Pastors and Live Video Options

Untitled-design-23The new avenue of live video is not going to disappear. It is here to stay and it is only going to get better as apps and technology improve.

Video is not new to pastors and churches. They use video to video blog and share church services. It is easy to record, edit and upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo and then post the video to a blog, website, or Facebook page.

You can watch videos from pastors and churches on apps for your smart phone and tablet. TV is another area of video. However, the costs associated with putting a church service on TV probably exceed what an average church would want to spend in this area.

Why pay for it when there are so many different free options.

There is a lot of conversations going on about what platform people are going to use the most. The Live Stream wars are here. You might be familiar with the following heavy hitters in this world of live stream video:

  • Periscope
  • YouTube
  • SnapChat
  • Blab
  • Facebook

All of these platforms have potential and they all serve a purpose. They all offer a chance for the broadcaster to provide their content and communicate with their fans or followers.

I have been thinking about this new world of video and what benefits or drawbacks each of these platforms might have for pastors and churches that may want to use video to share their content.

I have enjoyed being a Periscope user but when Katch announced that they were going to have to shut down, that ended the ability of capturing Periscope content and embedding the videos on your blog or Facebook page.

I started thinking about how best to reach our community with video. I don’t want to leave Periscope but here is the kicker – none of my church members are regularly on Periscope.

YouTube is one option because you can record a video, share it on your YouTube page and then embed it wherever you want the video to be seen.

However, I am starting to lean towards one platform due to some things I learned from other people that I follow and trust.

Four of these platforms do not tell you where your followers and fans are located. They don’t allow you to know the average age of the person watching or commenting on your video.

This poses a problem if you are a pastor and you want to specifically target the community where your church is located.

One of these platforms is very new to the game. However, they allow targeting, so for a pastor and a church this is wonderful news. You can use video on this platform to reach potential visitors and possibly even explore new things.

Think about this:

  • You could go a little deeper in the Scripture than time allows on Sunday.
  • You could offer messages of encouragement and hope.
  • You could share a little in to your personal or family life.
  • You could share announcements and other events going on in the community or your local church.
  • You could use this as a new way to explore online church.
  • You could answer questions and pray for people.

The best thing about this particular platform is that you can reach exactly who you want to reach.

What platform is this?

Facebook.

Facebook live is the new live stream option for everyone. This is invaluable for churches and pastors. Your members are already on Facebook. This makes the most sense. You have the potential to reach everyone that likes your page and you can even take your marketing dollars and pay a few bucks and reach more targeted people in your community. You may even reach people that did not even know about your church until now.

So, I am going to experiment some with Facebook live. We will try some things like repurposed content, book reviews, family time, bible studies and discipleship. I would love for you to watch the videos and let me know what you think.

I look forward to seeing how God is going to use pastors and churches to reach more people with live stream video.

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One Word 2016

0568aaad-08f5-4552-ac63-5973503fe891If you had one word that you wanted to describe what you wanted to get out of 2016, what would it be?

For the past few years, I have started the first week in January, with writing about a word that I wanted to define the year ahead. Some years have been better than others.

This is not a pie in the sky kind of thought process. This is more of a goal that I want to meet. See, the word that I use to describe my year is for me a goal in growing my character. The word describes an aspect of my life that will help me become more of the man that I believe God has designed me to become.

This year my word is:

INTENTIONAL

I believe that there are a lot of people that are living their lives without focus or direction. They live without purpose. A life apart from focus and purpose is a wasted life.

I don’t want to live a wasted life.

I want everything that I do to be done on purpose for a purpose.

Another way of saying this is: I want everything I do to fit into God’s overall purpose for my life.

Wasting time is easy. Intentional living takes work.

Living on purpose takes work because it is far too easy to live distracted. Life has a way of throwing knuckle balls at you that are meant to knock you off of your game. It takes determination and focus to not let things sidetrack you.

You are more likely to live out your purpose when you are listening to the voice of your Shepherd. When you listen to the voice of your Shepherd, you follow Him in obedience. Your obedience shows you that you have purpose in every area of your life.

If you want to live an intentional life, you have to be disciplined.

