We’ve had a great discussion pre-lunch at the Florida Church IT Roundtable today. Great to hear different perspectives on how best to serve church staffs with foundational technologies. Interesting also how staff culture impacts how staff adopt and leverage technologies, as well as the opposite of how technology platforms impact church staff culture in the areas of collaboration, sharing, planning, communication, and more generally fellowship.
John Saddington (@human3rror on twitter) and Tony Steward (@tonysteward) presenting here at Ministry 2.0 conference all day. Their first presentation was on the questions to answer and the tensions to address in getting your social media strategy, plan, and project out the door.
I expect there is more to what John calls the “Post Method”, but the challenges covered in this short MP3 recording of their talk include:
- Who is your audience?
- Who will champion this plan and strategy?
- Who will execute this plan and strategy?
- Who will not be participating?
Nathan Smith posted a great little overview on Godbit.com of the 2009 Ministry Technology conferences. Kudos to him for referencing an undeserving me in the Ministry 2.0 conference portion. He is right though that I am presenting at the Ministry 2.0 conference in Austin in February. Still polishing my two sessions, but I know these are the focus:
- Exploration of Online Campuses & Digital Congregations with hard-learned lessons from our 18 months of building and running one.
- Scoping, resourcing, and project managing your ministry web projects, with a particular focus on using outside people (freelancers, agencies, and volunteers) for an inside job.
I can’t tell you how honored I was to be asked to be a part of this event. Check out the Ministry 2.0 website at http://www.ministry2.org/ and be sure to register for the event in Austin.
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. Read the rest of this post... (723 words, estimated 2:54 mins reading time)
I quipped on Twitter “Reviewing some websites for people and giving comment. My version of Community Service.”
See, every week people from mid-sized mega-churches ask me a) for referrals of web developers looking for work (I dunno if there are any) b) for general advice on getting a decent website off the ground, or c) how to improve what they have. Much of the time I save the requests and hit them all at once when I am in the mood. Last night though I couldn’t take it any more and went off a bit on one unsuspecting friend who really just wanted a). I kinda feel bad, but there are some big truths in my response that I thought I would share. You are just going to have to show me grace and look past the unprovoked, frustrated tone.
Here is what I said:
================================================ Read the rest of this post... (1042 words, estimated 4:10 mins reading time)
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: http://churchtechcamp.com/LIVE/LIVE.html
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! Read the rest of this post... (285 words, estimated 1:08 mins reading time)
BOTTOM LINE: IT Governance starts with relationships and is supported by good policy.
IT Governance is an area of practice that many CIOs in for-profit businesses struggle to get movement on. This may be because when pushed up against a deadline, most staff just want to get things done and forget the “arbitrary rules” they don’t understand the benefit of. In some ways, this is our American culture pushing us to conquer our enemy with whatever method is necessary so long as it isn’t illegal or immoral.
Recognizing that most ministries have no less pressure to perform than what is found in enterprises, I pondered if it is even practical to request staff to live within boundaries which are hard to define and harder to nicely, kindly enforce. After all, most executive staffs do not even understand the legal and security risk of not governing IT well. None the less, the world of IS is chaos without direction and management. Read the rest of this post... (341 words, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
For those of you following the IT Roundtable going on at COR this mid-week, listen to the linked file below to see what cool worship you missed out on last evening. This is totally bootleg I admit. Grabbed it with two clicks on my Mac during the song. I would give attribution for their work, but I frankly couldn’t remember anything else after a great day of fantastic discussion. Someone else help me out with their name and summary/link of the church where they play. Was a neat vibe. Church IT Roundtable Worship mp3.
National Church IT Association
Also, we will be talking at some point in the day Thursday about the prospects of a national IT association. Since I won’t be able to stay the whole afternoon and could miss the discussion, I thought I would link back to a post I did on the subject a long while ago title What Ministry Technology, Church IT, and Web Ministry People Have in Common. My feelings haven’t changed too too much, but let me summarize my main points: Read the rest of this post... (451 words, estimated 1:48 mins reading time)
- “Church IT” overlaps with Web Ministry. This becomes particularly true with open protocol APIs, web-based applications, intranet/extranets, and integrations of ChMS and CMS. Media and Communications are also both converging with web and traditional IT.