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Flattening Your Church

Martin Luther changed the course of human history by leveraging technology to spread God’s Word. He used moveable type to get Scripture into the hands of all people–not just the professional clergy of the day. It led to the Protestant Reformation that, I think it’s safe to say, we’re still feeling the effects of today.

In my opinion, we’re about to enter into a period of history in the church that’s going to make Luther’s reformation look like tea party. Welcome to the flattened world.

I want to invite all the deviants in the house to join me tomorrow for the M2 Live Webinar where I’ll be the featured presenter. I’ll be sharing some thoughts on how the web is flattening the church and what that means for those of us in ministry. We’ll be looking at:

  • How human communication is changing as a result of the emergence of the social web.
  • What those changes mean for the way churches communicate.
  • What a typical church member will look like in 10-15 years
  • Practical take-aways that you can implement immediately for your ministry.
  • And a Q&A session at the end to tie-up any loose ends!

I’d love for you to join me. The event is being held by the amazing M2 Live ministry and will be moderated by Sean McAtee and Matt Carlisle. These guys have been great to work with and I’m really looking forward to the experience.

If you want to get a feel for what these webinars are like, you can check out the archives from past presenters such as Tony Steward, DJ Chuang, and John Saddington. Otherwise join me tomorrow for the M2 Live Webinar from 10:30-11:30 am CST.


Flattening the Church

At the advice of a friend, I just started reading Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. He’s taking a social media and ministry class at Luther Seminary and this was one of the books assigned.

His teacher knows what she’s doing.

I’m two chapters in and Shirky has already grabbed my long-haul attention. The basic premise of his book is that the world is changing. We know this already, don’t we? More specifically, he suggests that the world is changing (drastically) because human communication is changing via the social Web.

He asks a question at the end of chapter one that I’m still thinking about:

Social Media Summit

Here’s the thing: Most of us know, in some form, that the social web has implications for how ministry is done in the 21st century. Some may even say that understanding social media is important enough to spend time and resources on. Ministry resources, even.

  • What if there was a gathering that focused exclusively on understanding the social web in order to be better ministers?
  • What if you could spend a day learning, discussing, imagining the possibilities for your church and the social web?
  • What if you could have some of your questions about social media answered in a clear, concise manner? In a way that didn’t make you feel like a dope. In a way that honored you.

Would you want to go that event? Would you want to be a part of helping build that experience? Would you be interested?

No, seriously. I’m really asking. I’m feeling more and more the need to make the social web accessible for all people, not just the ones who currently “get it.”

The social web is flattening everything. I feel like people should have an understanding of what that means and the implications for ministry. One of the first steps I want to take to make this happen is planning a summit. A social media summit. But I don’t want to put my hand to the plow if people aren’t interested.

That leaves me with two questions:

  1. Would you be interested in coming to an event like this?
  2. Would you be interested in help making this event happen?

Let me know. Either in the comments below, via Twitter, or email. I’m serious. I think it’s time for this to happen already. Who’s with me?

Tips for Keeping a Social Media Sabbath

Cuddling. Yeah, cuddling. Did you know that using social networks produce the same chemical in your brain as “spooning”?

Sometimes referred to as the “cuddle” chemical, oxytocin — a hormone produced in the brain — stimulates feelings of trust and security, reduces anxiety levels and may even produce positive sexual side effects. It sounds like a miracle drug, so how does one get their hands on it? Perhaps, simply by tweeting.

Weird, but true.

ChurchCrunch recently did a post that features a short video from Chris Brogan. Chris asks the question, “Are you connecting [on the social web] just to connect, or do you have a purpose?” In other words, it’s really easy to mindlessly shuffle from social network to social network, getting the “high” of connection with no real purpose.


Simple Social Scheduling for Your Church’s Facebook Fan Page

Your church should have a Facebook fan page. If they don’t already have one, you should start it. Yes, you. (As the saying goes, “If not you, who? If not now, when?”)

You’ve probably heard the stats by now, but just in case you haven’t:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

As you can see, there are a lot of people using Facebook. People near. People far. People who live in your city or town and may not have heard about your church.

You really should change that. Like, now. The good thing is that it’s easy. Real easy.

5 Resources for Becoming a Digital Pastor

When I presented at Faith Lift earlier this month on the digital pastorate, I met two types of people:

  1. Those who were overwhelmed with what I was presenting.
  2. Those who were eating it up.

While the second group is important, the first group matters most to me. Digital ministry can be absolutely paralyzing. “Where do I start? How do I maintain my efforts? Who do I get permission from?” One of my goals is to make digital ministry less debiliating and more invigorating. Make it accessible to all.


Best of the Web, v. 24

We’ve scoured the web and found the best links, videos and articles for you to enjoy. Onto this week’s best….

  • An adorable picture of my son. Yes, I’m being that guy.
  • Your brain on computers. This article gave me serious pause for my web habits.
  • A dad yanks his kid’s tooth out with a model rocket. As awesome as it sounds.
  • Still holding on to the hope that society will one day return to the cutting edge technology of the type-writer? This ingenious invention combines old with the new. Check it out.
  • You need to celebrate mistakes, not hide them. This article tells you why.
  • Like the Internet? Well, too bad. A ‘Net “kill-switch” bill has been proposed in Congress. Yes, they’re for real.
  • A phenomenal essay on the Open-Source Church by my friend and fellow blogger, David Housholder.
  • Some Mormons came to our door. I didn’t want to be nice, but their kindness forced me to be. How an iPad changed the way I see Mormons.

Check them out. Read up. Get in the know. This is the week that was in pop web culture. And don’t say we never gave you nothin’! PEACE.

Why You Should Come to My Next Speaking Gig

I’m presenting at Faith Lift in the Twin Cities next Monday on the digital pastorate. Officially my workshop is called “The Digital Pastor: Everything You Need to Know About Pastoring in the Digital World”.

Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

This conference will largely be made up of people who are in active ministry positions, so I’ve tailored a lot of the info to help people bring this to their congregations immediately.


Best of the Web, v.21

We’ve scoured the web and found the best links, videos and articles for you to enjoy. Onto this week’s best….

  • Without a doubt, the coolest business card you’ll ever see. (And the most expensive – $5 a piece!)
  • Pictures from the first 36 hours of the BP oil spill. It looks like a war zone. These are the photos BP does not want you to see!
  • Still clueless about the LOST finale? SuperPunch provides an extended explanation of what went down on the last LOST.
  • Ban Comic Sans. Like, fa’ real.
  • The 50 worst inventions of all time. Could we append the list to include Comic Sans?
  • Does God never march with Armies?
  • We had a lengthy, solid discussion around the issue of bi-vocationalism in the modern day pastorate. Read the post and weigh-in with your opinion.

What a great looking bunch of links! Check ’em out and, above all, have a SAFE and FUN Memorial Day weekend. Thank a veteran!

“Facelift?” – “Faith Lift.”

I’d love it if you could find your way to the Twin Cities June 6-8 to join me for Faith Lift. I’ll be presenting on pastoring in the digital world. There will be lots of Lutherans there. Plus, I’m pretty sure these guys will be in attendance.

Do it. It’ll be fun.

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