Yesterday, I led a workshop at Leadership Institute – Worship Online: What We’ve Learned in Three Years. Having transitioned my job responsibility to serve as Associate Pastor at Resurrection West on August 15, this was my final official role with Resurrection Online. You can see the presentation here:
I felt great about the presentation. I was able to share the thought, theological reflection and strategic decisions that had been made over the past three years that culminated in the decision to understand Resurrection Online as a worship venue of our Leawood campus and not as a campus where people would go to worship, grow, give, serve and find community. My friend Ben Simpson, asked if I would guest post about what I learned as Pastor of Resurrection Online. I hope to write this post soon, so to read some great writing (and my guest post at some time in the future, I commend http://www.benjaminasimpson.com to you.
It was a good finale. With the completion of that workshop, I feel that I was able to end well and close my time with Resurrection Online.
Currently we are not offering Coffee with the Pastors online, however I hope to be able to offer that possibility in the next few years. Being a member offers no benefits at Resurrection and only expectations. You can participate in nearly everything at Resurrection as a member or a visitor. Our membership expectations are to:
Be in worship every weekend
Be actively growing in your faith outside of worship
Serve God both inside and outside the congregation
Give in proportion to your income with a tithe (10%) being the goal.
I want to make sure that people who join online would have the opportunity to live out their membership expectations online. We are not there yet.
For those that worship regularly at Resurrection Online and are interested in becoming a member, I suggest two possibilities: Seek to live out Resurrection‘s membership expectations where you are. If you want to travel to be a part of a Coffee with the Pastors in person, you could become a member of Resurrection in that way.
Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about all this?
In some ways it is both. There are people who are primarily connected at one of Resurrection‘s physical locations that worship online each week. These are people that are sick, out of town, recovering from surgery, have a sick child and any number of other situations that leads them to worship online that week. There are people who are not at all connected with one of Resurrection‘s physical locations who worship online most weekends during the year. For the former group of people, Resurrection Online is an online extension of Resurrection. For the latter, Resurrection Online is one of Resurrection‘s campuses and this is the way that these individuals connect with our purpose of building a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.
While Resurrection Online may be experienced in different ways for different people, it makes sense to focus on one vision for the ministry and continue to move forward in that way. That vision is that Resurrection Online is one of Resurrection‘s campuses. Our goal is to move toward offering the opportunity to live out all the membership expectations of the church online and encourage people to get connected in person, when possible. I hope that Resurrection Online will be a tool for people to be more engaged in their faith and not less engaged. Developing the opportunity to grow in your faith outside of worship and serve God inside and outside the church are key areas that Resurrection Online are key areas ahead for this ministry area.
I was glad to be able to share the story of Resurrection Online with Beth and Brandon from NBC Action News yesterday morning. They put together a great story. You can find the entire story at http://bit.ly/jf3zYr and see the segment that played on the 5:00 PM news. Will you please share the story with others?
I am looking forward to the next few weeks at Resurrection Online. In two weeks we are going to be launching a refresh of the Resurrection Online web and mobile page at www.rezonline.org. This will allow you to register your attendance and give without opening a new window. It will also position us to begin development of additional opportunities to build community online that will launch in the first part of 2011.
My wife, Nicole, and I are expecting our first child next month. I am preparing to transition my week to week responsibilities to another staff person while I am on paternity leave. I will be away for 5 weeks after the birth of our child. Here are a few other events coming up in the month ahead at Resurrection Online.
“Christmas at Resurrection”, Kansas City’s MUST SEE Christmas musical event, is now in its 7th year. This delightful evening of music, drama, dance and pageantry features over 300 voices of children’s, youth, and adult choirs accompanied by our own 50 piece orchestra. This performance will leave you in the Christmas spirit like no other event in the area.
Resurrection Online is looking for people to be part of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Here are some ways that you can get involved…
If you are in the Kansas City area, you can connect with missions opportunities at www.cor.org/missions. If you are outside the Kansas City area or unable to participate in those opportunities, will you please consider one of the following opportunities to serve?
