When my children were younger I would give them iPads to hold their attention while I had to tend to other things. This early introduction helped them become comfortable with technology at an early age. Many of us have all seen toddlers who have been given an iPad or smart phone and watched them “click and swipe” to their favorite apps or watch their favorite netflix cartoon.
You don't need to take our word for it, just look at any of the latest reports, studies or articles about the future of marketing and you see one word over and over again - video. However, along with that word you tend to see another - YouTube. Content is king, to be sure, but a YouTube video does double or triple duty as it can boost your SEO results, help you appear at the top of any SERPs, and be used for almost any purpose.
Mobile Multi-MediaThe fastest growing platform for video consumption is mobile. Watching short-form videos, live streams, TV shows, and all kinds of digital video has increased ten-fold on mobile devices. With the widespread increase of Wi-Fi and faster mobile Internet speeds, we are seeing video creation and consumption explode. We have seen this first hand at The Potter’s House, where our weekly rebroadcast has increased 70% - 80% due to people now connecting and watching our services from their mobile devices. Additionally, our live streaming services are now split 50/50 with people watching from mobile and desktop devices. This trend is only going to increase because people want to connect with the ministry on their time from a convenient device. Staying connected on-the-go is beneficial to the online audience, and making the ministry content accessible to people on-the-go is beneficial to the ministry. Studies show that we are never more than 3 feet away from our mobile devices. Thus, we believe by bringing ministry content to mobile devices, we are taking church beyond the walls and to the people.
Another aspect of our digital multimedia strategy is our short-form media approach for our app and Social Media platforms. Since The Potter’s House has archived video that’s accessible on-demand like Netflix, we don’t mind keeping our weekly TV show to 30 minutes in length. Though we still distribute our 30-minute TV show via YouTube, Facebook, and our mobile app, we try to keep most of our smaller videos limited to the length of 2 minutes. We find that people like short videos that get right to the point and provide value to their lives in the short amount of time they are able to give us at any particular moment.
Video-capable social networks, such as Vine (6 seconds), Twitter (30 seconds), Instagram (15 seconds), Snapchat (10 seconds) and Facebook (20 minutes), have put limits on their videos, and this has led to increased viewing of these videos. But, let’s not count out YouTube’s unlimited video length and the BILLIONS of viewers their videos have. The overall point is that, no matter the length, videos have become the most engaging form of content and Mobile consumption will continue to increase.
To learn more about this topic and others get your copy of The iChurch Method Vol. 3 TODAY!
I recently made a statement in a podcast that said, if the church didn’t stay up to date with technology, how quickly it’s changing, and understand its influence on society, the church might become irrelevant. The example I used was that we don’t see preachers preaching from stone tablets, scrolls, and parchments. They are using a copy of the Bible which was created using the technology of the printing press. Additionally, many of us have seen a toddler pick up an iPad or smartphone and instinctively know how to navigate/tap it and find their favorite app or game. We’ve also seen teenagers/young adults use texting, social media, photos, and videos from their mobile devices as easily as making calls. They are able to quickly and efficiently use multiple apps, platforms, and features of their devices and stay connected with their friends, celebrities, and anyone they deem important. Now consider that these devices are the oldest technology these people will see.
One of the responses I received was that the church will never become irrelevant because it’s God’s house and the Word of God will never be irrelevant. While I believe that God’s Word will never be irrelevant in the sense of it speaking to the state of the human soul and society, I was focusing less on the message and more on the method. The message will always be effective, revolutionary, and life-changing. However, if the method used to deliver the message is ineffective and outdated, how relevant can it be when the masses are not receiving it?
So the question was, “Why does technology permeate so many aspects of our lives but we go back in time when it comes to the church?
