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  1. Pastor Greg Laurie on Using Technology: Episode 93 » Social Media Church podcast

    Podcast: Download (Duration: 26:57 — 24.7MB)

    Pastor Greg Laurie is a notable pastor (Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, California) and evangelist with Harvest Crusades that has held large-scale outreaches since 1990. He was interviewed by Brendan Stark (Web Director at Harvest) in a keynote address at the CITRT (Church IT Roundtable) Regional event back in March 2014. Pastor Greg Laurie shared his value as a pastor for using technology, the Internet, and social media, and how they must be used for the ministry of the Gospel. Special thanks to CITRT and Brendan Stark for permission to post the talk on this episode of the Social Media Church podcast.

    Show Notes

    Connect with Brendan Stark on Facebook facebook.com/brendanstark + on Twitter @brendanstark

    #video Watch “Pastor Greg Laurie on Technology and the Internet” on YouTube

    #event 2014 National Roundtable & Refresh Cache (October 22-24, 2014 @ Peoria, IL) + Call for 2014 Fall Event Ten-Talk Presenters – this is a great event for Church IT (information technology) staff and volunteers to talk shop and faith, topics include: web dev tools, help desk tools/tips/tricks, personal productivity, remote support, SQL best practices, social media analytics, training tools or methodologies, OSX on a windows network, and social media should show up somewhere in the mix too.

    #raw #transcript (auto-generated by YouTube/Google)

    I’m Brendan Stark

    Web Director at Harvest Christian Fellowship in

    Riverside Calif I’m here with Pastor Greg Laurie

    thanks for being here

    good to be here I was like to hang out with the geeks

    alright I wish I was the key when I’m not I’m like

    a wannabe geek it’s like I like everything geeks do

    but I don’t know how to do it so the key is make friends with geeks

    better yet hire them he does a great job

    with our department all right thank you very much so

    you love dad yes so how have you always love

    computers and technology well my love gadgets goes back way before computers

    marijuana as a little kid I got a little reel to reel tape recorder

    and i was just didn’t he’s dead you know the you can actually record these little

    things and I remember my first

    record player and anything that Obama technology

    I locked in a criss-cross forward and then I was one of the first guys to go

    out and buy

    a digital watch i mean when I bought the technology when I bought back was at the

    probably the early seventies

    you get for free in a happy meal now I probably be the over a hundred dollars

    which was a lot back then

    but I had they have the digital watch them have course

    I had one of the first guy you know recorders a video

    are like a %uh the I was like a bead a max player than later on

    it became the VHS format in you know so

    any minute come along I had to have the first iPhone

    the proof iPod side always been a sucker for technology I just love it that’s

    cool

    so you gonna pastor for over forty years forty years yes so when you start there

    really wasn’t any church I T

    no not at all we just yelled loudly

    like a know there really wasn’t arm boy

    I mean that they’ll the technology we had that day on C was like

    cassette tapes I was it i &lt3 revolution active prior to that we had

    a track to the fact that you could record something in

    give without in an affordable price was something but

    on my we were so behind the times there was no internet al gore had invented it

    yet

    he was probably still in the love story pays appears career

    but now was satire arm so no no no that was on yet

    in so that this was a whole new frontier yet in our future

    school so have you seen technology can transform

    the church in the last forty years well you know I think initially

    Christians were creative technology because they didn’t understand it

    didn’t understand the potential up the web course it seems like summer the

    early adopters we were using it for

    evil purposes the melodic Crittenton thing you know how can we use it and I

    immediately saw

    the value in fact I even thought the name about was proving

    the Internet at home let’s go fishing for men and women let’s use the net this

    net goes globally

    I remember are we were probably one of the first churches

    to do a live webcast than it was like up 56 kg type modem

    member how those use the Firebird crawl

    ha convenient thing comes up you’ve got mail

    I was a well remember and all I’m online while I’m online and

    everything was slow but we used art

    the first webcast to reach people in

    I saw the potential about when some missionaries sent me a photograph have a

    budget people city not in a very

    dark jungle around a laptop computer been run by a generator

    here in the class want to do see and accepting Christ so that we’ve gotta be

    at the forefront there so we started doing our crusade in the later our

    services

    and the numbers are the people watching online grew

    Expo Line Chile but in time the

    equal the attendants and her crusade and then after a while they were surpassing

    the number of our crusade 100 2009 course after their archives thousands

    and thousands more so

    it’s just unbelievable yeah so you think technologies change

    evangelism how that’s done today well I P

    what is done is it open up the doors for greater evangelism for those who can see

    a

    I mean the height to give the first century was the Roman Road system

    you know the world was divided at the time and the Romans come along

    effectively conquer the world and establish what was called

    Pax Romana which was the ruler wrong and

    one of the good things Romans it was the united people with a common language

    which was great

    and the united people with the road system and the apostles

    what those roads and the use that language

    to bring the Gospel to their generation path forward two thousand years

    now we have the world wide web you now

    we have this opportunity to return now pretty much everybody is on board with

    that I think

    anyone who’s not using the technology today

    is just missing an opportunity me quite on a thing

    why wouldn’t a church or a pastor or anyone a ministry

    have basement pictures no charge why wouldn’t they have

    a Twitter account why when they use Instagram

    in other forms of social media its immediate it gets out to people

    you can use it to bring the Gospel the people I mean this is fantastic so

    incentive complaining about it let’s use it for God’s glory

    someone in my position someone who’s behind the scenes a technology person

    how can we help our senior pastors perform their calling as a

    the pastor well I think some pastors are are prone to read this

    I’m one of those people have always been interested in it i mean you know me I’ll

    see something cool see online are

    send a link to you what do you think about this you know cuz I’m always

    interested in

    anything that can help us expand our reach

    but I think up for some people there there honors in a very good

    and adopting new technology so I think that you need to explain things

    to them and you need to show them how to use these media platforms for them stop

    you know you gone to an

    Apple store in the have little classes the input on proposed sin

    I noticed lotta times are older people wanting to catch up you know

    that for some pastors find themselves are a bit bolder

    and they may be a well I know I don’t do that where do the old-fashioned way

    will listen keep you know preparing your message is perhaps your browser with

    but even for that there’s %ah fantastic software like logos that you can have in

    your computer

    and he can utilize it having an amazing collection a box in

    kid you know Greek and Hebrew definitions and so much more but

    I think pastors need to catch up and I think we ought to do more than ketchup

    I think we ought to be leading the way cuz look we’re in the communication

    business

    and therefore we want to use whatever technology

    is out there are let’s get the word out

    in get a ninety-percent get a person who savvy with these things

    a lot of times are younger people let them help you in uses technology to

    expand the influence of you ministry

    again so for you Windows Mac or Android

    well I bob love the first Macintosh computers

    I didn’t even know how to tie I saw that they know that that’s a cool thing about

    overseeing

    and hype I plugged it in and the yellow iMac

    and unlike what do I do with this thing and and slowly have figured out how to

    use it sermon prep

    it was so primitive but it was amazing because it really was a personal

    computer

    so I was really upbeat mom Apple guy for a number of years but then

    Windows I love the bible thumper was coming out on Windows like Anna

    learn I’d learn I never really got into DOS that was way beyond me

    but I sort of started figuring out the Windows platform

    and then I was when the Sun was all Windows for a number of years

    but then Apple comes along with the iPod and ideas

    had to have an iPod all those songs in that little device and that got me back

    into that was rude like

    the gateway drug Apple and that brought me back into the Apple univers and then

    I wasn’t Apple

    only and I pretty much been Apple for years now I I like that

    the simple intuitive interphase at the Apple operating system now when it comes

    to

    the so called the course Android is made some great advances in

    I but I keep coming back still to the iPhone I like it better

    but I know a lot of people that have the androids in and they’re really given up

    a run for their money now but

    the cool thing is religious use all the popcorn to win it wouldn’t wanna be

    elitist about

    a certain operating system %ah you know are Apr into to harvest ap

    is available for both the Apple operate insisted and the Android

    operating system give that Windows Phone we haven’t developed up for that you

    actually it is I want us to now

    you’re kidding I didn’t know that well congratulations Windows people

    you can now have a harvest ap I mean literally call on the Windows

    platform Alex great yeah that’s fantastic I

    guaranteed someone watching this is an IT and they’re ready to quit

    so there describe their burned-out neglecting their family they’re just

    they feel like they’re underwater never gonna come so the only words of

    encouragement for them and how do you avoid burnout I think you need to

    remember what you’re doing

    I i mean he may be in IT person you may be working in that

    Technology department but what you’re doing is you’re

    providing a platform to reach people you know we love our part in the church

    summer called to preach

    summer call to do worshiper use music summer called into the art summer called

    into

    I technology others are called behind-the-scene summer called

    in are working in like God practical areas hospitality

    every Christian is give to the needy use your gift for the glory of God

    remember it’s Jesus you’re doing it for the Bible says let’s not be weary in

    well doing

    for in due season you’ll reap if you don’t paint so

    to add for the Lord good for the glory of God for me is a pastor

    like anybody else you have to find balance in life you know you have to

    have time for

    certainly your spiritual life you have to have time for your family

    you don’t need to be stinkin on the phone all the time

    checking out web sites texting all the time

    you know actually set the phone down revolution I thought turn the phone off

    have a conversation with somebody come out of your virtual world

    for a few moments it’ll do you some good okay so

    the Beatles paid us had their 50th anniversary

    when they came and came to america on The Ed Sullivan Show

    now and behind us I know to get can see but we have a replica guitars a

    think as Paul’s base yes Paul Harper basin we have john lennon’s

    Rickenbacker %uh electric rhythm guitar we have george harrison

    grapes lead guitar and I don’t have wrinkles drunk kids too big

    but there’s been lots of new specials out about appealed and the

    the cultural impact that they had on its element and that was really

    gonna rock n roll was a was what are the defining characteristic to the baby

    boomer generation

    I’m so I came like right after the JFK assassination a

    and then the Beatles came on on site and

    the culture changed so and even encounter chapel

    the way the church’s worship changed kinda based on what to build broad right

    I so one news program I i saw said that

    today’s can a major see changes the Internet yeah

    and technology and and these computers not just

    had laptops but all the IRS device

    else computer in your pocket really yeah exactly now

    so I so seeing how the change that that happened

    you know when when you were growing up and all these kids growing up today with

    the internet you

    do you see any parallels there and any me

    things we should look out for that may be that the viewers went through with

    rock and roll that

    we should look out for a min well you know the Internet

    let me see it as a billion loan Lee Internet is an amazing thing really

    whenever new

    but just for a lot from Liverpool now this some is in really

    Smith over drug though now arm I was a bit a limitation I’m not sure what

    people in particular

    I think that you know there’s good and bad out the internet clearly

    and there’s some horribly wicked things

    that you can access with a few clicks of a mouse

    and there’s some absolutely wonderful things you can access

    so you know I don’t know then the generation that

    ever had access too so much information

    so quickly and its kinda been awesome responsibility

    and when he needed take very seriously need to guard yourself and

    any need to now allow that evil influence in your life

    on the other hand you know what a great platform do

    propagate the gospel and the teaching of the Word

    in LB one another in a way the internet which is such an impersonal ping is help

    make the world a smaller place you know I

    started with emailing without texting who knows what snacks will just think

    the pot not get electronically

    maybe one day we’ll actually said bonds down and talk with each other

    has a the Cooper friend the other day we ought to deceive restaurant

    and everybody was on their phone nobody was talking

    so actually gonna all in a group Tag tonight said be

    here now they were lean they all looked up at once

    haha that’s funny the new impacted Texas again so

    but in a way though it can keep it connects apprentice when

    my wife and I travel we love to use like FaceTime or Skype

    we can talk to our kids talk to our grandkids

    and that it’s a great way to make a connection i think is the church

    as Christians anything we can do to build and encourage community in our

    fellowships is good

    anything that we can do to bring the Gospel a more people

    is good so we have to go into it with wisdom and be careful

    but at the same time not be afraid to britain and use a brawl

    weekend for God’s glory what technology are you excited about

    well I think the technology I’m really having a lot of fun with right now and

    I’m using more

    is on probably Instagram and Twitter

    you know I didn’t quite know how to use Twitter i mean they have a preacher

    content with the same

    is challenging because we tend to be long winded right

    Sodexo I i can only use as many characters min

    and but I find that those tweets can go out really have an impact immediately

    and I love Instagram could you can capture little snapshot

    appear like Nepal whether people in caterpillar’s I’m sort of connected with

    them then when I see Missy

    RDS R you did your dog rights other beautiful study your

    child I saw that so that would you have for lunch you know

    AgCenter a so I love all those technologies 1 I’ve been having a lot of

    fun with personally

    is a it’s a digital tablet Conway com

    and we come makes it rather and died you know in the past

    the stylus is for them have been really pleased big

    like drawing with %ah like I you know some large

    object get doesn’t work I’m use the working with dental this new 1i got

    recently

    has a very small stylist and then you can go into

    the Sedins and you can pick like a pencil

    or appear in or up top banner at the crib top 10

    or impair bra she can change colors Simon tryna lot I’m

    was a cartoonist before was our pastor I’ve always loved Design I’ve been

    doing more cartoons posed in my piece but page

    between them putting them up on Instagram and stuff and people seem to

    be enjoying themselves

    that’s a technology have been having a lot of fun but lately I still love to

    take pictures live cameras always looking at the latest

    cameras but you know the cameras and the iPhone are so good in

    like it said you know the best camera is the one you have with you

    now is 7i phone in my pocket so I tend to take probably

    ninety percent of my photos if not more with my iPhone

    even though I have some nice cameras I’d I don’t get him out as often as I should