Plan moments in areas that you want to be intentional.

  • You have to be intentional with your personal growth.
  • You have to be intentional with your health.
  • You have to be intentional with your spiritual growth.
  • You have to be intentional with your kids. You need to spend time with them individually and together.
  • You have to be intentional with your spouse. We will talk more about this one later.
  • You have to be intentional if you want to get out of debt.
  • You have to be intentional to make disciples.

Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you have to be intentional in working towards that goal.

Distracted people let life happen to them instead of making things happen. Distracted people wonder and wander. Distracted people fear change. Distracted people miss opportunities.

Every day is another opportunity to make a difference. There are 358 days left in this year. That is 358 chances to make a difference in your life, your spouse’s life, your kids’ lives or the life of someone else.

If you want to make a difference, you have to be intentional.

Be Intentional.

Live on Purpose.

Don’t Waste Your Life.

 

What is your One Word for 2016?

 

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Start, Stop, and Continue

meZ9vZuA few days ago, Jon Acuff did a Periscope broadcast on how to do a review of your year. He said that the best way to do this is to ask yourself three questions.

  1. What do I need to start?
  2. What do I need to stop?
  3. What do I need to continue?

I enjoyed his broadcast and what he said got me to thinking. This idea of start, stop, and continue works in all areas of your life. Since this is a spiritual journey that we are on, let’s apply this idea to our spiritual life.

What Do I Need To Start?

When you look back over the last year, what jumps out at you? What was that thing that God wanted you to start last year but you didn’t? We all have different reasons for not starting something. We can make excuses, we are too busy, we are afraid, and there are other reasons for not starting. There is something going on inside you. The Holy Spirit may be working to provoke you into action. What is that thing that you need to start?

  • sharing the gospel with a coworker
  • submitting fully to Jesus
  • becoming more obedient to Scripture
  • inviting friends, family or coworkers over for a meal and having gospel centered conversations
  • taking a friend or coworker out for coffee
  • giving more
  • being more intentional when you go out in public

Whatever you need to start, 2016 is the year to start it. You don’t want to be in the same place at the end of the year this year that you were at the end of 2015.

What Do I Need To Stop?

What prevented you from being everything that God has created you to be? What prevented you from living out your purpose and calling? What prevented you from being obedient to Scripture? Whatever that is, that needs to stop.

You are your own worst enemy. If God is for us, who can be against us? You are technically unstoppable when it comes to this Christian life. However, you can stop you. Fear, pride, bitterness, sin, there are many things that work at throwing a wrench into what God wants to do in you and through you. What habits do you need to change or break? What kind of thoughts need to cease? Who are you allowing to influence you? How is that working for you? Do you need to change who you listen to? Whatever prevents you from growing in Christ, that is what you need to stop.

What Do I Need To Continue?

What clicked for you? What did you do that allowed you to feel more of God’s presence in your life? Did you journal your prayers? Did you praise Him in the car? Did you read the Bible with your kids? What is some things that you applied in your life last year that you know that God has blessed and you need to continue doing? The Holy Spirit will bring these things to your mind and you will know what you need to continue.

I would like to leave you with some encouragement.

It is never too late to start something. You can start fresh and new every day.

It is never too late to stop something. You are never so far or distant that the love of Jesus cannot reach you.

May you have a blessed 2016. May you see a change in your life. May you be more aware of the Lord’s presence in your life. May you be obedient as the Holy Spirit leads and guides you on this journey.

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Productivity Apps

Are you a task oriented person? Do you organize the flow of your day into a checklist that you need to have near you so that you can check off the things that you accomplish?

I would like to share with you the task manager system that I use. It is called Todoist.

I have not been using Todoist that long but it has quickly become my task manager app for everything. Todoist makes scheduling tasks easy. Assigning days and times are no problem. You can also drag tasks up and down to put them in the order of most importance.

If you need to assign a specific task a priority, you can do so by marking the task a priority. Todoist allows you to assign priorities to certain tasks based on their level of importance. The most important task becomes priority 1 and is given a red color.

You can also make projects in Todoist and communicate and share with your team. This excites me because I believe that this is something that I could really see being beneficial among my team.