Technology is defined as the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment. Let’s look at two historical examples of technology currently being used by the church (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/technology)
1. Chairs and Pews - Throughout most of the history of Christian worship, there were no pews or chairs. Not until the fourteenth century did seating gradually encroach upon the open space where the congregation stood and walked about during worship. In the late Middle Ages, the congregation sat down on the job and there was a drastic change in Christian worship—perhaps the most important in history. People, in effect, became custodians of individual spaces they occupied throughout the service. In other words, for the first fourteen centuries of Christianity, people stood throughout the worship service. (Source: http://thesecondeclectic.blogspot.com/2012/12/churches-without-chairs-how-christians.html)
2. The Printing Press - This technological advancement put the Bible in the hands of the masses. In 1455, the Gutenberg Bible was mass produced in Europe. Without the Bible, how would this have affected the impact of the church? One of the main informational resources and understanding of the Christian faith is the Bible, and the popularity of Christianity ties into how readily available the Bible is to everyone.
With these two technological implementations, the church transformed it’s worship experience and it’s distribution model. Today, with digital tools, we can touch all aspects of the church experience. In church, we have a variety of tools that can enhance the music, lighting, sermon, and other aspects to create an interactive, immersive worship experience. On the other hand, with websites, social media, mobile apps, internet tv, and internet church campuses, we have a variety of tools and platforms to reach people regardless of where they are and the device they use. We can connect with, engage, minister to, and change the lives of millions through something as small as an iPod. Therefore, with over 3 Billion people accessing the internet in 2015 and over 6 Billion mobile devices around the world, we have the largest digital mission field that is primed for the life-changing Gospel.
The question, now, is whether the church will use this technology to fulfill the Great Commission in taking the message to the uttermost parts of the world?
After you have implemented a great social media strategy and have seen people respond and interact with you on your networks, it’s time to analyze your results, optimize your strategy and repeat. Many organizations don’t analyze their social media results; they take the approach of “just put it on Facebook or Twitter” and hope for the best. If your ministry takes the time to develop a social media strategy then it should take the time to measure the results. Analyze Your Results In order to effectively measure social media results you need to assess quite a few things such as: • How many people are seeing the posts, tweets? • How many people are sharing your posts, tweets? • What is the demographic of your online audience (age, sex, location)? • How many people are following your social media links back to your website? • How many people are clicking on the links that you are posting? • Who are your most important and influential followers? These stats are measured and calculated by quite a few online software programs that your ministry should utilize. SproutSocial.com or SimplyMeasured.com are social media analytics companies that take your Facebook and Twitter profiles and provide analytics on your social media strategies. Facebook insights is the analytics section on Facebook Fan Pages that provides demographic information on your pages’ fans. Hootsuite.com is a great software that we spoke of earlier that helps manage social media strategies by scheduling posts to a variety of networks and it also has analytics reporting features that can help your ministry measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Finally, Google Analytics has a Social Reporting feature that reports traffic that comes to your website from Social Media networks. This feature is called Google Social Media Analytics and it is very important in measuring the impact of your social media campaigns.
Optimize Your Strategy Looking at your social media analytics and comparing the data of what you posted, when you posted, how often you posted and which networks yielded which responses, we can now look at ways to optimize our results. First, you want to see which times people responded to your posts. On average this is between the hours of 7am – 11am and 6pm – 11pm. Next, you want to see which days garner the highest response, and more often than not this is Saturdays and Tuesdays. Additionally, as you optimize your strategy you want to continue to create and distribute visual content to your networks. Continue to find ways to create innovative and inspiring photos and videos that will engage your audience as well as compel them to share. If they are not sharing, liking, retweeting or commenting enough to your content, then add more calls to actions in your posts. Finally, utilize your hashtags on Twitter, Google+ and Instragram. Hashtags can help you create, get involved and control conversations that occur about your ministry as well as give you numerous opportunities to reach people where they are at and conduct ministry.
Repeat When you know better, you do better and knowledge is power! With that being stated, now that you have analyzed your results and optimized your strategy, it’s time to repeat. Repeat the process of posting to your social media networks at the optimized times with the optimized content to achieve optimized results.
Continuing my interview on the state of the church and technology, I gave the following insight on my thoughts on the church and technology.
The church as a whole, I’d say maybe there are about 5% of churches that really have a good grasp of technology. They have the resources to actually utilize a lot of the new things that are going on out there, but 95% of the churches I see out here just don’t have the resources. They know what they want to do but they don’t have the resources and expertise to actually implement it. They might have a volunteer come in and do the website; someone that really has a good heart but just doesn’t have the knowhow to make it look as effective as it could be. Or they may hire somebody that doesn’t have the integrity that the people in the church have. If they don’t have that integrity then they might just basically take them for their money and not give them a high-quality website.