    but

    I love anything that sorta captures life in

    because then you go back and reflect on it and those are great memories so

    I like it when we can use it more personal way yeah

    and you sense that you see it that you’re your the people that you Pastor

    have a more haven’t personal connection to you

    it’s hard I mean you have 1000 people out ya I think they do because people

    come up to me and say

    I love the pull up your granddaughters and the funny thing is all

    I’m alright a little article maybe it’s a little Bible teaching

    now getting a fair amount of response as you know maybe a my

    Facebook page %uh get your 30,000 people liked it

    and then I’ll do something really random like

    draw cartoon or want to meet in a plea does

    sneak into the picture above for my grandkids and again like

    a hundred and seventy thousand like them like what so it shows me though that

    people are looking for personal connection

    so so the fine with that assertive embrace it in

    you know I put some personal things out there but I do use it as a platform

    for sharing parts I have a small so he is a promoter bull

    purposes but people will come as a oh I love that show your grandkids are

    I love the little bit the on so they feel connected to the Pilipino you

    and in a way they do because you’re opening your life up to them so

    I think in that way it’s a good thing and think some people there just a

    little too obsessed

    taking selfies all the time feeling up to update

    everything constantly like you know what it’s actually okay to not give us

    updates every four minutes relax a little bit maybe live a little more

    life I’m not one of those guys I like single sometimes a few days without

    anything on Instagram

    I usually put something on Facebook but I’ll just take it day offers

    so are dear to opera be non then in than other days I’m in there like four or

    five times depending but

    you know I think we need to find the balance again the values as technology

    in

    not have a dominating our life so what do you think is the biggest challenge

    facing the church today well I think for the church

    our greatest challenges is remaining connected to the

    culture we’re livin arm

    sometimes a bill in the church were answering questions no one is asking

    and we’re not an answer in the ones they are asking so I think there needs to be

    an understanding of what’s happening in culture

    there needs to be an understanding of technology platforms that can be

    leveraged

    for God’s glory we need to deliver our content in an effective

    way to people but at the same time

    we don’t want the in any way compromised our content

    we don’t wanna oversimplify we wanted understandable but at the same time

    we don’t want to compromise on what we’re actually seeing trading our

    challenge

    is to be aware apart changing world

    and come with the right message at the right time which clearly

    is the gospel and reach people with that

    I think we are in the most biblically illiterate generation

    in the history of the United States of America I get back up and say the most

    literate generation

    but then add the most biblically illiterate people know so little

    about the Bible that’s the bad news the good news is

    well they know so little about the Bible so it’s not like you’re

    fighting with preconceived notions they have no notions

    so that’s an opportunity for us to imprint them sort of like

    wet cement let’s go in there with the to message of the gospel and

    in use are media platforms i mean it’s an amazing thing that

    anybody can have their please put paid to the can have their Twitter account

    they can have their Instagram another platforms in

    you know maybe they don’t reach millions or even thousands or even hundreds but

    the region group for people are interested in them so

    all over sana leverages technologies and gone to all ok

    our world and preach the gospel so for the past two years you’ve had kind of a

    a plan to can reach out to america so

    called harvest America so you what kinda share your vision for that

    harvest America which is happening this year at the American Airlines Center in

    dollars doctors

    is the event were capturing then we do

    alive HD webcast in it goes into churches

    some other than very large churches that maybe five six thousand people

    in attendance which we’ve seen sometimes it’s a small church maybe a little

    country church a bar

    100 people then again it might be

    gonna do a front room you know you can take a Roku box now you can download the

    harbors channel

    it’s free and watch it live that’s an amazing technology

    he could be carried on I were the christian stations out there be a

    I wanna there on broadcast as well

    and then it will be live in some radio stations but then you can watch it on

    your laptop

    you can watch it on your tablet device you can watch it

    on your smartphone I think the best way to use it is to be with the person

    so you can be there in the capacity a praying for them is our hearing the

    gospel

    and following up on them after the predominantly can’t do that

    you know you have aunt matilda lives near the center the country

    so central Lincoln say check this link out at this time and watch it

    then after the event has come and gone will be archived you could still send

    the link up Arbor

    mechanics are still in play and God’s Word will not return void its livor

    it was pre-recorded yeah has really taking the technology of multi-site

    church

    which is exploring the crap country and making this event available

    two churches anywhere now to have an event in there in their sanctuary you

    know some people will say

    unwielding people want to get together and watch a video once more than that

    you have to understand it’s a live webcast at a message in

    here’s the funny thing we’ve discovered and that is for some reason music does

    not work as well

    on a webcast is speaking to us you know what were we have

    a satellite site a church we get a video P the message we always have live

    worship because we’ve tried

    you know webcasting or somin people don’t participate

    when the music is live and anything the message they respond here’s an

    interesting thing years ago

    Billy Graham its or to the forerunner of what we’re doing

    in a massive scale in an outreach he called mission world

    and they took his message put it on satellite

    all around the United States are around the world they found that the percentage

    of response was higher

    and where the live link sites as they call them than it was in the arena

    were billy was preachy that blew my mind

    and that was years ago so you say all won’t work as well in a church no

    actually it will

    in fact he might work more effectively the new me think

    so your job is just capture that signal

    you know set your church opulent optimal way for

    maximum impact I with that image that you’re showing the people with the sound

    and so forth

    and light got do is work to the gospel and stand back and watch what the Lord

    will do

    Patrick would you like to pray for all the people watching us right now

    yeah let’s do that father I prefer all the people

    out there who are adopting this technology because they see the

    potential in the given them the skills these abilities these

    guess rowly help them to use these gifts for your glory

    help them to grow in their understanding up the technology with even more

    to grow their understanding up your word enough the importance of

    spreading the gospel are there was a time when

    we had to go to distant shores to reach people with the message but now we can

    be in those distant shores so quickly

    live stream mean video and so many other resources that we have so help us to be

    responsible

    in use these resources to use them

    to the best of our abilities until you come back again

    we ask this in Jesus name amen

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  2. George Mekhail on launching multiple campuses after closing the first one. | unSeminary

    Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadPodcast (video): Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe to the unSeminary Podcast: [iTunes] [RSS] [Stitcher] [TuneIn] // [VIDEO iTunes] [VIDEO RSS]Today’s podcast is a conversation with the Executive Pastor at a fast growing church in the North West called East Lake Church. Sprouting out of the one of the least “churched” communities in the country, East Lake gives some fascinating insights into reaching out into a “post-Christianity” culture. During this interview George talks about how they launched a campus … and then closed it because it wasn’t meeting their needs … but then went on to launch more. It’s a fascinating conversation and full of insights for all kinds of churches!George Mekhail // [Website] [twitter]Interview Highlights //01:45 // George started attending EastLake with his wife when it was 300 people02:10 // Ryan Meeks started the church for friends who might have a hangover on Sunday morning03:10 // Launched their first multi site campus and later closed it down04:40 // Rich points out that growth to 5000 people in the North West is unheard of06:25 // George serves as ‘Executive Pastor’06:53 // Decided to go multi site again in 2011 with a new structure08:20 // EastLake didn’t want to have a glorified overflow in it’s second campus11:45 // Two ways EastLake avoids ‘main campus’ thinking14:30 // George talks about the mistake of the hologram15:55 // Staffing at EastLake is only 30% of budget17:40 // Resources made available to be a generous church because of high value on volunteer ‘priests’Lightning Round HighlightsHelpful Tech Tools // Evernote, Fellowship OneBook Worth Reading // The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey, Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLarenMinistries Following // The Meeting House, Mile High VineyardInspiring Leader // Pope FrancisWhat does he do for fun? // wife and two kids, vacationing, legos, tea parties, golfing, hiking, readingInterview Transcript //Rich – Well good morning. Happy Thursday everybody. It’s Rich Birch, the host of the unSeminary Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in. This is the podcast where we try to provide kind of practical insights from amazing church leaders from across the country. Today we have a great guest on our show. In fact this church, EastLake Church, I think has been listed more than any other ministry as a ministry that people are following and looking at, which is amazing. I am super excited to have George Mekhail on the phone with us today. George, thanks for being on the show.George – Ya, thanks for having me Rich.Rich – Ah, I’m super excited you are here. Thanks so much for taking time out. George, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and EastLake.George – Ya, sure. My story kind of started all the way back in high school when I started rebelling a little bit against the church background that I grew up in. I started to ask some of the deeper questions of life…what am I doing here? How am I going to invest this life that I have. Really started down the path of I don’t believe in God. I don’t really think there is a point to this whole thing. After some time, and after talking to my dad who was really always harping at me, you got to take your life more seriously and that kind of stuff, I made the turn and just kind of started to take things more seriously. Since then it has been a fun journey. Got married really young. My wife and I found EastLake when it was a year old at the time, in 2006. And we fell in love with it. Started going every week. It was about 300 people at that time and meeting at a Junior High. It was an interesting season. There was a lot going on in the Seattle area. EastLake was started by our lead pastor Ryan Meeks. They moved up from San Diego. Ryan had a lot of friends up here, went to high school up here with his wife Michelle. And really there was nothing up here as far as churches that existed for people who didn’t have a church background or didn’t have a church so to speak. Ryan described it, he wanted a church for his friends who had a hangover Sunday morning and who have anywhere to go. So that’s kind of how EastLake started. About a year and a half into EastLake we were really just blowing up. About 1400 people by I think 2 and a half years in. Outgrew the space we were in in 2007. Relocated about 5 miles north to a town called Bothell which is about 25 miles north of Seattle. Ever since then things have just taken off. In 3 years since moving into Bothell we were running at about 5000 and once again had a space issue. And had to decide what are we going to do? Are we going to try to raise 3 million dollars and try to renovate this building or are we going to try and dabble in this multisite thing that we keep hearing about. So 2010 we decided that we were going to try multi site so we started a campus in Bellview, the east side of Lake Washington. So we have two sites, the Bothell location and Bellview location but really realised pretty quickly, about 4 months in, that we weren’t ready for what this was. We weren’t a multisite church. In month 5 we did something that surprised a lot of people, we closed the Bellview location and went back to being a single church. And that was interesting because Bellview was actually really successful. There was 800-900 people attending.Rich – Wow.George – It was successful by all standards. It was financially self sustaining, but there was something not there. Close it and decided hey, we will decide some other way to solve our crowding issue so we started more services, just really tried to find a way to manage it until we had a better plan.Rich – Well there’s a lot there. There’s a lot to unpack. That’s fantastic. On EastLake, I know when it’s your own story, ‘we grew and it’s 5000 people’, this isn’t in the South. You are in the North West. I know you know this. The kind of place where people don’t attend church. It’s just not, there’s not the cultural assumption that you would attend church just normally. So what is it do you believe God is using to draw people to EastLake?George – Ya that’s a good questions. For me at least, sort of that rebellion and discontentment that I was feeling, what I loved about EastLake that struck me right away, and I think my wife would identify with this, you get this overwhelming sense that people are real. People are authentic. Friendly, warm, they are not faking it as much as you can not faking it to a stranger on a Sunday morning holding a cup of coffee. I think it starts there. Accepting people right where they are at. I know that’s how I felt. I know that the thing that allowed me to give God and faith and the spiritual journey a shot. “Oh, there’s normal people that actually do this.’ And I think that was a turning point for me and I’ve heard that story repeated over and over again. You are right. Not a lot of church around here, not a lot with church background. People would say that we are the least churched city, or we were the least churched city, not sure if that is the case anymore but it certainly was the case years ago.Rich – Now what’s your role at EastLake? What is your day to day there. So I am the Executive Pastor. That’s just the easiest way to explain it. We don’t really use titles on a business card or anything. I’ve found that saying that is just a lot easier.Rich – So now, let’s go back to that unique story. You were one campus, you went to two, it was growing, succeeding, paying the bills and then you compressed back. But you have subsequently gone out and launched campuses. What was it that helped you to turn the corner and be able to do that?George – I think it was just really admitting that A, we weren’t really ready the first time. We did it all wrong. And trying to analyse why. What wasn’t working? And that sort of describing that intangible sense that we weren’t ready. But I think what it really came down to was that we were trying to just import what we had at the first site to this other place without really caring about this other place. So it was like you have this main campus mentality where they had all the bells and whistles. They had all the best staff. Everything was at the main campus. This other campus down the street, they got some of the best staff every other week maybe. And they just had like, it was just subpar really. And it was close enough that it was just kind of noticeable to people. I wasn’t even on staff at this time so even for me and my wife, we would go to both depending on which one our friends were going to or whatever. So that sense existed there. So going multi site again in 2011 we knew that we had to do it differently. It started with how we approach our structure, how we approach our staffing, what commitments we were going to make to all of our sites to basically try to keep them as uniform as possible and not have this glorified overflow room feel. Multisite in that way which is what it felt like the first time around.Rich – OK. So now tell me a