Media Social

Can We Help You Launch & Grow Your Online Church?

I cannot be more excited to announce a new service that I have dreamed about for years!  Since launching Online Church at Community Bible Church I have been asked to tell the story over and over again about how we launched an online campus in a week and now reach 15,000+ people from more than 160 different countries each week.  As I share this story with church leaders they often tell me that they wish they could do the same, but have a long list of excuses of why they can't.  I have made it my goal to remove the following excuses:

  • The technology is too complicated
  • It's too expensive
  • We have no one to run it
  • We don't even know where to start

The truth about Online Church is that the technology is complicated, it can be expensive, it requires a lot of time and getting started is the hardest step of all.  I believe we have solved these issues with a new service called Online Church SupportChris Tripputi and I have built a team that can setup and run your Online Church Campus so that you can focus on the ministry while we focus on the technology and the systems.  

Our team of designers and technicians will handle the page setup and layout, help with video uploads and scheduling, and even train your volunteers if you need for us to.  We are aware of the hurdles and feel that we have created an affordable structure that most churches can afford if they are ready to transform their local church into a global church online with just a click of a button (well, maybe a few clicks).

Are you ready to learn more?  Visit OnlineChurch.Support to get started today!  If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to comment or send me a message as I would love to answer them.  

Book Tour - Online Church

Want to know more about Online Church?  Curious where to begin or where to go from where you are?  CBC Online launched in one week and so can your online ministry!  We will talk about not just how to broadcast your worship experiences, but organizing volunteers, online Bible studies, ministry follow up, etc.  Whether you are just curious or fully committed this session will be beneficial to your church/minitry to begin thinking differently about the possibilities online. Session Interview with Alan George, Church Online Pastor at LifeChurch.tv.

Online Church - Social Media Guide For Ministry Day5 from Nils Smith on Vimeo.

If you have not purchased the Social Media Guide for Ministry you can find it on Amazon here.

If you have purchased and read the book if you would please leave a review on Amazon here.

If you have any questions about this session please leave a comment and I would love to answer any question that you might have.

Book Tour Question - Online Small Groups

Question from Scott:  We do hometeams (small groups that go through discussion questions and talk about life) We are looking for a way to reach the young adult age, especially those with children. The biggest barrier seems to be childcare and sports teams. As I was watching todays session I got to thinking about the possiblity of doing an online Skype type, webcam driven, home team. Is Skype the only resource out there for something like this? Especially one that would be free!

My Response:

Scott, I love your vision for seeing the opportunities.  We began doing Online LifeGroups at Community Bible Church about 2 years ago for the same reason.  Not only does it overcome schedules, but it also overcomes geographic barriers as anyone anywhere can participate.  Honestly, as good as the technology is nothing beats face to face when it comes to small groups.  At the same time, it is just not realistic for many people and online groups provide a great option!  Here are some of the avenues that I would recommend:

Google+ Hangouts- for video chat groups of 5-9 people.

Media Social- for video based groups where you can watch a video and chat via Facebook.

Facebook Groups- for groups that don't actually meet at a designated time, but have ongoing dialogue 24/7.

Would love to hear other ideas, thoughts, or further questions!

Domain Forwarding with Masking

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.37.47 AM
Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.37.47 AM

You likely have heard of domain forwarding where you purchase a domain and have it forward to a different domain.  You might not have heard about domain forwarding with masking.  What this means is when you forward someone to a different domain/URL, it continues to display the domain they typed into their URL address bar once they are on the site rather than the actual URL.

The need for this came about for Online Church when our Media Social channel URL is http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc.  It's not a bad URL, but it wasn't easy for people to remember so we purchased a domain (first http://mycbconline.com and now http://onlinechurch.com) and forwarded that domain to our Media Social channel URL.  It worked for the most part, but I would hear from people that they thought they somehow went to the wrong site because the URL completely changed.  That's when we found out about domain forwarding with masking.

Now, when people type in the URL http://OnlineChurch.com it forwards them to http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc, but their URL address bar still displays OnlineChurch.com.

So, that's why we did it, but for those who have asked the questions about how we did it; here is the step by step process as to how we setup this functionality through GoDaddy:

  1. Purchase the domain at http://GoDaddy.com
  2. Click on My Account and then Launch the Domains tab
  3. Choose the domain you want to forward and then choose option "Manage" next to "Forwarding"
  4. Choose Advanced Options and "Forward with Masking"
  5. Fill in the information: URL to forward to, Title (will show up at top of browser window), Description (will display in search results), and Keywords (will help with SEO)

Save these results and you're all set and should be in effect immediately.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this functionality and how you are using it.  I would also be interested to hear any reasons as to why someone shouldn't use this functionality as well.  Please comment with any questions that you might have about domain forwarding with masking.

Virtual Book Tour

The Social Media Guide for Ministry is coming soon and we will be launching its release with a Virtual Book Tour.  For four days we will be hosting online training events for ministry leaders based on the core principles of the book.  Beginning Monday, March 4th we will have 3 sessions daily with a new topic each day.  Each session will last approximately 45 minutes and will include training from myself, interviews with ministry leaders and social media experts, and live chat Q & A. Here is a list of the days, times, and topics of the coming tour:

March 4th – Social Media Basics

In this session we will discuss the who, what, when, where, and why of Social Media.  We will get down to the basics of where you should begin or, perhaps, begin again.  Nils will also answer some FAQs when it comes to Social Media in Ministry.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 5th – Facebook Foundations

Facebook now has over 1 billion users worldwide which can provide great value to almost every ministry or waste a lot of time if you don’t know how to use the platform effectively.  Understanding the capabilities of this network, as well as developing a practical strategy, can translate to very valuable ministry.  Nils will share tips and tricks for using Facebook both personally and organizationally by sharing his personal experiences and how the Online Church Facebook page has grown to over 250,000 fans.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 6th – Twitter & YouTube Techniques

Twitter and YouTube can both be entertaining ways to pass time but did you know they can also be invaluable ministry tools?  Twitter is an incredibly unique network and requires a unique strategy to be used effectively.  YouTube is the #2 search engine on the internet with 800 million visitors each month so understanding the basics of this network and some video best practices can greatly enhance your ministry by reaching thousands online no matter your group’s size or budget.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 7th- Blogging, Pinterest, and the Other Networks

Have you considered starting a blog?  Are you curious about Pinterest?  Want to know more about Google+, Instagram, FaithVillage, and several of the other networks that are out there?  In this session we will cover the basics of blogging by discussing various platforms, blogging topics, length of posts, etc.  We will also highlight the social network Pinterest as well as several other networks and why you should or should not use them.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

Partners:

We are honored to have some incredible ministry partners for this event.  If you are not already familiar with these great organizations, we encourage you to get to know them and the ministry work that they are doing.

Vanderbloemen Search Group

Media Social

Rockbridge Seminary

Group Publishing

OnlineChurch.com

FaithVillage