So, in seeing those types of situations, I started to realize what they needed was someone they could trust and someone that also has the expertise to allow them to take advantage of the technology that we have out here because it changes rapidly.
[Question: How are people receiving the ichurch method strategy] It’s being received with resounding success. I think that once the light bulb goes on and people understand and realize that the method that I’m producing and the way that I’m presenting it to them is bringing down the technological barrier and helping them actually be able to utilize technology on a level that they understand, then they realize that they can use this to actually help advance their ministry online and not be intimidated by technology.
Continuing The iChurch Method TV series, here's the transcript from the video above where I am talking about Real Time ministry and the impact of Digital Ministry, positive and negative.
Let’s look at the positives first. What I stated before was social media; the Facebook page was one of three or four ministries that I’m aware of that has over a million fans. That’s a lot of people that you can reach via social media and minister to. We see maybe we’ll put out a daily devotional or some snippet from the sermon or something like that, you see real-time ministry. You see somebody watching a clip of a sermon or reading that daily devotional and you see them saying, “That helped me today. That transformed my life. That impacted me.” So, with those types of results you really get a chance to see ministry going on around the world in real time, and nothing can top that. That’s amazing.
Likewise, with the internet church, when we do conferences or if there are sermons going on over the weekend then we have chat modules that might be next to these online video players and we’re seeing people chatting and ministering to each other or our online ministers are ministering to them. So we see all that stuff happening in real-time.
Obviously if people are online they’re chatting more and they’re speaking more so you’re hearing more than you may hear if you’re in an actual sanctuary. They’re not worried about who’s watching and stuff like that because usually they’re in the comfort of their own home or on their mobile device or something and they’re saying how they really feel about what’s happening.
Now let’s look at the downfalls. Social media gives our pastor a voice, it gives our leadership a voice, but it gives everybody a voice. I’ve seen people who may disagree with the pastor or disagree with the ministry, disagree with the theological approach or just disagree because it’s Tuesday. Those people are able to voice their opinions and some of the things that they say—words are very powerful—and the way that they slander the ministry or slander the pastor or just slander other people who are trying to better themselves or just get ministry for themselves, you just see how hurtful it can be. It takes you back to your school days; if a child hears some encouragement, it really impacts them. If they hear discouragement, that really impacts them too. We see that in the online environment via digital media and social media especially.
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of “The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online.” or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.
If you go to a mega church, you will likely observe a sprawling sea of buildings. You will also find a huge variety of places to go and things to do. There might be a women’s conference in one building. A group of men will be having a Bible study in another. There may also be a live service in the chapel. Some churches even have bookstores where you can buy the latest Christian books and movies. The fact is, this large physical campus gives you many choices to pursue your faith.
So, what is the Internet Church Campus? It’s the same thing as the campus described above except for one difference: it’s all online. The official definition of an Internet church is as follows: a multimedia-driven church experience that is entirely online. An online user can attend a Bible study, donate, attend live services, watch past services, attend a conference, buy the pastor’s book and do just about everything you can do in a physical church except the laying of hands. And it’s all driven by video, audio, images, chat and documents.
Here’s how far we have come. In the good ole days, you went to church Sunday mornings and then possibly to Bible study or another service on Wednesday evenings. Now, instead of you going to church, the Internet Church Campus brings the church to you. And the church doors are open 24/7 365 wherever you are because your mobile device, tablet or computer allows you to attend. That’s pretty exciting!
Chat Live One option for your Internet Church Campus is the ability to chat live with your friends. If you were in church, you could lean over and chat to your neighbor about the service or message. With Chatroll.com, the Internet Church Campus can duplicate that. Some users really love that feature especially if they are watching the same program but from different locations.
Groups and Communities Another great feature of Internet Church Campuses is online groups. Online groups are small groups that meet online to discuss Bible lessons, minister to each other and give the online group a sense of community, very similar to the home-based groups that are in some of the largest mega churches in the United States. Online groups use common group features provided by Facebook Groups or Google+ Communities. These social network group/community features allow a set number of people to interact online, share information and documents and form an online community all within Facebook or Google+.