Facebook Moderator: As a Facebook Moderator, you will read and respond, in a loving way to Facebook messages and ensure all comments are responded to quickly.
Facebook Prayer Partner: As a Prayer Partner you will pray for services while they are live and send daily prayer messages to those connected with the Resurrection Online Facebook page.
Social Media Editor: As a Social Media Editor you will modify eNote and notes from worship to compose social media posts. You will design social media posts to be conversational and include links in posts that allow further exploration on posted content.
Tech Admin: As a Tech Admin, you will upload posts from the Social Media Editors into HootSuite and schedule them for publication.
If you are in the Kansas City area, you can get connected with opportunities to serve by visiting www.cor.org/missions. If you are living outside the Kansas City area, you may consider serving in person in one of the following ways:
Helping an elderly person with work around their yard or home.
Will you consider ways to bless your neighbors or serve others in your local community? If you are serving God in your community through Resurrection Online will you please mail Pastor Andrew Conard to share your story?
Any effort to launch micro churches will be owned by another ministry area (Silver Link, for example) or a District Superintendent in a location remote to Kansas City. The owner will be responsible for follow up, holding people accountable and strategic direction. I will provide active support, training, coaching, resources and participate in agreed upon action steps.
We will be purchasing new encoders before the end of the month and are in the middle of the 2011 budget process. Also in the works is a refresh of the www.rezonline.org website in preparation for significant additional functionality around worship in the first quarter of 2011. This is an exciting time for Resurrection Online.
“Instead of planning for specific buildings, campuses, staff roles, and outreach, I’m planning to be prepared for opportunities that I can’t name today. We are creating margin and planning to respond quickly to ideas that we don’t yet have.
Speed, agility, flexibility, and financial margin are far better than a detailed road map.”
This is a great articulation of what I believe will be most helpful both at Resurrection Online and at any of the churches that I will serve in the future. It is not helpful to become captive to a vision of the future that includes tangible specifics more than five away. So are you ready for it?
I have been inspired by Kevin Watson’s series of posts about the Methodist Class Meeting. It was part of what made the Methodist movement powerful. I have hoped to use the following series of posts as a guide for leading class meetings when I am the lead pastor at a church one day.
Then I thought, what about now? I am leading Resurrection Online and hoping to create opportunities for people to worship, grow, give and serve. Isn’t this one of the powerful ways that the Methodist movement grew in faith and size? Would a class meeting work online? What are your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this possibility
Resurrection Online has experienced 38% growth in year-to-date average weekly worship attendance over last year. This is really exciting and has also lead to some challenges. We are looking at how to continue to provide the best possible experience for those that worship online, offer opportunities to grow, give and serve as well as launching multiple micro churches.
Recognize that first users are not the same as scaling users
At Resurrection Online, I have witnessed this in practice. Some of those who first began to connect with the online community have not continued. Even those that are connected today may not be the ones who will continue to worship with Resurrection Online as we begin to offer additional opportunities to be in community. It will be interesting to see how this community continues to develop.
Anticipate that first products are not the same as scaling products
I have sought to anticipate what will not be able to scale as Resurrection Online grows and avoided starting to implement the opportunity. It is much easier to introduce a new opportunity rather than remove what no longer becomes sustainable. There are likely still things that we are doing today that will not be able to sustain as growth continues, however I hope that number of those things is small.
You will have to be as willing to stop stuff as you are to start stuff.
This is connected to the above point about scaling products. There have already been some things that we have stopped which were offered in the beginning. As part of Resurrection Online‘s commitment to roll out features as soon as possible and listen to feedback from the users, we will necessarily stop doing some stuff after it has begun because it just won’t make sense with actual congregants.
You will have to drive up the level of excellence. … As you grow, so will the expectations of your guests.
This will continue to be true. There are aspects of Resurrection Online quality with which I am not satisfied today. Increased numbers of people connecting with Resurrection Online will mean that quality will need to continue to improve.