You may need to set tasks inside of tasks. Todoist makes it easy to do. You choose one of your tasks and then set a task as a sub task within that task.

You never have to forget when a task is due. Todoist will send you text, email, or push notifications. Any task that is set to a specific day and time will automatically remind you 30 minutes ahead of time. You can turn this feature on in your settings.

Todoist is the first app that after using for a time, I am actually considering purchasing the premium version. It is not expensive, it is around $29.

Todoist makes it possible to sync with Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and other apps. You can also upload files straight from your email, Google Drive, or Dropbox straight into Todoist.

Todoist makes it fun and challenging to accomplish tasks. I really enjoy it.

I think you will to if you give it a try.

If you liked this post, please like and share. Have you downloaded Todoist? Did you like it? What task manager app do you like best. Head on over to my Facebook page and share your thoughts.

Next Things

Pic from Flickr by: The Dark Angle

Pic from Flickr by: The Dark Angle

Have you ever been provoked in your spirit?

You know what I mean, right? It is that thing inside you that gnaws at you. It starts off as just an idea and then it begins to take over. It does not go away.

The idea becomes the very thing that you cannot stop thinking about. It is almost like it has grafted itself into you and become a part of you. You are now consumed by it. You are compelled to do something about it.

This is called vision.

I believe that part of the vision that God has given me for FaithPoint includes making mature disciples that make disciples.

There has to be a plan to accomplish this.

I am going to need your help. I will explain a little later.

The blog posts will continue. I am on this journey with you and I am not going to leave you hanging. However, look for some new additions.

Some people have asked that I incorporate video into my blog posts. I am going to take some time and explore that and see what I can create that will help you in your spiritual journey.

I have been talking with some people who have been encouraging me to take my sermon notes and turn them into ebooks. I hope to have one for you by Christmas.

Here is where you come in:

I want to disciple as many people as possible. I have tried group discipleship on Facebook in the past and it didn’t go well. So, after some thought, I plan on launching an individual discipleship time. I will work directly with you and help you grow spiritually as well as help you learn how to make disciples as part of the command that Jesus gave us. If this goes well, this might turn into a paid course that more people will be able to benefit from.

You will get:

  • access to all blog posts and videos through this page, your email if you sign up to receive email updates from this blog, or you can find blog posts on my new Facebook page (The link will be at the bottom of this post.)
  • questions answered and you can talk to me through Facebook messenger
  • Google Hangouts – we will schedule time to work individually once a month and there will be other times where you are invited to a group Hangout
  • We will discuss how to apply Scripture and the gospel to all areas of life.
  • We will discuss some things like Church History, doctrine and theology, why it is important and why you should care about it.
  • We will also do some book discussions. Books will help you grow if you read the right ones.
  • We will also have Theology and Film. I will ask you to watch a movie and then we will discuss how it is relevant to our spiritual journey.

To have access to this individual discipleship time, I am going to limit the number of individuals to 12. To be one of the first, just go to my Facebook page and comment under this post saying that you want in. I will contact you through email or Facebook messenger. Just let me know the best way to contact you.

Next: If you, your organization, school, club, or church has an event, I would love it if you click on the link to the speaking page and read it. I would love to be able to be on site at your event to preach/speak and help point more people to Jesus.

Technology has made it easier to connect with each other and I want to use it to edify and equip you and glorify Christ.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Pastor Jimmy

 

If you liked this post, please like and share with your friends. If you would like to join up with me and let me help you in your spiritual journey, head on over to my Facebook page and comment under this post.

 

 

 

 

FaithPoint News

FaithPoint Logo 1Greetings FaithPoint,

There is a lot of things that I would like to share with you this week.

First off, I want to thank everyone who served at the car show. We had a good time and we had four entries into the car show and all four entries placed in the top 50. That is two years in a row. Congratulations to Jason, Rich, Dale, and Michelle for bringing home top 50 awards.

We gave out a lot of water this year. Thank you to everyone who donated water for this event. We also want to thank Target, Freshway and especially Kroger for donating water for this event. If you go shopping at any of these places this week, please thank them for donating water.

