American Bible Society

3 Questions with DJ Chuang

I'm excited to bring back an old tradition to my blog in interviewing friends with 3 questions that I then share with you.  My first guest back to this new format is my good friend, DJ Chuang.  Introducing DJ could be a whole post in itself as his list of unique experiences could go on and on.  I will summarize it in saying that he is focused at the center of the intersection of the church and the internet.  You likely have heard of his podcast Social Media Church and he is currently working with the American Bible Society with the .Bible registry.  To learn more about DJ you can visit his website at DJChuang.com.  

I'm so grateful that DJ took the time and know you will gain great insights from DJ's answers to these 3 questions: 

1) As you have studied how churches are using Social Media, where do you see churches getting it right and where do you see them missing a great opportunity?

> @djchuang: I've heard of many great examples of churches using social media in a wide variety of ways through my podcast conversations during the past 2+ years on Social Media Church, and that's good to see. Plus, I think it's a good sign that my Google Alerts for "social media church" comes with a handful of mentions almost every day now, whereas just a year ago, it was only a couple mentions every few days. I think churches are getting it right when they empower both their staff and attenders to actively use social media, and learn to use it better over time. You (and your church) develop your social media voice by using your voice on social media. 

As for opportunities, there are so many because the Internet is so vast and wide, the opportunities are practically limitless. But we are finite people with limited resources. I'd say the biggest opportunity that churches are missing is YouTube. The number of people watching YouTube videos, the hours of time with videos watched and uploaded is astronomical! YouTube statistics at the moment are: More than 1 billion unique users every month, over 6 billion hours of video watched monthly, 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute, 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US. The opportunity here is not to upload your church sermon videos; it is to create engaging videos that is worthy of a Gospel witness.

 

2) After studying the trend of Online Church for years, what do you see ahead for this trend?

> @djchuang: I had started tracking the number of online churches and internet campuses back in 2007, when there were 5 that I could find, during my tenure at Leadership Network. By 2014, there was over 105, and those are just the ones I could find in my spare time, since I'm not a full-time researcher. That's good growth, though hardly a drop in the bucket when compared to the total number of churches in the US, estimated to be around 350,000+. 

I'd like to think that the next iteration for online churches will be content specifically produced for an online audience, rather than merely streaming video content produced for an in-person offline audience. Most churches currently provide a video of existing worship services for the online audience to watch and participate from afar. The growing trends of online education, webinars, livestreams, and online conferences all point towards churches extending their ministries online in more engaging ways.

 

3) You are also very involved in the Asian American church.  Can you share what trends you are seeing and what people should understand about that Asian American Church that they might not know?

> @djchuang: Firstly, I'd refer your readers to my popular article on Ed Stetzer's blog, 9 Things About Asian American Christianity, and notice that Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial grouping in America. 

Plus, I see so much more potential for Asian American churches than what's currently happening. Asian Americans on the whole have the highest family median income and the highest rate of college degrees of any racial ethnic grouping. That's not to say there aren't community needs for some Asian Americans, but it is to say that Asian Americans could be great partners for the Gospel in America's multicultural society and today's transnational world. 

Recent racial tensions in America continue to show that we are not in a post-racial world. I believe the best remedy for racial strife is the multiethnic churches, where real relationships and friendships have a foundation on the Gospel and tap into God's power for reconciliation and true peace on earth for all humankind and between all peoples. 

Thank You LifeChurch.tv

For years I watched LifeChurch.tv from afar in amazement at how they constantly innovated and pioneered new ministry opportunites.  I was also blown away by their generosity as they always gave so much away.  While in Student Ministry I can't tell you how many times I was in a pinch trying to pull together a message and I was able to deliver something much better by using one of the Student Ministry teaching videos that LifeChurch.tv made available for FREE!  

Today, I'm beyond honored to not only watch from afar in amazement at how God continues to expand their impact and influence, but I'm able to experience it first hand as I have gotten to know the leadership at LifeChurch.tv and to be able to call them friends and partners in ministry.  The example that they have set and the personal investment that they have made in me has been an incredible blessing in my ministry and leadership.  I cannot begin to describe how much these leaders have shaped me as a leader through the years.

If you're not familiar with their FREE resources for Churches, please check out these links:

  • Church Online Platform - a FREE online platform for churches to host their online services
  • Church Metrics - a fantastic tool for tracking attendance, salvations, giving, etc.
  • Develop.Me - a great tool to develop church staff members
  • Open - packed with great resources from sermon messages, kids and student resources, leadership training, small group materials and so much more!

Oh yeah, and when they're not busy creating resources for church leaders, they're working on YouVersion!  Likely half of your congregation is using this app each weekend alongside 160 million other people who have downloaded this Bible app.  It truly is incredible all that God is using and how He is blessing their generosity!

Yesterday, I was privileged to experience another generous offering from a couple of key leaders at LifeChurch.tv - their time.  This is probably the most valuable resource that anyone can offer.  While they were in New York, they simply opened up a 2 hour block of time for church leaders to simply come and ask questions as well as make requests for future resource developments.  The conversation was so inspiring and encouraging to myself and I know the other leaders who were privileged to participate.

Thank you LifeChurch.tv for all that you do for churches everywhere, for the investment you have made in me over the years and for the time that you shared yesterday.  I am grateful!