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Communications 3.0 Trends that will impact your ministry.

Read the Communication 3.0 article at Outcomes

With the growth of the web, new forms of communication are becoming dominant. Old methods of communication are impacted by this change. For example, the U.S. Postal Service is considering the elimination of Saturday delivery because mail is down 26 percent in 5 years. Or look at the newspaper industry. We are seeing not only new ways to read the news, but a whole transformation of the industry. Technology’s growth creates behavioral and organizational change in deep ways. These changes require your organization to communicate and interact with people in new and different ways.

Let us look at a few trends that will change how you engage your audience:
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(1) The impact of the Internet is more than technological; it is about worldviews
As the web catches more of our lives in its grip, it becomes a layer through how we view the world. We are becoming more dependent on it. Behavior changes, such as forgetting people’s phone numbers as we keep them on our cell phone, continues with each new technology we adopt. Think about this: one-third of women aged 18 to 34 first check Facebook when they wake up, according to a 2010 study by Oxygen Media & Lightspeed Research of 1,605 young adults. Twenty-one percent of these women check Facebook in the middle of the night, and 57 percent of young women say they talk to more people online than face to face. Facebook is just one site that is changing the rules of how we behave.

Organizations need to see that the impact from the web is larger than the technology itself because it reflects a new worldview. There has been a change in how new generations see the world. In his 1993 book, Post-Capitalist Society, the late Peter Drucker worded it this way:

“Every few hundred years in Western history, there occurs a sharp transformation . . . within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions . . . Fifty years later, there is a new world and the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through just such a transformation.”

Technology is accelerating this process of change. For example, do you think social media would have taken off as it has if it were around in the 1950s? Or was there a different view of authority that would have discouraged people from posting their opinion online? Part of the explosion of social media is that it aligns with a postmodern worldview. It is important for organizations to see what is underway as more than just technological; it is about a worldview change that is reshaping industries and organizations. The next generation of digital natives is being made in the image of the web.

(2) Mobile requires your attention
According to Google, by 2013 the desktop computer will be irrelevant. The mobile device, be it an iPhone, an Android phone, an iPad, or something we have not even seen yet, will be the primary way that we do computing and interact online.

Mobile is different; unlike a desktop computer, it is always with us and available. This leads to different habits for its use. Google now estimates that 20 percent of its searches are for things that are nearby, and that percentage is even higher for searches conducted on mobile phones. According to Facebook, over 250 million users access its site via mobile device. And those that do are more active than those who access it via desktop. So what should ministries do? As a ministry, imagine that the entire world has a smart phone (like an iPhone), and will want to access information about you using it. Then plan accordingly.

(3) The “appification” revolution is underway
The number of apps available in Apple’s application (app) store now exceeds 500,000 and these apps have been downloaded over 15 billion times. According to Flurry Analytics, in June 2011, mobile users spent more time on apps than they spent online.ÊAs these apps embed themselves into our daily life, they bring changes to our behaviors. The drive to build web and mobile apps will increase as organizations seek to engage users.

The next frontier for organizations is to build mission-focused web apps. Already these apps are being developed for the church (e.g., YouVersion). As you consider an app, think about going beyond presenting information. Use apps to engage users in ways that matter to your ministry, whether it is discipleship, volunteering, or other valuable activities.

(4) We are in a post-website world
We live in a “post-website” world. The advent of social media, including the massive popularity of social networking, has changed the game. The power of social media is clearly seen in Twitter. Founded only a few short years ago in 2006, Twitter became a critical social media tool to the regime changes that recently swept the Middle East.

The primary use of the web is about becoming more relational, not informational. Our focus should be to go where the people are, not to expect that they will come to us. The question you need to answer is, How do we become integrated into the online habits of our audience? Websites are still valuable to accomplish the goals of your organization, but a website is meaningless if no one visits it.