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.
I am excited to announce a great platform that I have been invited to contribute my expertise to called Online Church Leaders. This amazing platform was put together by my good friend Nils Smith, who has taught me an immeasurable amount about Internet Church Campuses and how to use them for ministry.
Here is a great explanation of Online Church: Online Church is more than streaming a video, it is leveraging technology to expand ministry and further the great commission to make disciples of all nations. It is a relevant and relational way to connect people around the world through digital interactions. Most pastors assume that it requires tons of time and money, but that is not the case. It is our goal to shed light on these myths and break down the barriers that may arise when considering such an undertaking. Our hope is that by giving away our systems and processes and sharing the things we have learned along the way it will save you time and money. We will provide you with the tools you will need and guide you in your calling to reach the world.
On this platform I will be teaching online giving and eCommerce tactics from my iChurchMethod.com books. As we are looking to train leaders on how to better utilize online platforms, we want to make sure they understand how to effectively generate revenue online and make it easy for online users. There are a variety of topics taught on this platform by many of my online church expert friends.
|Topics such as: Building Your Platform Creating Your Content Engaging Your Audience Developing a Volunteer Team Online Groups and much more||From Experts: Nils Smith - Community Bible Church Alan George - LifeChurch.TV Jay Kranda - Saddleback Church Seth Farrior - Seacoast Church Jason Morris - Westside Family Church Nate Merrill - LakePointe Church Kenny Jahng - Liquid Church DJ Chuang - .Bible Consultant Nick Ovalle - Community Bible Church|
It's 100% free and we also post no affiliate links. We believe that God is doing an incredible work through Online Church and desire for every church possible to expand their impact through these powerful resources.
Come join me at the OnlineChurchLeaders.com launch party, July 15 at 1pm CST, this new platform will be a great resource for church leaders around the world - https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cm2jocf9mbtueeg7sb92io7qccg
I work with a variety of churches and more often than not my role is to help the ministry advance online. This can be in a variety of ways such as websites, online streaming, internet church campuses, online video, online donations, social media, internet tv, mobile websites, mobile apps and much more. I believe that technology/internet plays a major role in the distribution of information, and therefore the important information that is “The Gospel” should utilize all methods of distribution to get the message to the masses. Since my role is a technology based role, I very rarely have to address theological issues regarding technology because my job is to help distribute the message online, not change it. But, as technology progresses at a rapid rate, there are more questions arising that have theological ramifications concerning technology, and this is an issue that I find myself having to explain more often than not to decision makers. Issues such as:
- Can you be saved Online? - Can you assemble Online? - Can you actually go to church online? - Will the online church enhance or replace the church building?
Digital ministry enthusiasts like myself believe the answer is yes to all of these questions, we believe technology enhances the ministry and we want to use it to reach the world, but unfortunately from a biblical perspective, there are church leaders that will say the online aspect of church is outside of the building and thus not church. Or they may believe that the online church (digital delivery of the gospel) will try to replace the traditional church just like iTunes replaced Tower records.
Overall, I don’t believe internet church will replace traditional church, it’s an extension of traditional church delivered in a digital format (audio or video or social media) to your preferred device (laptop, desktop, mobile, television). But if the church is going to take ministry to the people and really step outside the walls, there has to be an internet component (especially mobile) that allows ministry content to be accessible by anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world and that is how you take the gospel to the four corners of the globe.
For more information on internet church please check out The iChurch Method Vol. 2: Changing the World When You Login.
As you may or may not know, The iChurch Method consists of five key areas to advancing your ministry online. These five area, websites, multimedia, ecommerce, social media and mobile, have proven to be very effective areas in reaching people online. I recently conducted a webinar with a group of Pastors about the iChurch Method and how they could use online tools more effectively. As my gift to you, I would like to give you this video and audio for FREE! Yes, just click the link below and download this teaching today!
I want to invite you to an webinar hosted by my friend and ministry tech expert Chip Dizard that is exclusively for Pastors and ministry leaders who want to start a podcast. In this webinar you will learn his 7 step blueprint for creating, editing, promoting and sustaining your ministry podcast. You will also learn:
- How to create quality graphics for your cover art so your Podcast stands out in the iTunes store even if you have no graphic design experience.
