ministry tools

Thank You Gary Vaynerchuk

Dear Gary,
I just wanted to say, Thank You. 
You see, 16 years ago I had my first job in Youth Ministry and my greatest ministry tool at the time was AOL Instant Messenger. I didn’t see it that way at the time because I thought it was more of a toy than a tool, but as I look back it’s very clear. Quickly that tool changed to MySpace and then Facebook. When Facebook opened up their ad platform I did what I always do and experimented. We saw our college ministry explode on pennies spent on these ads and I began getting a lot of attention in the ministry space.
Then I read your book Crush It.  Well first, I watched this video:

After watching your video and reading your book, I saw a bigger picture. You spoke my language, but opened my eyes that this wasn’t a fad or trend that had the attention of teenagers. This was a fundamental shift in our culture that would only grow. I did what you often recommend and I doubled down and went all in. 
That investment has paid off. Some financial as I’ve written a book, and had the privilege of speaking at conferences around the United States. Mostly in terms of ministry impact as the lessons I have learned from you in terms of social media directly translated into exponential ministry impact at Community Bible Church and for the ministries I consult with. 
I could tell you many stories and I would love to some day, but for now I just want to say thank you. Thank you for generously sharing your wisdom through your books, your YouTube videos, blog posts, podcasts and anywhere else that you are able to. I have purchased many copies of all of your books to both read and give away. I initially did this as a way to say thank you to you for your investment in me, but your books in turn provide even greater value to me. Your books that I have given away have turned into clients paying me thousands in return for a $15 book that I gave them of yours. Your books have proven to be a way better sales pitch for me than I could ever do myself. 
I just recently purchased many copies of #AskGaryVee and plan to buy many more. I recommend it to anyone and everyone that I can. I actually recently attended one of your events in New York and unexpectedly got to meet you (see above). This was the first time I met you face to face, but a couple years ago you were also gracious enough to do an interview for me here:

So, while I’m admitting publicly to stalking you, I know you’re okay with that. You are passionate and generous and through that generosity changed many lives like mine. I’m thankful for your generosity and transparency, as it has dramatically changed my life. That might sound strange to many that a cursing marketer changed a pastor’s life, but that’s quite honestly the truth. You spoke my language which allowed me to better communicate to church leaders the critical value points of social media and the new digital world that we find ourselves in. I wish more pastors would pay attention to your message, but I’ve taken it on myself to help translate it for you in their language. 
I wish I could give back to you way more than a few book purchases and a blog post, but for now I’ll simply say thank you in the best way that I know how. Publicly… online…over social media. If there is ever anything that I can do for you beyond buying a bunch of books, I would be honored. 
Thank You,

Nils Smith


P.S. If you haven't yet bought Gary's new book I can't encourage you enough to click the link below:

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

If I Were Looking for a New Job in Ministry

Last week I talked to three good friends who are currently looking for a new job in ministry and were reaching out for help. It took me back to a dark place where I was 6 years ago. I knew I needed to get out of the situation I was in, but I had a new baby, a new home and lacked clear vision of what was next for me professionally. At that point I had not looked for a job since college and every new job had come to me. I felt lost, confused and honestly was lacking self-confidence while trying to sell myself to churches and organizations. It was challenging and difficult, but as I look back I'm so grateful for how God moved through that season leading me to my current ministry position at Community Bible Church.

Looking for a job in ministry looks very different than it did 12 years ago and even 6 years ago. Here is what I shared with my friends and what I would do if I were looking for a new job in ministry:

1) Reach out to Vanderbloemen Search GroupThey're simply the best and so deeply connected to so many churches in need of great leaders. They can also help you in various ways prepare for your transition.  

2) Setup your Online Presence. Make sure you are setup well on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and check what pulls up on Google when you search your name. Don't just search your name, but search Pastor and your name and Ministry and your name. If you don't have a blog, I highly encourage you giving it a try blogging about once a week. This platform will allow churches checking you out better understand you, your gifts and passions, and your unique calling. You can have a website and blog setup on Squarespace in about 15 minutes for $10/month.

3) Make a List. This was a recommendation I was given 6 years ago to make a list of the 100 most influential people I know and then begin reaching out to each of them one at a time seeking advice for your next steps. Call these individuals, setup lunches and coffees, and just connect with them in the most personal way that you can.

4) Read 48 Days to the Work You Love. This is a quick read and a blueprint for you to follow next. There's not a book I've given away more copies of than this. It will help you to think differently, better define your calling and steps to pursue the right fit for you.

5) Hustle, Pray and Dig. Moving forward look for every opportunity that might be out there until God closes doors. Pray for clarity and direction. Dig into what God might be teaching you in this transition. It's so often in the valley that God speaks the loudest into our lives if we're willing to listen. Don't miss what God might be speaking into your life.  

What about a resume? Yeah, I guess that's important. I think it's way overrated though.  What is said about your online and what others say about you is going to speak much louder than what you say about yourself. As I look at the last 12 people that I've hired I doubt that I've spent more than 5 minutes looking at their resume, but spent hours looking at everything about them online and talking to others who know them.  

If you're in transition and there is anything I can do for you please don't hesitate to reach out. I pray this advice is helpful to you as you might be going through a season of transition.  

Join me at the eConnect Conference

eConnect Conference
eConnect Conference

I would love for you to join me at the eConnect Conference on January 29-31, 2014 in beautiful Loveland, CO.  Group is hosting this event where we will be discussing how to use online tools for greater ministry impact.  I'm also very excited to be joined by my good friend Jason Caston, author of the iChurch Method v. 1 & 2 and soon to be good friend, Brian Abbott.

At this event we will discuss social media, websites, mobile apps, and how all of these things translate to becoming effective ministry tools.  I can't wait for the conversations that will be had and hope you will be a part.  Click here for more information and to register for this exciting event!

Book Tour - Twitter and 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 Interviews with Sean Cannell, creater of YouTube for Churches and Matthew Barnett, Pastor of Dream Center Los Angeles.

Twitter & Youtube Techniques - Social Media Guide For Ministry Day3 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 - 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.  I 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 Interview with Jason Caston, author of The iChurch Method and Internet Church Developer at TD Jakes Ministries.

Facebook Foundations - Social Media Guide For Ministry Day 2 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.