Archives For Church 2.0

Thursday I leave for Miami. I’ll be leading a Church 2.0 Local Forum there and can’t wait to meet so many new friends. If you are in South Florida or know someone that is, you/they can register HERE

Some have asked what goes on at these gatherings (this will be the 15th one I’ve led). The Church 2.0 Local Forum is a true unconference and is very informal/casual, but I’ll give you a little overview of what the day will look like. We’ll go from 10am to 2:30pm. 

  • First hour: We’ll discuss new media/technology – specifically Twitter and Facebook and how they can be used for ministry purposes. I’ll share 4 key realities of these new technologies. *** I’ve added a 4th since the last one.
  • Second hour: We’ll dive into a huge discussion on the topic of innovation. I’ll share 5 ways that innovation is born and what God is teaching me about innovation. 
  • We’ll then break for lunch and encourage people to go eat somewhere close by with someone they don’t know and get to know them over lunch.
  • The post-lunch part we’ll discuss social justice/what breaks my heart and the heart of God – as well as have time for Q & A.

Sponsors for Church 2.0 Miami are:

Today I leave for Washington DC. I’ll be leading a Church 2.0 Local Forum there and can’t wait to connect with old friends and meet new ones. I moved from that area to Dallas, so it will be fun to return to my former home.  If you are in the DC area or know someone that is, you/they can register HERE

Some have asked what goes on at these gatherings (this will be the 12th one I’ve led). The Church 2.0 Local Forum is a true unconference and is very informal/casual, but I’ll give you a little overview of what the day will look like. We’ll go from 10am to 2:30pm. 

  • First hour: We’ll discuss new media/technology – specifically Twitter and Facebook and how they can be used for ministry purposes. I’ll share 3 key realities of these new technologies.
  • Second hour: We’ll dive into a huge discussion on the topic of innovation. I’ll share 4 ways that innovation is born and what God is teaching me about innovation. 
  • We’ll then break for lunch and encourage people to go eat somewhere close by with someone they don’t know and get to know them over lunch.
  • The post-lunch part we’ll discuss social justice/what breaks my heart and the heart of God – as well as have time for Q & A.

Sponsors for Church 2.0 Washington DC are:

Several conversations lately have led me to consider the integration and universality of technology in a local church context. To be integrated means “combining or coordinating separate elements so as to provide a harmonious, interrelated whole” or “organized or structured so that constituent units function cooperatively.”

Universal means “affecting, concerning, or involving all”, “used or understood by all” or “present everywhere.” As I continue to chew on this concept, other words that come to mind are total, comprehensive and whole.  

I serve as a technology pastor at a church. For years “tech” was considered one person’s role (the techie, tech director or AV coordinator) – whether volunteer, part-time or full-time. Now in most local church situations there is still the need for this AV/tech role that oversees the sound, video and lights for corporate worship services and often oversees and supports campus-wide AV needs. IT is obviously another growing area in the church world and usually requires a dedicated volunteer or paid staff member or the use of outsourced companies.

I’ll be the first to admit that those that serve in “tech” and IT roles in a church have a unique gift mix and personality. In most situations these servants and leaders are seen more as geeks than pastors or ministers. I see my role as a pastor and shepherd, but that’s a topic for another article.

I bring the idea of universal technology up because we’re seeing a shift in the way the Church looks, functions and ministers to the world. The reality that we are missionaries in a digital age is becoming increasingly more apparent and hard to ignore. This brings the whole concept of “technology” to the forefront for regular pastors and church staff members – including the non-techie.

The conversations that I have regularly with pastors are about their desire to learn, understand, apply and fully utilize technology for ministry. The shift is bringing about what I call “universal technology” – meaning every Church leader is engaged in, using and communicating through technology – not just the tech pastor.

Events, gatherings and conferences that I’m regularly apart of look a lot different. The Church 2.0 Local Forums that I host around the country or the churchtechcamp, happening today in Dallas for example, 3 years ago would have been a room full of “geeks” (not my word, I got that from Mark Batterson) and “techies” (that is my word). Now, one walks into a “churchtechcamp” and it’s full of church planters, senior pastors, bloggers and lay leaders/volunteers that are involved in community/small groups and discipleship.

I’m fascinated by it and am enjoying just sitting back and watching this shift. Of course there are still giant conferences like NAB and InfoComm where us techies get together and talk about all things tech-related and the make up of attendees and speakers looks a lot different, but overall I see a change in the use of the word “tech” and the concept and adoption of “technology”.