- Why you should submit your podcast to Stitcher, Windows and even Blackberry!
- The best methods for promoting your ministry podcast
- How to edit the audio in your podcast with free and low cost software
If you have been wondering if you should start a podcast this webinar is for you. Or if you feel that your pastor or ministry should create one you should forward this email. I’ve found that pastors and ministries who create podcasts can connect with more people, gain more trust and increase the visibility of their ministry.
Chip’s webinars are free and have only 100 slots open per session, that’s why he told me he is doing it 3 times on Thursday April 24th at 4 p.m EST, 7 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST. Yes, that’s three times in one day to make sure you can view it on any time zone!
Click on the link below to claim your spot today.
Jason Caston iChurchMethod
P.S. Click on the link and register today as Chip gives you 3 actionable steps that will help you get your podcast in iTunes in one week. Look at this pastor’s podcast Chip help create in iTunes in one week. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/recreation-church-baltimore/id857833475?mt=2
The TV industry is ripe for disruption and it’s holding on for dear life. The traditional content producers (studios) and the cable companies are holding on to that old business model till the last dollar is squeezed out of it. Unfortunately for them, the market is starting to dictate how things will play out and just as the music industry was made to adapt, the television industry will have the same fate. Let me clarify what adapt means, it means television viewing will go from analog delivery to digital media, we will become more immersed in social media connected viewing along with second screens and we will watch what we want to watch, when we want to watch and from any device we want to watch, no more cable bundles and set showtimes.
The best examples of the future of TV is Netflix.com, Hulu.com, Apple’s iTunes and Amazon.com’s Video on Demand. We have the option with these stations to watch whatever we want to watch based on their offerings. Ala Carte channels and not bundles will become how we choose our channels, which is vastly different from our current cable company offerings.
Likewise, as the internet continues to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, we find that we are able to connect from more and more places with faster broadband and mobile connections, thus that gives us the ability to consume more media anytime, anyplace from any internet enabled media device.
Currently, Internet television devices such as the Roku, Google ChromeCast, Amazon Fire TV, Apple tV or Xbox are just getting started in changing our living room experience. But what if in the future the living room TV device watches us, allows us to connect with social media and actually knows us better than any Nielsen device. It will know our watching habits, what our eyes do during commercials, what we talk about during shows as well as our demographics. This will be a goldmine for advertisers and they will monetize this information, which will in turn motivate the content producers which will motivate the cable companies. That is the final piece in helping the content producing studios (and even cable companies) in moving to this future television experience because now the financial benefits are realized.
Now how does the church get involved, well they can now get on Internet TV enabled devices such as Roku or Amazon Fire and establish channels so that when the public continues this migration, they will be used to consuming church media from these devices.
I received my Amazon Fire on Thursday, which basically reveals that once this device was announced Wednesday, I immediately ordered it and used my Amazon Prime for Next Day Delivery. Now I'm not going to go into all the features, Techcrunch has done a great job of that here:
My thoughts on ordering it quickly were three things:
- Is this platform open? Can I create an internet tv app for my church like i did on Roku
- Does it run quickly and smoothly, like the Apple TV and Roku
- Will other games be as good as this Minecraft game it comes with that I see my daughter playing on the ipad all the time
1. Open Platform One of my first emails upon seeing this new announcement was to my internet TV software vendor to see if our current software that we use for Roku could be distributed to Amazon Fire TV as well. The answer I received today was YES! Thus, the Amazon Fire TV passes my "is it an open platform" test. If you are a developer and want to create an app from scratch there here is the link - https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/devices/fire-tv, for the majority of people that are not, just connect with http://www.streamotor.com/ and get an account setup to submit to multiple Internet TV platforms.
