more!

We have a goal with this platform over the next 2 years to help 500 churches launch an Online Church campus reaching an average of 2,000 each week.  That would be 1 million people a week attending an Online Church!  We believe this is very possible and just a matter of churches understanding the opportunity, embracing the technology, and applying the basic principles lined out here.

Here’s what some key Online Churches have said about this new ministry opportunity:

 “Saddleback Church’s Online Campus reached over 208 countries/territories this past year with over 2/3 of our viewers non-local. Plus, with over 1,100 groups meeting all over the globe. Through a simple, but well executed Church Online strategy anyone from anywhere can engage with our church.” – Jay Kranda from Saddleback Church

“God is using online ministry in very real ways around the world. Our ministry has been extended to people we never would have been able to reach otherwise, and lives are being transformed through the life-giving message of Christ. People who were feeling empty have found hope. People who were lonely have found community. People who were stuck in destructive decisions have found strength to change… all through the power of Christ.” – Alan George from LifeChurch.tv

Without a doubt, OnlineChurchLeaders.com is the most valuable priceless resource that will bring more churches into the 21st century before the 22nd century gets here! Get online already!” – DJ Chuang from the Social Media Church Podcast

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up today at http://OnlineChurchLeaders.com!