categories: LifeChurch.tv, innovation, social networking, technology
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April 7th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Campus Facebook Strategy

We’re in the process of overhauling our LifeChurch.tv website, and I’ll have plenty of details to share about that in the coming weeks. But for now I want to let you know how we’re employing Facebook at a campus level.

Currently, www.LifeChurch.tv has individual campus pages with specialized content management tools for each of our locations. To some extent, this solution met the need of sharing information about upcoming events and campus-specific information. But the tools were hard for our teams to use, and it relied on people visiting our site to keep up with the latest information.

Recently, we’ve been shifting much of our campus-specific content to Facebook. As Facebook has grown (currently over 400 million active users), it’s become a place where more and more people are connecting with each other in a meaningful way—keeping up with friends, uploading photos, sharing links and videos, and learning more about the people they meet.

We’re just starting to roll out custom Facebook pages for our campuses. Here’s a look at the page for our Oklahoma City campus, and some of our reasons behind this transition:

  • Instead of forcing people to come to us (our site), Facebook allows us to go where they’re already active online. Instead of trying to be a separate destination, we get to integrate with their lives.
  • The outreach potential is huge. Example: we post  a baptism photo and tag the person in the photo who is getting baptized. The photo shows up on that person’s Facebook wall, as well as in their friends’ feeds, giving them a simple way to share their new life in Christ with their Facebook friends.
  • In addition to conveying information about events, classes, etc., Facebook creates the opportunity for community and connection. It serves as an online representation of the campus, where people can get to know each other, ask questions, and keep up with what’s happening in people’s lives and the life of the campus.
  • It reduces bloat on our LifeChurch.tv site and allows us to be laser focused with our content there.
  • We don’t have to re-create the wheel. Facebook is already accomplishing many of the goals we have for our campus communication. By leaning on their tools, it frees up time and development resources in the long run.
  • It’s free!

We’re also providing our teams with some basic and advanced training so they are equipped to get the most out of their Facebook presence and interaction.

Is your church using Facebook? If so, what are some challenges and advantages you’ve experienced there?

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, church, community, creativity, development, generosity, global church, innovation, leadership, social networking, working together
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January 12th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Strategically Generous Church

I pray your church or ministry gives spontaneously to meet needs. But if we only give spontaneously, this style of giving will limit what we’re able to give. Another way to think about giving is to be strategic.

  • Abraham thought ahead of time to send gifts with his servant for Isaac’s future wife.
  • The Magi planned ahead of time to bring extravagant gifts for God’s son.
  • God strategically showed His love for us by sending Christ while we were still sinning against Him.

Isaiah 32:8 says, “But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.” (NLT)

We could say generous churches plan to do what is generous. Instead of just planning our next building project or fundraiser, we should also “plan to do what is generous.”

Unquestionably we should plan to help the poor and needy. (Most churches do this well or at least are trying to do so.) We can also plan to help and support other churches or ministries.

In our meetings, we have learned to strategically ask, “What can we give to other churches to help them?”

  • Do you have a building you could offer another ministry one day a week or more?
  • When you upgrade choir robes, a van, or a sound system, can you give what you had to bless another ministry?
  • Can you make your sermons, outlines, or videos available to serve other churches?

When you plan to be generous, you might be surprised how many ways you can be a blessing.

How is God using your ministry to serve others?

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categories: communication, creativity, innovation, leadership, social networking
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May 5th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

The Second “D”

To pursue your dream, at some point, you’ll likely have to take an aggressive step. Phase two is to make the decision to pursue your dream.

This sounds easier than it is.

A friend of mine who occasionally flies a small plane recreationally once described to me the point of no return on takeoffs. He explained that on the runway, there comes a point that the pilot must be absolutely committed to takeoff. If the pilot isn’t committed at full throttle, he’ll run out of runway and won’t get the plane off the ground.

The same is true of the dream. At some point, you’ll have to make a faith decision.

Your faith decision could be as bold as leaving a job or moving your family to another country. Or it could be as simple as going public with your dream, starting to raise money, or forming a 501c-3.

No matter what the decision, to step toward your destiny will often require a daring step away from your security. In other words, if you want to walk on water, you’re going to have to get out of the boat.

Remember, it is impossible to please God without faith.

When did you make a big faith decision toward your dream? Or… Do you have a decision to make?

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, church, guest, social networking, working together
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April 7th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

Bring your friends on Facebook to church

Bring your friends on Facebook to Church Online this Easter…or even better, bring Church Online to your friends on Facebook.

Our team has been working with the folks at Facebook to add a new feature to our online church experiences this Easter.  I’ll do my best to explain the feature here, but the best way to understand it would be to come to one of the 14 Church Online Easter experiences starting this Saturday night.

One of the popular features of Facebook is the ability to make short status updates that allow your friends to see what you are doing.  You can also see the updates of all of your friends.  This Easter, Facebook has allowed us to integrate these status updates into our online church experience.  People will be able to post updates and also see the status updates from all of their friends while participating in Church Online.  These will also all be visible on Facebook and will provide an easy way for people in Facebook to join the live experience.  The last time I remember seeing this type of integration was with Facebook and CNN for the broadcast of the Presidential Inauguration where they saw 1 million updates to Facebook that morning.

I’m really proud of our team who is working hard to engage and intersect people “where they are at” online.  It’s going to be a great Easter week.  You’re invited and so are your friends on Facebook.

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categories: blogs, social networking
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September 19th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

LifeShare

Earlier this week our Internet Campus launched LifeShare, a new 7-day challenge for the church to move together online with purpose. We’re partnering with the community at RagamuffinSoul.com to extend the love and compassion of Jesus to our friends, followers and online communities.

We’re doing this at a few different levels, ranging from simple steps like tweets and internet campus e-invites to more in-depth efforts like sharing online how God is working in your life and embedding video teaching on your blog. We’re connecting daily through a live video stream to talk about next steps and pray together. LifeShare is open to anyone, anywhere, so feel free to join us by signing up here.

As people increasingly live more of their lives online, we need to be intentional about equipping and challenging them to share Christ in those spaces as well. Have you found effective ways to help your church engage online? How?

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categories: social networking
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February 18th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Don’t Give Up Swerve For Lent

I saw this article via crunchgear that talks about how people are giving up Facebook, Myspace, other social networks, and instant messaging for 40 days and 40 nights because of Lent.  There is no doubt that all of those things can be addictive, and we could probably all stand to have a break.  For example, I know several of you that would benefit from a little less Twitter.

So how ’bout it…Have any of you ever fasted from social networks, etc.?  If so, how was the experience? If not, would you ever?

What ever you do, don’t give up swerve :) …we’d really miss you.

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categories: social networking, working together
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January 8th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Swerve’s One Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of Swerve! I can’t believe an entire year has flown by since Craig and I “Finally” started blogging…

In the past year, we’ve posted 417 times. What’s amazing is the community and relationships that have formed. You have commented almost 7,800 times with over 5,000 comments in just the last six months!

This week we’ll highlight some areas of Swerve that can make your experience more useful and convenient. Though we hope what we share is helpful in your lives and ministries, our team receives tremendous value from your contribution to these posts and discussions.

Swerve’s purpose from the beginning is to share and learn from leaders who are passionate about reaching this world for Christ. We look forward to seeing how God will continue to use Swerve.

What are some features you’d like to see on Swerve in the future?

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categories: social networking
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September 19th, 2007

by Bobby Gruenewald

The Results: Social Networks

This survey is not quite scientific enough to qualify as the Gruenewald/Gallup Survey on Online Social Networks, BUT here are the results anyway:

Social Network Used

update to social networks -fixed

Any thoughts or surprises?

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