A Season of Transition

It is a season of transition. I have had the opportunity to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church since July 1, 2018. On Sunday, I announced during worship that I have received a new appointment from Bishop Ruben Saenz to serve as the pastor at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka beginning July 1, 2019. I will miss the good people of Berryton and am grateful for the care our family has received from both the church and community. I look forward to meeting the people of Susanna Wesley, learning more about the ministries, traditions, hopes, and dreams of the congregation, and continuing to reach the mission field with the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. I am also looking forward to learning from Rev. Maria Campbell who has served Susanna Wesley faithfully these past seven years!

The Staff Parish team at Berryton UMC has been in conversation with our District Superintendent, Rev. Kay Scarbrough, about who will be appointed to serve as the next pastor. We will share that news when it is available. Will you take a moment to pray for our community, congregations, Bishop, District Superintendents and our family?

If you would like to get or stay connected with me, here are a few ways:

I am committed to making this transition in the best possible way, including saying goodbye, grieving, finding away in the “in-between” space, saying hello, and engaging new beginnings.

Podcasts and Faith

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I run, when I drive and when I’m working. I love the ability to discover stories, learn new things, stay up-to-date with the news, and more. Lately, several podcasts that are part of my regular listening rotation featured episodes about church and faith. Here is a rundown…

StartUp from Gimlet Media

StartUp is a show about what it’s really like to start a business. I have been a listener from day one. Over several seasons, they have shared the ins and outs of starting a business from scratch. The most recent season is a bit of a shift and one that is particularly fascinating for me – church planters. While I have never planted a church, I have resonated with the real life stories from Restoration Church. Here are the episodes so far:

There is more to come, so don’t forget to subscribe to StartUp here.

This American Life from WBEZ

Unlike StartUp, I have not been listening to This American Life from the beginning. I have been listening for a number of years. The storytelling is world-class. I have appreciated many episodes over the years, though the one that brings them to this post includes a segment about Restoration Church and brings in a bit different angle. You can take a listen at If You Build It, Will They Come?

Hidden Brain from NPR

I have been an on and off again listener to Hidden Brain – usually depending on the opportunities and challenges of a particular season of life. This episode, Creating God, takes a look at how religions have evolved, almost like living organisms, to help human societies survive and flourish. This approach to religion is from a social psychologist and it is fascinating, challenging, and hopeful. You can take a listen at Creating God.

After you listened, what was your response? What podcasts do you listen to on a regular basis?

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3

I am part of a team from First United Methodist Church in El Dorado, KS attending Leadership Institute 2012. I collected Twitter updates tagged with #li2012. Then I used Wordle to create word clouds with the text of updates during the conference. I edited out Twitter usernames, RT and #li2012 to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

  • You can find the raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #li2012 at http://j.mp/VvLjlU. Feel free to use these updates and World to create your own word clouds.

You can download the full size images using the links below:

  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project up to and including October 2 – http://j.mp/UdSFN2
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3 – http://j.mp/PSJgUW
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 4 – To be created…
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 5 – To be created…
  • The #li2012 Word Cloud Project for October 3 to October 5 – To be created…

Enjoy!

The #li2012 Word Cloud Project up to and including October 2

2012 Twitter Hashtags and Live Streaming for #UMC Conferences

At the end of the #dreamUMC chat last night, I volunteered to collect hashtags for United Methodist conferences this year. I hope you will find it helpful to stay connected across the denomination.

Will you please help me complete this list? Please send me an @reply on Twitter @andrewconard or leave a comment on this post with dates, clarification on hashtags, link if it is being live streamed or additional conferences.

Please tweet or share this link to this post to spread the word – http://j.mp/K26ox3

Dates for Conference Unknown (to me)

  • #tnumc12 / #tnac2012 – Tennessee (@tnumc)

UMNS 2012 Annual Conference Reports

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud – Milk Paints

The #GC2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project

Twitter was a powerful tool of engagement during General Conference 2012. I thought it would be fascinating to archive and analyze the updates tagged with #gc2012. On Tuesday morning, I set up an Archive of the #gc2012 hashtag through a HootSuite Pro account. Every day I downloaded the data from the previous day, corrected the date and time to be local for Tampa, removed extraneous data and put it in a spreadsheet. Then I used Wordle to create a word cloud with the text of all the updates for that day. After a few days, I began to edit out Twitter usernames and prominent hashtags to get a better view of the conversation. I hope that you enjoy the results!

Where can I find the data?

The raw data of Twitter updates tagged with #gc2012 are available in a spreadsheet at http://j.mp/Iad0fW. Use the tabs along the bottom of the page to navigate to each day of the conference. (Updated through May 3, 2012)

Where can I download full size images for the entire conference?

I created multiple word clouds for the entire conference in various color schemes and arrangements. You can find the links to these images below.

Where can I download full size images for each day?

You can find the full size downloadable word cloud images created from these Twitter updates with the links below. The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project for:

How can I support and join in this project?

  • Share – Use http://j.mp/JPiBqj to share this blog post with others.
  • Analyze – Dig in to the raw Twitter data with the spreadsheet above and share what you discover
  • Post – Use the images in your own blog posts, make prints, share with others and include in articles both online and in print.
  • Donate – Will you please donate to a few dollars to help cover costs of the archiving service? Use this link to donate securely via PayPal or credit / debit card.

The #gc2012 Twitter Word Cloud Project Daily Images

12-04-24 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-25 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-26 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-27 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-28 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-29 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-04-30 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-05-01 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-05-02 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-05-03 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

12-05-04 Twitter Updates from #gc2012

Top 10 Ways to Connect

Connecting with people is one of the most important roles of being a pastor. I was inspired by Valeria Maltoni with her list of 100 Ways to Connect. I selected my top 10 from the list at Conversation Agent.

  • Introduce Peers
  • Tell Stories
  • Stay offline when you’re tired or argumentative
  • Brag about your fans’ products and services
  • Become the person you’d like to be
  • Stay soft on people, hard on issues
  • Thank often and liberally
  • Adopt and credit good ideas
  • Appreciate success is several years in the making
  • Set a good example
What do you find to be the most effective ways of connecting with people?

SXSW Interactive – Next Steps for Resurrection Online

This is a collection of next steps for Resurrection Online from my time at SXSW Interactive in categories. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about these possible next steps?

The Journey of becoming a Deeply Committed Christian

  • Create opportunities for positive competitive environments – best guidance, most faithful next steps, insightful response to scripture or worship, etc.
  • Create feedback loops for membership expectations.
  • Explore the possibility of allowing users to tag, rate, connect and organize Resurrection’s sermon archive.
  • Encourage offline actions (love your neighbor) through what happens online.

User Design Experience

  • What if we allowed Resurrection Online to be embeddable on other sites?
  • Create the opportunity for people to engage from the very first time they worship online
  • Create a vision onesheet for Resurrection Online
  • Intentionally design a user experience strategy for Resurrection Online
  • Design a user experience that will sustain connection over a long period of time
  • Pay attention to the motivating human behavior for worship online
  • Develop a shaping strategy and view for mainline church online
  • Determine whether Resurrection Online will become a shaping platform for mainline church online
  • Audit the Resurrection Online website

Community Development

  • