Communications

I Lost My Passion for this Ministry

A few months ago, a good friend of mine was the Tech Director in a local church. But one day he walked into his boss’s office and simply quit his job. My friend is a husband and father of one boy and had recently purchased his first house. On the professional side, he always displayed incredible work ethics and commitment to the ministry. But he walked away from a job he’d held for years serving in a local church and decided to pursue a job outside the ministry with a technology company.

A few days later, we had the chance to meet and talk. I was curious to learn from him what had led him to make such a change that would not only affect his job but also his calling. He is a very energetic and creative person, always developing new ideas, and I was certain that when he left the ministry, the church would greatly miss him.

When we met, I asked him a simple question. “Why did you decide to leave the ministry?”

At first, he looked surprised. But he quickly corrected me and said, “I’m not leaving the ministry.”

With relief, I thought for a brief moment that he was not walking away from his calling. But I waited for a more comprehensive answer. Honestly, I was expecting some common answers like needed more money, was in search of new challenges, or even it was time to move on to something new.

Instead, he gave me a different answer. “I lost my passion for THIS ministry.” That response took us into a 2-hour conversation that opened my mind and heart to things I should consider as a pastor and ministry leader.

He explained that the environment he was in led him to lose his passion for the ministry where he served. This came to be as a warning sign. Was it possible that my leadership style could create an environment in a way that volunteers may also lose their passion for the ministry?

In the church tech world, it is easy for us, as ministry leaders and volunteers, to lose sight of WHY we do WHAT we do and instead, focus on things like perfection, excellence and performance ONLY. After all, we are mostly judged by those things. And they are, and should be, part of what we do. But perfection, excellence and performance ONLY should NEVER represent WHY and WHAT we do.

As ministries grow, churches also face an increased risk of replacing the passion volunteers and staff have… Click to Tweet

As ministries grow, churches also face an increased risk of replacing the passion volunteers and staff have for the ministry with complex, bureaucratic ways to achieve things like efficiency and excellence. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am all about efficiency and excellence. But I am also convinced that we must make every effort to lead people by our deep passion for God’s purpose in our own lives.

So, what can we, as ministry leaders, do to keep reaching for excellence without driving out the passion our volunteers should have for the ministry where they serve? Here are few things I think may help us to achieve these goals.

  1. The WHY comes before the WHAT

Many times we ask our volunteers to know the job and do it well, because excellence pleases God. True, God deserves our best. But remember, first, to serve Him. In any capacity, it is an act of worship.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ Luke 4:5-8

Serving in church should not be associated with a job you do. It requires commitment, energy and sacrifice, so you must find your passion first (this rule can also apply to your job, but I am only referring to volunteer work at church). That is what will allow you to fully experience WHY you do WHAT you do. During my last few years of leading volunteers, I intentionally devoted time to have front and center a clear understanding that WHAT they did every weekend had an eternal value. Even if what they did was done from behind the scenes, the reality of its value never changed. In church, real excellence is driven by a true passion for what you do for God and others.

 

Serving in church should not be associated with a job you do. It requires commitment, energy and sacrifice, so… Click to Tweet

 

  1. Passion is contagious

People most likely will follow ministry leaders who display real and genuine passion for the ministry they serve. Many times, people will come to you first because there is something attractive about your ministry to them. For example, if they like kids, their initial feeling may be to serve in a children’s ministry. If they have some interest in technology, they may feel like serving with the tech team. The problem is that these initial feelings do not usually translate into long-term commitment. Anything driven by passion will generate commitment, because now the person doesn’t just do something they like, now they serve with PURPOSE. Ministry leaders must display they passion for the ministry they serve so other can see and follow.\

  1. Make it relational

Sometimes ministry leaders feel that for some unknown reason, volunteers are less interested in serving, or maybe less committed to the schedule. Maybe it is because more and more they feel like they are part of a transactional environment instead of relational ministry. God designed us to have a relationship with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.) and each other (Romans 12:9-10 – Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.) When serving in ministry, relationship should be the driving force behind how people serve with you in the first place.

