The Blogference Day 3 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 3!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Bridging the Gap Between 50 Year Olds and 20 Year Olds, by Brian Barela, in Leadership

Pursuing the Good in Ethnic Ministry, by Brian Virtue, in Leadership

Surviving vs. Thriving in College: What Do You Think It Takes? By Alex Chediak, in Leadership

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

The Blogference Day 2 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 2!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Are We Really Doing Great Co-Missional Campus Ministry?–By Daniel Curran, in Evangelism

Is it worth the trade?–By Karin Tome, in Leadership

12 Ways to Strengthen & Grow a Mobile Ministry Team–By Dana Byers, in Social Media

Sunday is Dying and That’s Fine With Me–By Vince Marrotte, in Leadership, Social Media

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

12 Ways to Strengthen & Grow a Mobile Ministry Team

Many ministry teams now function in a distributed context and use social media as a primary tool for starting and growing their ministries. Here are 12 ways to strengthen and grow those teams:

new york city

SUGGESTIONS:

1–Unite dispersed teams via private Facebook groups to discuss issues, share questions and life experiences, and create camaraderie prior to meeting face to face.

2–Host ongoing quarterly meet-ups with an open invitation to all members (both staff and volunteers) who are able to travel to the location.  Alter the site, time of day and day of the week on occasion to accommodate others.

3–Start a hangout within your Google plus circles to provide a casual chat environment that is similar to an open house where people come and go.  No need to force a topic of discussion – anyone can ask a question or share an idea, and the team will gather around to learn, share and grow together.

4–Go to a favorite hangout in your city and invite Twitter friends who happen to be in the area at the moment to join you for a meal or cup of coffee.

5–Send an email out to your volunteer team or staff and ask them which local needs they’re aware of that your team could meet.  Schedule the time and place to meet up and make a difference together.

6–Do you have a group member who is geographically distant from the rest of you?  Surprise him or her by sending an airline or rail ticket to spend a weekend with you.

7–Attend the same film as your friends (who are dispersed in various cities, states, or countries) at the same time.  Live tweet your thoughts as it happens and invite your social network connections to chime in with their opinions, too.

8–Agree on a day each of you will perform a random act of service where you live or work.  Report back to each other via Skype call or Google+ hangout to share your experiences.

9–Create a group list of phone numbers on your mobile phone so that you can send out a mass text to them if you find yourself in an emergency situation and need prayer or help.  Encourage them to do the same.

10–Host a Prayer Event on Facebook.  (Details in my ebook.)

11–Locate the connectors in your group and send them out to pockets of the city, state, or world where you have momentum building in your  ministry.  Ask the connectors to listen to the local groups’ stories and then make the intentional effort of introducing like-minded people from the various territories who’d never otherwise meet.  When people with similar stories, gifts, and passions are united, an organization accelerates its growth.

12–Create a master Google document of links, resources, videos, and more your team can add to every time they come across a blog post, article, tech tool and more that would help your team connect online and relate better locally.

DON’T FORGET:

* Many of the public interactions your team members have online are being observed by their social networks.  Over time you will find your team growing as a result of others wanting in on your vibrant community’s approach to serving together.
* Keep around 70% or more of your team’s public online interactions secular in nature, thereby allowing members’ social network connections of different faiths to participate in the conversation and gain exposure to your community.  1 to 2 of every 6 online interactions is enough to share one’s beliefs without coming on too strong.
* Prayerfully identify those on your team who are best suited to trying 3-5 of the suggestions above and see what happens!

Dana Byers is the President of BlueDoor.tv, which she co-founded with her husband in Europe in 2007. Her dream is to help teams form online churches in every country by 2020.  Download Dana’s free ebook “The Art of Online Ministry”. Follow her on Twitter.

 

Sunday is Dying and That’s Fine With Me

One hundred years ago the local church was the centerpiece of many communities which meant that the gathering on Sunday morning was one of the most revered hours (or 3 for Pentecostals) of the week. It inherently had a very high value in people’s lives. Fast forward to today and we can see that the Sunday morning “Time & Place Gathering” is quickly losing value in people’s lives.

abandoned churchThe industrialization of the world has been reflected in the church with a highly scaleable and repeatable experience that is today’s church service: Some songs, maybe a video clip, someone talks and we drop a few bucks in the plate. Rinse. Repeat.

People have hired a hit and run experience to augment life with a low grade spiritual experience that is convenient first and foremost. Our idea of what is convenient has significantly changed has it not? All of a sudden driving the mile and a half to church to sit through boring songs and 40 minutes of a talking head is less than convenient…it’s downright hard.

The Church started out as a tight knit community that was all up in each other’s lives on a daily basis and relationships, based around Christ, were the centerpiece of the community not a pulpit.

We’ve lost the plot and we are only now just seeing it. When the church was the main, if not only, place to get spiritual content then it garnered enough energy that relationships and spiritual growth could happen. We have always said that this is the main thing but in reality our actions have been saying that the Sunday morning gathering is the main thing, community and spiritual growth were just a side effect. Now that the “Time and Place Gathering” is losing it’s value, the side effects it was creating are falling off considerably.

All this has me excited!

