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This week I was blessed to have Mike Linch share with me his take on the importance of churches forming relationships with and staying connected to the people in their communities.
Mike is a pastor in Kennesaw, Georgia. His church, NorthStar started as a church plant a little more than 18 years ago. Like most churches that begin as “plants,” their goal was to reach people who were not attending church. He recalls being told at that time by Steve Sjogren, who launched Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio,
“Don’t go to plant a church, go to reach a city.”
Mike and his team made a commitment when NorthStar was planted that everyone in Kennesaw would know who they were. How have they accomplished their vision?
Grass Root Model
Mike reports that NorthStar chose to make their presence known in Kennesaw, not through great gorilla marketing and advertising, but through a “grassroots” model of serving their community. They made service part of the very fabric of who they are, even before they held their first worship service.
In the early days of NorthStar, like many church plants, they had a limited budget to work with, but God opened the door for them to get started. The local high school, where NorthStar was to begin holding services, was hosting a Christmas basketball tournament. Mike and his team asked the school what their biggest need was, and they filled it. NorthStar ran the tournament hospitality room for the coaches, officials and visiting teams.
What that initial act of service was all about was beginning a relationship. It taught NorthStar they exist not for themselves, but for others. And not just one time. All year. All the time.
Over the years, NorthStar’s relationship with the schools of Kennesaw has continued to develop. Trust and friendship have grown. For each of the schools in the area, they have helped with hospitality-related events. Some examples:
Football concession stands: Football is big in Georgia. Concession stands are typically staffed by parents of the band, cheerleaders and players. NorthStar volunteers run the concessions so parents can be in the stands, watching their kids.
Special Needs: Kennesaw has a large population of special needs kids. Mike’s church has volunteers to sponsor these children and helps provide hospitality and supplies for dances and other events. They provide meals for bus drivers who help route the kids where they need to go.
Volunteer Pastors: NorthStar provides pastors to serve as counselors on school campuses and on call for the schools.
Many, if not the majority of churches today, have enough trouble filling their own volunteer slots. Pastors may have enough to do just getting their weekly services off the ground. It most likely goes without saying that love for Jesus is the over-riding motivating factor in serving this way, but apart from that …
Strategy: Mike explains that outreach and service are part of NorthStar’s strategy. It’s what makes them stand out. He puts it like this:
If you’re not remarkable, you’re invisible.
It used to be that churches could be set apart by other things. Maybe a contemporary style of worship made your church different. That’s no longer true. Most churches today offer praise bands and some sort of alternative worship. People don’t wake up on Sunday morning and decide to visit your church for reasons like that. We wanted to be remarkable in our service. We wanted to let people know we care.
A.R.: This is part of NorthStar’s strategy. This is an acronym they borrowed from “Coke” and it means “within arm’s reach.” Mike sums it up like this:
We wanted to throw down a flag and say,
“We’re here until you need us and we’re staying until you do.”
Mike is willing to bet if you take a gifts and talents survey of your members, 80% of them will have the gift of helps and service. Not everyone is able to teach or administrate, but many people can serve others and they truly want to channel their gifts in service to Jesus. This opens up a way for them to do that.
A by-product of making a commitment like this is that you need to realize that you can’t be doing big events on your own church campus every day or maybe not even every month.
For their bigger events, NorthStar advertises their need for volunteers in their services. Sometimes, the need for help is passed down through their small groups. All of the sign-ups are done on-line.
Mike’s church is doing whatever they can to make their community the greatest place on earth to live. He paraphrases the words spoken by Jeremiah:
“if the city prospers, we all prosper.”
To learn more about NorthStar’s vision of serving in the Kingdom of God, visit northstarchurch.org or you can email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter @mikelinch.
00:33 // Rich introduces Mike Linch and welcomes him to the show.
01:08 // Mike tells us how NorthStar Church began.
03:31 // Mike gives examples of how NorthStar Church supports local schools.
05:51 // Mike talks about NorthStar’s strategy.
08:40 // Mike talks about the process of signing up volunteers.
09:53 // Mike talks about other organizations NorthStar supports.
12:23 // Mike talks about the vision of NorthStar – “The fiber of the community”.
13:08 // Mike talks about the roles of the community pastors.
14:53 // Rich shares his thoughts on community outreach work.
16:03 // Mike and Rich discuss the impact of churches.
17:36 // Mike advised people to start small and offers an example of a volunteer who started a ministry called HOG.
20:12 // Mike offers contact details.
Rich – Hey happy Thursday everybody, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Thanks so much for listening in, honored that you would take some time out as you prepare and get ready for this weekend at your church.
We’re super privileged to have Mike Linch with us today, a pastor from NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Georgia. Mike welcome to the show.
Mike – Thanks Rich, honored to be on here and glad to be back with you.
Rich – No I’m so glad to have you here. Now one of the things I love about NorthStar is I think a lot of churches talk about kind of being engaged in the community but Mike and his team at NorthStar, really for their whole existence, really even before Mike was there, really has been so committed to connecting with their community. So we’re looking forward to digging into that today. Why don’t you give people a sense of NorthStar? Kind of tell us the story there, a little bit about your church.
Mike – Sure absolutely. We began like most church plants, we began as a church that wanted to reach people who didn’t go to church and that’s sort of the mantra of all church planters and we’re embarking on the journey. We’re a little over 18 years old. When we started 18 years ago there weren’t a lot of guys out there doing it, but one of the things that was told to us early on by a guy named Steve Sjogren of the Cincinnati Vineyard, Steve said, “Don’t go to plant a church, go to reach a city,” and I’m telling you, we really sort of bought that heart and we made a commitment that nobody outside our [Inaudible00:01:40] Kennesaw [Inaudible 00:01:40] County Atlanta may know who we are but we’re committed that everybody there does know who we are.
Rich – Right.
Mike – And we chose to do it, not through great grower marketing and advertiser, we chose to do it through serving, sort of a grassroots model of serving our community. So it’s something that we stuck with, even before our first worship service, we started doing it and it’s become part of the culture of who we are.
Rich – So in those early days, what did that look like? Even before you started services or right when you were just starting out, what did it first look like and then obviously we’ll kind of talk about where we are today?
Mike – Absolutely. Well you know back then, for all of us in church planting you have no money.
Rich – Right.
Mike – So whatever you do you’ve got to have it built with zero cash.
Rich – Yes.
Mike – So we went to a local high school that we were going to be meeting in and just said… they were having a Christmas basketball tournament, I’ll never forget it and we went and said, “Listen, what’s your biggest need during the tournament?” They said, “We need somebody to run hospitality for us, the hospitality room for coaches and officials and visiting teams.” So we volunteered to run that and that was how we got in.
Rich – Fantastic.
Mike – At the end of it I remember them going, “Why would you guys do that?” and the answer was, “Well you said you needed help.”
Rich – Right.
Mike – It began a relationship that goes on 18 years later that’s much deeper and stronger now than running a Christmas basketball tournament, but it taught our people, we are not here for us, we’re really only here for other people and this isn’t something we’re going to do once a year, it’s going to be something we do all year, 365.
Rich – Kind of keeping with that school example how has your relationship, because I know it’s grown and developed over the years, how has that grown from something simple as, “Hey we’ll help run the hospitality room,” how has that continued to develop over the years?
Mike – It’s a great question Rich. It’s developed in big ways, it grows like a child. There’s trust developed, there’s friendship developed. Now for each of the schools we do things with hospitality, we’ll go in during football season, which is big in Georgia on Friday nights, we go in and run concession stands, so parents can go and watch the game.
Rich – Right.
Mike – Usually it’s the football player, cheerleaders’ parents/grandparents that are running the concessions and they miss their kids’ performance. We go in and say, “Look we’ll take care of that, you guys go and enjoy the game.”
Rich – Wow.
Mike – It’s goodwill, it’s friendships that are built. That to hosting special needs dances for the local high school that we help raise resources with cookies and drinks and things like that for the school and they have about 600 special need students and we help sponsor that dance and we feed all the special needs bus drivers to mentoring to being on principal search committees to volunteering in classrooms to having a dedicated student pastor at each campus, we call them Tribe Leaders that serve that campus. Rather than just saying we do a bible study there, the school knows they can call that person as a person that can come in and come alongside to help them with events and projects and things going on.
So whatever the school needs, like in a few weeks we’ll be hosting a fifth grade carnival because who works it? Fifth grade parents work it. Fifth grade parents want to be with their kids, so we provide all the volunteers to come in.
We have the volunteers, they have the people in the community that may not go to church anywhere, so it’s a great bridge for us to go and meet people. We don’t hand out flyers, tracks, we’re there with a smile and serving until somebody asks why. When they ask why we get to give them a great answer.