(5) Focus on the fringe that is central to your success
Traditionally, the basic organizing principle of communications has been the pyramid, but that is changing. For example, according to Altimeter Group research, most novice organizations engage social media through a centralized person or a department. However, today, those who have the most advanced and effective strategies are more decentralized. The web allows you to flatten your organization and reduce the friction to communicate and engage people. An example of this is Compassion International, which does its best to get out of the way and connect the sponsor with children around the world. Or Salesforce.com, which launched a peer network called Chatter to connect peers within an organization in a real time environment, removing unneeded bureaucracy to achieve results. How are you using web technology to connect and empower people at the far reaches of your organization?

(6) Research needs to drive your online strategy
Your decisions about online tools should be driven by strategy. And strategy should be driven by research. Use research to understand how your target audience uses the Internet. Do they use mobile devices? Do they prefer e-mail or a Facebook message? Forrester Research has developed Social Technographics, a way to classify people according to how they use social technologies. This helps you to determine if your customers are creators, joiners, critics, spectators, collectors, or inactive. This type of research can help you determine if your ministry should invest in certain social media sites and how to best engage your audience.

If you design your research well, you will probably find some new insights that will surprise you. For example, when David T. Bourgeois, associate professor of information systems at Biola University, worked on a project to determine the best way to reach staff members in their early- to mid-20s, his assumption was that a Facebook page and wall posts were the best solution. However, research showed that they preferred e-mail and actually did not want the organization to use wall posts.

There are several methods of research available to you. If possible, directly surveying your target group is probably the best way to understand them. Creating a well-thought out survey is not simple; if possible, I would suggest that you find a survey used by a reputable research organization and modify it as opposed to creating one yourself. Using third-party data (such as that from the Pew Internet Project or the U.S. Census) will also give you some ideas of how to reach your group. I would also recommend working with someone who has experience doing research in this area.

Conclusion
How can your organization prepare for the communication changes ahead? A friend of mine, ministry online technology consultant Cynthia Ware, often quotes 1 Chronicles 12:32, where “from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” As leaders we need to learn about the shift in worldview and in the technological landscape.
The first act in the story of the Internet has been the vast availability of information. We are just beginning the second half of the story – the pervasiveness of the web in every aspect of our life. This pervasiveness includes but goes beyond our mobile phones to all the things in our life, such as our cars, our living room, and even the appliances in our house. All of our life will become increasingly brought online.

These trends can be positive even though they often require changes in how your organization operates. To succeed, ministries must adjust and adapt to this new environment. For example, an increasing number of churches are exploring online worship services and are hiring digital pastors to interact with their congregation online. One large ministry built a private community site to engage users to learn, serve, donate, and increase participation, but they had to shut it down after a year because it required more community management than their staff could handle. This organization did not want to change and thus closed down the online community website. In most of our strategy work with organizations, there are changes people must consider to implement effective web strategies. Often these include making new hires, retraining staff, and letting people go as the organization’s needs change.

For many organizations, particularly established ones, there is a significant tension between maintaining the current technology and the need to innovate. But with change occurring so quickly, there is a vital need for ministries to innovate and to be willing to fail. Who is leading your organization to translate your mission, strategies, and goals into the web environment?

At Monk Development (an organization that does this for many ministries and churches), we understand this is full-time work. Most ministries have been on their own in navigating their web strategy. Our desire is to see this change. We lead the Ministry Internet and Technology Summit at the CLA National Conference, which brings together experts in technology and social media from across the ministry world. I invite you to send your teams to participate in this conference in Orlando, Florida, April 10-12, 2012 (ChristianLeadershipAlliance.org/2012). The summit will offer sessions on building the right social media strategy, how to increase online donations, best practices of mobile or application development, and other topics presented by thought leaders in the ministry space. In addition, each year research is conducted and presented at this summit that will enhance your ministry’s online engagement. Please plan to join us.

Second, in partnership with CLA we will launch a new CIO Forum. These forums will include peer-learning to share best practices and discuss the challenges we all face. At stake is the ministry impact we make and how we steward our limited time and resources toward things that will deliver the most value.

We as leaders need to think deeply about the transformation that technology is enabling. We should embrace change, but remember the good news that we do not have to put our hope in keeping up with the changes around us. Our hope is in Christ alone and that Jesus promised that he would build his church. Christ will guide us through, even as the transformation of communication and technology continues at an exponential pace.

