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Category: General Technology (page 3 of 7)

GCA – Church Planting Conferences

The GCA Church Planting Conference is around the corner: January 28 – February 1 in Orlando, Florida.  This is one of the most gospel-centered & missional church planting conferences I attend each year.  If you have not made your way to one of these, it may be time for you to attend.


Emerging Ministries: Church Planting in the Emerging Culture led by Chan Kilgore and Daniel Montgomery

Evangelism: Making Room: A Trinitarian Reflection on Evangelism and Cultural Engagement with the Gospel led by Martin Ban

Gospel-Centered Preaching: Transformational Communication led by Larry Kirk (Excellent for any of you Keller fans.   Kirk basis his material from this vein.)

Multi-Site Church Planting led by Doug Swagerty and Russ Kapusinski (For those of you are interested in examining a Multi-site approach.)

Developing A Regional Planting Network led by Steve Childers & Tom Wood (For those of you who want to start a movement.)

Plus many others such as Scotty Smith, Randy Nabors and Stu Batstone (get your hands on the Sonship stuff.  All our elders and their wives are going to go through this.)

I will be conducting two sessions again this year:

Communication in Our Post-Christian WorldThis year 30% more Jesus!  A lot more ideas learned from over the year to expand on communicating the timeless message of the gospel in our changing culture. The culture is shifting rapidly, learn about these shifts.  How do we effectively communicate and reach post-Christians, with an emphasis on Gen X & younger…

The Internet & The Sovereignty of God – As our culture moves increasingly online, this session will help your church effectively use the internet to be missionaries to unbelievers, gather the un-churched and connect with your community.

This year my sessions are head-to-head with Ed Stetzer.  I'd like to think it's two heavy-weights pitted against each other in the time slot, but I'm the underdog little guy.  So buy his books, attend my sessions!  Plus, chances are he'll be speaking at the next 10 conferences you attend anyway.

Ekklesia 360 Church CMS v2.0

ekklesia-360.gif Ekklesia 360 Church CMS has launched our new design.  The old design had run it's course and we decided to give the site a fresh look.  The website uses the Ekklesia Website CMS.  The website was designed by Designwise and Shane Thacker developed our new logo.  (see blue/white logos)

It's been a great year so far, we have had 20 different design companies use our CMS for their clients.  (View a few of our website design partners)  We now have over 800 churches, ministries and companies using our backend to manage their website/content.  Our team has grown to 12 people who are passionate about helping use technology for God's glory.

 Learn more about Ekklesia's:

Kaleo Church Website v 5.0

Kaleo Church has re-launched it's website for the 5th time.  Our website has been a significant tool in our ministry as an effective way to connect our community, communicate with people who visit our church and non-believers.  Through our website we've seen people attend events/services and become Christians. 

kaleov5-small.gifTo commemorate the launch, I thought I'd talk about why we have done this now and in the past and other decisions involved.

Kaleo v5.0 –  As Kaleo seeks to launch it's third and fourth locations, we created this design to reflect our multi-site church planting strategy.  We also wanted to change the style of design.  Our previous website designs were typically black/dark.  We wanted to change this to a more clean/white-space design. The functionality is powered by the Ekklesia 360 Church CMS.  Some of the changes included:

  • Design: A new clean design was used, created by Mark Priestap at Designwise.  We partnered with the Journey in St. Louis in sharing the cost for the design and we each customized our one layout to reflect our community.  Mark's design was influenced by Mars Hill and we spoke to them to ensure it was ok that we moved in this direction.
  • Design: We wanted to put more people and stories on the site.  We now have 3-types of Kaleo Stories: Gospel Stories (how the gospel is changing lives), Mission Stories (how people in our community are living on mission) and World Stories (how people internationally are spreading the gospel.  The persecution of believers and the church planters we support/pray for.)
  • Content: Changed a lot of content, such as the gospel, added Mission, Serve & Connect sections and other pages.
  • Media: We centralized all sermons (previously on three pages) to one Media & Messages page.
  • Blog: We added a blog to the home page for better updates/communication.
  • Social Networking: We added a backend for community members to create their own page, blog, galleries, commenting on content, participate in groups, discussions, etc.  As part of the previously mentioned Mullet Strategy – "business in front, party in the back".
  • Event Registration: The site now has event registration both for free and paid events.

