Oct 242012

Are you a pastor or do you know pastors and church leaders? You know we all need to enlarge our hearts for the next generation and for the world, and the best place to do that is at Urbana 12, December 26-31, in St. Louis!

Get the best of both worlds: the inspiring energy of being at a large conference with 20,000+ college students and young adults of the next generation, plus get fed and fueled through a cozier group of pastors and church leaders at Urbana 12‘s special track exclusively designed for Pastors and Church Leaders.

During this special Pastors track, you’ll get to interact with key global church leaders (some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t) from all over the world:

Andy Crouch (author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling) says this about Urbana: “No event has changed more about how I see the world, and God’s mission in the world, than Urbana.

To help get you there and to get the word out, I’ve got 3 free passes for you to attend Urbana 12! To win a free pass, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Write a blog post about what your church or ministry is currently doing for God’s global mission, and why Urbana 12 will help your efforts,
  2. Add a comment here with a link to your blog post,
  3. Get out the vote! Encourage all your friends and colleagues to vote for you on the poll below by Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th, 2012)

The poll will close on 11/6/2012 11:59pm (Eastern Time), and the top 3 vote-getters will win a free pass to attend Urbana 12! That’s democratic, right?

My people at Urbana 12 say that they want your input for forming the Pastors Track’s ad hoc discussion groups via the Facebook page for Urbana 12 Pastors & Church Leaders Track – so get over there to chime in. And vote below by clicking on the green thumb :: Thanks to all of your votes – Jeff Liou and Amanda Camacho won free passes to attend Urbana 12! Register before 11/12 for $50!

[disclosure: I'm a member of the Social Media Squad for Urbana 12]

Oct 232012

There’s something exciting about being a part of movement. And there are some people who want to start a movement. How do you start a movement?

One of the most significant movements in recent church history is an (organized) church that meets in multiple locations, the multi-site church movement. I connected with Greg Ligon to hear first-hand about the essential ingredients that go into the making of a movement, and what we can learn from a movement that Greg witnessed first-hand. Greg is one of the co-authors of The Multi-site Church Revolution and A Multi-site Church Road Trip, the 2 seminal books published by Leadership Network. Watch the video:

What stood out for you on the video, regarding the essential ingredients for accelerating a movement? Are you eager to start a movement? Add a comment –

Tech note: apologies for the quality of the recorded video, but the content was too good to just discard. I think we were both on wifi (wireless internet) connections, so that made for less than optimal conditions.

Oct 202012

I live in Aliso Viejo, California, and there’s over 48,000 residents here. A big community event happened on Sunday, August 18th, where more than 1,300 people participated for a city promo video called The City of Aliso Viejo’s Lip Dub ::

The potentially-viral video was produced by PeopleStar FilmWorks, a new production company founded by Chip and Kim McAllister, winners of The Amazing Race 5 (circa 2004). When the McAllisters were presented with the million-dollar prize on CBS, the McAllister’s gratefully mentioned they were tithing those winnings to a church called Jubilee SouthCoast in San Juan Capistrano! [church is now named The Gathering meeting in Laguna Niguel]

Some other community lip dub videos have gotten lots of views, like Grand Rapids, Michigan (5+ million), University of British Columbia in Vancouver (1.8+ million), Shorewood High School in Shoreline, WA (2+ million), University of Vic (2+ million) …

According to wikipedia, lip dub is”a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video”; the world record holder for most participants (with 9300 participants) in the lip dub of Lindsay, Ontario (60k views).

Oct 192012

Pastors who are planting churches in the 21st century, (some of them anyways,) are inviting people to follow along as things unfold in the process.

They used to call it progress reports, but that sounds oh-so formal. Now it’s in the genre of behind the scenes, the making of a church plant, or reality TV. In our day and age, when marketing could be paid, earned, or owned, why rent when you can own?

Rather than doing a stealth launch, preparing a project in secret, or staying low under the radar, I’ve found some pastors who are more along the lines of being open and transparent with what it is that they’re doing in their new entrepreneurial venture, or shall I say, adventures in church planting. (And methinks it’s far better to tell your own story, rather than allowing others to make up their story about you.)Here’s a few that come to mind ::

There are probably many, since an estimated 5,000 church planting leaders are gathering at Exponential 2013, the mother of all church planting conferences. Add a comment if you are blogging your life in church planting, or know of someone that is.

Oct 162012

The world is much bigger than America, and according to what’s reported in books like The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, people are responding to the Christian Gospel message in far larger numbers in Africa and Asia than America. While the marketing platforms aren’t being used as actively in the non-Western world to get their message out to the masses, their impact is quite notable on the ground in their spheres of influence.

We’d do well as church and ministry leaders to listen and heed the wisdom from their experiences — starting today 10/16 through Thursday 10/18, Resource: Global is hosting the global:church forum in Chicago so that we can hear from church leaders from the Global South (South America, Africa) and Global East (Asia, Middle East). And, Christianity Today is providing a livestream of the entire event. Tune in. Listen. Hear the voices that must be hear and heeded.

Catch the notes via event bloggers ::

Follow the conversation on twitter using hashtag #gcf2012

Oct 092012

Here in Escondido, a suburban city I think you can call it, North of San Diego, California, for this regional rendition of National Worship Leader Conference October 9-11. 3 full days of conferencing to equip the every member of the church leadership & volunteers, those who make the weekend service happen. I’m honored to be invited to facilitate 2 workshops, Social Media Basics, and Advanced Social Media.

Posting the presentation slides and links mentioned here:

Social Media Basics: Top Online Tools to Connect Your Community (PDF)

Advanced Social Media: Developing Your Strategy for Desired Results (PDF)

social media manager: hootsuite.com, tweetdeck.com

a list of churches on Pinterest

top church pages on Facebook

least churched cities in America

how many churches have websites in America

top 200 church blogs via ChurchRelevance.com

Oct 052012

The reputation of Christians in mainstream culture, both in America and many parts of the world, is less than spectacular. The top 6 perceptions of Christians are (according to extensive research published in Unchristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, via survey data of outsiders ages 16-29): antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, sheltered (old-fashioned, out of touch with reality), too political, and proselytizers (insensitive to others, not genuine). That is bad news. That must change.

I talked with Dr. Paul Louis Metzger (twitter @paulouismetzger) about this topic and you can hear about his new book, Connecting Christ, that proposes a change of mindset, a new model of apologetics called relational-incarnational. And I asked him to respond about how to better relate with Mormons and Muslims, for which it is much needed in times like these. Watch the video >>

My review posted on amazon.com :: “Metzger introduces a new approach to Christian witness called the relational-incarnational apologetics. In an articulate academic yet personally sincere manner, the book engages eight notable faith traditions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Unitarian Universalism, Mormonism, Atheism, and Neo-Paganism. The author carefully and sympatheically explains how people from different faiths hold their beliefs and values. When the Bible calls Christians to love our neighbors, that includes people of other religions because they too are created in the image of God. For the church to be more effective in a pluralistic world, this book helps church leaders to understand both our differences and our common humanity so that respectful conversations can open opportunities for friendship and evangelism.”