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,...

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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...

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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!

 

 

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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.

 
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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


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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...

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Hybrid Church Strategy Session

Friday Hot Topics Ministry Strategy Session
Many congregations are starting to look at hybrid ministry approaches seeking to integrate gathering online and offline. In this session, I share some considerations based on my MOST RECENT conversations with congregational leaders. This is an ongoing conversation.

About this week's sessions
This week, February 8 through February 12, I'm going live daily to discuss digital ministry, hybrid church models, and other HOT TOPICS based on your interest.

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How to Keep Small Groups from Becoming Imploding?

Thursday Hot Topics Ministry Strategy Session

In this session, how to keep small groups from turning inward and imploding! 

Have you had a bad experience with small groups turning into cliques? This happens like clockwork in the absence of ministry leadership! A congregational small group network or small group ministry requires vision casting, coaching, and skill training to thrive. It needs to be an integral part of the ministry of the congregation. Push groups off to the side or leave them on autopilot, relationships will naturally pull the group inward. It isn't that the relationships are bad. It is just the natural result of not having the corresponding outward pull of your vision!

About this week's sessions
This week, February 8 through February 12, I'm going live daily to discuss digital ministry, hybrid church models, and other HOT TOPICS based on your interest.

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The Perfection Trap! Live versus Pre-Recorded Content

Wednesday Hot Topics Ministry Strategy Session

Some strategic thoughts for congregations on pre-recorded worship and other video content versus live content. 

Pre-recording worship gives you amazing control.  This can be seductive and pull you into a "perfection" trap.   Be mindful of prioritizing high-quality content (important) over a worship and ministry design that promotes interaction, relationship, conversation (critical in my opinion).

We need to be striving to build relationships and a connection to your local congregation and local community.

If the priority is on high quality "content" over relationship, you're going to be competing with the top spiritual and faith-based influencers online. Your worship design and use of technology should advance your ministry objectives.

About this week's sessions
This week, February 8 through February 12, I'm going live daily to discuss digital ministry, hybrid church models, and other HOT TOPICS based on your...

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Tips for Online Membership Development

Tuesday Hot Topics Ministry Strategy Session
In this session, issues related to congregations and online membership development!  I discuss things I'm seeing congregations do that can inhibit membership development and share some alternate approaches.   

About this week's sessions
This week, February 8 through February 12, I'm going live daily to discuss digital ministry, hybrid church models, and other HOT TOPICS based on your interest.


Note that I removed the intro of this session because of an audio glitch. Thanks to everyone who helped me troubleshoot.

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