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.
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!
I'm excited to announce that I will be hosting the Social Media Summit in coordination with my friends at Faith Social. In one 90 minute session, we have brought together seasoned experts in social media and digital ministry to share strategy and best practices for church leaders to better engage their members and grow their ministry through social media. This event is the perfect opportunity for church leaders to deepen their understanding of Social Media in Ministry without even leaving their desk. This online event is FREE and will take place on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from noon-1:30pm CST. I hope to see you there!
For more information and to register now click here.
Take a look at some of our speakers and our incredible sponsors for this event: