Category: Community

Be Authentic and Real

From the series Blogging Guidelines for Pastors:

Be Authentic and Real
Value Authenticity over having it all together and being polished. This isn’t a seminary paper. Include the details of what prodded you to write. Show personality and preference.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Blogging Guidelines for Pastors

Going on a year and half ago I wrote up some simple pastoral blogging guidelines for the church where I was working. I recently found the doc on some old back-up disk and thought you might be interested in discussing these and maybe even passing them along to pastors who are just starting to blog.

A few disclaimers before I begin this Blogging Guidelines for Pastors series.

1. These guidelines weren’t meant to be policies or rules to give the blogger a code of conduct or a set of boundaries. Kem Meyer covers that as well as I have seen it. Instead, these were all written to be encouraging pieces of wisdom and best practice. In fact, the document was originally titled “Audience Guidelines” since they focus so much on the reader.

2. I am not saying I have done all of these successfully. Have I done any of these successful? Oh, just do what I say and not what I do. I am sure they would work if I blogged often enough to try them out.

Posted in Best Practice, Blogging, Community, Web Ministry, Writing

Regional Church IT Roundtable Event in Florida

Whose Interested?

This blog post is to gauge interest in a Florida Regional Church IT Roundtable event. We seem to have a group in the Tampa area and others along the East coast of Florida from Orlando to Miami. Redundancy could be a good thing, so let’s talk it out in the comments below about what everyone is looking for, if people are willing to drive, and what the focus could possibly be for the event. Whether we land on two gatherings or one, I think it would be good for Florida churches to represent better through some networking, fellowship, and knowledge-sharing.

A Couple Options

I have tentative approval from Christ Fellowship leadership to host a regional event in January on our main campus. If you are unfamiliar with this type of an event and this loose coalition of geeks, here are the topics of discussion they meet on periodically in regional and national meet-ups. Since next year appears to be a tight year financially for many of us, I thought a low-cost training opportunity (typically $50 per person including 2 meals) might be of interest across the many disciplines of Church IT (Websites, Network, Information Systems). We could decide to include vendors in this gathering or not. I tend to want to hold it to just a few sponsor companies ($500+ donation in cash or hardware for give-aways?) so the focus stays on the community of churches. Then again, many of us use contract labor to augment our full-time staff, and they probably should be equally as welcome.

Posted in Community, Knowledge Management, Production & Maintenance, Strategy & Planning, Training, Web Ministry

#churchtechcamp Live Streaming Today

Church Tech Camp Live Today

After 5 months of complete silence on this blog, I thought I would tip everyone off to a cool event going down today in LA and online called #churchtechcamp. Tony Steward and some other web-focused Church Technology folks are behind it, but others of you will find it interesting as well. You can stream it live TODAY on this page: 

You can find out about the genesis of the idea on Tony’s blog, but it is very similar to the unconference idea I was promoting in a post a while ago.

Let’s Bring These Communities Together

Please don’t take this as a detractor from the above event, as I will be participating between meetings today. But, it looks like we have even more separate movements and conferences now with overlap. I am totally excited to be leading some sessions at a December Ministry 2.0 workshop (a hands-on training opportunity for church web folks) and the other things going on, so don’t get me wrong. And I want to commend Church IT Roundtable and MinistryTech for doing a joint deal next April. I think that is a smart move. But my prayer is that all these groups will stayed loosely coupled and not create factions and competing resources that don’t best leverage our time, talents, and treasures. One thing is for sure, more is better!

Posted in Best Practice, Community, Strategy & Planning, Web Ministry

The Return of the Tent Maker – The Unconference Scheduled for May 4th

Rex Miller, who I am meeting for lunch tomorrow for a little chat, has announced the Return of the Tent Maker – The Unconference. Details are forthcoming, but what we do know is A) he is calling this an unconference, B) it is being hosted at Irving Bible Church, and C) it is scheduled for May 4th.

An “Unconference” is a loosely-coupled, attendee-led grouping of talks that are highly interactive. Typically, everyone arrives at the conference and posts up a talk topic on a white board (which has time slots for various discussions) that they are interested in giving or moderating. Others who are interested in the same discussion may ask to help lead the gathering, or may just show up ready to dialog on the topic. Others may lurk in the back of the room waiting to see if something develops which is interesting to them. One of the common rules of these discussions is that if you are bored, get out and find something that interests you. This leads to some roaming between talks which is kind of interesting.

Posted in Community, Web Ministry

Web Video for Churches-The Future?

For a few weeks I have been pondering a post about the various options for ministries wanting to distribute video via the web. Looks like Bill Seaver and Greg Atkinson may beat me to it with a comprehensive look… which is great because I never felt good about the post anyway. Not really an expert on the topic. Even so, let me point to a few things I have been keeping tabs on after my time at NRB.

Having been an avid YouTube lurker since it’s start, I am fascinated by the concept that churches could use video they are already creating, or that well-trained servants produce, to engage new and interesting people in a discussion that may eventually open the person to Jesus. NRB, though attended by a strange mix of blue-haired comb-overs and over-confident Millennials, connected me with a number of interesting projects and people I had not been aware of before (including the microexplosion blog referenced above)., which I mentioned before, is an interesting video project. I think they need more of a user-contributed video focus and less “subject matter expert” advice to gain critical mass. They seem to be well-funded though, so it may be a question of which audience segment are they trying to reach. They use some cool technology for the backend of the site, and the design is pretty sweet too.

Posted in Community, Web Ministry

Why Netflix Gets It and Blockbuster Does Not

So I attempted to cancel my subscription a few moments ago because of a bad experience, and had to fill out a survey to get it done. There was a comment field where they asked “How Can We Improve? Would you mind taking a minute to explain why you’ve decided to cancel your account?” So, I was willing to help out and wrote the following in my very sick state (the flu or a cold maybe). Upon submission of the survey, a form error was returned on the comment field which reads: “Please type in 255 characters or less for your comments.”

Apparently, Blockbuster doesn’t want all of my comments or a true discussion with their would-be customers. So, I am posting this to my blog for the world to see and adding the link to the comment field in the subscription cancellation field (I doubt they will read it). The first amendment has never been so sweet, has it?

Posted in Community, Design, Programming, Writing


Where I work we have a day care. Children as young as two begin coming to day care twice a weak for “child development”. Yesterday I noticed again how the teachers are constantly instructing the 2-4 year olds to “stay in line”, “don’t talk… everyone needs to be quiet”, and “let’s all hold hands”. Now God has blessed me with an elephant’s memory from a young age and a wild ass’s contempt for authority, but bare with me. I DO remember back to as far as age three with clarity. As I watched these children being ushered around like dogs in a dog show, I remembered what I thought at that age: “Are these people afraid they are going to lose me or something? I am almost as tall as they are…|admin:welcome what do they have to fear? Why must I stand in line?… it is the longest path to where we are going! What does being quiet give us besides not frazzling the grey-haired woman up front? I say let us be heard. If I was running this show we would run between rooms so we could have more play time at lunch. Ouch, that hurt… stupid bully. Why is it that I have to stand in line but the social dissidents can do whatever they want? Seems like they would notice how big of a pest he is and make him sit out this one! What is it with this thing of standing up against the wall… are they going to shoot us? Alphabetical… again? That doesn’t fairly distribute the opportunity… is this not a free nation?” Atleast it went something like that. My point is… are we not boxing our children in too early with this approach? In our attempt to create discipline and the skills to be successful are we not squashing their creativity? I am all for the emotional security that comes to children when their environment is safe, predictable, and they know the boundaries/limits of what they can do. That given though, is this method of instruction the best way? Do we just expect free-thinking and brilliant people to cast off their command and control education, which is itself undoubtedly a result of a poor teacher to student ratio? Will this methodology continue to create world leaders that can help our nation be the big dog (yes, I am a Republican)? The founder of VISA suggests another way|admin:admin123 which is interesting for adult leadership and I suspect could be adapted for certain portions of child development.|admin:admin0000 Keep some discipline and structure…|admin:test but find a way to nuture for our good those portions of the person which in more disfunctional contexts creates inventive terrorists and serial killers. They don’t play by the rules because they were raised not to (and are crazy to boot).

Posted in Community

Granger Community Church Baptisms

Granger Community Church Baptisms from Just wanted to share our Baptism by the Bay video.

Wow! I wish all churches would take baptism this seriously. lebron james I love the idea of solidifying baptism as a major milestone in a person’s growth in Jesus by providing a video of the experience. I would give anything to have a video of my own baptism from when I was 10. nike lebron 13 I remember every moment of it, but seeing it now would be extra special.

Posted in Community

What a month

The summer is busy isn’t it? At-least, as adults it is. As a kid, by the time the end of July rolled around, I was ready to get back to my friends at school. Enough time in the country, already! But now, now I long for some time in the country fighting a sun-burn, a few mosquitoes, and a little boredom. Oh the paradox. When I had all the time in the world, I wish I didn’t; now that I don’t… I need it. One reflection on my time in North Carolina last month is the slower way of life. adidas pure boost It isn’t that commerce is less, or there isn’t as much to do. It is that people’s perspective on productivity, community, and work is different. For instance, we went to downtown Waynesville, NC for some grub at Wildfire Grill. Great food. I wandered over to the book store next door and bought the only book ever written on Waynesville (according to the bookstore clerk). Down the street bluegrass music was flowing out into the street from a combination coffee shop, italian ice-creamery, and furniture shop. We all trickled in to “listen for a spell”. Now it may be the hillbilly lineage I come from, but there was something comforting and calming about the music. Funny stories told with perfect timing in between each song added to the attraction of sitting for the rest of the night. At once I understood what it is which is so special about the smokies. Sure, the scenery is amazing. And the culture is great too, though not so ancient is it. More than the culture though, is what it does to the people. It causes people to relish the moment and not let it pass by. About the time these things were forming in my brain, a participant (such is the nature of bluegrass) stood up suddenly and began to clog. She was alone and yet not in her own little world. We all watched in amazement and cheered with a clap. christian louboutin Nothing we haven’t seen on he-haw as a kid, but something refreshing and simple about the spontaneous expression by this woman who was simply enjoying the music the way she knew how. I am no clogger, but I must say I miss opportunities to organically respond to my surroundings and environment. nike air jordan melo m8 The busyness and intense focus of life in the city causes a self-centeredness that clouds one’s ability to get out of their context and recognize chances to live in the moment. This hurts our relationships of course, but it also is a lot less fun. Summers used to be a time of renewal and restoration. It was this way through the end of college as well.

Posted in Community