 

When serving in ministry, relationship should be the driving force behind how people serve with you in the… Click to Tweet

 

 

6 months ago No Comments Views

Volunteer Development – Serving Together

One of the greatest joys of the ministry I get to lead is that its success depends one hundred percent on a team building mentality. We have much less chance to succeed without this mind set, so from beginning to end, we focus on the idea that serving together is better than serving alone.

2 years ago 1 Comment Views

ProPresenter 5.0-Training Session

Every weekend at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, several projection volunteers control the presentation screens during the services. They advance slides, open new documents, and make sure the mouse arrow or computer desktop never show up on the screen.

The projectionists are responsible for displaying graphics and images that appear on the screens. These include videos, sermon slides, worship lyrics, and anything else that appears on the screens. The projectionists must be aware of the order of the service and at the same time be ready to make changes at a moment’s notice. Most importantly, the projectionists try to anticipate the needs of the congregation and have the song lyrics displayed just before the worshippers need them.

That is why, from time to time, we invite all projection volunteers to come together for a training session on ProPresenter, the software used to control and display slides and videos. During these training sessions we cover basic principles of presentation, as well advanced setting and features that can enhance any presentation during a weekend service.

ProPresenter 5 training will be offered to all volunteers at Mount Pleasant Christian Church on May 17, 2015, at 6 pm.

During the 2-1/2 hour training session, we will cover:

  • Interface overview
  • Text flow
  • Video effects
  • Transitions
  • Media management
  • Stage display
  • DVD ripping

Even if you don’t yet serve on the Programming team you are welcome to attend this training session. Please RSVP to programming@mpccministry.com

3 years ago No Comments Views

Tech Tips: Guide to protecting Internet accounts

2015-02-24 21.43.18This is a great article about I saw at The Associated Press website by Anick Jesdanun. Great tips regarding internet password and more.

by ANICK JESDANUN (Published: Dec 4, 2013)

NEW YORK (AP) – Security experts say passwords for more than 2 million Facebook, Google and other accounts have been compromised and circulated online, just the latest example of breaches involving leading Internet companies.

Some services including Twitter have responded by disabling the affected passwords. But there are several things you can do to minimize further threats -even if your account isn’t among the 2 million that were compromised.

Here are some tips to help you secure your online accounts:

– ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER:

When a malicious hacker gets a password to one account, it’s often a stepping stone to a more serious breach, especially because many people use the same passwords on multiple accounts. So if someone breaks into your Facebook account, that person might try the same password on your banking or Amazon account. Suddenly, it’s not just about fake messages being posted to your social media accounts. It’s about your hard-earned money.

It’s particularly bad if the compromised password is for an email account. That’s because when you click on a link on a site saying you’ve forgotten your password, the service will typically send a reset message by email. People who are able to break into your email account, therefore, can use it to create their own passwords for all sorts of accounts. You’ll be locked out as they shop and spend, courtesy of you.

If the compromised password is one you use for work, someone can use it to break in to your employer’s network, where there are files with trade secrets or customers’ credit card numbers.

– BETTER PASSWORDS:

Many breaches occur because passwords are too easy to guess. There’s no evidence that guessing was how these 2 million accounts got compromised, but it’s still a good reminder to strengthen your passwords. Researchers at security company Trustwave analyzed the passwords compromised and found that only 5 percent were excellent and 17 percent were good. The rest were moderate or worse.

What makes a password strong?

– Make them long. The minimum should be eight characters, but even longer is better.

– Use combinations of letters and numbers, upper and lower case and symbols such as the exclamation mark. Try to vary it as much as you can. “My!PaSsWoRd-32” is far better than “mypassword32.”

– Avoid words that are in dictionaries, as there are programs that can crack passwords by going through databases of known words. These programs know about such tricks as adding numbers and symbols, so you’ll want to make sure the words you use aren’t in the databases. One trick is to think of a sentence and use just the first letter of each word – as in “tqbfjotld” for “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

– Avoid easy-to-guess words, even if they aren’t in the dictionary. Avoid your name, company name or hometown, for instance. Avoid pets and relatives’ names, too. Likewise, avoid things that can be looked up, such as your birthday or ZIP code.

One other thing to consider: Many sites let you reset your password by answering a security question, but these answers -such as your pet or mother’s maiden name- are possible to look up. So try to make these answers complex just like passwords, by adding numbers and special characters and making up responses.

– A SECOND LAYER:

Many services offer a second level of authentication when you’re accessing them from a computer or device for the first time. These services will send you a text message to a phone number on file, for instance. The text message contains a code that you need in addition to your password. The idea is that a hacker may have your password, but won’t have ready access to your phone.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are among the services offering this dual authentication. It’s typically an option, something you have to turn on. Do that. It may be a pain, but it will save you grief later. In most cases, you won’t be asked for this second code when you return to a computer you’ve used before, but be sure to decline that option if you’re in a public place such as a library or Internet cafe.

– ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

Change your passwords regularly. It’s possible your account information is already circulating. If you have a regular schedule for changing passwords for major accounts, you reduce the amount of time that someone can do harm with that information.

You’ll need to decide what counts as a major account. Banking and shopping sites are obvious, as are email and social-networking services. It probably doesn’t matter much if someone breaks into the account you use to read newspaper articles (unless it’s a subscription).

And strong passwords alone won’t completely keep you safe. Make sure your computer is running the latest software, as older versions can have flaws that hackers have been known to exploit. Be careful when clicking on email attachments, as they may contain malicious software for stealing passwords. Use firewalls and other security programs, many of which are available for free.

4 years ago No Comments Views

Engage 2013 has been set in motion!!!!!!!

WorshipExperience

We are back. That’s right…Engage 2013 has been set in motion and our Conference Team is ready to go! Mount Pleasant Christian Church is proud to present; ENGAGE: The Worship Experience, a Worship and Arts Conference coming to Greenwood Indiana September 12-14. Engage is a large worship gathering for your entire church team; both staff and volunteers. Filled with speakers, dynamic workshops, and a Worship Night featuring Christian Rock Group Sanctus Real, ENGAGE is here to provide unique and resourceful ways of helping your church team grow in many different areas. Participating at this event will enable you and your team to create new ministry strategies and practical ideas to implement to your congregation while learning and striving to engage yourself and others with God. Come learn, listen, connect, experience, share and find your story and love for worship with ENGAGE

SanctusReal

The Worship and Arts portion of the conference will include a range of sessions from training vocal teams; to hands-on instruction for musicians, choirs in contemporary music and reading sessions lead by Randy Vader and Jay Rouse of Praisegathering Music Group; to informative discussions on worship leading, music theory and using copyrighted material. The Programming feature of this conference will focus on production, producing, visual and sound performance, new media technology and communications.

NEW THIS YEAREngage For Kids!

Engage is not only for Worship and Arts Teams- but for people who help in Children’s Ministry. During the Engage conference, you will have the opportunity to rub shoulders and learn from leaders about how children can come to life through worship and learning each weekend. Our sessions will include a general overview of the children’s ministry model and how to integrate technology and worship for all age levels.

REGISTRATION
Early bird registration is now available for $99.99 per person until August 31. Special rates and discounts are offered for students and groups of six or larger.

It is our sincere prayer that you’ll will join in on this journey with us and come to ENGAGE 2013! We want to share the latest resources and new ways to intimately meet Christ through Worship- and most of all spread a new fire for worship that is undeniable and contagious.

Early bird registration is now available for $99.99 per person until August 31. Special rates and discounts are offered for students and groups of six or larger.

