Sticky Church Conference

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Does it matter how many people are coming through YOUR front door if YOUR back door is wide open?

There are plenty of ways to get people to come to church.  Keeping them there is another matter.  Many of our churches seem more like Teflon than Velcro.  So what will it take to make your church Sticky???

Find out at the One-Day Special Sticky Church Conference hosted by Suncrest Christian Church!!

Sticky Church is a “can’t miss” event with main speakers Larry Osborne, Dave Ferguson and Scott Chapman! The reasonable cost also includes 12 practical workshops! Check it out and register now – just click on the picture.

Social Media Workshop!!!!
Live interviews via webcast with DJ Chuang , Tony Steward and Cynthia Ware !

I am thrilled to lead a workshop along with Greg Lee that includes interviewing three great friends I’ve made through Social Media.

DJ Chuang is a Director at Leadership Network, launching digital initiatives, and connecting multi-site churches, and Asian American churches.

Tony Steward is the Online Community Pastor at LifeChurch.tv using Social Media to connect with the internet campus community.

Cynthia Ware has served in pastoral  ministry for 20 years.  Her blog, The Digital Sanctuary, encourages Christian leaders to embrace and employ new media technologies to serve the Kingdom of God.

Hope to see you on March 31st!


The Reason Your Church Must Twitter – A Review

It’s not news if you know me that I’m a fan of Twitter.  In fact, I’d say Twitter was the smartest thing I did in 2008!  So, when Twitter friend Anthony Coppedge gave me the chance to review his e-Book, “The Reason Your Church Must Twitter”, I grabbed it!

Let me say it here, this book is brilliant!  With vision like his, Coppedge is a huge asset to churches who will listen.twittercover_small

Twitter has advanced ministry connections for me on a personal level, but Coppedge goes further and proposes using Twitter as the next mass communication tool for your congregation. Twitter can be set up to your cell phone. Messages go right from your fingertips to their cell phone. Imagine every group in your church receiving the messages intended for them in an instant. No waiting until they open an email, “if” they open it.

But Twitter can be used as more than just a ‘megaphone’, Coppedge contends that Twitter can also be leveraged as a conversation where the congregation is privy to the nuances of the pastor’s day to day experiences. “This “humanizing” of a leader is often a missing element in the connection between the church leadership and its congregants. Especially in larger churches where it is unlikely that a personal connection can happen, Twitter can personalize the pastor, or other staff with whom they are connected.

The simplicity of Twitter makes it possible to connect with your volunteers more often, and more conveniently. As any leader knows, connection with volunteers is key! Who wouldn’t want a tool that makes it so easy? “My experiences have brought me to the conclusion that ministry leadership staff should spend a good 20%-30% of their time each week connecting with volunteers in order to build strong relationships.”

Speaking of simplicity, Coppedge has included an in-depth chapter on how-to get started on Twitter.

Simply brilliant!

Look for “The Reason Your Church Must Twitter” to be released tomorrow, Friday, January 16th! It’s a steal at $5.   And for $5 you can share it with your volunteers!

twitter me

It’s no secret that I love twitter. And I am not alone! Twitter use grew by over 700% in 2008. So, my question…

Have you tried twitter yet?

If you don’t know why you should twitter, you need to see Scott William’s

50 Things Twitterers Like About Twitter!

See what all the buzz is for yourself. It’s easy to start, just go to twitter.com and sign up for an account today. I know you’ll be glad you did. If you already tweet, be sure to share this list with your friends who don’t.

Internet Campus Blueprints

blueprintsHave you ever started a building project only to realize that you don’t have all the tools or equipment necessary to do the job?  The best place to begin to look for help is from someone who has already successfully built something similar.

Is your church considering launching an Internet Campus? Looking for some answers from seasoned veterans in online ministry? Then it’s critical you stop by Tony Steward’s blog for the Internet Campus “Starter Kit” today! Tony is the Online Community Pastor for LifeChurch.tv.  There’s a great discussion including some uber-practical questions, comments and answers to things you may be wondering about.  Also a step-by-step plan on how to get started. Join the discussion now.

Just as there are many ministry models and programmatic methods in the Church today, they way that church can be conducted online has many possibilities. That said, most people when they ask the question, “How do we start an internet campus?” are asking it from the angle of a new program (or program extension) they are considering launching. Honestly that is a great starting point, but the reality of the internet is that it is both a broadcasting channel and a gathering point. And as churches start Internet Campuses people will come for the broadcast and stay for the community. If a church just pushes their video and is never present and accessible virtually to the people who gather, they act rude and self-centered without even knowing it.