We are going to change things up at our services. I could tell you what they are but that would just spoil the surprise. You will just have to come and see. I am excited about Sunday. I cannot wait!

This coming Sunday, we will be back in our Heroes series. Our character of illustration this week will be Captain America.

FaithPoint Men, we will meet this Sunday at 9:00 am at McDonald’s for our book discussion. If you have not already done so, please watch the videos for chapters 1 and 2. I look forward to our time of discussion this weekend.

There are no sermon notes for this week. However, I do want to leave you with this:

I read a study that said that the average pastor is overweight. Due to the busy ministry schedules and busy family schedules, the average pastor turns to fast food as their main source of energy and nutrition. I am a statistic. So, recently, thanks to a friend, I have turned to the paleo lifestyle. I do not hold to it rigorously but I do follow it as close as I can. I realized that to be the husband, daddy, and pastor that God wants me to be, I need to be fit and healthy. I have a goal and a plan to reach that goal.

Our spiritual life is no different. If you want to be the disciple that God created you to be, you have to be intentional. You need to set some goals and then develop plans to reach those goals.

  • You need a Bible reading plan. I recommend that you start with the ESV Bible app from Crossway or the YouVersion app. Both are free downloads.
  • You are called to make disciples. You need a person to pour your life into. It’s not always going to be pretty. It’s going to be messy sometimes. It doesn’t change the calling. You need a person to pour into. Who are you currently pouring into? If you are not, it is time to find a person and pour your life into theirs and point them to Jesus. You have to get out of your comfort zone and be blind to distractions if you want to make disciples.
  • You need a plan for personal and spiritual growth. Sitting on the couch, eating cheeseburgers and watching Netflix is not beneficial. Fun. Maybe. Not beneficial. What books are you reading? What podcasts do you listen to? What kind of webinars or online training do you participate in? Remember that leaders are readers and leaders never stop learning.

I encourage you to grow both spiritually and personally. I encourage you to make disciples and download, develop, or use an existing Bible reading plan.

You were created for great things! God does work in us before He does work through us. We need to be prepared for what He has prepared for us. May we all grow in our God given potential and may we all become the mature disciples that Jesus wants us to be.

I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Pastor Jimmy

 

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The Purpose of Accumulating Knowledge

book-610189_1280Learning. You never truly stop. Your career field is changing, technology is changing, your spouse is growing, your kids are growing and learning and you should be learning.

I believe that learning is lifelong.

The saying is true: If you stop learning, you start dying.

I try to learn as much as possible over a field of different subjects. Why? God has given us our brains and according to researchers, we never truly tap the full potential of what we can truly learn.

We are not talking about going back to school and earning another degree. Take a breath. I’m not suggesting taking tests and writing papers.

There are other ways to learn. I would like to share you some of my favorite ways of learning.

  • Books
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Conferences
  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Blogs
  • Platform University

There is a never ending opportunity to learn as much as you want about anything as long as you are truly intentional about learning.

However, what do you do with that knowledge once you have downloaded what you wanted to learn?

In other words, how do you apply what you have learned?

That is the key. Application.

If you don’t apply what you have learned, what is the point of reading books, going to conferences, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos or joining something like Platform University?

I think you know the answer. The accumulation of knowledge without application is pointless.

The same thing happens in churches.

We go to our place of worship each Sunday. We are fed a gourmet meal from Scripture, and then we go home, put our Bible on the coffee table and we plug back into the matrix.

Think about this.

Jesus said that He was the bread of life. He also said that if you drink the water that he provides, you will never thirst again.

If you constantly eat bread and never exercise, you will get fat.

It is difficult to eat when you are not hungry. It is difficult to drink when you are not thirsty.

We want to hunger and thirst after righteousness and not hunger and thirst for those things that do not matter. To hunger and thirst after righteousness means that we will truly be satisfied. We will not waste time seeking to be satisfied by meaningless pleasures and idols that we have made ourselves.

Again, it is pointless to know Scripture and listen to sermons without applying what you know.

I encourage you to read the Bible.

Maturity is directly tied to our level of obedience. The more obedient we are to Scripture, the more mature we become.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16

Chew on that. Think about it. Process it.