2. How does it operate, is it fast and fluid? The user experience was good, I look at the interface the same way I look at Roku. It's not as easy on the eyes as Apple TV but it's definitely as fluid as Apple TV. It's streamlined like Roku but with better search features and of course the builtin voice search is a killer setup. The backend is connected with the Amazon library as well as your Amazon account so this device can really adapt to you. The common players are all there such as Netflix, Hulu and WatchESPN but noticeably missing are HBOGo and Aereo. The processor inside is 2GB and it shows how much faster (more responsive and quicker loading times) the device is than Roku and Apple TV. The only thing that took a long time was the initial setup, which probably wasn't that long but I am very impatient.
3. How are the games, is it a gaming system? This is what really impressed me, I played a few games including my daughter's favorite, Minecraft (which is way different then the Minecraft I used to play 15 years go). This game ran quite fluidly and if Amazon is setting this device up to be a gaming platform along with a media hub, then THAT'S THE KILLER FEATURE! This device ran quite well, now it won't replace my Xbox One but as a device for my kids to have where they can play games and watch Netflix, Amazon Videos and Hulu, well that's a game changer for me.
Overall, it wouldn't replace my Roku or Apple TV but that's because I'm a tech geek and want ALL MY TOYS to play together but overall it's definitely in the game and here to stay. Now I just need to see how fast the adoption rate is so that I can start to develop an Internet TV channel for my church.
Getting your sermons onto iTunes as a podcast is fairly easy and affordable, using a popular service called Podbean. Like YouTube for videos, Podbean requires that you create a free account for your organization. Setting up an account with Podbean allows you to select a public channel in the Religion category, include your church logo or photograph of your pastor, describe your ministry and select keywords that will help anyone searching for your content to find you, and even provide contact information.
In this way you can make your podcast accessible on iTunes and also on Podbean, to reach a whole other population of people who may not have ever even been to your church - yet. Like YouTube, this gives you a whole new channel whereby to establish a presence on the Internet, to reach many more people all over the world.
You can provide links to your podcasts on your site; make them available for download at your Web store and more. Podcasts are popular for listening to while driving or doing other activities that are conducive to listening to music or inspirational messages.
Use Sound Bytes to Peak Interest
Consider placing short clips of your latest podcast on the front page of your site, to entice visitors to want to hear more. As audio files, podcasts are much easier to download, upload, and play, whereas a video might take much more time.
Podcasts are a powerful way of getting your message out there. You can even stream podcasts live during the actual sermon, so that those who are unable to make it to your church due to illness or travel can still listen to the sermon, and feel as if they were physically there on site with the rest of the congregation.
Podcasts can be archived, by subject, by date or by speaker, and even sold as collections for those who are looking for uplifting subject matter, or who like to listen to a particular speaker, or who missed a month of sermons and want to catch up. Be sure to take advantage of this valuable technology to get your message out to many more potential parishioners than old-time country preachers ever dreamed possible!
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.
Join me Friday, March 21, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii at the http://himonline.org/events/honolulu-conference/ as I will be teaching two sessions. The first session will be The iChurch Method: How to Advance Your Ministry Online (10:30am) and the second session will be The Internet Church Campus (8:30pm). While I have taught the iChurch Method numerous times, this will be the first time I have unpacked and taught The Internet Church Campus which consists of how to implement an internet church campus, online groups and the internet TV channel.
I am looking forward to a great conference and an even greater experience. You can follow my updates conference Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
There are a few services you can use to setup your internet campus such as LifeChurch’s www.Churchonlineplatform.com, or 316 Networks http://solutions.316networks.com/ and these are some good services. But the online software that has the best user experience and is the most cost efficient has to be Plain Joe’s Media Social (www.mediasocial.tv) Internet Church Campus software. Media Social has come up with the easiest solution; if we look at the following screenshot we see how they setup their online campus software. Here are the features of Media Social’s Internet Campus Software
- Ad Space – Ad space area for the ministry with images to showcase products, events and services of the ministry.
- Login/Logout – This is the login/logout area of the administrator.
- Who’s Online List – This area shows who all is logged in to the internet campus. This area is used for the ministry to communicate with individuals as well as see important information about everyone logged in and watching.
- Video Player – This is the major viewing area of the online campus. The live or archived video stream is shown here in 640x480 format.
- Announcements/Polls – This great feature allows for real time announcements and polls displayed right under the video player. A great way to communicate with online viewers in a quick and efficient manner.
