Dunham and Company

Creating a Generous Culture in Your Church

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I met Trent Dunham over 3 years ago now where I first heard him share a presentation titled “Creating a Generous Culture” to church leaders. I immediately began to integrate some of these learnings into my ministry and when I joined Dunham+Company about a year ago, I got to work building a platform for church leaders to learn these principles.

The reality to creating a generous culture is that there is no magic bullet and these principles can’t be taught and learned in a 1 hour session. They are processed through and developed over time. That is why we built ChurchPlus.

ChurchPlus is a community of church leaders learning together to create a generous culture in their churches. As a member of ChurchPlus you will participate in a monthly webinar based around a theme. This theme will be processed out in a private Facebook Group where participants will be able to process the topic further together and ask questions to the Dunham+Company team. Not only will participants have access to this ongoing content, but also to the content library that will include all previous webinars on-demand as well as 2 courses in the Dunham Fundraising Institute:

  • Creating a Generous Church Culture ($199 value)
  • Social Media for Ministry ($199 value)

For a limited time we are offering new members access to ChurchPlus for the first month for just $1 (and you can cancel anytime). You will have full access to the community and webinars as well as the 2 additional courses.

Sign up for ChurchPlus today by going to http://ChurchPlusNow.com and use the coupon code “MORE”. I will personally be leading the conversation in the Facebook Group and hope to connect with you there!

Leaving A Job Well

Here’s my reality: I’m not just leaving a job for another job. I was called by God to Community Bible Church and I now feel God releasing me from that role at CBC and a clear calling to my serve under the leadership at Dunham+Company. I invested everything I had into this church and I am forever changed by my experiences at CBC. This was my church more than it was my place of employment. This “job” meant so much to me and this church continues to mean so much to me. All of my family that lives in San Antonio goes to CBC and will continue to. I continue to communicate this as I believe it’s important for people to know how much I love CBC and how grateful I am for all that God has done through this church and all I believe God is going to do through this church. I truly believe that the best is yet to come at Community Bible Church.

Regardless of my feelings for CBC, I would want to leave well. I have left ministry jobs well and I’ve left them terribly. I have left upset and frustrated as well as leaving jobs that I loved, but felt called elsewhere. I believe that for whatever reason that you might be leaving, it is important and valuable to leave well. I hope this blog post can help you learn from my experiences in order to leave well if God does call you elsewhere.

As I made my transition at Community Bible Church, these are a few of the things that I tried to do in order to leave well:

·       Ask How You Can Leave Well – I will always remember the call to Ed Newton to share the news of my transition. He received the call with incredible grace and was so encouraging to me personally. While this wasn’t a strategy of mine, but during the 5-minute conversation I asked Ed how I could transition well. Through this ask l was able to communicate clearly to him my intentions to transition well rather than what many people do and just let go of everything and move on. He was able to ask very specific requests that helped him tremendously and also gave me a peace in knowing that I was able to transition well for the leader that I served under.

·       Share the News Personally – this was very challenging and I know that there were many I missed. Shortly after sharing the news with my pastor I moved quickly to call as many close colleagues and ministry leaders that I could. I wish I could have called more, but was so glad I was able to share the news personally rather than them hear through an announcement or someone else. I believe this also minimizes the opportunity for unhealthy rumors to get out.

·       Document All Job Duties – know matter how well you train others to do your job they will likely forget at least 50% of what you teach and regardless it is beneficial to have your entire workflow documented for those who follow you and realistically those who follow those who follow you. It never hurts to document your job duties and work flow systems. I believe this is healthy even if you’re not leaving and to review these annually if not quarterly.

·       Effectively Transition All Responsibilities – alongside documentation of your job duties, training around these responsibilities is so important. Helping those who take over these responsibilities understand not just what you do and how you do it, but why you do it that way. The reality is that they will likely do things different than you did, but if they understand the why, they will likely avoid potential pitfalls as they develop their own workflow and systems.

·       Don’t Burn Bridges – this is probably most important. You will likely be hurt in some way and likely have a desire to burn a bridge or 3 in your transition. I have never seen someone burn a bridge and thought: “Well, that was a good idea” or “That really helped things”. Burning bridges is not a good idea. Period. That doesn’t mean you have to be deceptive or hide wrongs, it just means you don’t unnecessarily attack others personally or deceptively allow rumors to spread around your transition. As you consider your actions in the midst of a transition and all of the natural emotions that are involved be careful to not burn bridges. It’s just not worth it.

What am I leaving off that you would suggest? Do you agree or disagree? Your current job is likely not your last. I hope this list helps others as they begin a transition. As I hear from you I will hopefully expand this list and hope it becomes a tremendous resource for others that are making a career transition in the future.

Starting A New Job Well

Over the past 7 years or so I’ve been a pretty open book. I’ve wanted to take you on my journey in Online Ministry sharing all aspects from leadership development, technology innovation and ministry systems. As I’m in this stage of professional and personal transition I want to continue to be an open book as my hope is to help others learn from what I do well as well as some things I’m not doing well.

As I begin my role as the Vice President of Social Media & Innovation at Dunham+Company I naturally want to start well. Here are some of the things I’m doing to start well:

·       Study Names – I’m terrible at remembering names, but that’s not a good excuse for not remembering them. As I continue to start my new role I’m not assuming that someday in the near future I will remember everyone’s name. Names are important and I’m trying to be as intentional as possible to remember the names of both my new colleagues as well as Dunham+Company’s clients.

