What is Digital Ministry? Marketing vs. Doing Ministry

For congregations to thrive in today's digitally oriented world, it is important to understand how DIGITAL MINISTRY differs from SOCIAL MEDIA and MARKETING.

The digital ministry shift is a move from using social media solely to promote ministry opportunities to actually doing ministry on social media. 

Yes, we need to promote and market events. That's true.  But to harness the power of social media we need to go further!   

In this episode, I share a concrete example related to educating and orienting newcomers.  That's right...  How to move your welcoming and membership ministry online using social! 

Watch or listen below. 

 

Listen to this episode via my podcast:
You may play it below or click the icons (left to right) to subscribe, download, embed, or share this episode.

 

Episode Notes

Social Media

Think about all the different social media platforms we have. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Video posting platforms,...

Continue Reading...

Multi-Platform Worship: Crowdsourcing Wisdom & Insights

multi-platform Sep 14, 2021
It should be no surprise that MULTI-PLATFORM WORSHIP is a hot topic right now!
 
I'm having a wide range of conversations with clergy, staff, and volunteers related to multi-platform ministry, digital life, growth, outreach, membership development, etc... and all conversations tend to lead back to "hybrid" worship.
 
To help us learn, innovate, and iterate faster, I want to start holding regular Zoom sessions designed to crowdsource our wisdom and insight -- religious professionals, staff, and volunteer leaders.

 

These times call for collaboration and rapid innovation!  I think a monthly crowdsourcing session would be good.  Not just on multi-platform worship, but a wide range of issues.  

 
The first session will be on multi-platform worship. What other topics would you like to work on? 
 
Unitarian Universalist congregations: If you are a member of my Facebook group for UU leaders you may share your topic ideas in our group...
Continue Reading...

On Technology, Staffing & Multi-Platform Ministry

Is your congregation considering new tech staffing?  This is for you!  Please share this with any congregation you know who is in discernment on this issue. 

Here's the question I keep getting, often when the process is far along and jobs are being threatened....

Question:

Peter, should we downsize our existing program staff and invest in a full-time tech person?

Quick Answer:  No! In my professional opinion that's a horrible idea for most congregations.  Better to invest in your existing staff & volunteers, cultivate new volunteers, see how far you can go and grow together, adding tech & media skills and associated tasks to portfolios of your staff and volunteers.  If there are tech tasks that you must have covered, start with temporary contracts to supplement your existing team.

Watch this for my long answer:

 


All congregations need to be working to develop their media and tech capacity. But this shouldn't be implemented as knee-jerk...

Continue Reading...

On Relaunching Congregations This Fall

digital ministry Aug 09, 2021

I'm talking with leaders about regathering their congregations this Fall.  One of my recommendations? Think about it like we are RELAUNCHING our congregations.   That's the kind of spirit and energy I think we need to bring to our regathering efforts. 

Not just gathering again, but a full relaunch.  New energy, new models, new opportunities -- new and exciting!!!  

I know that's a lot.   But I think that's what we need to bring people back and to welcome new members in.

This is serious business, especially with the pandemic accelerating declining attendance trends. Enough to make me put on my serious face... 

But it is also incredibly exciting!

Our challenge?

To reconnect our communities -- including outreach to newcomers -- we need more effective communication, leaders using social media and video in ways that build relationships and deploy intentional strategies to help people take their next steps in congregational life.

That's a...

Continue Reading...

Summer Training Update!

Friends,  here's a quick update on what's coming this Summer

This is just a preview.  Training topics include digital ministry, social media, small groups, and membership development.  That and lots of time to talk strategy and issues related to re-gathering and re-launching this Fall. 

I'll share the full details, dates, and open registration after  July 4th.

I know some of you are taking a break, others are leading Summer services and programming, and others working hard on preparing for the Fall.  My goal is to be there to support you whenever you are ready! 

 

PS -- Watch to the end for my sea monster impression.

SUBSCRIBE HERE for free content, online training event invitations, and more for Unitarian Universalist religious professionals, staff & volunteers!

 

Continue Reading...

