PlainJoe Studios

Launching the New CommunityBible.com

Yesterday we launched the new CommunityBible.com after almost a year of planning, developing and populating. It has been a roller coaster ride to say the least as we began the journey to build a new site from a brand new perspective. I want to give you all a look under the hood at some of our intentionality behind the site as we began this process and have come to this point of launch.  Here are some of the core functional shifts of this new website:

  1. Guest Experience - through our Analytics tracking we were able to find that 40% of our traffic were first time visitors from the San Antonio area. We wanted to optimize the site for them first, thinking through what the guest will need to experience from checking out our website to attending a service. We established this through simplifying our homepage experience while also amplifying the first impression through the motion graphics and creating a clear primary call to action to Plan Your Visit to one of our worship services. 
  2. MultiSite Infrastructure - one of the biggest changes in the life of our church is moving from a 1 campus mega church to a MultiSite church. With this shift organizationally our website infrastructure had to change and we needed to create an infrastructure that communicated the uniqueness of all of our campuses in a unified way. We established this through the campus selection at the top of the website with identical primary navigation for each campus. We are eager to see how people navigate the site in this new way!
  3. Simplicity - being a church of 20,000+ with multiple campuses and services in multiple languages both online and in person is naturally complicated.  While we were a 1 campus church our existing website had grown to over 300 pages and that is after we attempted to simplify it a couple of years ago. It happens and I know that what we are launching with will likely expand in the coming weeks and months. We were able to simplify the site significantly from 300 pages to 60 at launch. That came with many arm wrestling sessions, but we got there and believe this simplified navigation will significantly enhance the website experience for both our visitors and our members.
  4. Database Integration - this was the biggest challenge for me. In the past I have worked around our database, but I grew up and came to the understanding that we needed to prioritize database integration with our forms, our group connections, and our giving.  Honestly, this is where we still need to work moving forward as we must create a seamless experience between our website and our database to best engage our congregation in the most connected way. I think we took some great steps forward though in this area.
  5. Unified Language - in the past each ministry area submitted content and we edited for grammatical changes, but this time we hired a copy writer to rewrite every piece of content using unified language and establishing a conversational tone to every word on the site. This might be the most under noticed aspect to the site, but possibly the most effective addition that we made.  

There are probably many other details that I'm leaving out, but these are the first 5 things that come to mind as I think through the past year and look at the site that just launched. The truth is, the site is only launching and this is just the beginning. We already have a list of updates that we will begin working on tomorrow and a list of new developments that we will start working on next week. Websites should always live in a state of "Beta."  So, our website is not done, but I am glad to announce that it has officially launched!

I would love to know your thoughts and any questions that you might have about the site.

I want to also say a special thank you to the Innovation and MarCom teams at CBC and to PlainJoe Studios who did an incredible job building out this site together. Thank you to everyone involved in this project and to CBC for entrusting my leadership with this critical ministry resource.  

The New EHS Website

After more than 6 months of hard work I am so excited to share the new Emotionally Healthy Spirituality website!  As always PlainJoe Studios hit it out of the park with exceptional design and user experience.  I could go on, but I will let the website speak for itself:

Old Site:

New Site:

Don't just look at the pictures!  Go to EmotionallyHealthy.org right now and check it out in it's entirety!  Also, if you haven't gotten a copy of Pete Scazzero's book Emotionally Healthy Leader go get your copy on Amazon today.

Celebrating 5 Years at Community Bible Church

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since I first joined the staff at Community Bible Church!  5 years ago I had an unexpected lunch with Robert Emmitt and Chris Emmitt, which quickly led to a 90 day contract to launch an experiment called CBC Online.  90 days later I had a full-time job and the adventure began!  

As I look back over the past 5 years here are some of the highlights that stand out to me:

Honestly, I could go on and on as it's overwhelming to look back on all that God has done over the past 5 years.  I can without hesitation say that I am a different leader and a different man because of my time at Community Bible Church.  That has far less to do with the things I have done than it does with the people I have done it with.  The church staff at CBC is second to none and the privilege to lock arms with these servant leaders has been an incredible blessing.  As I look at the staff I have been privileged to lead on the Innovation team, I am so humbled as they have so passionately served the church and followed my lead while working behind the scenes so diligently.  More than anyone else, I have been most impacted by these three leaders that I have served under:

  1. Robert Emmitt (Lead Pastor) first entrusted me and empowered me.  He allowed me to lead while clearly casting vision and direction and making sure I had the resources needed to thrive.  His encouragement and motivation have inspired so many of our initiatives over the past 5 years.  Robert has taught me how to move fast and remain flexible while staying focused on the mission God has called us to.
  2. Chris Emmitt (Executive Pastor) has directly led me and supported me beyond what any leader could ever dream possible.  Chris has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me see a bigger picture of ministry opportunities that I often missed because I was lost in the technology.  There is no one in this world that I enjoy white board ministry dreaming conversations with than Chris Emmitt!
  3. Trey Moore (Elder) has mentored me in more ways than I can describe.  Between early morning breakfast meetings or late night conversations after basketball, Trey has taught me so much about technology, innovation, leadership, and family.  Watching Trey lead with such passion and humility has been the greatest model that I could follow to lead innovation at CBC.  

One individual that I can't leave out from mentioning is Sean Metcalf (Education Pastor) who has been the greatest friend and partner in ministry than I can begin to describe.  From countless lunches to the quick pick me ups in the hall, Sean's constant encouragement has meant so much over 5 years.  We couldn't be much more different from our personalities, our outward appearance, and the technologies that we prefer (Sean uses a Dell without complaining).  Despite our personal differences our ministry minds couldn't be any more aligned and it's been an honor to serve alongside Sean for the past 5 years.

The great news is, it's only been 5 years and I believe we're only getting started!  I might be living in New York for this season, but my commitment and love for Community Bible Church is no less than it has ever been as I continue to serve the church with my whole heart and believe our best days are ahead!  I'm humbled by all that God has allowed for me to do, but I'm most focused and excited about the next 5 years and all I'm believing God to do!