Using Technology In Church Planting

I am sure that most of you have seen the classic movie Napoleon Dynamite. At the end of the movie, Napoleon’s brother Kip sings an original song he wrote to his bride Lafawnduh titled, “Yes, I Love Technology.” If you haven’t seen the movie, do yourself a favor and spend some time watching this movie that has a cult like following. Many of us love technology to do our jobs or make our lives earier. Technology is a tool to be used in church planting, whether it be a website, a blog or social media site that promotes what your church is about.

One word of wisdom – Don’t over do it or rely on technology to spread the word about your church, church plant, or ministry or to spread the Word.

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Simplify The Way You Live

When it comes to the simple life do you want to reorganize your life or do you want to revolutionize your life? If you want to reorganize your life any old hint column in the newspaper will do. But if you want to revolutionize your life Jesus Christ is the one who can do that. He is the way that happens.

When we want to simplify our lives we usually want to start on the outside and reorganize this or that. But Jesus doesn’t start there. He starts by revolutionizing our lives from the inside out, making a difference. He shows us how to do it in the real world that you and I live in today.

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Why Your Company or Church Needs A Social Media Policy

Whether you like it or not, your staff is on social media and probably on it quiet often. If you are smart, you will have your company or ministry on social media as well. You can be a knucklehead and ignore social media or you can leverage it to help your company or ministry fulfill it’s mission. Google+, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are popular and powerful tools. And like most tools, they could be helpful if used correctly or dangerous if used inappropriately.

I can share examples of how I have tweeted complaints to companies such as McDonalds and Delta Airlines and gotten great responses back from them, while at other times I have tweeted suggestions or something I was having a problem with to other companies and you could hear the crickets for the silence. I believe it essential that your business or church have a social media presence and you will need someone who is dedicated to presenting your organization in a professional and compelling manner. They will need to answer any questions and be involved in the conversation as it relates to your business or ministry. In other words, be involved in what is going on in the cyber-world as it relates to your ministry or business.Salesforce: Social Media Text

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Apple’s Event – 1/27/2010

Today at approximately 1:00 pm EST, Seve Jobs will introduce to the world the product he has spent his entire life perfecting.

Many analysts and industry pundits are speculating that Apple will introduce a tablet computing device. This device, depending on who you listen to will be able to take reading books electronically to the next level, make Apple a serious gaming platform, and otherwise be a pretty cool portable internet device.

I have heard it from reliable sources that what Jobs is planning to unleash today is the Mark of The Apple otherwise known as iWorld. The strategic plan that Bill Gates could not deliever on due to his ineptness, will be carried out by his nemesis Jobs. The plan pure and simple is that each person on the planet will be emblazoned with the Apple logo on their foreheads or left hand. It will allow them communicate interchangeably with one another and with Apple headquarters in Cupertino. For those of you who scoff at such an idea, laugh not! By the end of 2010, a worldwide edict will be given that every Windows computer must be destroyed and replaced with a Mac. Along those lines, there will only be one cell phone available for use – you guessed it, the  iPhone. All others must be destroyed.

The plot began many years ago when Jobs seemed to harmlessly began to use a small case i in front of all products
introduced by Apple. If only we would have known that harmless, yet very cool i really stood for the all seeing eye that Apple would become. Today will definitely be the day that lives throughout eternity that a one world system was instigated. For what seemed to be a harmless product announcement revealed a sinister plan that has been brewing since the days of a small computer company operating out of a simple garage. Hide your children and your wife! Do not watch this event online as part of this plot includes mass electronic radio waves  during the event that will scramble brain cells. This will be the first step to prepare the hard core Apple fanboys to lead this worldwide movement. The results will not be pretty!

And you thought today was about the iPad!

Email: Blessing or Curse?

Many of you remember the days back in late 80’s when a familiar voice would ring out, “You’ve Got Mail!” How exciting it was then to receive an electronic piece of mail from a friend or family member and even at times the occasional spam before we knew what spam was. The number of emails you received then wasn’t overwhelming as the number of people online was much smaller than now. Fast forward twenty years to 2009, the age of electronic communications where email, texting, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and dozens of other apps and tools are available for communication. Long gone are the days of “You’ve Got Mail,” to the days of hundreds of electronic messages each day. What use to be a thrill has at times taken on the mask of evil. Trying to answer every email, respond to every request on  Facebook and not to mention, keep your Twitter followers abreast of what you are doing or thinking.

I want to focus on email for a moment.  Long before email became the giant gorilla that it is today, internal email communication existed in large corporations. I specifically remember this feature on DEC VAX and PDP systems as you could send internal email to other users on the system. I thought that was a pretty cool feature in 1982! Of course, this type of electronic communication was primitive compared to what we use today. Email today has become a primary source of communications  for individuals, corporations, non-profits, churches and any organization. Email is being sent and received from remote jungle locations to the most modern cosmopolitan centers. It is estimated that 250 billion emails are sent each day.