·       Research Colleagues and Clients – beyond learning names, I’m trying to find out as much as I can about my new colleagues and clients. Thanks to LinkedIn, Google and Facebook I’m able to learn so much in advance. This naturally creates talking points to get to know each other as well as saving them time to have to fill me in on various details that I can find out on my own maximizing whatever interaction opportunities that we do have.

·       Establish New Rhythms – I’m a workaholic by nature (along with plenty of other bad habits) and a new start allows me the opportunity to establish new rhythms to how I prepare for each day, how I utilize my time in the office, how I disconnect when I go home and so on. I know myself well enough that this isn’t something that I hope I will figure out later, but something I have to establish as soon as possible.

·       Setup Communication Channels – I hate slowing down to setup emails, create passwords, etc. I know that I too often waste time because I don’t setup the most efficient systems on the front end. This time I’m trying to do things different getting my emails, phone systems, text messages, cloud storage, etc. setup effectively on all devices with an efficient system to manage it all.

·       Build Personal Relationships – I’m not one to separate personal and professional. I want to know the people I work with and I want them to know me. Because of my desire to get things done I can often skip past establishing personal relationships with those around me for the sake of efficiency. Because I’m not running a sprint it’s important to me that I take the time and get to know my colleagues and clients in a personal way rather than just know the tasks that they accomplish.

What advice would you recommend? I want to learn as this is such a key time for me professionally and I believe that most of you reading this are either experiencing this same kind of transition or will experience it in the somewhat near future.

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.

A New Season for the Smith Family

I’m excited to share with you that our family is moving into a new season. After 6 incredible years at Community Bible Church in San Antonio and 2 adventurous years in New York City, our family will be moving to Dallas, Texas. I have accepted a position as the Vice President of Social Media and Innovation at Dunham and Company (the picture above is my signing the offer sheet about a week ago). All of my consulting work and clients through Amplify Social Media will merge into my role with Dunham and Company.

I first met Trent Dunham (Senior Vice President at Dunham and Company) 18 months ago in Fresno, California where we were both speaking at an Invictus Global event. There was a natural affinity and mutual respect for the unique Kingdom work that we were both doing. Over the past 18 months I got to know Dunham and Company much better and watched their Kingdom impact and influence continue to grow at an incredible rate. While their company was growing they continued to spend time investing into me as a leader and speaking into my growing business.

As Amplify Social Media has also continued to grow and their need for social media support has become greater, it became clear that we needed to find opportunities to overlap. Quickly in those conversations it became natural to begin thinking about how we might increase impact by serving ministries together as one rather than apart.  When asked if I would rather continue to function independently or merge my company into Dunham and Company it was a no brainer. Without hesitation I jumped at this opportunity to better serve ministries as a part of Dunham and Company letting go of the business functions and focusing on the service provided to our ministry clients.

This exciting development requires 2 big changes for our family:

  1. Moving to Dallas, Texas to join the team at Dunham and Company’s headquarters and

  2. Transitioning out of my role at Community Bible Church as Innovation Pastor

The second was the harder decision as we have been so deeply invested in the ministry of Community Bible Church. Robert and Chris Emmitt first empowered me 6 years ago to launch the ministry of Online Church and since that day we’ve reached more than 2.5 million people together from more than 200 different countries and territories. Our Facebook page alone is touching more than 3 million people a week and we have thousands connected in discipleship based Online Small Groups. I could list out the highlights of the past 6 years, but it’s the people that I have been privileged to work alongside on a daily basis that I will miss the most. The Innovation Team at Community Bible Church has been second to none as they have pushed the limits of technology constantly looking for new, efficient and effective ways to reach, teach and help people in Jesus’ name. They have followed my leadership as chaotic as it might have seemed at times and pioneered new ministry opportunities through new technology developments. I’m incredibly proud of the work we were able to accomplish together and humbled to have had the privilege to lead this team. Beyond this team though are the thousands of church members, ministry volunteers and other staff members that I have had the privilege of serving alongside. I will miss you all tremendously.

It has been the most incredible experience to serve under the leadership of Robert Emmitt, Trey Moore and Chris Emmitt. These humble leaders have taught me so much and invested into me as a leader in ways that I cannot begin to describe. Saying thank you doesn't even begin to communicate the depth of my gratitude.

So, what will I do as the VP of Social Media and Innovation at Dunham and Company? I will continue to do what I have been doing serving ministries and coming alongside them to maximize ministry impact through social media and Innovative new technologies. When it comes to social media we will help ministries develop an optimal strategy for greatest impact, develop content and distribution systems, support through empowered response teams, and measure success through ongoing analytics reports and social media audits. Beyond social media we want to support our clients through other new media engagement opportunities such as podcasting, live streaming, Virtual Reality, webinar management, and more.

Bottom line, if you want to utilize social media and new technologies for maximum Kingdom impact, I want to help. If you have questions about what we do and how we can help, just ask. Simply go to my Contact page and send me a message. I would love to dialogue about whatever your need or desire might be.

 

To learn more about Dunham and Company go to http://DunhamandCompany.com.