The tools of the web, new media and social media have given us the opportunity to transition from churches that control content and deliver it on narrow channels (Sunday morning); to vibrant community where everyone has a voice and relationships and spiritual growth can become the centerpiece once again.

The first step in this journey is to embrace this reality and stop wasting resources on trying to save the “Time and Place Gathering”, it’s not going away any time soon, it simply has less value.

The next step is rethink the priorities of your church and consider how you create content and experiences. Every team I consult with is stuck in a rut that puts too high of a value on Sunday morning and too high of a value on the current components of Sunday morning: Talking head teaching, musical corporate worship etc. Think of the last time your team created a gathering that wasn’t on Sunday morning; how quickly did musical worship get wedged into the equation? We have a hard time fathoming getting together as a Christian community without singing songs and listening to a talking head.

Lastly, engage your people with the tools that are at your finger tips. The tools of social media have very little ROI when the point of measure is attendance and giving, but what’s the ROI on a real relationship?  If you approach new media with the intent of getting more people to your “Time and Place Gathering” then you will quickly begin to see it’s not strategic. However, if you learn to meet the needs that used to be met by that gathering, using new media as part of that plan, you will quickly see life change and vibrant community develop.

We are in the very early years of this new reality, but the time is now to get in the game.

——–

Vince Marrotte is a Christ Follower, Husband and Father. He serves as the Internet Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin Texas. He recently released an ebook, Context and Voice, that is available for download here. Click here to follow him on Twitter. Or here to read his blog.

The Blogference Day 1 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 1!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Moms: The Unsung Heroes–By Stephanie Raquel, in Leadership

Would You Mind Me Telling You What I do With My Computer?–By Miheret Tilahun, in Social Media

What Form Will Your Leadership Take?–By Gary Run, in Leadership

The Future is Spanglish–By Destino Eric, in Evangelism

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

Would You Mind Me Telling You What I do With My Computer?

“Do you have a Facebook account?”

I am doing driving license practice. My teacher is a decent young man. On one of my practice day, the rain poured down highly and we were not able to continue our practice. So we took our car to parking….Just right there I heard a voice inside of me that I need to tell (the driving instructor) Mickias about JESUS. But I was not sure where to start. I was looking for some connection point to change the conversation into evangelism.

I just said to him, “Do you have a Facebook account?”, he said “Yes” and we continued to talking about it. Then I took out my Mac book pro laptop and I asked him, “Would you mind me telling you what I do with this Computer?” He became excited…Long history short… I said to him “I share God’s love via this Computer to many people. I am not sure if my wireless internet connection will be working but let me tell you about the 4 spiritual laws in Amharic.” Surprisingly, my wireless connection was activated just a few hours before this conversation … I was able to load www.4laws.com in Amharic. We went through all the pages and Mickias prayed to receive JESUS Christ right in the car. When we left the driving school we were the last one to leave.

The Holy Spirit controlled all things that I was able to go through all the 4laws. Praise God about this…AMEN I am so excited about it.

The message of Jesus Christ still change life, and we have to know how to approach this dynamic and online generation. The message is not changed but the means we share our faith to youth like Mickias shall be attractive enough for them to hear the Gospel.

Do you ask yourself what I am going to do with my computer or your smart phone in sharing the good news? I encourage you to be an Online Missionary in EveryStudent.com or Global Media Outreach. And use your computer well for kingdom work. Or install God Tools Apps on your smart phone or iPad and use it to share your faith to others anytime.

How you can get the God Tools app
  • If you have an iPhone or iPad, go to the Apple App store and search forGod Tools. Look for the icon.
  • If you have an Android-based phone, go to the Android Market and search for God Tools. Look for the icon.
Miheret serves on staff with Cru overseas. Click here to follow him on Twitter. Click here to read his blog.

The Blogference Starts Monday! Change the World From Your Coffee Shop!

The posts from this year’s The Blogference authors have begun to arrive, and I could not be more excited! If you have participated in any of the previous online conferences–THANK YOU!

sightglass coffee

If you have not then please consider reading, commenting, and sharing at least once this year! The Blogference brings together ministry leaders from around the world to discuss relevant ministry issues. By leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts you create a diverse and energizing experience for leaders seeking to have an influence for Christ around the world!

The Topics This Year:

  • Virtual Evangelism–A Personal Story
  • Virtual Ministry–A Challenge
  • Evangelism and Latinos
  • Leading as  a Mom
  • How Social Media is Influencing Culture and Changing the Church
  • Thriving at College
  • Missional Campus Ministry
  • Spiritual Leadership
  • Leading Strategically
  • 50 Year Olds and 20 Year Olds–One of Campus Crusade’s Biggest Internal Challenges

To Participate the Blogference:

  • Find a post that interests you
  • Leave a comment, Tweet the post out to your friends, “Like” the post, or add either the author or commenters as a friend
  • Wash, rinse, and repeat at your leisure!

Follow The Blogference on Twitter to stay connected during The Blogference 

 

Ministry is Impossible Without Effectively Using Social Media

iphone 4 usageFive years ago when The Blogference started many doubted whether social media was going to be a part of daily communication. There is no doubt today with over 750 million people on Facebook and the explosion of smartphones and tablets that allow instant connection to social media anywhere.

The Blogference posts on social media will inspire you to try new tools and new methods for communicating with your audience and those inside your ministry.