Leadership

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!

2016 Look Back: Church Website Series

Last May I wrote a series of blog posts about church websites. I looked through Wordpress and Squarespace and detailed my experience sharing some advice on managing church/ministry websites on these platforms.

Here’s a look back on my church website series:

 

I would love to hear what technologies and best practices that you are using with your church website!  

 

2016 Look Back: Snapchat Series

Many predicted Snapchat to be 2016’s social network. It’s not hard to see why since the social network undoubtedly caused quite a stir in the social media world. Last April I dedicated a blog series to looking at Snapchat in close detail. Let’s take a look back:


Although we’ve seen Facebook and Instagram imitate many of Snapchat’s unique features, this quirky little social network didn’t go away and ministries should continue to keep their attention on it this year.

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.

NYC Favorite Things - Networking Highlights

While being intentional about networking in NYC was something I intended to do, I never anticipated the variety of leaders I would meet. Here were some of the highlights of those networking connections:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk - Gary Vee has been a hero for many years. Getting to meet him at a book signing after one of his speaking events on a Sunday evening was definitely a highlight of my time here in New York. Just a couple days later I was privileged to visit his office at Vaynermedia! Gary was so friendly and great to connect with face to face.

  • George McGovern - Chaplain, Yankees and NY Giants - George actually reached out to me on LinkedIn and I had a blast connecting for lunch one day and having an ongoing relationship even bringing my family out to his house in New Jersey for a bar-b-q. George is one of the kindest and most humble men I’ve ever met.

  • Willie Morris - Founder, FaithBox - I have been following Willie’s story for some time and had a blast meeting up face to face at the VaynerMedia offices. Willie is one of the most creative entrepreneur’s I’ve ever interacted with and probably the friendliest dude I’ve ever met!

  • Will Anderson - CEO, Christian Post - I met Will at a roundtable conversation with a group of technology leaders at the Christian Post headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Will was incredibly welcoming and passionate about ministry impact far more that business development. Meeting Will gave me a new perspective of how a for-profit business can function very much as a ministry.

  • Scott Wennermark - Director of Strategic Advancement, American Bible Society - Scott and I met over the phone about a year before I moved to New York, but it was great to meet up a couple of times while he was in the area. We also had the privilege of worshiping together at Times Square Church at one of their prayer services. Love the unique work he is doing with DJ Chuang with the .Bible TLD.

  • Sean Coughlin - Co-founder and CEO, Faith Street - my friend DJ Chuang introduced me to Sean when he was in town and it was great to get to know him personally and hear about the unique work they are doing at Faith Street and how they are serving the Church using new technologies in a very unique way.

 

During my time in the city, I also had the privilege of also attending some unique networking events hosted by some unique organizations listed below. Each event led to meeting some of the most unique and creative people. Among everyone I met there was a commonality among each of them: hustle. Here’s a list of some of these events/organizations: