The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

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Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

What Are You Passionate About?

This video isn't about the merits of beer, rather it is about passion.

These micro-brewers, or craft brewers as they are called, communicate a sense of purpose, vision and mission. Can you talk this way about what you do? Could you say that you are just as passionate, focused and excited about the church and it's mission? I know one thing, after watching this video, I get excited about what they're talking about. Passion is contagious. If you are a passionate leader, than those that follow will share in that passion.

Watch this video

Why Do People Leave The Church?

The Pew Forum recently published a survey on why people change religions from the tradition in which they were raised as a child. They have a handy interactive graph that shows why people switch to and from and in between traditions.

(click picture to view larger image)

Reasons Those Raised Protestant Leave Protestantism

How do people make such dramatic shifts in their life? Most likely people don’t wake up one day and suddenly say “no more church for me!” I suspect it is a gradual slide of dissatisfaction, alienation and quiet struggle.

How do we create an environment in our churches where people can be honest with their struggles and doubts and know that they will be loved and accepted while wrestling through them?

(ht: ThinkChristian)

YouVersion 2.0 Is Now Online!

Image representing YouVersion as depicted in C...

Digerati team at as been busier than Santa's elves. That team have so many great projects going such as One Prayer, and, just to name a few... and now they have taken one of their premiere apps and made it even better...YouVersion

The new version has some great new features (for example, the parallel feature) and their user interface has been significantly upgraded. Be sure to check out the new YouVersion and see it with your own eyes.

Do The Tatango!

In a previous post, I discussed about how to connect with your group via "group text messaging".

I have been using this service for about a month now with our CMDA Atlanta group and it has been a wonderful success.

Not only is it easy to set up and manage..but it's the needed extra communication piece that keeps the group informed and connected. For communication, our group uses email blasts and e-newsletters, website and Facebook...and although those mediums help get the message out to our members, the one missing ingredient to that strategy is communicating to people's main communication device, their phone.

This is where Tatango come in to play. Watch Chris Pirillo describe the service..

Check out and use Tatango!

Reasons (Why People Don't Go To Church!)

To Love...Is To Give Your Time

"To love is to give one's time. We never give the impression that we care when we are in a hurry. Too many social and pastoral counselors are people in a hurry. Hence, people admire their devotion and doubt their love. I am ever struck by the tranquility in which Christ walked along, always having time to speak with a poor woman beside a well, or replying to the stupid questions of his disciples the very eve of His passion. To exercise a spiritual ministry means to take time. If we want to save our time for more important matters than a soul, we are but tradesmen."
- Paul Tournier, Escape from Loneliness
"More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn't be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but you truly love them."
- Henri Nouwen, Gracias

Nouwen's words and desire truly resonates with me. As a pastor, the best and most memorable moments weren't doing, but rather being. Being with people. Hanging out. No agenda. No pre-designed purpose. No structure. Just being present.

Too often we use the catch phrase in the church that we want to "Do Life Together". That is our definition of community. Although, we believe that if we repeat, Do Life Together, often enough, somehow it will come true.

Doing Life Together happens in the margins of our life. Doing Life Together isn't splashy, it's ordinary. It happens during the simple and during the all too common moments of our life.

Doing Life Together isn't rushed and you can't microwave it. It takes time and investment. Like farming land, relationship talks cultivation and care.

Doing Life Together often comes at unexpected moments. Doing Life Together may inconvenience us and our schedule. It doesn't happen on our terms. We can't organize it, control it and manage it.

Doing Life Together is a value, not a program. You can't compel it. It doesn't flourish motivated by duty or obligation.

I seen too often, that the church wants people to share their lives with one another...and too often I have seen those in the church living lives of obscene busyness, isolation and disconnection.

Who are we to blame? Pastors like me and others, who measure their worth and success by their busyness and activity at the expense of just loving and "being" with God's people.

People will follow our cues, model our behavior and assimilate our values.