kaleov4.jpg Kaleo v4.0 – While we had this site, we moved into AMC Theaters for our Mission Valley service.  We had the site up less than 2 months when we launched our 2nd site at San Diego State University (SDSU).  We had decided to move to a multi-site, multi-congregational church planting strategy.  The site was designed by Church Plant Media and the flash was done by AM Design.  This was our first transition to the Ekklesia 360 Church CMS.   (click on design for screenshot) Some of the changes included:

  • Content Management System: CMS to manage content (sermons, articles, events, pages, etc.)
  • Design: First design not created by me! 

kaleov3.gif Kaleo v3.0 – This was the site we had when we moved into a church building because we outgrew our warehouse.  The design was created by me and used a php/mysql database.  We managed it through phpMyAdmin.  Chris Livhdahl and I did most of that.  Click on the image to the right to view an interior page.

  • Dynamic – We moved from a static, hard-coded site to php-based. 

kaleov2.gif Kaleo v2.0 – While we had this website, Kaleo 'went public' in 2004 with a move to Sunday morning service in a warehouse we rented.  We went public when we had about 50 adults attending the church.  This design was created by me (man I'm glad I don't design anymore).  It is a static site that better laid out content to view.  Click on the image to the right to view an interior page

  • Flash – Each interior page had a unique flash header. 

kaleov1b.gif Kaleo v1.0 – This is our first site ever.  We launched this site as we began to do services with a core group of a dozen or so people in the 2002-2003.  I had 7 or so images for the home page that were selected at random to give it a changing appearance.  Click on the image to see another home page.

Voices of the Virtual World: Participative Technology and the Ecclesial Revolution

wikicoversm.jpgA new book is coming out entitled, Voices of the Virtual World: Participative Technology and the Ecclesial Revolution. This book is a collection of over 40 writers, many well known bloggers, authors, missional thinkers and pastors. (I wrote a chapter: Will the Internet create a new Reformation?)   The Wikiklesia Project has announced July 23, 2007, as the release date for this first volume which explores “spirituality contextualized within a culture of increasingly immersive technology.”  All proceeds from the sale of the Wikiklesia e-book, audio book, and print version will go to the Not For Sale campaign.

Check out The Wikiklesia Project press release for more details.

GCA – North America Church Planting Seminar

The North America Church Planting Seminar is an inter-denominational training event designed to equip church planters, coaches and supervisors to start, grow and multiply healthy, gospel-centered churches that result in the spiritual, social and cultural transformation of entire cities and regions. Christian leaders from more than 30 countries, representing over 100 denominations and mission agencies, have taken this church planter training.  This conference will be hosted at John Piper's church.

I will be presenting a couple sessions at the conference dealing with Message and Media: Communicating the Gospel in Our Post-Christian World

Session 1: Communication in Our Post-Christian World
The culture is changing and it requires new methods of communication.  This session will help you learn how to effectively minister in a post-Christian context.   Come learn the 1) five values of this Post-Christian generation, the 2) ten idols that enslave them and 3) effective ways to communicate the eternal and unchanging gospel message.

Session 2: The Internet & The Sovereignty of God
Pax Romana, the Gutenberg printing press and the internet.  God has used major technological and cultural shifts to bring sweeping change.  As our culture moves increasingly online, this session will help your church effectively use the internet to be missionaries to unbelievers, gather the unchurched and connect with your community.  Come learn how to use this powerful tool to change the community in which you are called to plant a church.

