online bible studies

Using Zoom for Ministry

Zoom
Zoom

If you are not yet familiar with Zoom, I encourage you to quickly become familiar. While I am using technology constantly to connect with people all over the world and I have a greater need than most, I think you will also find great value in Zoom for your organization or ministry.

So what is Zoom? It's many things, but i would compare it most to Skype and Google Hangouts combined except much better. I do a lot of conference calls every day and I prefer for those to be face to face. Beyond just the video conference call, it is very easy to utilize the text chat feature, record the calls and share your screen. You can actually have 20+ people on the call and some can join you by actually calling a phone number or just clicking a link and seeing each other face to face.

So here's what I love the most about Zoom:

  1. Simplicity- it is easy for me to setup a call, invite others, and most importantly for them to join the call
  2. Price- it's FREE to get started, but honestly worth paying $10/month for unlimited calls and recording the calls
  3. Improvements- I have only been using Zoom for 2 months and have already seen improvements in the technology and excited for their webinar feature that is about to release that will allow for 20 presenters and 1,000 viewers.

I could honestly go on about Zoom with their great mobile app, coming conference room integrations, etc.  I will stop here and simply encourage you to give it a try.  Go check it out at http://zoom.us.

Before I end this email I want to encourage you to think about the online small group opportunities around Zoom.  Think online small groups/Bible studies.  You can easily have an online small group of 3 or have an online Bible study where hundreds login to more of a presentation based Bible study that can also be interactive.  The opportunities are limitless, the cost is minimal and the technology is now SIMPLE!

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!

iMinistry 2012 Notes

 Screen shot 2012-06-18 at 5.32.12 PM

I had a great time this past week at the iMinistry Conference at Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, TX.  I was honored to participate in several panel discussions alongside some incredible ministry leaders from around the country.  Here are my notes from several of the sessions:

Seth Farrior

- The internet is a tool

- The secret to "success" is intentionality.

- End goal is to get them connected in a physical church community.

- Online Campus experiences turnover every 6 months... and okay with that.

 

Guidelines to success:

1)   Be humble

2)   Be bold

3)   Be who God created you to be

 

"Our strengths are nothing more than how God chooses to use us for His Kingdom."

 

Small Groups

- Nate- 2 different kinds of small groups: chat based (after services), Adobe Connect (face to face)

- Jan- 7 Online Groups, all different.  Facebook Groups,

- a LifeGroup that just meets as a Facebook Group

- 2 sermon based studies

- Google + hangouts

- Content is a great challenge

- one content possibility: RightNow Media

- Lecture base online kills it... quickly! - Nate

- Just because you get a no doesn't mean it will always be a no.

- chatzy- chat room program used for LifeGroups

 

Volunteers

- Identify volunteers by monitoring the chat and various Social Media tools- Oscar

- Best volunteers come from Online

- Use Zoom to connect with volunteers

- Best volunteers are not always techy IT people

- Jason Morris- incorporate the value of "fun"

- "slide ruler" - interactive slides

- "chat artist" - host

- "prayer ninja" - prayer warrior

- "twitter sniper" -

- "experience captain" - oversees the entire experience and team

- What someone else is doing in their context, may not work in yours. - Jan Touchberry

- Set up area in lobby for volunteers so physical campus can see online campus.

- Question: What are you doing to invest in your leaders?

 

Learn to be sensitive the the Spirit and listen to your volunteers.  2 ears, 1 mouth, use in the proportion. - Oscar

- Help people to tell their story.

- freeconferencecall.com for volunteer meetings

- Pray for volunteers

- Have job descriptions written on paper

 

 

Measuring Success

How do you count?

- LifeChurch.tv- counts unique visitors

- Westside Family- uniques

- Seacoast- time on site/video length (7 minutes)

 

track as much as possible: unique visits, return visits, time on page, where people come from, giving...

 

LifeChurch.tv Campus tier

Tier 1- new campus not self supporting

Tier 2- self supporting

Tier 3- giving back and supporting new campuses

 

Bring in, Build Up, Train, Send Out- LifeChurch.tv Discipleship Process

Seeker, Believer, Follower, Leader- Westside Discipleship Process

 

Giving Options

- Service U

- Secure Give

 

Share your story and people will follow that vision

 

 

Alan George Interview

- Ministry is not something we do, but who we are.  Cannot compartmentalize ministry.

- How many staff for Church Online? 6 looking for 7

- Use scrum to interface with staff

- Always ask what can I do to break through the next barrier?

- Not about thinking outside of the box, but thinking within restraints.

- Is your model scalable?

- Church Online Roadshow- visiting each campus promoting Church Online and recruiting volunteers

- What's Next?  Church working together to lead the way with technology and innovation

 

Priorities:

1)   Invest in Staff Team

2)   Analytics

3)   Communication

Introducing Church Web Tools

Screen shot 2012-08-04 at 6.12.59 PM A couple months ago at CBC Online we were looking for a simple LifeGroup Finder for our LifeGroups Online and could not find an affordable solution that would work for us.  I went through the popular solutions out there and they honestly did too much and definitely costed too much.  We needed a simple solution and Church Web Tools proved to be the perfect fit.

I randomly came across Church Web Tools through a Google search and when testing it quickly became a fan.  It's a simple, very affordable, and fairly flexible solution.  The finder is easily embedded as a Facebook App or can also easily be added to your site as a Shadowbox pop out.  One feature that we are not able to use that is very cool is the map functionality so that people can find a physical group near their home.

Since adding the LifeGroup App to CBC Online, I'm looking to add the Prayer Request module next.  It's actually their featured Application, but we wanted to try out the LifeGroup Finder first.

If you're looking for a solution for either a LifeGroup finder or Prayer Request module, I highly recommend you checking out Church Web Tools.  The guys are fantastic to work with and you won't be disappointed with their product.