UU Digital Ministry - New Plan, New Program!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Based on your survey feedback and resulting conversations, I'm launching a 100% redesigned Unitarian Universalist Digital Ministry program.

Here are some features of the new program:

• Open to all UU congregations
• Offers ongoing digital ministry strategy, skill training, and support
• For teams: volunteers, staff, and religious professionals
• On-demand content
• Live strategy sessions via Zoom
• Additional live stream Q&A sessions in response to your questions
• Monthly subscription affordable for congregations of all sizes and budgets

Do you like the idea of our doing Unitarian Universalist DIGITAL MINISTRY together? I can't wait! I'll be sharing much more shortly.

This is just a quick "I listened! Change of direction..." update.

What about the other program?  I'm following up with those who expressed interest in that program.

Thanks to all who completed the survey. I greatly appreciate your sharing your...

Continue Reading...

Digital Ministry Accelerator Program - Overview and Feedback Requested

Update: Based on your feedback I'm 100% redesigning my training programs!  Make sure you sign up to get training updates. Details are coming out the week of June 23, 2021.

 

Friends, here's an overview of my new Digital Ministry Accelerator program, DMAX for short.  It is a 12-week program for Unitarian Universalist parish ministers (this round) and their congregations.  Interested ministers, I'd love your feedback! 

Please complete this brief program survey: SURVEY COMPLETED

Your responses will help me finalize the program design and the day and time we'll hold our weekly strategy sessions.    Thank you!

 

 

Continue Reading...

Peter Bowden on the UU podcast "The Flame" by Roddy Biggs

Friends, recently I had the opportunity to be a guest on the new Unitarian Universalist podcast "The Flame" by Roddy Biggs!

Grateful for the chance to reflect on a range of issues related to UU life, ministry, media, and the pandemic through this conversation.  Thanks, Roddy!  

If you'd like to have future episodes delivered to your device, subscribe to The Flame podcast.

About the podcast

The Flame is a Unitarian Universalist faith-centered podcast offering voices and stories of hope, love, resilience, and community. Witness real conversations, ones that sometimes tackle challenging topics but safely and bravely. Whether you are a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, new to the faith, or this is the first time you are hearing of the Unitarian Universalist faith, I welcome you just as you are.

 
Continue Reading...

Pandemic Ministry: Leadership, Clarity, and Uncertainty

As we enter year two of the pandemic, uncertainty is a core aspect of our ministry context.  How can we lead when so much is unknown? 

Leaders and their congregations must have great clarity of mission and the vision they want to work toward.  To work toward a clear mission-driven vision,  facing the unknown as a community together is the path. 

We can't have productive conversations about models, approaches, and staffing if we don't have clarity on our mission in 2021 and a powerful vision specific to our present ministry context.

YouTube video chapters
(0:00) Welcome
(3:19) Covid19 Year One. 
(7:28) Covid19 Year Two?
(9:16) Leadership, Clarity, and Uncertainty


Continue Reading...

Interview with the Rev. Christana Wille McKnight

In this interview with the Rev. Christana Wille McKnight, minister of First Parish in Taunton, MA , we discuss the principles and strategies that helped this Unitarian Universalist congregation move from being at risk of closing to becoming a thriving small congregation playing a major role in Taunton’s revitalization efforts.  

Get the "Playbook"
Rev. Christana Wille McKnight has kindly shared a Google Doc on the 11 points we discussed in this interview.  To get the playbook, click here to open the Google Doc and then hit the add to drive icon to save a link to it in your drive.

WATCH


VIDEO  CHAPTERS
(0:00) Countdown
(
0:43) Welcome
(
2:00) Overview of Transformation
(
6:00) Rev. Christana Wille McKnight's "playbook"'
(
6:25) 1. Live Invitational Culture
(
9:29) 2. Use Accessible Language
(
12:05) 3. Put Your Words into Action
(
17:15) 4. Create Intentionally Welcoming Community
(
19:20) 5. Reflect Your Community and Context.
(
20:48) 6. Understand that Every...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Get new free content, videos, and training updates!