Closing out the sermon series 50 Days of Transformation is Pastor Rick Warren and the popular author Malcolm Gladwell, speaking from his latest title, David & Goliath. Watch the Facing Giants In Life & Work video at http://saddleback.com/watch/media/11278 and every hour this week at http://saddleback.com/online
As the Internet namespace expansion program continues its roll-out, I’m hearing this recurring question from pastors: “How do I get my .CHURCH domain name?” I talk with quite a number of people from churches regularly in person and over social media, partly because I host the Social Media Church podcast for conversations with church leaders about social media, and partly because I’m a regular church-goer (and morph into a fanatic multi-church-goer twice a year–for Christmas and Easter.)
According to early indicators (via the 1&1 pre-reservations count), these .CHURCH domain names are very popular and a lot of people want them. .CHURCH is in the top 30 of new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) out of an estimated 1,000+ suffixes!
The date when the public would be able to get these domain names ending in .CHURCH is not yet determined. Launch date is unknown. The process for how you register for a .CHURCH domain name is not yet open, but it will be similar to how anyone gets a domain name today. And, it will be, first come first serve. What is know so far is this: on February 6th, 2014, the .CHURCH Registry Agreement was signed; that means it’s officially on its way towards launch.
The best answer to the question at this time: stay tuned for more details here @ djchuang.com and I’ll keep you updated.
Is there a way to reserve a domain name ahead of time? Not exactly. There are registrar websites that have a “pre-reservation” or “pre-order” or “pre-registration” form to capture your contact info, but you’ll need to exercise discernment and read the fine print to see what you’re signing over.
However, if you have a trademark on your church name, there is a special process for registering your .CHURCH domain name early, before the proverbial doors open to the public. (Or could we say flood gates?) Say, for example, you’re Mars Hill Church, and you had a trademark for Mars Hill, you could have the option to get MarsHill.Church by registering with the Trademark Clearinghouse, and then it’s up to you to stay alert for the “Sunrise phase,” and then register your trademarked name ahead of the public. It’s sorta like priority access at the airport.
And there’s one more thing.
I work on the .BIBLE Registry launch team for my day job. We’re able to share much more about how the launch process is going for the .BIBLE gTLD and our team will be blogging about how .BIBLE domain names will open up a digital space for all things Bible. We would be thrilled to have church leaders be a part of it! All that’s happening over at the .BIBLE blog (BibleTLD.org/blog) and you can pre-register the .BIBLE domain names you’re interested in there for free and win an .BIBLE Digital Charger.
p.s. LifeChurch.tv had been 1 of 2 applicants for to be the .CHURCH registry operator, but there’s only room for one operator. This is the only remaining content on LifeChurch.tv’s DotChurch.org website:
Thank you for your interest in .church domain names. Donuts Inc. will be the registry for .church, and you can find out more about them on their site.
And there’s a copy of the email announcement from LifeChurch.tv posted on a January 2014 blog post .church Domain Update at ChurchMag. And, there’s this commentary from Brad Zimmerman @cmdtv: New .Church Domains Are On The Way From An Unlikely Source (churchmediadesign.tv 1/30/14)
More churches are asking how they can reach the next generation (some for its own survival, some for the mandate of reaching more people in their community as part of its on-going mission.) Recently I got this question from a pastor of a church wanting to reach the next generation, and he texted it to me this way: “what are best days/times for worship services for Emerging adults (20s) aka post-college?” I could rephrase it as: what are the best worship times for reaching young adults (to be friendlier to search-engines.)
I checked with Benson Hines, the best expert I know of that’s thoroughly researched college ministries (chronicled at exploringcollegeministry.com), and thus the subsequent post-college stage of life after the inevitable graduation of most college students. Here’s his reply, posted with permission:
Do you mean a church worship service that serves as one of the “weekend worship services” (seen as a regular church service, just targeting that group)? In that case, Sunday night seems to be a favorite in some places, but there are probably plenty that do Sat. night or Sun. morning.
It’s probably more contextually about what people will do in a given city (and how else the church is structured for the other parts of its discipleship – for instance, if there’s a Sunday morning activity, then most young adults would probably only want to come once, rather than once in the morning and then again on Sunday night).
But I would tend to think Sunday night, all things being equal.