6 Ways Churches Fail with their Website

Over the last 5 years I’ve had the privilege of serving numerous churches and organizations to help them translate their mission into a web strategy. We’ve met with the key leadership of some of the largest, fastest growing churches in North America, turn-around churches and church planting networks through our Church Web Strategy Sessions and Communication Roundtables.

Here are the 6 most common ways I’ve seen churches fail when they seek to translate their vision online:

1. Skymall Syndrome – This syndrome often strikes when someone in leadership sees something shiny and (usually) unnecessary, like when while flying we think we need to buy something in the Skymall magazine (confession: I’ve done this once). After seeing this flashy object, a church leader wants it for their church. The failure of this strategy is that often people spend a lot of money on a flashy website but it does not make a substantial impact on their organization. Pretty websites are a waste of time and money because they are not enough. Today, a thought out strategy is essential because a new generation of digital natives are growing up, where the new front-door to your church is the website. When we work with churches we like to see goals created that drive the design/strategy process. For example, one church wants to go from 60% of their church in small groups to 80% and their website design facilitates this. Another church sought new visitors, people visiting the New Visitor info more than doubled based on the redesign and emphasis on this (see screenshots below).

2. Ministry Schizophrenia – Ministry schizophrenia often strikes in larger churches with many ministries. Too many cooks are in the kitchen and they all want their ministry front-and-center. In our strategy sessions, we often uncover that as the senior leadership clarifies their vision/mission that ministries either don’t know how to connect what they do to this or have competing agendas. It’s incredibly powerful when an organization can align their ministry leaders behind the key strategic initiatives of a church. As one person on our team said, “It’s amazing how often an indicator of problems and communication is within the church by looking at the website.” How are you aligning your ministries to work together to achieve what God is calling your church to do?

3. Enough about you, let’s talk about ME – Would you like to join the Elevate ministry? Or how about Oasis? I’m guessing you don’t know what those are. Often churches become too organization focused, designing for internal people & ministry leaders not end users/visitors. How can a new person find what they are looking for without knowing your internal language?

4. The Blind leading the Blind – This occurs when no one has thought through the reason for a website, there is a clear lack of clarity of vision and purpose. Sadly, we’ve seen several churches hand-off the website design process to people who do not have the experience to navigate the complexity and buy-in to lead the vision to succeed. The end result is noise/clutter and unclear direction for the website.

5. Death by Committees – Many churches we’ve come across suffer from this bureaucratic malaise. It seems like by the time you make a decision on the web strategy, because of the process (committees/bureaucracy), what you originally planned is already out of date by the time you finish. The web changes so fast, it requires a more responsive approach. Who can lead in this agile environment? Who is going to ensure you have your Twitter handle or you have a Social Media Policy to respond to criticism?

6. Volunteer Hostage Situation – This is the most dangerous of all the six listed. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve run into this situation (in fact this one will deserve it’s own post to expand further), where a volunteer in the church has control of the website and it leads to failure. Usually it is a techie or key member. If I had a nickel for every time someone shared a story of a church member who managed the website and then moved away, leaving the church in a lurch. Or a techie who programmed something only they could use. We’ve found very few churches who succeed when they have volunteers lead the online communication channel. We often coach communication teams to act as consultants to ministry leaders not gatekeepers. If only one person has control to add content online, churches have a serious bottleneck. Another time a church with a school I know with had a key giver run the website and be unwilling to relinquish control. The school was not able to be found online because of poor programming and code and the website looked like it was from the 90’s in a bad way. When a separate website was built that was able to address several of these shortcomings for their elementary school, it led to an enrollment increase by 1/3 . This leads to tens-of-thousands of dollars each year added to the school budget as they’ve hit capacity on Preschool and Kindergarten since the launch of this new website.

Conclusion: The web no longer is a nice thing to have. Today a presence online has become an essential element of interacting with new people as well as your existing congregation. Churches need a clear leadership plan to establish their vision, align their ministries and build a plan with specific goals in mind. With how fast things are changing, this can’t be a roadmap that becomes obsolete by the time it’s created, it needs to be a learned rhythm that constantly triages the situation to focus on where the church needs to go.