Rich – Now, so this is the cynical side of me and there is someone else thinking this, I don’t actually think this, but why would you do all of that? That’s a tremendous amount of external work. I know a lot of church leaders are listening in and they’re like, “Gosh I’m having a hard time running weekend services, the thought of running a fifth grade party at a local middle school, I’m not sure I could do that, why would you keep doing that?” I understand because we love Jesus…
Mike – Right.
Rich – But tactically or outside of that how have you seen that impact your ministry?
Mike – Well I totally understand that and we wonder the same things sometimes. So I think we would all follow that boat.
Rich – Yeah.
Mike – I would say it’s a strategy for us and it’s our strategy to reach our community. Everybody hits mailboxes with flyers. We’ve got a church in every school in Kennesaw, Acworth, Northwest [Inaudible 00:06:09] there’s a church in every school.
Rich – Right.
Mike – So the question becomes, it’s a Simon Sinek question or a thought. He said, “What makes you remarkable…” His statement was, “If you’re not remarkable you’re invisible.” For us it’s our remarkable. It’s what makes us stand out because we realize what most other church leaders realize, people don’t get up on Sunday morning and go, “God I think we might try a new church today.” They usually try a new church when their life hits a wall.
Rich – That’s so true.
Mike – When their life hits a wall we want to be the church that they go, “You know, I don’t know much about them but I know this, I ran into them at the school, I ran into them at the ball field.”
[Inaudible 00:06:52] we had a guy that was a consultant with Coke Cola meet with us and he said the early strategy of Coke Cola was, they called it WAR, within arm’s reach. Wherever you go in the world you run into a Coke product and you run into a Coke machine which is true.
Rich – Yeah.
Mike – He said to us and this guy was not a believer, he said to us, “I would think you would want to, in this community, be so well represented in every facet of the community, whenever someone turned around they ran into NorthStar.” For us, we identified those areas as schools, businesses, ball fields, local government. In those four areas we wanted to throw a flag down and say, “We’re here until you need us, but we’re going to serve you until you do.” It’s been a model of… and what we found out Rich and I think a lot of church leaders found out, you know, if you do a spiritual gift survey of your people, 80% had the gift of helps and service. So for a lot of people it unleashes them to do a method of evangelism, they’re not going to do by knocking on somebody’s door and they’re not going to do by handing out a track.
Rich – Right.
Mike – But they go and can serve somebody and love somebody. Now the by-product of that is, you can’t put on a gazillion church events.
Rich – Right.
Mike – You can’t do something on your campus every day of the week.
Rich – Right.
Mike – It’s got to be something that you say, “We’re committed to doing this,” and people love it, people love it and we love doing it.
Rich – What does the structure of that look like? So let’s say you’re going to help with an event at the local school, how do you actually structure getting volunteers and mobilizing them? People can get a sense of what that looks like within their own church, but what does that look like when you’re doing this kind of ministry?
Mike – It’s all pretty much… we’ll advertise some of the bigger ones, we’ll advertise our services, but a lot of the smaller things that we do during the week is for instance, we do special needs buddies. There’s a local field called Horizon field and they do kickball and baseball for special needs kids. We provide a set of buddies, we don’t provide the whole thing, but we provide a set of buddies that go every week. We do all of our signups online.
Rich – Okay.
Mike – So they’re all on our website at northstarchurch.org and I believe it’s /community and you can see. So people go to our website and they sign up there for all these different opportunities that we have and people signup and volunteer and there’s a database that we have of volunteers our community staff or email saying, “Here’s our [Inaudible 00:09:24] if you’re interested go to the web and signup. Sometimes we do it through small groups, sometimes we do it through our student ministry, our children’s ministry. So each one’s a little different but they’re all web based, everything is based off that and that’s how people get signed up for it.
Rich – Okay very cool. Now you had mentioned schools, I can see lots of opportunity there, that one seems real straight forward to me, I can understand that. You also mentioned businesses and government, any other examples of how you’re serving in those domains?
Mike – Sure, we partner, just recently, our Acworth Police Department, which is a neighboring city to us. They were hosting a get together to open their new police station. Our community pastor called them and said, “Listen, let NorthStar come in and celebrate with you and we’ll provide all the snacks and drinks and man the hospitality tables as all the local officials come in.” That was one way.
