Becoming a Social Media Pastor Part 4: The Experiment

In July 2010 I was invited to join the staff of Community Bible Church to begin an experiment of doing Church Online.  As I look back I took a big risk for my family as nothing was guaranteed and I wasn't being paid much to lead this experiment.  At the same time it was the experiment I had dreamed of for some time with an opportunity to do it with an incredible team of leaders, communicators, creatives, and technical geniuses.  I had little doubt that this experiment would thrive and felt a great confidence that God was guiding this process every step of the way.

In my journey leading up to this point there were 2 books that greatly inspired me: Linchpin by Seth Godin and The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki.  These two books fueled my desire to launch something new and spoke to my entrepreneurial nature and passion to connect.  The truth is that CBC had every resource already in place and all of the talent needed to thrive, but needed a linchpin to guide the process.  From Day 1 it seemed to be the perfect fit as I was able to get to know the incredible leaders and  pastors at CBC and work very closely with the very creative and  talented Connections Team.  I honestly walked into my dream job as a linchpin in an incredible organization getting to launch a cutting edge new ministry opportunity.

As we began getting started I remember Robert Emmitt asking me how long it would take to get it off the ground and I suggested 3 months to beta test and 6 months to launch.  He asked if we could beta test in a week instead.  I was confused thinking that there must be more process and approvals to go through, but I caught up to speed and a week after our 2nd meal I was sitting in the Conference Room at CBC running our first Beta test with over 400 people logging on.  The hour flew by and my adrenaline was through the roof.  I couldn't sleep that night and wanted to run 10 more services that night.

A week after that first service we expanded to 3 online services and a month after that we began broadcasting all 3 teaching pastors at CBC in 10 different services.  CBC Online began to connect with people all over the United States and we had our first person accept Christ logging in from Pennsylvania.  This was just 6 weeks in and we knew we were on to something.

About halfway through the experiment I remember meeting with Chris Emmitt in my office and Robert Emmitt popping in and asking a question: "How long is this experiment going to last?" and Chris saying: "I don't think this is an experiment anymore."  From this point on CBC Online was no longer an experiment.  We continued to go full throttle ahead Reaching, Teaching, and Helping as many people as we possibly can in Jesus' name through the efforts of CBC Online.  This was an exciting time but we were just getting started, the journey just keeps getting better!

Here are the other posts in this series:

Part 1: The Valley

Part 2: The Search

Part 3: The Find

Part 4: The Experiment

Part 5: The Growth

Part 6: 1 Year Anniversary