If you need help, we offer a 3-step consulting framework for Church Web Strategy Sessions that address these concerns and give you a way forward based on what we’ve learned leading many organizations successfully through this.

Social Media for Ministry Leaders and Pastors: Where Do I Start?

Just what is “social media” anyway? Why has it taken the online world by storm? In this webinar you’ll learn why the social web is absolutely crucial to communicating with the next generation. You’ll learn how the up-and-coming generation communicates and why you need to be in those channels, contributing your story to the social media flow. We’ll focus on the “why” and the “how” of social media. If you’re confused by terms like “tweet”, “like” and “blogging”, this webinar is a great place to start in getting a social media education! Join blogger and social strategist Justin Wise to uncover the basic principles of social media and why you need to be integrating it into your ministry work flow.

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/762009344

Title: Social Media for Ministry Leaders and Pastors: Where Do I Start?
Date: Friday, March 25, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT

What is your Church Web Strategy?

It is increasingly obvious that an organization’s online presence is the new front door for many people. In 2010, according to Edison Research the Internet has become the most essential medium (from options such as television, radio and others). In fact, this research found that now more people would give up their TV for the Internet if they were forced to only have one of these. The rapid pace of our interactions moving more through the web demands greater attention from the key leadership of your organization.

This shifts holds from the research we’ve done as well. Let me give you two supporting findings:

  • 27% of respondents said the church website was how they first learned about the church of those who have attended their church less than 1 year.
  • 61% said the church website was somewhat to very important in their decision to attend the church from the above respondents.

Sadly, developing an online ministry strategy doesn’t seem to be as important to many church leaders. MonkDev interacts with hundreds (if not thousands) of churches and ministries every year about the web. Often these conversations can include questions like, “Should we be on Twitter?”, “Are all-Flash websites a bad idea?”, “How do you get better placed on search engines to be found?” “Should we have a large image rotator on our website?” While these questions aren’t bad per-se, too often churches have seen the web from a tactics point-of-view or an add-on tool rather than what it is, a radical paradigm shift.

What I see missing from many churches is a clear strategy for using the web. For example (and to be a bit extreme to make a point) a church that says, “We need to create a Facebook page because everyone is doing this.” This would show that your strategy is to become a copycat of other churches. Churches shouldn’t think about online tactics until they have a web strategy. Let me share a few things we communicate to help churches prepare for building a web strategy.

Principle #1 : A Web Strategy shouldn’t begin with thinking about being Online. – Being Online can be meaningless if you don’t know what you are doing or who you are. Churches we speak with often have an unspoken vision that is internal to a few key leaders, but this vision isn’t frequently communicated or thought through at a level where it drives the organization in a clear and focused direction.

Principle #2 : Ministries should align together toward the shared vision of the church. – It’s easy for churches with their variety of ministries and leaders to move from a place of ministry alignment behind the central vision of the church. Further, in larger churches there can be a level of staff and ministry buy-in to set expectations and work together on communicating toward this changed vision.

Principle #3 : Often what is the hardest part of a thought through web strategy is the changes offline Recently we met with a church who identified a few core goals in developing the community, discipleship, leadership training and connecting people into home groups. In the meetings it became clear no one currently owned this goal/process and it was decided they would have to hire someone. Further, many communication directors move from gatekeeper (often not intentionally this way but functionally) to consultant to release and consult ministry leaders to best use technology to achieve their ministry goals. All of this requires a rethinking of roles and responsibilities that go far deeper than building a website.

MonkDev has a strategic process to help churches build a plan on how they should use the web. This process includes a Vision & Strategy Session for the leadership team to unpack what they believe God is calling them to specifically. Secondly, we meet with Stakeholders & Ministry Leaders to have the leaders communicate this and we guide the team through a educational session that includes case studies to help them see how it might look. These stakeholders then work on their own ministry visions/goals that align with the overall vision of the church. Lastly, we gather all this information and work with the communication & implementation team to translate what was discovered to the web.

In the last three weeks we’ve been on-site of three churches (AL, CA & WA) helping them translate their ministry strategy to the online environment and are booking more into January & February, so it is good to see churches understand how important this is. At MonkDev we are passionate about serving churches in this way and helping ministries use web technology for the Glory of God is part of our calling. Also check out our web solution currently used by thousands of churches called Ekklesia 360.