We host the local business organization, Acworth Business Association. We host that on our campus. We talked last time about leveraging your facilities.
Rich – Yeah.
Mike – So we leverage facilities for them to meet, we’ll also partner with them. A local this weekend is a big festival in Downtown Kennesaw. We provide resources and we’ll provide people to go in and work with that and help with that. So our goal Rich is to do whatever we can to make our communities the greatest place in the world to live.
You know Jeramiah said, “If the city prospers, we all prosper.”
Rich – That’s so true.
Mike – So more people move in, the school’s test grades are better if we provide mentors, which means our community becomes more attractive for people to want to live in and serve in.
Rich – Right.
Mike – So by doing that I think it’s a way that we can make everybody better.
Rich – Yeah, part of what I want people to kind of hear, just even on the tactical side and we found this at Liquid. We do a number of community outreach events and over the years we’ve done a number of these renovations for community service organizations, where we’ve gone into soup kitchens and battered women shelters and transitional housing and it’s funny because I’ve joked internally, I’m like there’s like a team of people that have the gift of interior design and then we kind of spend a weekend and do an extreme home makeover there and that’s been incredible for us. That skill, we’ve transferred from kind of a bunch of different community service organizations and built up all kinds of goodwill, it’s been fantastic and the interesting thing there is, those volunteers, those groups of people, they learn how to do that, they understand what that looks like, and then you could take that and move it to multiple locations.
Mike – Absolutely.
Rich – What I hear you guys saying, even on the hospitality side, which is a number of the things you’ve listed, “We provide hospitality at this, at this, at this,” which is a similar task, it’s obviously different everywhere you go, similar though, so it becomes easier to replicate, easier to get people to plug into it.
Mike – That’s correct and you unleash people and here’s the beautiful part for churches. It is a six, seven day a week reminder, it’s not about us.
Rich – Right.
Mike – It isn’t about your four walls, it’s easier to remember when you’re in school, but when you move into a building it’s easier to begin to think, “Well they’ll all come to us.” Really?
Rich – Right.
Mike – They’re not supposed to come to us, we are supposed to go to them and it’s a way to do that and we say, “We don’t want to be a part of the community, we want to be a part of the fabric of the community,” that if we were gone we would be missed, our influence would be missed. So that’s the way we’ve chosen to go.
Rich – Now you mentioned a couple of times the community pastor, tell me about that role, because you have actually staff resources associated to this. Tell me about that.
Mike – That’s correct. Yeah we’re so committed to it we said we were going to designate two fulltime staff members that serve the community.
Rich – Oh man.
Mike – So one of them also works in our men’s ministry but he works with government and businesses and schools. So anything in that arena falls under him.
We have another lady on our staff that works anything on the social end. So she works with the local social organizations, she works with local foster the DFCS system, we provide socks and underwear. When a child gets taken into foster care, many times they’re taken from their home, they don’t have toiletry items, they don’t have socks, they don’t have underwear, they don’t have the diapers. We do a monthly big give as a church. One of my favorite things we do, a monthly big give that supports one of those organizations, so people can bring in socks and underwear one month and it goes to that DFCS organization or to foster care.
The world that has opened to us, we didn’t even… as a pastor I didn’t even know it was there.
Rich – Right.
Mike – I’m not the guy leading it, we’ve got a whole other team of people leading it and coming up with the ideas but what it’s taught our people, for somebody who’s never given a financial resource to a church, they go shopping with their family to get toiletry items for Easter, for local children. Well they learn to give and it’s small but it teaches them to give.
Rich – Absolutely.
Rich – Then sometimes when that offering basket comes by or to the backdoor they go, “You know what, if I’ve given this and we didn’t miss it less, let’s begin to give another way.”
Rich – Yeah.
Mike – And the goodwill that it’s built in the community has been unbelievable.
Rich – Absolutely. You know, I’ve had other church leaders and you know I’m from Jersey so you can sometimes be a little more forthright. I’ve had other church leaders kind of challenge and be like, “Gosh why do you do that stuff? Why do you do community outreach it’s a waste or whatever?” and I’ll say, “Listen, I think it’s what God calls us to do. I think the Bible’s pretty clear on it that we’re called to serve the community. We’re supposed to go out and make an impact.”