If you’re asking about a general “citywide worship service” that isn’t meant to replace the weekend service, that’s even less clear – I haven’t run into enough of them to say, and my best bet is that it’s highly contextual based on the city. Tuesday, though, seems like one good option (especially if the city’s “nightlife” starts on Thursday); Tuesday is when our church’s big young adult gathering (2,000 sometimes) happens. [ed.note: Benson's at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas]
But I think Sunday night, Monday night, and Wednesday night would all be viable.
And I’d add that for a weekend service, I wouldn’t assume that later is better – in some cities, young adults would prefer an earlier service and having their whole day remaining.
Getting to know one’s city will provide a lot of insight. What are its “rhythms”; when do other groups do things with the same crowd (for ministry or otherwise)? It also depends on where the church is geographically – how long it takes to drive there, how “easy” it seems, etc., matters a lot. And if there are already young adults around, you should simply ask them. Maybe try some one-off gatherings and experiment.
BUT if we’re talking about mid-week “citywide” services… I’d add for those generally thinking about starting something: The general “citywide” service can be an excellent tool but is a terrible “default” or “go-to” method. Lots of churches start these as attempts to draw new people to a non-existent ministry, draw people to the church (even though they present it as for anyone), OR to jumpstart an ailing ministry. These moves are common but don’t tend to work out well. When I’ve seen these citywide services be truly successful, they seem to be either highly strategic (someone has very clearly discerned that THIS city needs this at THIS time), or organic (someone starts something small and it simply grows and grows).
What has your experience been with effective churches reaching & ministering with young adults? Would love your input. Add a comment.
Leadership in the Asian American church and ministry context requires you to stay sharp and keeps you on your toes. One of the best, and highly-valued, ways of doing that is through formal education. When you successfully graduate from this D.Min. program, you’ll have the title of Doctor, just like Dr. Rick Warren, Dr. Tim Keller, and Dr. Ben Shin; they too have Doctor of Ministry degrees.
Talbot Seminary (formally known as the Talbot School of Theology) launched its 3-year Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program with an Asian American Ministry Track last summer, and I was privileged to be invited as a guest lecturer last year and will be there again this June 2014. Dr. Ben Shin is the Faculty Mentor and primary instructor, and he’s engineered the program to allow for rolling admission by new students! This means you don’t have to wait 3 years for the next cycle of the D.Min. cohort to convene, you can enter the program any year!
The dates for this year’s summer residency is June 2-13, 2014 with a focus on Asian-American Leadership Challenges:
Asian-American leaders can expect particular challenges in ministry. These issues will be explored with the goal of preparing a proactive plan to overcome these challenges. This will include biblical training in conflict resolution, conducting a healthy staff, building a resource network for crisis situations, and developing a personal support system.
Application deadline is January 20th. Request free information @ talbot.edu/dmin/request-info/ to let Dr. Shin know of your interest and give me a call @ 949-243-7260 to get my unofficial no-pressure perspective about this program.
Overview, goals, and more details for this Asian American Ministry Track of the Doctor of Ministry program at Talbot School of Theology is @ talbot.edu/dmin/asian-american/ plus 6 videos of Dr. Ben Shin explaining even more. And one more thing, watch this video for first-hand stories from 3 of the first cohort’s students (Daniel Eng, Thomas Lee, John “JP” Park):
By the way, Daniel Eng re-energized his blogging after last year’s cohort at aapastor.com. Aside: popular and/or famous pastors with D.Min. degrees: Dr. Rick Warren, Dr. Tim Keller, Dr. Ben Shin, Dr. Leith Anderson, Dr. John C. Maxwell, Dr. James MacDonald, Dr. Mark DeYmaz, Dr. Raymond Chang .. (others? add a comment)
Merry Christmas! What better way is there than to worship God in Jesus Christ during Christmas week? This year I’m in the metro Washington DC area with family; and it’s become a family tradition to worship at as many church services as possible during Christmas week. Here’s my working spreadsheet, as I prepare my itinerary. And, for all year round, here’s a list of the most popular (aka: largest) churches in the metro DC area, that would include Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Do you love singing Christmas carols and celebrating this way too? [see my spreadsheet]
A new entity called Crowd Companies launched today and what an exciting new future that it’s creating! Kudos to Jeremiah Owyang for taking this bold leap of faith with courage and conviction to reboot the business model of companies and corporations. The one slide from his Le Web 13 presentation that vividly portrays this transformation is this – purposeful brands provide shared value.
