Some things never change. Fostering relationships involves building trust, developing rapport, and sharing experiences. But some of the tools for accomplishing this have changed. This is especially true when using technology and the web to accomplish this with kids and young adults.
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. Growing up I attended Shawnee Park CRC, where I participated in the fellowship committee, youth group, and several trips to Philadelphia as a mission trip. I attended Calvin College where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I helped lead mission trips to paint and restore homes in Red Lake, Minnesota for a summer through Youthworks. A semester in Honduras allowed me to see first hand what I was learning at Calvin by living with a Honduran family and taking several class trips throughout the country. Since college I have been the Technology Coordinator at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Grand Rapids.
While I enjoy using technology, I also enjoy being disconnected. My hobbies include hiking, backpacking, photography, running, swimming, and cycling, all of which draw me outside to delight in the beauty of Creation. In fact, I got the chance to spend the summer of 2008 cycling across the continent in the CRC bike tour, Sea to Sea. This not only allowed me to feed my passion for cycling, but my passion to help make a dent in the poverty of developing countries.
The first website I created was for a high school English class on the Contemporaries of Shakespeare. Since then I have developed websites for several businesses and I also maintain my own site. My current job job during the day enables me to not only help develop sites, but also focus on design and marketing materials.
Who doesn't love a good deal? There's that shirt you found hidden on the clearance rack or the coupon you used at the restaurant for dinner. In the same way your church can get deals on technology services and software. Is your church taking full advantage of all the available discounts and freebies that it can?
Here are a few tips (focusing mainly on PDFs) to keep in mind as your church disseminates information via email, your church website or any other electronic means.
Over the last year I have had the chance to share with you what's on my mind, write some useful how-to guides, and even almost go off on a couple of rants. I've enjoyed the chance to share these items, hear your feedback and try some of your suggestions myself!
Years ago my church switched from mailing church items (newsletters, flyers, forms, and more) to putting mailing a mailbox at the church where with the idea that each home could pick up their mail each Sunday. This took a lot less time for church staff since they didn't have to stuff envelopes and address labels, and they didn't have to pay postage.
While it is easy to debate the importance of some social media sites like Linkedin, Myspace, and Last.FM for connecting with your community, I believe it's almost impossible to argue that Facebook is an important platform to use in communicating and connecting. Church Marketing Sucks explains how and why to connect with your church through status updates on Facebook.
If you have any doubts that technology is helping people and communities in ways that haven't been done before, check out this story. A preacher cancelled the Sunday worship service because of inclement weather. However this didn't stop him from having a service since he streamed the service from his house onto the church's website via Ustream.
An advantage to working in a large office or in a large company is that you are usually part of a team that has overlap in responsibilities or knowledge. This makes it easier to collaborate and to seek out advice and ideas. Unfortunately this isn't the case in most churches which makes it more difficult to get fresh new ideas, and sometimes just get it all done! Here are some great resources if you're stuck.
Imagine having an additional source of funds to help your church. On top of that, imagine you don't even have to do anything once it's setup in order to receive a check each month. You could do this by adding text or banner ads to your church's website which could bring in money that could be used to help pay bills, fund programs and more
My previous blog post focused on using Google Voice at your church to minimize costs, and provide important features, especially in small churches. Now we'll talk about ways to save money and provide functionality usually only found in large telephone switches (PBXs).
Thanks for the laught about the 'sound guy neck crane'! I have to admit that I've done that. I've done sound at several church and have had several times that this happened to me. I was always...posted on: Say Thanks
Great info. Here's another blog post on the topic.
Thanks! I'm excited to see what's in store!posted on: Hello from the New Guide!
Thanks Ken and Tim. I appreciate it, and I'm excited to see things continue to develop on The Network!posted on: Stepping off My Soap Box
I know on Facebook you can really drill down to who your ad get's displayed too. In addition to choosing users from your area, can you choose user's that Like your page or...
Thanks for sharing. That's a great resource.
I like that you still make the full calendar and iCal feed available on the bottom.
This sounds intriguing. From my experience everyone has a way to collaborate but is on a different platform which makes it difficult for everyone to participate without learning something new. I'm...posted on: Wiggio for Ministry Groups?
I think requiring the captcha based on reputation would be worthwhile, or even moderating (I imagine they would/could be moderated quickly) comments if it gets bad again.posted on: How Annoying Is the Captcha?
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add something in the article about recommended ways of recording or link to some posts describing it and with tips. I see you found the forum too and discusses this...posted on: How to Podcast Sermons
Duane, great questions. Most of these questions will be answered in part ii that's coming out soon!posted on: Salesforce for Church - Part I