Learn more about our Church Web Strategy Sessions.

Website Wisdom

websitewisdomYour Church magazine, part of Christianity Today published an article I wrote, Website Wisdom – New research, cooperative reveal best practices for churches in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. The article begins:

Research conducted earlier this year, which surveyed hundreds of churches representing more than 70,000 members combined, attempted to drill deeper into two fundamental questions as the internet grows in its influence and importance in our culture and beyond:

1) Do church websites strategically help attract new visitors, connect people, and equip leaders?
2) And if so, what are the best practices for a church’s web strategy?

yourchurchThree significant discoveries, as well as several best practices, emerged from this work. This information can help large churches (congregations such as Willow Creek Community Church participated in the research) as well as small ones (church plants with fewer than 50 people also participated). These practices also are useful for most any situation, regardless of whether a church is using a volunteer, a church website design firm, or a staff member to design its site.

Article pdf (6mb) Website Wisdom – New research, cooperative reveal best practices for churches

Read the whole magazine in their digital version: Your Church Nov/Dec 2009 issue

Story – Churches and Social Media breakout

Tim Schraeder did an excellent job capturing Cynthia Ware (http://thedigitalsanctuary.org/) and my session at the Story Chicago conference.

Social Media Pulse

What are churches current social media patterns?

  • We are living in a world people dreamed of.
  • There used to only be a computer at work… then it went home… then to your lap… now to your hand.
  • Mobile ubiquity, where everyone has a phone, presents challenges and opportunities for the church.
  • There’s an embedded value system in social media [public/participatory, new media].
  • There’s value in it that it’s instant.
  • Everyone is an equal creator… it’s user-generated content.
  • We’d rather buy something someone tells us about than what we are told by businesses or corporations.
  • Users have a voice and are able to generate content.
  • In a relationship economy, what people say matters deeply.
  • We now have greater accessibility to information.
  • Churches need to move from having “please have your phone off” signs to “please have your phone on” signs.
  • The media is affecting our small group communities and the way that they interact.
  • We’ve torn down the boundaries of distance; there’s now a worldwide conversation going on that anyone can participate in.
  • The definition of “presence” is changing.
  • We HAVE to think through these things theologically.
  • Is physical presence necessary for you to be a part of and “be” the church.
  • Social media allows customization [personalization].
  • One size does not fit all … [MySpace, my reviews, my favorites, etc.]
  • My can be consumer oriented, but it reflects the fact that media is in the hands of every person and every person has the ability to create media.
  • Everyone is a content producer.
  • We now watch TV on our own terms [TiVo].
  • New generations are being raised with these new ideas embedded in their everyday interactions.
  • As technology becomes cheaper and more effective, the Church is confronted with one of the greatest opportunities along with one of the greatest challenges of how to steward it.
  • The Men of Issachar were able to see the times and were able to know what to do.
  • Let’s go to the next level… let’s find out what we are capable of doing and how are we able to frame it in a Biblical context?
  • The word of our testimony is the critical story we have that’s a powerful conduit [Christianity is viral] to reach someone we may have not been able to reach any other way.
  • We’ve moved to a digital age.
  • It will be normal for us to connect online, first and then meet in person.
  • 43% of churches say social media is one of the most effective ways for them to communicate and engage with people.
  • Church websites are the front doors to churches.
  • 77% of people say the church website was an important part of why they chose to go to church.
  • If people can’t connect to your website they may not go to your church.
  • People make judgements about a church based on what the church communicates across their website.
  • It’s a missiological issue.
  • John 17:18
  • Facebook is the 4th largest nation in the world if you look at the number of people that are on it.
  • Non-Christians do not go to your website.
  • Your website is primarily visited by believers looking for information about churches.
  • 20% of all data people are accessing on church websites is information for new visitors… that’s a significant portion where you should invest your time.
  • Use the web to help people new into the church to get deeper into community.
  • Your web strategy should be looked at as an Internet Presence Management.
  • What are you communicating online?
  • How are you connecting to where people are talking and engaging?
  • Where are you present? Where are you absent?
  • Who is responsible for your church’s online presence?
  • What does it mean to be the Church online?
  • How do you define presence? What’s your theology of presence?
  • We need to recognize that participatory media is decentralized.
  • It’s unregulated.
  • We have a lack of control.
  • We have to look deeper at our theology.
  • A mobile, extended presence can be used missionally.
  • Is virtual community real community?
  • What is Biblical community?
  • We need to define Biblical community before we define online community and if it’s possible to have church online
  • We need to ask if we can use an online presence to build real life community?
  • We need to intently be on the internet, it’s a mission field.
  • We, the Church, are called to be counter-culture… what does that mean at this technological crossroads?
  • We are willing to be transparent online, but vulnerability is not often seen online.