But for a moment, and this is to other church leaders, for a moment let’s say you don’t go there theologically, for whatever reason you really are in the belief that, “No everyone should just come to us.” Put this in the same category as like fancy lights and good music because it literally builds bridges to the community, it literally is one of those things. It’s like, you know, like secret services in the ‘80s, it’s the kind of thing that engages the community at a level that you can’t… you know, there’s just no other way to get that. The reality of it is that most people in our communities aren’t waking up this weekend and saying, “I wonder what they’re talking about at our church this weekend,” they’re just not thinking that.
Mike – That’s exactly right and here’s the other hard part for all of us.
Rich – Yeah.
Mike – When we started in ’97 we were very unique. We were contemporary worships, we were meeting in a school, there’s nothing unique about that anymore.
Rich – Right.
Mike – In fact the reality is 98% of the churches you walk into are going to look very similar. Either they’re going to be a more traditional model or they’re going to be the more contemporary, current, new model.
Rich – Right.
Mike – But outside that they look alike.
Rich – Right.
Mike – So really the question becomes, what do we do to look different and not only what do we do to look different, what are we doing to make an impact? If we were to disappear tomorrow would anybody even notice besides our church members?
Rich – Right.
Mike – And for a lot of us, the reality is nobody would ever know we’re gone.
Rich – Right.
Mike – We’d just close shop, our influence was never there anyway.
Rich – Yeah absolutely. You know I had a friend years ago who said, I was asking him, “What’s your vision for the church and how would you know you’re making an impact in the community?” They were a multisite church and he said, “You know what would be amazing”, he said, “it would be incredible if, when we announce we were opening a new campus in that location, if the property values in that location went up, because the community recognized when that church is there it makes such a big difference,” and I was like, “Wow that’s a huge vision, that’s a huge vision for us to be thinking about.”
Well anything else about kind of engaging our community before we kind of wrap up for the day? This has been an incredible conversation. Anything else we should be thinking about as we kind of embark on this?
Mike – I would just challenge people to start small. If you’ve never done it start small and start by your church. I have yet to meet a group that says, “No,” when you go offer to help.
Rich – That’s very true.
Mike – And I’ve heard people say, “Well we’re an older church and our seniors won’t like that.” What we have found, our greatest volunteers and we don’t have tons of them because of the style of church we are, but our best volunteers are those people, because they have time. They’ve retired, they’ve created…
We’ve got a guy, he got saved at 62.
Rich – Nice.
Mike – Unbelievable story behind this guy but he began a ministry called HOG and it’s helping one guy.
Rich – Okay.
Mike – So they’ll identify a man in the community that’s through cancer, lost his job, they’ve lost a loved one and he’ll put on a dinner in their honor. All the money that comes into that dinner he’ll charge everybody a donation of $10. That will give somebody at the end of the night $1500.
Rich – Wow, so cool.
Mike – And say, “We just wanted to do this to let you know God loves you, NorthStar loves you,” and that’s a guy who is all about… I mean he lives, eats and breathes, anytime we’re doing something, he’s got time now he didn’t have 15 years ago. So I believe for the young couple and the mom who’s wanting to teach her kids things, to a student [Inaudible 00:19:00] to a senior, there’s an opportunity for everybody to go, “It’s not about me.” We say this all the time Rich and I’ll finish with this, I believe the greatest definition of spiritual maturity is others. When we begin to see life’s not about us.
Rich – So true.
Mike – When we begin to see that it’s not about what I know and it’s not about how saved I am. I’m saved, I’m going to Heaven, that’s secure. Everything from here isn’t about me, it really is about serving someone who doesn’t know yet. If that serving opens a door which it has for us, why not do it?
Rich – Absolutely. Well this has been great encouragement, even to start real small with what you said, you know, go to the local school board, maybe try to get a meeting with your mayor and say, “What can we do to serve? How can we help?
Mike – That’s right.
Rich – And really come with open hands and say, “Hey we’re willing to do whatever you need done,” and you’ll be amazed at what will take place in your community.
Mike I really appreciate you being on the show today, you know we’re out of time unfortunately but if people want to get in touch with you or with NorthStar how could they do that?
Mike – They could always go to our web, northstarchurch.org or they can email me directly Rich at email@example.com or on Twitter @mikelinch.
Rich – Great. Thanks so much Mike, I really appreciate you being on the show today.
Mike – Thank you Rich. Have a great day buddy.
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.
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
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 <3 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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)