bit how you structured. What does that look like? Obviously one of the realities of multi site it’s constantly evolving and changing. Why don’t you tell us what you’ve done and what you are learning that is kind of transferable to other churches, so that other churches don’t do the same thing. Kind of have to close down a campus.George – Ya, definitely. Well, I mean I’m actually really surprised that you started this off by saying that a lot of people are looking to us to kind of see how we are doing it. That’s scary because we don’t know what we are doing so geez, people who learn from us have got some problems. Basically what we’ve done is really tried to approach structure by thinking ahead to where we want to be and not so much what our current realities are. If we would have done that from the onset we could have avoided some issues, but I think just the awareness that the structure was going to need to be flexible and bend at every iteration of multisite, and every staff member that you add, and every department you are trying to improve. So for us it really was, and this was one of the main reasons I was brought on staff. It was two months before we went multisite the second time I was brought on staff and my role was very vague. It was to figure out central support. Whatever that means. Here are some books to read. Some people are doing it. Go figure it out. And so, that was really kind of how we started. What are some things we can centralize? What are some things we can have localized? And really what is the goal of multisite. Is it to be as efficient as possible? Is it to have as many campuses as possible? Is it to have big campus? What are we really trying to do? I think where we have landed or landing, we change our mind quite a bit, is that really the most effective use of multisite is to be able to replicate resources as efficiently as possible, in multiple locations so that we don’t have to build that 30 million dollar building and be a regional site. There are so many ramifications just within that. Being one regional location, for us, people were driving 40-50 minutes sometimes just to get to our one location. One of the things that we say or we’ve heard is that it is hard to be the church where you don’t live. If you had to drive out to 50 miles, it’s really, really hard to do ministry in your normal life. Outside of Sunday, how are you going to invited your friend to drive that long with you. So that was our big critique, we wanted to take the church to the communities. Not just be that overflow room. So consistency across all sites is something that we’ve really tried to adopt. We have tried to be intentional about killing it in our main campus because we don’t want it to be, we don’t want this mothership feel. We want to avoid the main campus language. All that stuff is out of our language. It’s our biggest site, it’s our original site but it’s not our main campus. There is really nothing about it, other than it’s size that makes it our main campus.Rich – Ya, what are some of the other kind of practical ways that you have tried to live that out. So language is one of the ways. Are there other ways that you try to enview, ‘Hey, this isn’t like the step child to our other locations.’?George – Ya, so from day one, Ryan or whomever was speaking left the main site and went to our Seattle location from Day one. And then from there about 10 months into multi site, we started to catch wind of this new thing that was happening thanks to Life Church in Oklahoma, and that was prefilming the message. Something that they do periodically depending on the schedule and what not. We wanted to take it further and say what happens if you do this every week? So probably one of the more unique things that we do is we pre-film all our messaged. So every Thursday Ryan comes in, or if it’s a guest speaker, they come in and they film the message for Sunday. So by the end of day Thursday we will have the message ready to go to play and all of our locations are video. So on a given Sunday you cannot find a live speaker at any given EastLake location which is great. It gives us so much flexibility. It’s one of those things where we can be, like right now, we are about a month and a half ahead so we have church in the can for the next two months! Which give us flexibility. SO when you show up to the main campus and there is no ‘dude’ up there speaking live, that pretty much is a big hint.Rich – That’s huge, have you found….the church I am in, Liquid Church, we were actually doing that for a while, that we found that at the campus that we originate from, when we switched to video it felt like we were taking something away. In your case, Ryan used to be here and now he’s not. It’s almost like we are punishing that campus. Have you found those dynamics?George – Totally.RIch – That’s on purpose.George – I don’t know if it’s on purpose but it’s definitely a learning. So first of all, when we went multisite, Ryan did a great job of preparing us for the inevitable. Which was, we are going to lose people. People are used to a certain experience, a certain commodity when they come to church that depending on the level of buy in, they aren’t going to be ok with a dramatic change like this. One of the unfortunate things that happened when we went multi site was we tried to overcompensate for this fear, this impending reality which was, we are going to take something away from Bothle, and the way that we were going to compensate for this was we were going to give Bothell a hologram experience, because we wanted them to have somthing. We were taking away their live speaker. True story, we bought a hologram and projected an illusionary hologram image in our Bothell location so that when you showed up it looked like something from Star Wars. It was not fun. We killed that in about 3 months and just kind of decided to land on the fact that they are going to have to be ok with losing something.Rich – So if anyone needs a hologram projection system, you’ve got one for sale.George – We do. Absolutely. Just call me. We would be happy to sell it to you.Rich – Nice. That’s fantastic. Now one of the words that I have heard describe your campus is ‘unconventional’. Or that you kind of think about things in a different way. Can you think of a couple things, maybe one way, that you think you kind of approach things in an unconventional manner. What you are doing on video I think is unconventional. It does push against the natural wisdom even in multi site you need to have somebody somewhere preach in front of a life audience somewhere.George – Definitely. That’s probably the main thing pragmatically. I would say the other thing that has always been kind of in our ethos is a low staff participation as fars as whose carrying out the ministry. The idea of priesthood of all believer we actually try to live out as much as possible. We have a very high volunteer culture. We run about 30% staffing, 30% of our budget goes to staffing.Rich – Oh my goodness, that is low.George – Most books will tell you they are running 45-60% but across the board we are simple, very low budget as far as what we spend money on to carry out the ministry. Other spending resources that come to help Charity Water which helps bring clean water to nations all across the world. But this idea that volunteers really do a lot of the responsibilities that staff traditionally do has really helped shape everything about us. It helps people feel like they are needed and therefore it helps establish community, these really deep routes I think. People believe in EastLake because they help pull off EastLake. When I think unconventional I think ‘Man, if we didn’t’ have volunteers we really couldn’t pull off a Sunday. It’s just that simple.Rich – So you know what your staff to attendance ratio is? What does that look like to your Sunday attendance?George – We have 38 full time staff and average about 4200 across all campuses. So whatever that ratio is.Rich – Wow. That’s amazing. I’m not good at math so…that’s fantastic! The thing I don’t want people to miss there, what that has allowed EastLake to do, if you have journeyed with EastLake, followed them, they are a very generous church. You have done a very good job motivating your people to be generous, but then just out of the normal offering you do a lot of work, which is incredible. That resonates, that’s attractive to the community.George – That actually goes along with the way that we go about it is unconventional. We have thrown two parties in the last three years called drinks for drinks. Which is basically a giant kegger, we invite local cover bands, the last one we had about 1800 people come and actually most of those people don’t even go to EastLake. We promote it in the community and ended up in one night raising $850 000 that ended up going to Cambodia.Rich – Fantastic! Anything else you would like to share with our listeners before we jump into the LIghtning Round?George – Ah, no, I think we covered a lot there. Hit me with the Lightning Round, Rich.

