One of the most significant accomplishments in my life was moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2007. Once I landed on the west coast, a series of events would start to unfold that would change my entire existence. In April 2007, I accepted my first position working with a megachurch. My job title was Web Developer, but my job description was to fix all things online the ministry did. It took me a year to figure out what all was wrong, how to fix it and what things to put in place to make sure the ministry was well prepared for the changing digital landscape. But instead of just finishing the tasks at hand and moving on, I actually documented my processes and developed a strategy that I felt could be utilized by other churches who wanted to grow their online presence. I realized that if a church of this size was having trouble understanding the ever-changing digital landscape, then there were other churches that would need to know how web, social media, mobile and other technologies were important in reaching and growing online audiences. From that point, The iChurch Method was formed.
Fast forward to January 2010 and I relocated to Dallas and while interviewing for a very well known megachurch I was asked how I could help the ministry, my response was “I have a strategy that will help advance this ministry online and it focuses on five key areas of growth, those areas are websites, online church, ecommerce, social media and mobile.” I basically laid out the parts of The iChurch Method and how it could help their organization, and with that I was hired. While this organization was already internationally known, their use of the new digital platforms of social, mobile and internet church were non-existent and therefore I knew I had a way to make an impact and see if this method actually worked. Over the next five years we saw explosive online growth, I was able to write multiple iChurch Method books and speak at numerous conferences that helped introduce this methodology to over 5000 church leaders.
When I think about why this was a significant “Moment that Matters” is because I saw the actual impact of an idea that was in my head come to fruition and impact thousands of churches and millions of people. I knew that reaching people via technology was the future and with a message that is as important as the gospel, we would need methods that are innovative, impactful and engaging. Teaching churches how to utilize these online platforms has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments in my life.
When churches begin looking at The iChurch Method, I give them examples that relate to the traditional brick and mortar experience. I let them know that the digital platforms (internet church) we are talking about (mobile, web, social) are not trying to supplant their church but supplement it. I tell them to focus on creating digital channels that can help them become digital missionaries and take their message around the globe. I give them tangible steps to enhance their websites, social media channels, mobile apps, internet church campuses and other digital ministry channels that can reach people that are outside their walls. Overall, we teach them to use the internet as a way to take the ministry to the people and think of technology as a ministry enhancer and not a tool that will replace church as they know it.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to partner with AT&T’s Inspired Mobility campaign about how we use mobile devices in our faith based and spiritual lives. In a recent survey sponsored by AT&T*, 4-in-10 (41%) respondents said they use a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to connect to faith-based organizations or inspiration sites. That compares to about a third (32%) who said they regularly attend worship services. With these type of stats as well as others, we see a shift in people connecting with their inspiration from their mobile device more so than looking to connect in an offline manner. While connecting both ways is always a plus, I want to continually help churches understand that do not neglect one over the other.
AT&T 28 Days Contest - Participate and Enter for a Chance to Win
Now here’s the fun part where you all get a chance to participate in this with me! AT&T 28 Days invites you to celebrate black history month by sharing your moments that matter. Share your moments that matter for a chance to win a tech makeover prize pack of Samsung® products!
HERE'S HOW TO ENTER:
Sign into your Twitter or Instagram account.
Submit an original photo that represents a moment that mattered to you, with a brief description and/or caption explaining why. The tweet or post MUST also include the hashtags of #ATT28Days and #contest to be considered a valid entry.
For more information check out http://28days.att.com/contest