This new reality that I’m referring to as universal technology is a good thing and a long-awaited one by me, personally. I’ve always viewed technology as a tool and not a toy, so the thought of senior pastors, worship pastors, youth pastors, communication directors, small group leaders, missions and outreach leaders, etc. getting interested, involved with and captivated by technology is a beautiful sight to me.

What about you and your situation? Are you seeing volunteers and staff members that don’t have “tech” in their title or job description talk about technology, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and online ministry?

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and would like to wish you a Happy New Year. We left 12/26 to go to visit family in South Carolina. I went to NewSpring Greenville on Sunday (more about that later). We travel today to Asheville, NC to visit more family. I hope we see some snow!

Also, today is my 13th wedding anniversary. WOW – time flies!

greg_chrissy_summer08

I want to remind you that tomorrow is the deadline to get that special discount for Q. Remember to use the promo code (Church20) to save over $150. Also, you can connect via the Facebook Church 2.0 Q event page HERE.

Also, be aware of where you can catch me early in ’09. I’ll be speaking in January and February here:

  • January 8: ChurchTechCamp Dallas – get connected HERE
  • January 27-28: Leadership Network’s Innovation3 – register HERE
  • Feb. 17: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Phoenix (register HERE on Facebook and HERE if not on Facebook)
  • Feb. 17-19: Church Solutions Conference – register HERE
  • Feb. 27-28: The Idea Camp – register HERE

So, early in ’09, I’ll be speaking twice in Dallas, twice in Phoenix and once in Irvine, CA. I hope you can make it to one of those. NOTE: The ChurchTechCamp Dallas, Church 2.0 Phoenix and The Idea Camp are all FREE! More dates and cites to come soon.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Are you orange? ORANGE IS THE COLOR OF FREEDOM. Wearing orange shows you’re a part of the movement to stop slavery. 

Also, I had a great phone conversation with Charles Lee from JustOne this week. They are working on some wonderful initiatives to raise awareness and support for some causes that the Church should take seriously. We’re meeting where they headquarter for the Church 2.0 Local Forum in Portland on Nov. 7th. I look forward to hearing more about their ministry as they share at this gathering.

Here are some facts that were printed in my church’s bulletin this past Sunday: The modern practice of human trafficking enslaves 27 million people around the world. This is more than at any other time in history. UNICEF says that most children who are trafficked are “sold” by unsuspecting parents who honestly believe that the children they have just “sold” (most for under $5) will be educated, learn a trade, and be carefully looked after by their new “caretaker” (human trafficker).

Little do the impoverished parents know that their child is likely to be sold several times, moved to other countries, and will become virtually untraceable. The United Nations office on drugs and crime has estimated that the total market value of illicit human trafficking is more than $30 billion dollars per year – a third of this profit coming directly from the sale of individuals.

This is not simply a problem on a foreign shore: there are more slaves in the United States today than ever, including the era of American slavery and the Civil War. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) reported that every ten minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States and forced into labor. The CIA recently reported that as many as 50,000 women and children are brought into this country every year under false pretenses and then forced unwillingly into roles as abused laborers, servants, and prostitutes.

*** I blog about this because this is a huge part of Church 2.0. Church leaders in the 21st Century have to be aware of and battle against social justice issues. What can you do?

  • Donate: I listed some great organizations in my last blog on slavery
  • Get Educated: Check out the links HERE
  • Pray: for the victims of human trafficking
  • Write: Send a letter to your local and state officials asking them to approve stiffer laws against human trafficking.
(Most of the info about trafficking came from the October issue of Relevant magazine, pages 55-56)
 
*** Not For Sale reports that “last week, 150 Abolitionists from across the country gathered in Washington, DC to advocate on behalf of the 27 million people in slavery around the world… To close out this fantastic event, Abolitionists held a candlelight vigil before attending a premier screening of Call + Response, the new independent film that features the work of Not For Sale and its president David Batstone alongside critically acclaimed artists and prominent cultural figures.”
I saw Call + Response earlier this week. WOW>such a good film. Very well done. Amazing music. Very informative. Very moving. A must-see!

