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Technology
Twitter is gearing up to offer a new feature. You will soon be able to record and add short videos to your twitter feed. All within Twitter. Best Ministry Practices wrote about this new offering, that according to Twitter should be available in the first half of this year. According to Kevin Weil, a Twitter VP: “Aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter too… Alongside short looping Vine videos, we think you’ll have fun sharing what’s happening in your world through native video.” Big whoop, you might say. But hold on. Is this the next BIG thing? Who knows. But you should be prepared, or at least thinking through how this might change things. How might your church use short-form video on social media? Short Announcements? Reminders to attend on Sunday? Promos? Follow-up sermon material? This could be a new venue for you to communicate with your peeps throughout the week. So… what do you think?  Is there a way to use this new Twitter feature to enhance your local ministry? Todd
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Leadership
Andy Stanley is not speaking at our next online conference. In fact, neither is anyone else you’ve heard of… yet. We’re happy to invite you to Leadership Network’s next online conference called “groundSWELL”.  The topic is the future of the church; and the speakers are all aged 13-19.  That’s right… every speaker is a teenager! The future of the church is alive and well inside each one of our churches.  But what will it take to reach their generation? We asked some of the sharpest teenage minds in the church TODAY about what the church will need to be like TOMORROW. You’ll hear from LAUREN.  Lauren is a very articulate young woman, zealous-for-God and the lost..  At 17 years old, whe’s a leader among her peers, and a real leader and voice for the future in her church. NICK officially joined his church staff when he was just 16; and is currently training for full-time ministry.  He’s passionate about studying all-things church, and will no-doubt be an unstoppable force in the next generation of the church. And you’ll meet JACOB.  Jacob is a tremendous leader and speaker.  As a teenager, he led his church in Chicago to start a movement to help eradicate world hunger and reach out to those who need the Gospel of Jesus. These are just three of the more than two dozen young leaders we’ll introduce you to. We asked these young leaders “What does the church need to change to reach your generation?”  Their answers make up our entire three hour online conference. The conference is scheduled for Thursday, March 1.  It is free and online… all you need is your computer and a good internet connection.  But you must pre-register to attend. I hope you’ll join us as we take a look at the future of the church through the eyes of those who will be leading it.  You may not have heard of the speakers yet, but they are our future leaders.  And we can learn from them today. Take one minute right now to register for this free event at http://groundswell.tv.  It all happens on March 1.
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Technology
Check out this infographic… by 2020, there will be 24 BILLION (with a B) connect devices. What’s your church’s strategy to capitalize on something that will grow EXPONENTIALLY in the next 9 years? Is it even important to have a strategy for your church here… or should we just go with the flow? What are your thoughts? Todd SOURCE
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Leadership
Brady Boyd writes:  In the past ten years, I have witnessed remarkable changes in the local church and the coming decade will usher in even more transformations.While the ancient Sacraments will remain, everything else is up for debate. How we worship, when we gather, what is said, who is leading and where the gatherings happen will all undergo scrutiny and debate. I have four predictions for the next decade of local church. 1. The places where we gather will become smaller Every social and cultural trend is leaning toward the smaller, more intimate gatherings and away from the stadium worship experience. Mega churches that purposely create numerous worship settings that promote intimacy and community will see the most significant growth. There will always be a group of church people who will come to the big building, but if we want to see significant growth among skeptics and seekers, we must create less threatening venues for them to explore the issues of faith. 2. The church will be launched into real mission. The local church is hungry to embrace the mission of the New Testament and this will only increase in the next decade. This next generation is tired of the hype of events and is eager to give their lives to something that requires sacrifice and results in biblical justice. They want to get their hands in the dirt of humanity and see real change in the communities where they live. They will come to the church building for some of the attractional events, but will get disillusioned quickly if these events do not result in real opportunities to serve their world. You can read two additional things Brady thinks may very well happen right here: via Brady Boyd | The Future of the Local Church – Updated. QUESTION:  What will YOUR church look like in 5, 10, 20, 50 years?  What do you HOPE it looks like? Todd
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Leadership
“Imagine sitting down to drink your morning cup of coffee, turning on your computer, and using it to read your daily newspaper… It’s not as farfetched as it may seem”.  It was almost 30 years ago.  1981.  The year before I graduated high school.  Take a look at this short news report about the internet, then I’m going to ask you to put on your thinking cap… That was almost 30 years ago, yet I remember it like yesterday.  How things have changed in 30 years. The church has gone through massive changes over the past 30 years as well.  I’ve been involved in ministry for almost 25 years, most of that time serving on a church staff.  Things are definitely different now than when I started.  Some of the changes have been great.  Some not so much. But what about the next 30 years? In 30 years, my kids will be 48, 46, 44, and 42. I’m guessing my grandkids will likely be teenagers.  I will be 75.  What will the church look like then? In 1981, turning on a computer to read your newspaper seemed ‘farfetched’.  This morning, I can flip on my iPad and read USA TODAY or any other newspaper in seconds.  (The first newspaper took over 2 hours to download just the text.  And you had to pay for all of your ‘on-line minutes’!) I’m wondering today?  What seems farfetched in our minds about the church, that my grandchildren will think is normal?  What will the church look like in 2040?  Will we even recognize it? What do you think I’ll be wearing to worship when I’m 75?  What will I be singing?  Will I even go to worship in a building? Will sermons still be boring?  Will there still be sermons? Will John Piper and Rick Warren still be friends? What version of the Bible will we use in 2040? What will technology look like? How many campuses will Mars Hill and LifeChurch.tv have? I have many questions.  Please give me some answers. And add your questions and thoughts to the comments section below as well.  What will the church look like in 2040? Thanks, Todd PS– even more specifically than “THE CHURCH”, what will YOUR CHURCH look like in 2040?  What are you doing now that will impact the next 30 years of your church and community?
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