    http://www.unseminary.com/georgemekhail/

    —Huffduffed by theprd

  3. Haley Veturis of Saddleback Church: Episode 85 » Social Media Church podcast

    Podcast: Download (Duration: 40:30 — 18.5MB)

    Haley Veturis is the Social Media Manager for Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, with a dozen more locations around Orange County and internationally around the world too. On this episode of the Social Media Church podcast, Haley shares about how social media has made such a difference in her life personally and the amazing God-story of how she became the Social Media Manager at Saddleback Church, how she manages the a purpose-driven social media strategy for Saddleback Church, and her extra effort to help resource churches at large through Social Ecclesia.

    Show Notes

    Connect with Haley Veturis on Twitter @HaleyVeturis + on Instagram instagram.com/haleyveturis + about.me/haleyveturis

    #resource WeAPS promo calendar saddleback.com/weaps

    #article #EndOfAnEraForSocialMediaPioneers: Real life has intruded on three sisters who are stars on Twitter, Facebook and other online networking sites. (OC Register, May 2013)

    #event Social Ecclesia’s website socialecclesia.com - next micro-conference is June 5th in Griffin, Georgia

    #article Seven Reasons Your Church Needs a Social Media Director by Thom Rainer

     

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    http://socialmediachurch.net/2014/05/haley-veturis-of-saddleback-church-episode-85/

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  4. Mei Ling Starkey of The Rock Church: Episode 72 » Social Media Church podcast

    Podcast: Download (Duration: 27:40 — 12.7MB)

    Mei Ling Starkey is the Media Relations/Social Media Director at The Rock Church in San Diego, California, founded & led by Pastor Miles McPherson. She connected with us on the Social Media Church podcast while en route between one thing and another; we talk about Rock Church’s approach to communicating through social media, how to integrate volunteers into the flow of their church’s social media, engaging people on their online campus, a newly-launched video devotional app, and more.

    Show Notes

    Connect with Mei Ling Starkey on Twitter @mlstarkey

    The Rock Church is on Twitter @therocksandiego, Facebook fb.com/therocksandiego, Instagram instagram.com/therocksandiego, YouTube youtube.com/therocksandiego

    Rock Live – Watch The Rock Church services live online

    Miles A Minute – The 60 Second Daily Video Devotional app – Every day for a year with Miles McPherson

    #new Real-time dashboard of the most popular church Facebook pages

    @djchuang something that I did that you did not mention on the podcast (and Josh on his blog) was set-lists. https://t.co/oQJbIgq3Xm

    — Brian Alexander (@brianfalexander) January 21, 2014

    Brian Alexander on @brianfalexander + on Instagram http://instagram.com/brianalexand3r + he’s at Forest Hill Church (Charlotte NC)

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    http://socialmediachurch.net/2014/01/mei-ling-starkey-of-the-rock-church-episode-72/

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  5. Frank Bealer on Ensuring Alignment in Multisite Churches | unSeminary

    Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadPodcast (video): Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe to the unSeminary Podcast: [iTunes] [RSS] [Stitcher] [TuneIn] // [VIDEO iTunes] [VIDEO RSS]Only 15% of multisite churches make it beyond 3 campuses … Elevation Church has 9 locations! Today’s podcast is with Frank Bealer, the Family Ministry pastor from Elevation Church. He provides some proven mindsets, tactics and approaches for developing a cohesive ministry across many locations. This interview is full of insider information about what it’s like leading one of the fastest growing multisite churches in the country. Frank has lots of insights in this episode!Frank Bealer // [Website] [twitter]Interview Highlights01:52 // Franks role and the history of Elevation02:28 // Rich shares a stat that makes Elevation unique02:52 // Elevations biggest felt tension04:00 // First Question: What’s an excellent experience?04:48 // Even at 9 campuses in two countries, Elevation still meets weekly 05:47 // How Frank can be in 9 places at once08:21 // Reproducibility in portable and permanent locations08:45 // Frank explains the use of digital media in environments10:15 // Elevation now has more people in portable campuses than permanent11:49 // Common Leadership Pipeline across all areas14:06 // Rich raves about how Elevation develops and releases volunteer leaders15:19 // Excellence first, transferability second.Lightning Round HighlightsHelpful Online Resource // Evernote, Scoop.itBooks That are Having an Impact // ”Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work“ by Chip & Dan HeathInspiring Ministries // LifeChurch.tvInspiring Leader // Tom PetersWhat does he do for fun? // Malcolm GladwellCheck This Out // Elevation Family Ministry Evaluation Forms: Overview // Detailed, Over 50 Articles on the Multisite Church Interview Transcript //Rich – Alright well welcome to the unSeminary podcast. I am excited for today’s podcast. This is one of those I have been looking forward to for a couple of weeks. We’ve got Frank Bealer on the line. Frank’s from Elevation Church, really one of the leading churches in the country. God’s doing some incredible things there. And I’m just excited to have Frank on the show. Thanks for being here Frank!Frank – Thanks Rich. We love what you are doing at unSeminary. We follow it regularly and we are learning a lot from you. So thanks for what you are doing!Rich – Appreciate that! Why don’t you tell us a little about Elevation and your role there?Frank – Sure, so I am the Family Ministries Pastor at Elevation. So we have 9 campuses. Of those, 7 are portable and 2 are permanent. We are a young church, only 8 years old. Our pastor, Pastor Steven Furtick, amazing man of God, He has great vision for our church. It’s a little unique for you to have us on the show because we feel like we are still learning everything about ministry but we have seen some things work. So hopefully we can share those things today and that will be helpful. We’ve got about 14 thousand people on the weekends right now and we are excited about what God’s doing and look forward to sharing some stuff with you!Rich – Cool. Well you guys are a rare air for a multisite movement. You are probably aware of this, but 85% of all multisite churches don’t get beyond 3 locations and you guys are at 9 with more coming. What’s that like? We would love to peel that back a little bit. There’s a lot of churches out there, I know that a lot of the churches that listen in are multisite or are thinking about going multisite down the road. There must be some tension you feel as you lead in that environment.Frank – Well one of the biggest tensions we feel is that we are moving so fast. Our last campus we launched, we launched in 4 weeks from idea, conception, to execution of a campus and that one launched just a few weeks ago. It was fun. It was a little crazy. But it launched successfully and we are pleased with that. But this whole idea of the tension of excellence and trying to maintain vision, and high standards and quality over and over again…this reproducibility. So we’ve got to create something that we think is awesome and great and that people, and unchurched people want to attend and learn from, but we’ve got to do it over and over and over again. So there’s this limitation there that there’s somethings you can do in one location or maybe even a couple, but when you are trying to do it 9 times or even in just an area, it’s a little overwhelming.Rich – So now let’s try to dig into that a little bit. When you are trying, within your ministry department, you obviously have people across all those different locations, how do you, on the proactive side, let’s say you’ve got something you want to roll out in your area, how do you actually do that communication with those people in all those locations?Frank – So the big thing for us is to start with “What’s an excellent experience? What could we do once?” We program something out and this would be incredible and then we look back in and say “How do we make this transferable?” And so we found that if we try to start transferable first the quality of the ideas get lessened along the way so we really want to push this ideas of what’s excellent experience? What conveys the idea and presents the message in my area of family ministry? How do I really connect parents to what the kids are doing? What’s an awesome way to do that? And once we figure that out, then we try to figure that out, how do we continue to communicate, make sure the visions right at all the locations, how do we make sure everybody’s on the same page? Obviously that’s a lot of emails, video messages and some meetings. We still rally the troops from every single campus, every single week in once case. We pull everyone together, except for one campus that’s in Toronto, Canada, they are a little far away so they Skype in. But we have a meeting every single week discussing execution for that weekend and the coming couple of weeks to really make sure these staff are on the same page first. What we are going to do, why we are doing it, why we are pushing this, why we are cranking something out on a Saturday afternoon for that weekend? Believe in it, get some vision behind it, and then along the way making sure that translates down to the volunteers and making sure the execution happens.Rich – OK. What about on the, you are kind of doing for lack of a better word, check-ins? How do you make sure from your perspective, you’ve rolled something out, you want to make sure you are providing some sort of quality experience across the various locations…. what does your feedback process look like? How do you understand what’s happening? How can you be at 9 places at once?Frank – That’s great. So obviously I can’t be at 9 places at once. I would love to be able to do that, wish I could. We are still trying to find the technology to be able to replicate people at Elevation…but until we figure that out, we have a couple things. We have a central team we try to get around to all campuses. They rotate among the campuses. And their job is to oversee the excellence without becoming that enforcer. ‘Oh know, corporate’s here and we have to watch what we do.” We kind of have this check list of what we are watching for. And one of the great things we have is that because we are continuing to launch campuses, what we see if that the things that we learn that we execute at a new campus, not only is that campus better off because we learned how to launch in a school better or a YMCA better….so we do it better next time. But we take those practices and apply them back to some of the original campuses. Many people don’t know this but the very first campus that we launched is still one of our schools. We still occupy one of the schools that we kicked it all off in. And we are having to improve that. We can’t leave it where it was 7 years ago, even though we’ve launched all these other campuses. It’s not our broadcasting location or anything. But as we learn new ideas in new schools, we are coming back full circle to apply those things. So it’s always pushing our level of excellence to say, alright “we did it this way in this environment, are we still doing the same standard?” And so the speed of launching is helping ensure those levels of excellence, because it’s causing us to look back at where we are and are those campuses really operating at the same level as we plan our new campus to operate at?Rich – One of the things that struck me when I visited Elevation, probably 18 months ago, was that original location, so many times churches launch, they start in a school that sort of thing and then they graduate up to some sort of facility. You guys have done that a couple times with your broadcast campuses. But those campuses, not only to they continue, some of that permanent stuff but that’s fun to see. You guys have a mixed environment where you have both portable (set-up, tear-down) locations, and also permanent locations. What kind of tension has that created in trying to create excellent experiences and this sort of reproducibility issue. How have you sorted that out?Frank – That’s great. Let’s talk Family Ministry for a second. In Family Ministry we talk a lot about environments. In fact I’ve read some posts on your site about environments and making those excellent, where you should invest money. right? Environments for us, we are never going to be we love it, we’ll…the great robust environments because we don’t know how to reproduce that over and over again. And we know that we don’t want a permanent facility to be drastically different from a portable. So we lean heavily on digital media and things like that to create those environments. So we lean heavily on music, videos, graphics and things like that. Things that can be translated across multiple locations. Both print pieces and the screen. And so we lean on that to carry across. And then for us it’s like how to we make equal safely, equal ratios, good clean environments when some of those environments we don’t get to clean during the week, so how do we give parents confidence in where they drop their kids off, but at the same time, making it a cool environment. And so we literally have kids, that on any different weekend, they serve at one campus but then they attend another campus with their family and they are ok going to both even though one’s permanent, and one’s portable. And so we are really trying to make it so that it’s ok, and they don’t feel like it’s a downgrade to go to the portable facility where there’s a lot of pipe and drape. So even the color choices of the pipe and drape, the flooring that we lay down in every classroom. We just switched to a puzzle flooring in all of our toddler age rooms that’s all wood grain so it’s just looks great. So that’s something that I can create at a permanent facility, but it’s really hard at a portable facility. So we are looking for ways to not be a downgrade. We have more people attending portable campuses than we do our permanent facility.Rich – Really!?!Frank – Yup, so right now, we just crossed that line with this new addition of more portable than permanent. We just crossed that line. So we are grateful for that, we love it. But that means that we need to be investing in those portables like the permanent.Rich – Ya, that’s amazing! And obviously if you are thinking about more campuses down the road that trend will just continue, because it’s hard to obviously keep up the permanent thing. It’s hard to build more. It’s not like moving. It’s hard to convert. I know New Spring, they are trying to convert their portable locations into permanent but that’s not the kind of thing you can do over night.Frank – That’s right, and for us, if we were doing that, by the time we had one converted to permanent, hopefully we’ve launched two more portables. Hopefully with what God’s doing, and with us trying to steward this well we are just going to keep running hard, and have some fun along the way and learn. So January we launch out 3rd permeant facility, so we are learning a lot through that, but then we are launching two portables immediately following that. So we are learning to be that constant tug of each one pushing the other in excellence.Rich – Cool. What about leadership? Give me a sense of what you do for leadership development because obviously a big part of trying to push toward accountability and excellence at all campuses is leadership development. So what does that look like for you in the Family Ministry department?Frank – Ya, so similarly in our department, but honestly across all departments, we have the same model for leadership development. We call it the Leadership Pipeline. So as we are raising up volunteer leaders and as you know Rich, we run really lean from a staff stand point. So a lot of what we do is raise up high level volunteers. So we want to make sure that we are consistent in that growing process. The Leadership Pipeline, it starts with strength finders and an application and some conversation about really how connected are they to the church. You know if someone shows up next week and it’s their second week and they are wanting to lead, and they haven’t given, they haven’t served, that makes us a little nervous. It creeps us out a little bit. Let’s show some legacy and willingness to get up at 5am and help us get a campus set up first. But those that start to build some relationships, some community in the church, we put them in this pipeline, once again strength finders. We start to have some conversations. We put them on a leadership development track based on initial interviews held by our campus pastors and they’ll develop from their areas that we think they need to improve on and basically give them a list of things to do and grow into before we will put them in leadership. So we will put those expectations out there clearly and this will be different per individual but I think it helps us ensure that we have the right leadership in place and we will, we are willing to launch a campus with an area in family ministry that doesn’t currently have a leader, the staff is having to oversee that area, in order not to put the wrong leader in place. We’ll go without a leader, where the staff is having to fill the gap with that. We are ok with that. Our leadership pipeline goes across Guest Services, Campus Support, everything you see. We are really intentional about that, and hopefully some of those leaders along the way become staff and help us to launch future campuses.Rich – I have had the privilege of visiting a lot of churches across the country, and Elevation really is a move of God. You can’t get it into a box. You can’t say, “if you do this, put this stuff on your spread sheet as a church, this will happen at your church.” But the thing I will say, because I think a lot of times at Elevation people will focus on Pastor Steven, his teaching ability, how God’s using his point leadership…that’s definitely part of what’s going on. But the thing I walked away with, deeply impressed, I’ve never seen a church as engaged on developing and releasing volunteers, volunteer leaders as a church. You guys do such a killer job on that. I’ve said to a lot of church leaders, and that includes everyone on that kind of pantheon of biggest churches in the country, I’ve never seen a church that does it as well as you guys. So I have said to tons of churches, you really should go and spend a weekend at Elevation and try to get into that culture because it’s unlike anything I have ever seed before. It’s breath taking, it’s amazing. So great job there Frank. Anything else when you think of this tension of how to we develop excellent environments and experiences and reproducibility?Frank – I think the biggest thing is let’s try to be intentional as we go through it. Let’s not try to rush through it, that’s not healthy in and of itself. So as we are launching a campus, let’s not go and do another until we get one healthy. Let’s wrestle with those things. Let’s make sure we are reproducing something that’s excellent, keep pushing through with that. Start with excellence then figure out how to make it transferable. I can’t say that enough. I think that’s a great way to look at multisite.

    http://www.unseminary.com/frankbealer/

    —Huffduffed by theprd