Top Social Media Sites

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Private Member Portals [ MemberHub, Monk, Tangle, Unifyer, etc ]
  4. GoogleGroups
  5. MySpace
  • Greatest needs online: events, post prayer requests, get connected, finding small groups and ways to connect throughout the week, integration with their church website and resource sharing.
  • Churches are wrestling with how to use participatory technologies.
  • The Cobblestone Community Network is a tool that’s been developed to help churches have private communication that’s integrated into social media channels.
  • If you don’t set a strategy you’re going to have a difficult time pulling it together later.
  • What is your strategy for the community online?
  • Pick a horse.
  • If you don’t lead your people, they will find their own way and go their own direction.
  • This is something we need to pay attention to but we don’t need to know the mechanics of it; you can find volunteers or someone on staff to help manage this.
  • Things are easier than they were before.
  • There are challenges and effort required but it’s more centered on your strategy.
  • Let people tell you how they want to be contacted… be platform neutral.
  • Let people choose how the content gets to them.

The Shape of the Future – Online Ministry

Outcomes a quarterly magazine from the Christian Leadership Alliance just released their Fall 2009 issue highlighting Internet Ministry. I wrote an article entitled, The Shape of the Future – A four-part ministry Web strategy. The issue includes several articles you should consider reading by respected thinkers such as:

Most of the above authors will be at the The Ministry Internet & Technology Summit so come and join us in San Diego April 2010!

The Ministry Internet & Technology Summit

The Christian Leadership Alliance has asked that I organize an Internet Ministry conference for CLA 2010 and beyond. This year it will be in San Diego, CA, on April 19-21, 2010. This year we have our schedule of speakers that will include numerous panel members from ministries around the world.

SUMMIT OVERVIEW: Technology is changing the way we work, live and operate as nonprofits. Centered on the theme of increasing your communication, operations and donor engagement The Ministry Internet & Technology Summit features twelve sessions that will expand your reach, increase your donor base and enhance how you do ministry in this increasingly online world.

TOPICS COVERED: Social Networks & Communities, New Media, Donor Management, Internet Marketing, Mobile Web & Applications, Interactive Media, Web Applications, Branding and Infrastructure.

WHY ATTEND? In today’s economic climate nonprofits need to be good stewards through decreasing costs as well as doing more with less. New technologies and web strategies can equip your ministry to achieve these goals. Learn from real world practitioners and experts who will equip you in ways that will make an immediate positive impact for your ministry.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Ministry executives, technology staff, development and fundraising officers, marketing and communications professionals and other nonprofit leaders interested in being on the leading edge of today’s technology.

SESSIONS:

A Look into the Near & Distant Future of Online Ministry
In this session leaders will learn to apply a web strategy framework to address their ministries needs both for today and tomorrow. Learn from cutting edge organizations and hear what experts say is next on the horizon. This session is designed for strategic leaders regardless of their technological level of understanding. In this session participants will 1) learn how to plan for an effective ministry online strategy, 2) explore key emerging technologies that will impact their ministry and 3) hear how cutting edge organizations are implementing revolutionary practices today.
Drew Goodmanson, CEO, Monk Development and cofounder/pastor, Kaleo Church, San Diego