Session 2's title is a play of J.I. Packer's work, since a lot of reformed folks are there, I'm have to address the antinomy of internet outreach and God's sovereignty. 🙂  Let me know if you will be there…

View the other sessions & speakers such as Stetzer, Nabors, Childers, Ogne, etc (or view my mug shot). 

Church Cloud

 We've learned a lot about using technology to connect people to the local church.  With that said, we've launched Church Cloud.  Church Cloud is a FREE web-based tool for churches who want to do ministry online. Churches are able to upload mp3’s, post events, stream audio, podcast, and gather additional visitors using our online network and directory listings.  (If you signed-up for Sermon Cloud, you already are part of this but make sure your information is current.)  

We will be launching many more of these sites as part of The Cloud Network.  Our goal is to influence or connect 1,000,000 people a year to local churches using the internet. 

Get the Word Out! What every church planter needs to know about communication

get-the-word-out.gif Brad Abare and I did the session today at the National New Church Convention.  I've uploaded Get the Word out!  What every church planter needs to know about communication (pdf).  Brad covered a lot of principles of communication (influenced by Tipping Point – Gladwell, Purple Cow – Godin, Mind Your X's and Y's – Lisa Johnson).  I brought some of the practical perspective from church planting and other peoples church planting experience.  We also used websites as an example of how some of these principles play out. The downside of the session was it's not recorded and this pdf is missing (1) videos used, (2) a lot of the context and (3) stories from church planters to connect this.  So it may come across more pragmatic then the intended.  But alas,enjoy.

Another Stat: Pew Internet just relased that 36% of online American adults consult Wikipedia.

10 Ways Outreach & Community Links

10 Ways to Keep Me from Discovering Your Church (ChurchRedone)

10 Ways to Avoid Building Community Within the Church (Askingy)

BONUS LINK: Integral Mission Topic: Technology for the Good of the Church (Sent to me by Justin Browne @ Redeemer)

Ideas for Church Websites and using Technology on Mission

ChurchBIT (a group of people who are involved in and passionate about how to use technology for the church)  Here are some suggestions from discussions about ways to enhance a church website.

(1) Use stories in your community.  Eg. Watermark Testimonies

(2) Allow people to participate in 'journal- like' responsive writing.  Eg. a church 'reading through the Bible' plan (

The Journey" is a church-wide bible reading plan. Each day everyone who has joined the journey gets an email with a devotional that has been written by a member of the church. This has been going for about 3 years and I have seen a lot of fruit from this approach. This approach has fostered great discussion within our Body.  With everyone reading the same passage everyday, there have been several opportunities for questions/difference perspectives. I like the continuity that this approach provides.I also think that the daily  emails serve us a eAccountabilityPartner reminding you to get in the Word that day. Our church has a bi-monthly meeting that allows people to ask questions/process what they are reading in the "Journey."

(3) Find the right social networking sites to participate in. Eg. The Rock ISU

Our ministry ( ) is focused primarily on college students at Iowa State University.  We have a reputation for "out advertising Coca-cola" as far as flyers, etc, but we rarely see visitors show up simply because they saw a flyer.  Flyers tend to act as a name-recognition driver (ask most people around our campus of 28,000, and they have heard of the Rock, even though our average attendance is only "130-give-or-take-20"), and event reminder for most people.

However, advertising events using Facebook, there have been several times we've seen folks with no other connection come to check The Rock out.

In the next couple of weeks, I am going to lead an advertising charge using Facebook, and attempt to track results by measuring average attendance over a couple of weeks and comparing it with pre-advertising numbers.  I'm also going to try to randomly sample new folks to get an idea of how they heard about the event.

Join ChurchBit to participate in these discussions.   Members include the founders of Church Marketing Sucks , Godbit, MyChurch Blog Ministry, Beta Church, Strategic Digital Outreach, Ekklesia 360, and the list goes on…

Church Web Technology Think Tank

ChurchBIT is a Google group centered around what’s next in church web applications and internet technology. If this is something you are actively involved in and passionate about, apply to join ChurchBIT and join in the conversation. 

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