It is good to grow up.

We are in this together. We are family, bound together by the blood of Jesus. We help each other. I want to help you grow. I want to help you become mature in Christ.

You are not alone.

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3 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself

clipboard-311168_1280We would never say in public that we are compromising our faith. However, our culture might prove otherwise.

When I was in my 20s, I went through a compromising phase. This is what I mean by that. I said I was a Christian but the life I lived looked nothing like Christ. You can call it compromise. You can also call it hypocrisy.

How do you know whether or not you are in a position where you are compromising your faith?

I believe that there are 3 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself to figure this out.

  1. What do I believe in? When you read the Bible, does it come alive to you or do you treat the Bible like any other book? The Bible is and should be more than reading a Batman comic or The Hunger Games. The Bible reveals who God is, the person and work of Jesus, the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We are the church and we need to know and understand what the Bible says about us in light of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ. If you doubt, pray that God would help your unbelief by the Holy Spirit illuminating Scripture to you.
  2. Does my life reflect what the Bible says? James tells us that we are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. Paul writes in Colossians, “as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” What you truly believe to be true about God, determines how you will live. Your theology determines your reality. Our focus should be on Christ and not on ourselves. We cannot walk in holiness if we are not walking in obedience. You can not inspire people to live out God’s Word if you are not living it out. That means that you cannot make disciples if you are not already a disciple yourself. To call yourself a Christian, your life should look like you are a student or follower of Christ.
  3. What am I most passionate about? What you love the most is what you will talk about the most. I am no different than you. I enjoy talking about my wife, my boys, food, books, and movies. However, all of those things pale in comparison to Jesus. If I call myself a Christian, I should be passionate about Jesus. I should want to spend time with Him, I should want to read the Bible, I should want to talk about Him more than I talk about anything else. I should be disciplined in my faith. What is in your heart determines the words that come out of your mouth. We have no excuses to not share the gospel. When you share your story, share the gospel and share what Jesus means to you and what He is currently doing in your life.

We should do an internal evaluation often. We need to make sure that we are not lazy or complacent. Laziness and complacency leads to becoming stagnant. We do not need a stagnant life. Being stagnant leads to death. A stagnant life has no business defining the life of a Christian. May you live a life that is fuller and more abundant in Christ than you ever thought possible!

When is the last time you did an internal evaluation? What did you discover?

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Why I Love Platform University

oeBkTwYDo you have a person in your life that you highly respect?

For me, that person is Michael Hyatt. I have been following Michael for a few years now and I try to read, watch, listen or download anything that Michael does.

When you want to learn something new, you want to learn from the best. I believe that Michael is the best at what he does.

He has never signed a book for me, invited me to his house for dinner, or had coffee with me at Starbucks but…

I consider him to be my mentor.

Michael created Platform University. You can join at platformuniversity.com 

If you are a person with something to say or sell, Platform University can help you get your message out by cutting through the mediocrity and the noise.

I am a pastor. I genuinely believe that Platform University can help me get my message out. I believe that Platform University can help me learn what I need to learn to get people to join me at my homebase – this blog.

Creating quality content, being consistent with that content and engaging people is all part of building your platform.

Platform University invites people who are experts in their field to come in and share their stories. You get to learn from people who started out just like you and have created platforms that give them permission to speak into people’s lives. You get to learn what they did to get to where they are now.

Platform University allows you to move freely throughout the site and park wherever you want to. I like to hangout in the Masterclass and Backstage Pass sections. I have learned a lot from there. My next plan is to visit the forums and meet people who are currently building platforms and learning from what they have done and how they are applying what they have learned from being a part of Platform University.

You will notice that Platform University uses video as its main medium to deliver information. I have seriously considered using video on this blog because it seems that video helps capture people’s attention. Video may just be what I need to try when I have a blog that is longer than 500 words.

There is also a section that I recommend called Platform Makeovers. This section shows people that have gone through very nice platform transformations and it is encouraging to think if they can do it so can I.

I cannot imagine how anyone could not benefit from Platform University. If you are a blogger, writer, speaker, leader, or entrepreneur you should really give it a look.

I hope to see you there.