You’re either in or out. Excited or confused. Optimistic or a party-pooper.

People always ask me why I use Twitter. Without getting into the usual “no, it’s not about broadcasting the flavor of my toothpaste, or any other mundane details of my daily living” conversation, here’s one concrete example that hopefully helps give a better picture for the power of Twitter.

While I know that we’re not to make idols of men (or pastors of really big and successful books for that matter), but to illustrate the point, I’m sharing with you that I recently received a Tweet from none other than . . .

twitter-rick-warren

Yup, it was Pastor Rick Warren himself tweeting me about one of my latest web projects (more on that in other post soon, I promise!).

Twitter, and social media in general, has collapsed the 6 degrees of separation into 1.

You are now able to connect and collaborate with almost anyone else imaginable that’s relevant. It’s not that I tweeted back and forth with this person in particular. It’s the fact that just a couple of years ago, being able to connect, exchange, collaborate with someone like Rick Warren directly would take a lot of energy. Even if he tried to be as accessible as can be to people outside of his network (i.e. people he’s never met before), getting to him when I’m on the east coast, and he’s on the left coast (or somewhere else in the world) just isn’t that practical or easily done. I’ve emailed his “rick@purposedrivenlife.com” email address listed in his books and website before. I’ve been to Saddleback worship services several times before. I’ve called the PDL team when our church launched our own 40 Days campaign before. I’ve gotten what I’vee needed from his ministry organization each time, but getting a chance to interact with Rick Warren directly himself wasn’t really feasible.

Today, with social media, things have completely changed: The friction of access and connection is infinitely reduced because of social media. If you are proactive, purposeful and pleasant (don’t discount that last one!), the possibilities are plentiful.

It’s not just Rick Warren. Whether it’s Leonard Sweet or David Pogue of the NY Times, or even YOU that I’ve tweeted with . . . the fact of the matter is that 6 degrees of separation has become 1.

That’s why I use twitter. What about you?

When the web started entering into everyone’s vocabulary, churches began to feel the pressure of getting on the web. Today, the web has become part of daily living, and it is a critical touchpoint to reach people before they physically enter your church doors.

It’s just a fact of life now: more people will visit your website first before they first visit your church.

But something new and old is happening. In one sense, it feels so familiar — just like the seismic shift we saw with the mass adoption of the web itself. But now it’s about something different — every church feels like they should be figuring out what to do with. . . Facebook and Twitter.

For those still sitting on the fence, it’s sometimes helpful to hear what others are doing. Some church tech companies are starting to share case studies and tutorials for how to approach the new social media platforms. Here’s one video webinar that you may want to watch: CLICK TO WATCH.

This presentation is aimed at medium-to-large churches, but it’s a good glossary intro for any sized church on why your church should be considering reaching out to those on the social media platforms.

Logos Bible Study Software is supposedly the best selling software on the market. It’s available on multiple platforms and is capable of doing tons of things – it’s not your father’s bible study anymore.

In a way, it’s much like the recently launched Glo Bible which is tauted as the hipped something-2.0 Bible. I guess it better be because Glo Bible is $50, some people pay $1,600 for Logos. If you take a look at the overview video of Logos software, you’ll a lot of the things Glo thinks is its differentiator.

But whether you go for the $164 version or the $1,600+ version of Logos for the desktop computer, there’s one version that you should know about. And the best part about this one is that it’s free.

Logos 4 has been pushed to the iPhone and it’s free to download. There’s a bunch of neat things you can do with Logos 4 for iPhone. Don’t pay a dime to look-up text in one of 30 different bibles. If you do have the desktop version of Logos, you can add your iPhone to the sync list of devices and computers Logos will synchronize with updated notes, etc from others in your account.

But even without a desktop running Logos software, the Logos 4 for iPhone seems like a very hand dandy tool by itself.

And if you don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, don’t worry, you can enjoy all the features and more with what you have now – your desktop. The best part about getting a hold of Logos 4 Bible Study Software for your computer?

There’s a Logos Discount Promo Code: PASTOR (get 25% off base packages)

Tuesdays are fundays here at Godvertiser.com. We’re releasing yet another free Christian Twitter background design for you to grab and use.

It’s part of our weekly Twitteratti Tuesday series helping to share a little digital Gospel across the Twitterverse.

We’ve had a request for Christmas themed versions, so they’ll be coming up soon. But in the meantime, check out this neat-o Christian Twitter design. We find the sign of the fish everywhere, magnets, bumper stickers, etc. Now you post the Sign of the Twish on your profile page.

godvertiserdotcom-freetwitterbackground7-screenshot

FREE CHRISTIAN TWITTER BACKGROUND
DOWNLOAD LINK

How to upload a custom background to your Twitter account:

  1. Log in
  2. In top navigation bar, click Settings (or go to http://twitter.com/account/settings)
  3. Click the last settings tab, Design
    change-twitter-background
  4. Select a template, change your text and background colors, or upload your background image
  5. Save your changes

One my favorite affordable webhosting companies to refer friends and business associates to is Dreamhost. (If you want a nice discount, use promo code “godvertiser” at http://www.dreamhost.com )

But if you are a 501c3 org or a church with the designation letter from the IRS, then this the tip of the year for you.

It seems that according to our friendly neighborhood church media super hero, DreamHost offers non-profits a fully free webhosting account [HT: Thanks John!]

jumping-for-joy-deal

While you’re jumping for joy, take a look at the deets from DH’s website in their own words:

DreamHost proudly offers free web hosting to non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organizations registered in the United States.