Email is a blessing in that we are able to communicate instantly with anyone around the world who has a computer and an email account. We are able to conduct business much faster, order products from our home and have them delivered the next day, communicate with relatives and friends about our latest happenings. As  follower of Jesus, I am able to share my faith with more people than I would have ever imagined. As a Dad, I can talk to my oldest daughter who is four hours away at college. I can send and receive photos and videos in my emails instantly that would have taken days to get to the recipient via the US Postal Service.  I can send a manuscript to a publisher for consideration or for editing and save money on postage. Email is great! I love it and use it extensively every day like all of you reading this post. I would be not be as productive and would not be in touch with the world like I am if it weren’t for email.

But, email has it’s dark side that we rarely want to address or think about. It is so dark that many of us don’t see it or won’t admit that it exists. In days past when we wanted to communicate with someone, it could be done one of a few and limited ways: face to face, telephone, or writing a letter.  The preferable and ethical way of communication in those days was face to face. Email has lessened the art of verbally communicating with one another, although it could be said that the proliferation of the cell phone has opened up verbal communication more extensively. My point is, what used to be done in a more personal way is now being done via email which I will argue vehemently, is impersonal. Email can, and I emphatically state, can be a shield that people hide behind to keep from talking to someone face to face. I understand the reasoning, it is very simple – they don’t want to have to engage the person with a discussion that could be difficult or be in a conversation where they could be challenged. We can make an email sound wonderful and joyful when in reality the situation stinks and is hard. Our emails can come across as mean and hateful, when they were meant to be honest and loving. The words that we insert into emails are on the screen forever engraved in the pixels on the monitor (as long as we don’t delete the email) and they can be transferred to paper never to be erased. What was meant to be construed as constructive and positive, can be taken as hurtful and negative.

I am considering exterminating my Facebook and Twitter accounts and to use email on a much more limited basis than what I do. Again, it is a consideration that I am thinking about.  Being a public figure, Facebook and Twitter keeps me in touch with people instantly that I know around the country and the world and I am able to make quick announcements that way. I am definitely going to explore how I can cut down on email and I would challenge you to start re-thinking your modes of communication, specifically electronic communication.  Researchers and pollers tell us that there are generations of younger people who are socially inept in situations that involve person to person contact, but yet they desire personal relationships. That can never be truly realized in cyberspace. Cut back on your e-correspondence and start talking to people face to face or at least through voice communication.

Looking forward to your comments.

My Newest Wish Gadget – iPodtouch

I am assuming you have heard of the iPhone by Apple or dubbed by many bloggers as the Jesus phone (it can work miracles). If you haven’t heard of the iPhone, then they really need to let you out more often. Anyway, I was one of those who told themselves, that when my contract is up with my current carrier I am jumping to the iPhone. Well, that was June and now it is November. I have had some time to think about this piece of technology and I have decided to nix that idea. I am happy with Verizon as many of my family and friends use Verizon and we talk for free. Granted, Verizon is coming out with a phone in a couple of weeks called Voyage that is a sweet looking touch screen phone, but I will pass.

I am looking at getting a iPodtouch. It has everything that a iphone has on it except the phone features and a camera. When my contract comes up for renewal with Verizon, I can utilize new every two years and get a good, bluetooth handset for phone and get rid of my bulky pocket PC smartphone. I just need to find one that will allow me to use my phone as a broadband modem for my Mac PowerBook. Anyway, below is my new tech wish gadget I hope to buy in the future.

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Testing out MacJournal

This morning I am testing out a trial version of MacJournal, a journaling software program that allows you to do your journal electronically. If I want, I can post my journal entry to my blog. The most useful personal feature is I can index my entries and quickly find topics that I journaled about.

I had heard about the software from my friend Steve Sjogren who is an Apple evangelist on the side. Steve has about fifty websites (actually, I think six) and is extremely tech savvy for a pastor. Most pastors I know need to move into the 21st century and get rid of those awful Windows machines and start using a machine that makes the work easy and enjoyable for them – an Apple Mac! When you buy a Mac nowadays, you get software that you can really use in your personal life and in your ministry: iLife. Garage Band allows you to podcast a daily audio blog every day, iMovie allows you to make some great videos, iWeb allows you to build blogs or full blown websites. this software is not an after thought, but is part of Apple’s strategic software for consumers.

Technology has a place in ministry and much has been written about it and there are publications and articles galore about using technology in ministry, but if we are not careful we can rely too heavily on technology in ministry, if that makes sense. People are visual and we can use visual aids to touch their hearts, but when it is done over and over and over, it becomes expectant and less effective.

I consider myself tech savvy. My daughter Emily considers me a geek. I have a Mac, a smartphone, high speed wireless, wireless printing etc… I am always looking for technology that will help me reach people for Christ and do the best I can do. Technology is a wonderful thing, just don’t get hooked on it.

Anyway, If I happen to like MacJournal I will probably wind up buying the software.