Today I leave for Tulsa. Church leaders from around the state of Oklahoma will be gathering to discuss issues such as design, innovation (I hope to stretch their view of innovation), technology, social justice, leadership, missions/outreach, communications, working together as the Church (capital “C”) and whatever else God leads us to discuss. Please pray for this gathering tomorrow. Below are the details:

 

Friday , Oct. 24: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Tulsa

 

  1. Communicate
  2. Connect
  3. Contribute
  4. Collaborate
All this can be done through the Church 2.0 Unifyer. There is a quick one-time registration (takes seconds) and then you’re in. You can sign up for the news feeds that interest you. Join and/or create groups that interest you and begin to share the joy of the 4 C’s.

1. Friday, Oct. 17: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Boston

2. Friday , Oct. 24: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Tulsa
3. Friday, Nov. 7: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Portland
* I write this post for several reasons:
  • One – To encourage you to register (if you’re in the area I’m coming to) or pass the word on to a friend and peer in ministry that is in the area. 
  • Two – To thank, praise and make you aware of the fine sponsors that not only support my ministry, but are relevant, valid and solid options for you to consider in your ministry context. 
  • Three – I’d like to ask YOU to do something that I’ve never done before. Please blog about this Fall tour. Email your friends and peers. INVITE. INVITE. INVITE. These times together (I’ve done 6 so far) are special and powerful. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about these 3 cities coming up this Fall. God is stirring and moving in my heart and I know He has something special in store for these gatherings coming up. 
  • Four – Pray for wisdom, discernment, vision, protection, provision, and God’s blessing. I feel strongly that God is allowing me to meet with these Church leaders in these 3 cities, making 9 in total since May. After Portland, I will end these for ’08. In 2009 I’ve got several great cities on my heart that I’ll share later. 
  • Five – If your city, and particularly your church, would be interested in hosting a Church 2.0 Local Forum, email me and let me know. Many wonderful, innovative and growing churches have hosted these gatherings for ALL Church leaders. You and your church may be an answer to a prayer. 
I simply want to acknowledge that this is all a God-thing and I’m humbled to just be a part of it.

 

That’s me with Chris and LV from Catalyst. They and Jesse (from the Catalyst blog) were at the Church 2.0 Local Forum – Atlanta. Behind us is the infamous “Vanagon” that LV has been driving around the country. It’s pimped out on the inside – don’t let the outside fool you. Jesse blogged about Church 2.0 a week ago HERE. I’m trying my best to be at Catalyst this year, like I have the last 3 years. Are you going to be there?

I had an amazing time in Atlanta. I heard of what the Church there is dealing with – good and bad. My heart was encouraged to hear of Unite and how churches are working together on various issues in the ATL area. My eyes were opened and I was stunned to hear of the child sex trafficking going on there (Atlanta is #1 in the nation). I had no idea. There are some great stories that I believe will find their way into the book (Church 2.0).

Like always, I met some new friends and some people I knew online face-to-face for the first time. It was a joy to connect with them. The host church, Perimeter, was awesome. They are doing some amazing ministry to their local community that was exciting to hear. They also have staff dedicated to just reaching out to other churches to work together – that’s cool and THAT’S a Church 2.0 Church!

PERSONAL:
Though my heart was full and I was encouraged by my time in Atlanta, I came back exhausted and desperately missing my family. I’ll blog more about them tomorrow. For now, I have decided to take the month of September off from traveling. I’m still coming to Boston in October, but have moved Portland to November – November 7th to be exact. For the next month, I’m going to rest, write and be with my family.

Sunday, I was working on Church 2.0 book stuff with co-writers Tony Steward and Cynthia Ware. Yes, in case you missed the announcement on Facebook yesterday: Tony and Cynthia are co-writing the technology section of the Church 2.0 book!

While we were sitting outside of Starbucks and brainstorming, we saw the Cowboys’ new tight end Martellus Bennett. Here’s the crazy thing: he saw me notice him and walked over to me, stuck out his hand and said, “Hello.” He was as nice as could be and we chatted for a bit. He was funny and warm and way nicer than someone with his fame would normally be.

I asked if I could take a picture with him. He said, “Sure” – so I did. That’s Tony sitting on the left (my right). Martellus represented the Cowboys in a great way. He was down-to-earth, friendly and a super ambassador for the team. We all remarked how well he represented the Cowboys. He even mentioned his faith when Cynthia told him I was a pastor.

I was truly impressed with his humility, humor and accessibility. My hat is off to him and the entire team, which, by the way, I’m picking to go to the Super Bowl. SO… who do YOU have going to the Super Bowl?