Sold!…on Twitter

mall-treeHad a great time Christmas shopping with my sister Sandi this week. By the end of the day, our fingers were numb from carrying plastic bags heavy with presents.  Through it all we talked, smiled and laughed.  Oh, yeah, and we ate!  I had made a list, checked it twice or more, but there was one thing I wanted to check out for me… a Mac Book Pro.  Just looking I tell myself.

So we happened upon the Mac store where the knowledgeable salesman fills me in on all things Mac Book Pro. He’s friendly and engaging and any manager would be proud to staff him.  Of course he wants to know how I will be using the computer and the webcam that I was asking about, to pick out the one that will best meet my needs. 

Me…” Well, I’d like to be able to video myself to have an online small group.  You know, like a community who studies the bible or uses group curriculum to guide a discussion. We’d meet outside group time on Facebook and Twitter.” His face contorted into an odd grimace.

Then he got personal. “I can’t see the value of Facebook and I think everyone on Twitter is a narcissist.” 

Me…”Why is that?”
Him…”Do people on Twitter actually think someone cares about every little move they make? Do they really need to document it? I only care about getting information online.”
Me….”Hmm. Think of it as a conversation. Sometimes you have information to share, and sometimes you just have fun and laugh.  If all you ever share is information, you don’t really get to know the person, and it can be pretty dull, or mechanical.”

Here’s the real kicker, he admitted he had never tried Twitter! So how can you form any opinion without even trying it? The conversation, and the sale, was over for me.twitter_logo_s

For those of you who have not tried Twitter, I just want you to know that it has been the single, most valuable, thing I’ve done this year. I’ve made key ministry connections with people across positions, across the country, and all encouraging other kingdom workers. And that’s just the beginning. You can find people who share your interests and passions, and exchange information and stories. Twitter is a safe place to be as personal as you decide to be. If you follow me, I’ll be sure to follow you.

For my twittering friends, how about sharing below why you twitter- for our friends who are thinking about it.

Written on my PC.

How Great Minds Work

About 2 months ago, my friend, Cynthia Ware (Digital Sanctuary), recommended I follow Tony Steward (Online Community Pastor at LifeChurch.tv) since our church was exploring the idea of an Internet Campus.  I am so happy I took that advice. Since then, I participated in LifeShare, a 7-day online challenge, and I’ve had the privilege of being in an online LifeGroup that Tony is leading over the last 6 weeks. We are the United Nerd LifeGroup. Haha. More about that in this previous post.

It’s a wonderful things to see great minds at work, so I like to pick Tony’s brain. Last night in a Facebook chat, he was bringing more vision…

11:10pmTony: so we are in the process of transitioning into a ministry model that best fits online, because of what we now realize is capable and natural.
make sense?
no, the internet has its own real estate (web addresses), leaders, politics, community etc.

11:11pmMary Beth: hmm wrapping my mind… but one internet, right

11:11pmTony: right but it is a place now
a place to gather, actually many many places to gather
and you will never reach the most people by More…

What do you think about this?

Why couldn’t I sleep last night???

There are lots of reasons I have trouble sleeping… family issues, work plans, scary movies. But last night I found a new reason to toss and turn – anticipation.  You see, last night my online group (United Nerd LifeGroup) that I have been part of for 6 weeks was issued a mighty challenge. More on that coming.

We meet every Tuesday night at 9pm CST online. We’ve worked through the idea of being unplugged, not letting our online connections take time away from our most important connection with God.  Tony Steward (lifechurch.tv Online Community Pastor) leads the group via ustream as the rest of us participate in the chat room.

Last night we became a tribe (thanks Seth Godin) as Tony challenged us with becoming part of a kingdom-minded movement. He asked if we would consider becoming moderators of an Open Source Love Movement whose rally cry is JESUS! Let me unpack that a little. Our goal is to reach people online for lifechange. Free of denominational borders, become church without walls, or church with a capital ‘C’.  To become a movement, because a movement is not controlled. A movement has the freedom to grow exponentially, to be bigger than we can imagine, to be something that is only possible because God orchestrates it.

But how does that happen? Tony has already influenced this tribe and has offered to give us some basic training over the next six weeks to equip us to multiply the impact on our own. It boggles my mind to think how big this can become. Anticipation!

Is God calling you to become part of a movement that reaches people online?

 

Friends – as a first-time blogger, would love your input and suggestions, please leave me a comment!