Do you see what I see? Companies of the future have to be more than about profit and value exchange, it’s got to be more about societal development! And for my interest in non-profits and churches, I’d love to have conversations incubate and acceleration on what it’d mean for there to be no difference between employees and customers/constituents!
Listening to the churchm.ag podcast and this quote echoed out to me, “You don’t know your voice until you use it…” (Jon Acuff).. and with recent activities I’ve been thinking on how the perception of Asian Americans have been shaped by stereotypes perpetuated by traditional and mainstream media. (I’m tempted to call this controlled media vs. uncontrolled media splattered across social networks.)
I’ve listed some of the more active bloggers and voices in the Asian American Christian world in the past at: Top church blogs by minority leaders (2010), connecting with multiethnic church bloggers (2011), and women Asian American Christian ministry leaders. Now there’s a comprehensive list over at AsAmChristian Blogroll, compiled by Huan-Zung Hsu aka Ghozt Writer.
Allow me to mention 5 bloggers who are particularly active and engaging during this season that I’m reading:
Peter Chin (peterwchin.com) -a Korean American pastor who is currently pastoring in a mostly African-American church in the very urban Washington DC. Peter’s very articulate in his blogging craft, and his educational background certainly helps. He’s had media exposure on the likes of Christianity Today, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, Washington Post. And as a husband of a cancer survivor, Peter had drafted a manuscript to tell the story of his journey alongside of his wife’s battle while pregnant that took 3 years to find a publisher. I know his blogging pace will be competing for his time with urban ministry, family, and a book to write, but I love reading his perspectives.
Kathy Kahng (morethanservingtea.wordpress.com)- InterVarsity’s regional multiethnic ministries director, a contributor to “More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith” (InterVarsity Press), got recent media exposure for co-authoring (with Helen Lee) An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church on Cultural Insensitivity and Reconciliation in the Church from Asian American Christians United. Kathy shared the back story at The Open Letter, How We Got Here & Where We Hope to Go. Kathy was also one of the speakers at the Q Focus: Women & Calling event. Kathy blogs with an acquired-taste blend of everyday life and pointing out issues.
J.S. Park (jsparkblog.com + jspark3000.tumblr.com)- a Korean American pastor in Florida making room for “.. the honesty we all long for and the grace we all need. You have questions: let’s work through the answers.” I love the dialogue he’s fostered. I’m guessing he gets a ton of questions submitted via his tumblr ask page and/or in person. Noticed that he just delivered an entire sermon in spoken word!
Vivian Mabuni (vivianmabuni.com)- a veteran campus ministry leader with Epic Movement and Cru (formerly Campus Crusade) and writing a traditionally-published forthcoming book about her journey as a cancer survivor. It’s already got a title = Warrior In Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community and the God Who Comforts coming April 2014.
Anonymous J Lee (anonymousjlee.wordpress.com) – an Asian American minister who started blogging actively to process his ideas out loud after attending the 2nd National Multiethnic Church Conference hosted by Mosaix Global Network. (I don’t think I got to meet him there, and if I did, I wouldn’t know.) I’ve enjoyed his refreshing candor and honesty to raise questions and perspectives that are rarely ever articulated. He’s blogging anonymously for certain reasons, and when/if he’s ready to reveal his identity, that’ll help fill in the gaps in his narrative that is currently only occasionally alluded to. His quote “.. articulating what Asian American Christians bring is hard.. we need some space to figure it out” prompted me to write this blog post (since he doesn’t allow blog comments) — and, yes, we need space, and time, and I believe social media affords us unlimited space to use our voices, if only more of us will. (I realize we all have other responsibilities and day jobs etc etc, and you know what, so do I..)
What other voices have you noticed lately that’s contextualizing an Asian American Christian life? (Notice my use of the word “contextualizing” to denote the bicultural/multicultural perspectives of those who choose to identify with the English-speaking multi-Asian social location, recognizing there are also many Asian American Christians that self-identify with Americans generically or solely with their specific Asian ethnicity.)
I will be speaking as a special guest in a college English class on Thursday December 5th, 9:00-10:15am in Sutherland 125 at Biola University (La Mirada, CA). I’ve been invited by Dr. Joshua Smith (Assistant Professor in the Biola English Department) for the “Race & Ethnicity in American Literature” course to share my experiences & perspectives, in his words: ”… touch on what happened at the Exponential Conference, discuss the response to the incident by the Asian American believers and also the Christian community at large, discuss your leadership in reconciliation efforts, and segue into other important issues in the Asian American community that you think are relevant.”