Lost in Translation
You have a unique brand story. Don’t let it get lost in the way you express it. Social media, your web presence, print collateral, direct mail and events are all opportunities to consistently reinforce your story. This interactive session will unpack the importance of creating a brand identity that aligns with organizational strategy and avoids blind use of trends and gimmicks. In this session participants will learn 1) how to create a powerful story for your ministry, 2) how to integrate it across your entire communication and 3) how to ensure your story aligns with your organizational strategy.
Tim Ellens, President, CHANGEffect

The New Church Social: How Interactive Media Values Can Transform Your Ministry Mastering social media strategies is a communications imperative for businesses, churches, and nonprofits. As we move towards a technologically immersive environment, best practices for new media strategies have amplified value. Explore best practices you can employ for your particular new media needs. In this session participants will: 1) learn to identify five new media values, 2) gain the ability to implement these values into their social media strategy and 3) explore how small changes in communication practices can result in greater communication impact.
Cynthia Ware, Online Technology and Church Development consultant, TheDigitalSanctuary.org

The Three “I’s” in Internet
From mobile to social applications, including wikis, microblogging and social networks, ministries are constantly presented with innovative ways to connect. From case studies and current research, attendees will learn how to: 1) leverage new media trends 2) increase online donations and 3) maximize a website visitor’s experience.
Ron Weber, Chief Operating Officer, Trinet Internet Solutions, Inc.

How to Successfully Raise Funds Online
Learn how Campus Crusade has collaborated to launch several of its most effective multi-channel fundraising campaigns, with particular success in the online space. Hear important lessons learned from one of the world’s largest Christian ministries and receive practical tips for cultivating donors on and offline. Participants will learn 1) best practices in driving successful integrated multi-channel fundraising, 2) specific examples of multi-channel fundraising in action and 3) practical applications for the cultivation of donors.
Dave Raley, Director of New Media, Masterworks and Megan Hawkes, Executive Director, Constituent Engagement, Campus Crusade for Christ International

Back to Basics: Website and Social Media – More Tools In Your Communications Belt
Explore websites, Internet presence, email blasts, and social media and learn to select and tailor these tools for specific ministries using basic communications principles. Hear from a one-woman communications department that successfully implemented these tools at a 900-student seminary. Participants will acquire 1) a clearer understanding of how to develop an online strategy specifically for their ministry 2) ideas for developing and implementing those strategies with limited personnel and resources and 3) practical steps for creating and implementing an effective online communications strategy.
DJ Turner, Director of Communications, Denver Seminary

Online Ministry Opportunities, Challenges & Lessons
Examine key findings from an online ministry research project that included many large and small ministries. The research gathered includes web surveys, analytics, key performance metrics and interviews from online ministry leaders. Explore opportunities in fundraising, donor relations, evangelism and discipleship. Learn common online mistakes. This session includes time to learn from peers, regardless of ministry size. In this session participants will: 1) learn from innovative online ministries, 2) gain an understanding of pitfalls and 3) examine the results of online ministry research.
Drew Goodmanson, CEO, Monk Development and cofounder/pastor, Kaleo Church, San Diego, Kevin Ring, President, Unconventional Method and Dave Bourgeois, PhD, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Biola University

Information Technology: What’s Hot and what’s not
Our panel will share their thoughts and respond to questions and good and not so good trends in Information Technology for ministries. This panel brings a wealth of insight into the leading edge IT trends affecting ministries today. Come with your best ministry IT questions and be prepared to walk away with answers.
Nick Nicholaou, President, Ministry Business Services and co-founder Ministry Technology Institute, Clarence White, IT Secretary, The Salvation Army – Western Territory and Steve Hewitt, Editor-in-Chief, Christian Computing magazine.

The Case for Online Kingdom Excellence
Explore a standard of online ministry excellence centered on Kingdom principles that promote long-term Kingdom success. Examine critical new research, while studying a five-point model for online excellence: strategy, presence, measurement, engagement, and impact. In this session participants will 1) consider creative and innovative ways to create impact through online ministry 2) be armed with language, data, and examples to make the case for online excellence within their organization and 3) receive validated practices and benchmarks against which they can measure their Internet strategy.
Kevin Ring, President, Unconventional Method and Dave Bourgeois, PhD, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Biola University