Non-profit organizations have dedicated themselves to making the world a better place – all without expecting anything (like a profit) in return! DreamHost recognizes their noble sacrifice and is happy to provide cost-free hosting to these groups which do so much with so little for so many!

This discount applies to a single hosting plan per non-profit, hosted within only one account, for US-based 501(c)(3) organizations. Domain registrations (other than any included with the plan) are not eligible for any discounts.

Now you really don’t have an excuse to get your organization on the web with a hip website.

If you’re a non-profit that going to try and take advantage of this offer, leave a comment below with the website URL you’ll use with the free non-profit hosting account at Dreamhost.

If you’re doing something right with your ministry, you are mobilizing volunteers to get involved in every way possible.

But there are two practical problems with leading volunteers across the different ministries of a church:

First, you need to hold many meetings so that everyone is on the same page (including you!), especially if there are many people involved. A coordinated effort requires a lot of dissemination of information, collaboration and a tons of basic communication.

Second, because you are working with volunteers, not staff, they aren’t always available physically to meet in the same place at the same time.


collaborate

In the business world, conference call and video conferences are the norm. But for some reason, suggest that people dial in for a ministry meeting via conference call, and people seem perplexed.

The truth is that conference call services used to be expensive, hence affordable only when the costs could be justified by business. While your team’s time and efforts are no less valuable, the cost of conference call services have plummeted. It’s time to embrace this tool in your daily work as a team leader.

Here’s one way to set-up a free conference call dial-in number you can use today:

One of my favorite collaboration tools online is Drop.IO. A neat feature they offer (free too!) is a personal conference call number with each and every free team page/account you set-up.

ministry-conference-call

Once you set-up a new custom collaboration page at www.drop.io, you’ll see a custom conference call dial-in number on the right column. (We’ll explore some of the other neat-o benefits in another future post)

This conference call number is all yours as long as the drop.io page is live (you can change how long the page exists in the settings to up to 1 year after the last visit). It is a reservation-less conference call dial-in number that you can pass out to use whenever you need.

If you want to set-up unique dial-in numbers for each of your ministry leaders for their own teams, just set-up additional drop.io pages for each group. Voila! Every team can collaborate as often as they wish on their own.

BONUS TIP: If you want to have certain calls recorded so that you can distribute them to other people that missed the meeting or would benefit from the contents of your meeting, you can 3-way conference in the “voicemail” number which is listed on the same page. Voicemails are saved and posted as mp3 files to the drop.io page within minutes. You can download them or even use the direct link to the file that’s made available with the recording.

It’s tuesday!

The Free Christian Twitter Background Series marches on with a new Christian Twtiter Theme this week.

It’s fun getting caught up in these designs each week. What are your thoughts about this week’s free Twitter download?

godvertiserdotcom-freetwitterbackground6-screenshot

FREE CHRISTIAN TWITTER BACKGROUND
DOWNLOAD LINK

How to upload a custom background to your Twitter account:

  1. Log in
  2. In top navigation bar, click Settings (or go to http://twitter.com/account/settings)
  3. Click the last settings tab, Design
    change-twitter-background
  4. Select a template, change your text and background colors, or upload your background image
  5. Save your changes

Penn (of Penn & Teller) speaks his mind about the responsibility Christians have for sharing the Good News. Proselytize!

No, don’t run out and get yourself a megaphone for the street corner. We don’t need Bible thumping maniacal representatives invading the public realm.

But take a good listen to how this Christian brother was received by Penn – the atheist, in this video clip:

Can you envision yourself making such a bold move,done in a way that keeps respect and integrity intact?

Now, would you push someone out of the way of an oncoming truck to save his life? Would you? Really?

Have you been doing the same thing over and over again? Planning the same ministry calendar year after year?

As we head into Advent season, most churches are just pulling out the good old playbook and setting the same things in motion. But is that really witnessing to God’s story in the most creative way that you can?

Sometimes if you take the most lack luster things (like plain old water in a plain old water fountain in the mall) and rethink the experience, you are able to find something that stops people in their tracks.

I bet you that people (and kids in particular) cannot help themselves to be captivated by this display in the video.

You can imagine the people walking along, turn the corner, and then literally stop walking or turn to watch. The conversations that start about how it is done, or how they’ve never seen this kind of thing before. The children that don’t want to go back to their original mission of getting those new shoes or shirt. Some that look back after they’ve passed it. The people who can’t do anything else but smile and have just a little lighter walk walking away.

In a way, isn’t this mall fountain a lesson in what we are supposed to be doing in our churhces — displaying God’s greatness in a way that just stops people in their tracks to take notice of what God is and has done for us?

This is a tip that can really pack the pews. . .But most churches never use it.

In fact, only 2% of church members actually follow-through with this secret weapon to grow a church.

Did you know that 73% of people who do not attend church have never been invited?
never-invited

And couple that with the fact that up to 82% of people say that go to church with a friend if they were invited, almost every church out has the potential to grow their attendance rosters within the next 4 weeks.

Why are only 2% of church goers inviting new friends and family to come to a church worship service, event, class, outing, picnic, retreat, bible study, or fellowship group meeting?

What excuses are you holding onto that prevent you from creating annual invite-a-friend weekends (other than Easter or Christmas!)? How can you change the culture of your church right now to be more INVITING — literally? Why haven’t you created pass-along conversation tools to hand out to EVERYONE in your church?