[added 12/5/13] my slides for “Race & Ethnicity in Evangelicalism: an Asian American perspective” + raw recording of class audio (mp3)
I’ll be synthesizing my commentary from these articles I’ve published on my blog as well as on Ed Stetzer’s blog at Christianity Today, and make references to related items:
- Work in Process at Exponential West 2013
- Blogging at #mosaix2013 Multi-ethnic Church Conference
- At the Exponential blog: Exponential Addressing Asian-American Leaders’ Concerns
- An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church (Oct. 13, 2013; NextGenerAsianChurch.com)
- Saddleback pastor Rick Warren gets reaction from Asian Christians (OC Register)
- My 3-part blog series at EdStetzer.com blog:
- 9 Things About Asian American Christianity: Asian Americans are accelerating in their role in participating and shaping the future of the American church at large
- Why Evangelicals Don’t Know Asian Americans: We have quite a way to go towards ending racial stereotyping in Christendom
- Ethnicity, Context, and Mission: A Brighter Future for the Church—DJ Chuang shares his thoughts on the future of the Church
I’m anticipating a robust discussion in the class, and I’ve heard several others will be visiting this session too. While I probably will not be able to livestream the session for a global conversation, I do want to invite your questions and comments here–add your comment below. One of several (or many?) questions I’ve heard floating out there is “what’s next?”
Yes, Biola University is making room for multicultural topics like this in its curriculum. The course description for “Race & Ethnicity in American Literature” is:
The literary works of ethnically diverse Americans are the focus of this course, which examines some of the complexities of racial and ethnic identity as it is represented in this nation’s literature. While much of our readings will have been written by people of color, we will also explore texts by ostensibly “white” authors. Such an approach is motivated by the belief that topics of race and ethnicity are not simply the domain of people of color, but that as members of a larger community, it is important to understand areas of difference as well as our commonalities. One aim of this course is to increase our understanding and appreciation of cultural differences. Additionally, this course is intended to explore the process of racialization, specifically within the context of the Unites States. As we survey these readings we will put them into conversation with each other as well as with other texts from the cannon, considering what it means to study American Literature.
Seminaries are great at training for theology, and the theological foundation is absolutely essential. But there’s a whole business side of running a church, as many of us learn the hard way. That’s where church consultants come in—to lay the organizational foundation for a church.
Just came across a new reality tv show “Church Rescue” on National Geographic channel. The main characters are 3 consultants that run Church Hoppers, LLC, “a consulting company designed to assist churches of all denominations in building balance within their ministry. … focus on three critical areas: systems, business, and sales/marketing.” The 3 consultants are Kevin Annas, Jerry Bentley, and Anthony Lockhart, and true to reality TV form, they’ve got nicknames, Rev. Kev, Doc, and Gladamere. I personally haven’t met these guys yet in my church conferencing trips, though I’ve met dozens of other church consultants along the way. (there’s over 3,000 church consultants according to the Society for Church Consulting.) The Church Hoppers team is based North Carolina, and according to their bio’s, they’ve got quite the mix of church ministry and business experiences.
From my initial browsing, it looks like they’ve gotten quite the exposure using traditional media tactics, reality TV on a cable channel (and I don’t have cable so I can’t watch any episodes), and mainstream media mentions, with Twitter and Facebook feeding into the traditional channels. Not a lot of social media chatter and engagement yet. And according to this tweet yesterday (11/25/13), the network is pulling the show after only a few episodes after its premiere on November 11th.
— Torrey Hill, Inc. (@TorreyHillInc) November 25, 2013
More details on the back story of Church Rescue:
- Rescue Me: The Rescue Genre Takes on Churches (HollywoodJesus.com)
- According to Deadline.com, the show was originally named “Divine Intervention” with 6 episodes that was supposed to premiere in Summer 2013 (ht: Clickwatchwrite.com).
- Meet the Real Church Hoppers of ‘Church Rescue’ and Does Your Congregation Need a Makeover? (Beliefnet.com)
- CHURCH RESCUE: Exclusive TVRuckus Interview with Cast of New NatGeo Series (TVruckus.com)
- Modern day saviors for struggling churches across America (FOX News interview by Elisabeth Hasselbeck) #video