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)
– 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)
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.
ProPresenter is a very powerful program, and one that I use on a regular basis. Today I wanted to share a few hidden tips and tricks of the ProPresenter interface to help you edit slides more quickly, operate the program in a more powerful way and inevitably save time! So here are my hidden tips and tricks of ProPresenter:
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.\
- 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 1:9 – God 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.
Check out my video chat with Shaun Miller about church technology and infrastructure.
About Shaun: I am a tech nerd with a passion for ministry. I started in ministry at the age of 10, when I could hardly see over the Mackie SR32•4 VLZ Pro mixing console my church had. I quickly fell in love with all things production related. Lights, sound: I even miss the dual slide projectors with the remotes taped together so you could advance them simultaneously. I am now the Project Manager for CTS Audio in Brentwood, TN. Here I have the opportunity to spend more time with my family and have a broad reach in helping churches succeed.
It is undeniable that social networking has changed our ways to communicate and connect with each other. Consequently, more and more businesses are leaning toward marketing strategies that involve social media networks in order to reach more customers and increase revenues by using two simple marketing strategy points:
1. Lower marketing costs and,
2. Increase in sales and profits
The outcome of this change, in general, translates into new job opportunities. With the increase in the use of social media networks, evidence shows us new job opportunities on the horizon.
It looks like companies are looking for people who are equipped to develop and manage social media network strategies. This job already has a title: Online Community Manager.
It is a very interesting concept that will grow as the market grows. In reality, it is not a simple job. People interested in this area will need to learn not only marketing concepts but also how the social network actually works for companies to sell their product. But there’s no doubt that the phenomenon called the “Social Media Network” is changing our way of life. Maybe it’s worth looking into this!
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_community_manager > The online community manager role is a growing and developing profession. People in this position are working to build, grow and manage communities around a brand or cause. Online community managers may serve a variety of roles depending on the nature and purpose of their online community, which may or may not be part of a profit-motivated enterprise. Patti Anklam asserts that, “Every network has an underlying purpose” and motivations for such network creation include Mission, Business, Idea, Learning, or Personal.  She claims such leaders hold the collective vision, create and manage relationships and manage collaborative processes. Anklam does not distinguish a fundamental difference for these roles as related to the varying purposes of network (i.e. community), creation.