Here are additional features with Media Social’s Internet Campus Software. Let’s start by looking at the icons that are in the left column of the interactive module beneath the announcements/polls area.
- Livewall – The livewall is the live chat area for real time communication and chatting with administrators and online viewers.
- Notes – The Notes tab allows users to take notes and email them to themselves or others.
- Schedule – The schedule tab shows the schedule for live and/or archived shows.
- Facebook – The Facebook tab is the facebook integration where users can interact with facebook within the internet campus.
- Map – The Map tab shows the locations of online users, anywhere in the world.
- Unlock Tab – The unlcok tab allows the tab to unlock from the page and become it’s own webpage module.
- Additional Ad Space – Beneath these tab features is additional space for image ads for ministry events, products and services.
With all these features setup for you, your organization is responsible for providing video content that you want to stream (mp4 video files) as well as a live streaming provider. In my last book, The iChurch Method Vol. 1, I talked about how to use livestream.com or Ustream.tv as a free live streaming provider and that solution could work with Media Social as well. Another feature not mentioned here that’s available in the back-end is the scheduling feature. Many ministries want to broadcast at a certain time and/or setup a schedule of shows for the day or week. This feature is available via Media Social and the internet campus can become an entire media center for the viewers with scheduled programming very similar to the traditional television experience.
Coming up quickly, March 6 - 8, 2014, I will be teaching/attending/working at the 2014 Pastors and Leadership Conference. It's always a great experience for me at this event because this was the first conference I ever spoke at back in 2011. It also was the event that I released the first iChurch Method book in 2012. Another great thing about this conference is that in addition to speaking at it, I work the conference's online experience including social media, mobile apps and online streaming experience.
This year I am looking forward to teaching four sessions which include Social Media Basics, Social Media Advanced (twice) and Digital 360 (The iChurch Method). I am also continuing my pattern of releasing new products at the conference by announcing that I am releasing the following products:
- The iChurch Method Workshop Training DVD
- How to Get One Million Social Media Fans Workshop Training DVD
- The iChurch Academy Online Training Course - Updated and Expanded
- The iChurch Method: How to Advance Your Ministry Online Book
- The iChurch Method: Changing The World When You Login Book
- How to Get One Million Social Media Fans: Take Your Social Media to the Next Level Book
- The iChurch Method Digital Download Card with all iChurch Method Products and Online iChurch Academy Access
Make sure you join me there!!
Normally I would talk about how to implement an online church or quote stats on how it has impacted churches but today, I just want to do something different. I want to tell a great story. This past weekend I taught quite a few sessions at the econnect conference and it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had for a variety of reasons. Here are the reasons:
1. I was able to meet the great people at Group Publishing (including Brian Abbot and Bob D'Ambrosio) and they truly took care of me and Nils Smith.
2. I was able to teach, fellowship and serve with my friend Nils Smith, a great guy and as I always tell him, my long lost brother in digital ministry.
3. I taught, interacted and engaged with a diverse crowd of people that were eager to learn how to utilize online tools more effectively for ministry. This crowd was hungry for knowledge and they were open to everything we were teaching. Even with their past traditions and church informal ways, they looked past all of that and said how can we reach the millions that are online and do church in a new way! And best of all, I cannot say how many times people mentioned to me that they were appreciative of what I taught....that blessed me immensely.
4. This is the most important thing, I heard a story that encouraged and transformed the way I think about what I do. First let me say that I have had moments where I wondered how effective The iChurch Method was and should I change my focus from churches to businesses and teach in that realm. Well after this story I am about to share with you, I will surely let you know that I am on the right path and The iChurch Method will continue well into the future. I was talking with a guy and he mentioned that his wife recently passed due to cancer but prior to passing she spent much of her time bed-ridden. But she managed to worship by watching T.D. Jakes Online and to be more specific, the internet church page that I played a role in creating. His wife also used Social Media to form a facebook group for women with cancer and they communicated and shared what they thought heaven would be like. And he just wanted to thank me for what I was doing and he was happy that he met the guy who created the page that helped his wife worship prior to her passing. Those words encouraged me so much that I knew I was on the right path.
I feel blessed!!