Check out our New look at www.engageconf.com Registration is now available! See you all in September!

Brian Tabor and Joey Santos

5 years ago No Comments Views

Social Network – Basic Guidelines

Social networking opened a new world for us to live in. The problem is that if we decide to stay out of it, we won’t be just missing some “news” about family and friends, but it now involves future job opportunities, college applications, and legal concerns, all because now online reputation really matters.

Consider this:

  • Facebook has more than 800 million global users
  • Over 19 million U.S. children between the ages of 13 and 17 are registered Facebook users (source www.checkfacebook.com)
  • The average user has 130 friends
  • People interact with over 900 million objects (pages, groups, and events)
  • An average user creates 70 pieces of content each month

Social networking is not only connecting people on a large scale, but it provides an overwhelming flux of information, beyond what we can handle daily.

That is why it’s very important to learn about this environment and become very selective about who you connect with, as well as how much information you want to share and how you will participate.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.
  • Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. .
  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.
  • Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or a “fan” page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information. Use your personal profile to keep your real friends (the ones you know and trust) more synched up with your daily life.
  • Own your online presence: When applicable, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s OK to limit how you share information.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Using separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you.
5 years ago 1 Comment Views

Reputation Management, Privacy in the Social Media World

Just found this great article about Social Media Network. Because of the digital social network age we live in, what we post on the world wide web will, in most cases, define who we are to the entire world. This is how people will get to know you, and how you will be remembered. When it comes to Social Media Network, keep in mind that your reputation is (always) on the line.

Link: Social Media Privacy

Have a great day!

5 years ago No Comments Views

We LOVE Social Media

There is no question; social media is here to stay. If you are not connected to some type of social media, most likely you will be soon.

I looked at some recent data from schools.com, and it gives us a clear picture about how social media affects our lives daily. The key is, we can use social media to meet our needs to communicate and connect with others:

  1. It can help us find work:
    • 41% of the class of 2011 used social media in their job search
    • 71% of employers used Facebook to learn more about potential candidates.
  2. Today, 4 out of 5 internet users visit social networks and blogs
  3. On a busy day, Twitter gets about 170 million tweets
  4. Americans spend more time on Facebook than on any other U.S. website
  5. Americans use social media to…
  • Keep in touch with friends and family…67%
  • Reconnect with old friends… 50%
  • Make friends… 18%

It’s entertaining. Over 250 million photos are uploaded each day (my guess is that I am responsible for most food pictures on social media). In one week, 1.75 billion photos are posted.

Total online video streams: 100 million videos

Not sure if social media is for you? Think it over. When we talk about ministry, it’s common to hear people say, “We need to go where people are.” There is no question in my mind that with creativity and the right message, we can impact many lives through social media.

6 years ago No Comments Views

“Share”

I’ve been involved in church technology for almost 15 years now, and it is hard to believe how much change we have been through during these years.

From church projection systems all the way to the Twitter and Facebook age, technology plays a huge role in how we do ministry these days. There always will be a debate about how much technology really belongs to a church day-to-day operation, but as I daily use and observe how its application applies to today’s church, I believe that we can find opportunities we should not miss.

For some, social networking is nothing but a waste of time, but for others it’s part of their lifestyle. The key is to find balance and purpose in everything we do.

I am of the opinion that nothing has the potential to be more powerful than the “Share” link. With the click of a link, you have the power to share whatever content you feel is worth the effort and time of others to see.

Some of us may feel that fellowship and community is not complete unless we are physically together, and social networking is at its best use when it can meet that need. Before, you might have to wait until the weekend, when you had a meeting scheduled with your friends, to share the good news. Now, you don’t have to wait any more, you share your thoughts and information immediately.

Have you considered how much information from your church you can share immediately? Here are a few things you could start sharing with your friends now, and potentially you could be leading someone to Christ or encouraging somebody who needs encouragement:

–       Weekly Sermon (video and audio)

–       Scriptures

–       Devotions

–       Pastor’s Blog

–       Ministry Opportunities (i.e., serve at the food pantry, join the choir, etc.)

–       Worship Opportunities (i.e., service times, special events, etc.)

–       Sermon Notes (Via YouVersion)

–       Prayer Request (online prayer request system)

–       More…

You can add to the list, but I believe you get the idea. The “Share” button can be a powerful tool in your ministry life. By sharing relevant information, you show others how much you care for them. Take advantage and “share” the Good News.

6 years ago No Comments Views

Managing your online reputation!

Folks

Just found this  great article about Social Media Network. Because of the digital social network age we live in, what we post on the world wide web will, in most cases, define who we are to the entire world. This is how people will get to know you, and how you will be remembered. When it comes to Social Media Network, keep in mind that your reputation is (always) on the line.

Joey Santos

In the digital age, professional connections are no longer made with a handshake, they begin with a search engine. First impressions are now shaped by the digital footprint you leave online, long before you meet someone in person.

In fact, there’s a good chance the last comment, photo or post you left online will have been picked up by a search engine and archived somewhere within the depths of the Internet. When you consider search engines are the first place people go to search for information you can see that understanding your online reputation, as well as the techniques to protect, manage and enhance it has never been more important.

This post looks at five things you can do to manage your online reputation and ensure when a prospective employer, client or partner looks you up on Google, they only see your best side.

1. Understand

Discovering what websites the Internet equates with you is the first part of understanding your online reputation. Begin with a simple search of Google, Bing and Yahoo for your name. In many instances this will return too many irrelevant searches. If this is the case, use Boolean search and enter your name plus the industry you work in. These results are the primary layer of your online reputation and the one people are likely to see first.

But there are deeper layers of equal importance. People search engines like123people.com and PeekYou.com offer a detailed understanding of your digital footprint as they search for people’s names, rather than the whole web. These results are insightful and need to be understood as they offer a glimpse of what people will find if they conduct a more thorough online search of you.

Whether your initial search results are good, bad or ugly, set your privacy settings to private, delete dormant online profiles and treat what you do online as public, permanent and immediate.

2. Continue to listen

As part of good online reputation management you need to be listening out for where your name is mentioned. A great place to start is signing up forGoogle Alerts. This is a free tool that sends notifications to your inbox of relevant mentions online. The alerts will enable you to continually understand your online reputation, but also bring to your attention potential issues, as well as opportunities to engage, network and create.

3. Be Social

One of the most effective ways to boost your online reputation is by using social media. The reason being is Google tweaked its search algorithm to include social media; making blogs, Twitter, Linked In, Delicious, YouTube, Flickr and public social networks the new SEO. Create accounts for the social media most relevant for your industry and make use of biographies and descriptions with appropriate keywords. Social media generates naturally acquired back-links, social recommendations and enhancements that score highly on Google, so make sure you’re being social.

4. Engage in conversations

Twitter is a great platform to discover news, start conversations and network. However, Twitter Search only tracks 4 days worth of Tweets. This means the conversations you have on Twitter may enhance your online reputation in the short term, but leave little lasting impact. You should continue to Tweet, but use tools like Listorious, Klout or Edelman’s (disclosure: my employer) Tweet and Blog Level to identify online influencers and engage with them on popular blogs, news sites and forums – all of which score highly on search and will improve your online reputation.

5. Create content

There is no better way to improve your online reputation than by creating content such as a blog, podcast, video or photo album. Provided it is tagged with keywords, along with a SEO-friendly title and relevant description, it will score highly when someone types your name into Google. Blogging in particular is an effective way to document your thoughts, network and create a community of fans. There is also offline benefits to creating content as people recognise that it takes planning, creativity and commitment.

I’m adamant these are three attributes every prospective employer, client or partner would value in a professional connection.

What tips do you have to manage your online reputation?

6 years ago No Comments Views

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