Ministry Growth through Email Communication Best Practices
Explore critical and relevant principles from the for-profit world to make email communications programs more effective for your ministry. Email can advance your organization’s goals like few other programs. Understand the hurdles and challenges inherent in email communications to dramatically increase effectiveness in attracting and retaining donors. Participants will gain knowledge of 1) best layouts, day/time to send, service providers, and more 2) understanding of the difficulties of getting your email seen correctly across all email programs and 3) how to get emails opened and read.
Mike Atkinson, Principal, uneekNet

Delivering Income Solutions through Data Strategies

Improved income comes through connecting with the right donors at the right time using the right messaging. In today’s competitive fundraising environment, successful nonprofits must employ smart data strategies to maximize income. The best data strategies are centered in relationships, not technology. Participants will: 1) understand how to optimize communication with your donors using your data 2) learn how to interpret donor-giving patterns to improve donor relationships and 3) find out how to choose the proper channel and timing for the best donor communications.
Steve Thomas, Partner, Oneicity

Ministry IT Roundtable
Join Information Technology colleagues for a session on solutions and cutting edge thinking by our “best in the business.” This session will be a wide-ranging roundtable discussion that will help ministry IT professionals to learn key insights and best practices to maximize their organization’s Information Technology systems and programs. Come prepared to help and be helped!
Nick Nicholaou, President MBS Inc., and co-founder, Ministry Technology Institute and Alan Weisenberger, VP or Technology Services, ECCU

Internet Presence Management

Monk Development has begun our shift from a Content Management provider to an Internet Presence Management company. What is the difference? Most Content Management Systems (CMS) focus on managing the content to publish to a client’s website. “If no one visits your award-winning new website does it really exist?” may be the existential question of the Internet age. Too often organizations spend all their time and budget on a website rather than establishing their presence across the web. We believe the CMS market needs to go beyond a website and that organizations need to ensure they are managing their presence across the web. What is your organization’s presence online?

Let me give you an example of how this would work. On Ekklesia 360 when a church publishes a sermon a number of things happen.

1. The Sermon is published to their website.
2. The church sermons are syndicated and churches can build custom syndication lists by sermon types and categories.
3. The church can connect their Facebook & Twitter accounts so that an editable status update announces the sermon. We even use bit.ly to shorten the url for you. Videos can be distributed to YouTube & Vimeo.
4. During setup we connect the churches podcast feed into iTunes.
5. Churches will have their sermon pushed to The Cloud Network where we route tens-of-thousands of online visitors a month to our church clients.
internetpresencemanagement

At the end of the day we want your sermons, articles and events to have as broad and far as reach as possible and to reach people where they already are. And this requires that we help you connect with people far beyond your website.

Church Website Cooperative Project

Kaleo Church along with several other churches plan on cooperating and implementing a new church web strategy. This strategy is influenced from a study that examined the analytics of 50+ church websites. In this research there were answers to questions such as: Why do people come to a church website? What are they doing? Where did they come from? How long are they on the site? This study resulted in several case studies of best practices. In addition to this, a second research survey of 1,000+ congregants helps us understand much about people’s use of a church website as well as the desired functionalities they would like to see from their church. What are new people seeking at the church website? What about people who have gone to the church for years? How important was the website in their decision to attend the church? These studies have caused us to re-think how we are using the web and create this new strategy based on these findings.

This project will be led by me and I will help translate these findings into a strategy that we believe will become the best practices of church website use. For example, many websites do a poor job of connecting to new visitors and encouraging behaviors that are of value to the church. We will employ a triperspectival design process to quickly and effectively present the churches vision (normative), impact the visitor toward sharing this vision (existential) and seek to encourage behaviors (situational) that the church desires. These behaviors could include:

• Low Value Behaviors: Subscribe to RSS, podcast, engage Church Twitter account or Facebook.
• Medium Value Behaviors: Sign-up for an Email or complete a Web Form.
• High Value Behaviors: Show up to a service, home group or other relational meeting.

The strategy will target new visitors, the existing church community seeking to move them deeper into relationships and involvement, church media resources, event management, social media integration, online donations, amongst other key elements.

This first cooperative will have a limited number of spaces available. If you would like to participate or if you’d like more info feel free to contact me directly.

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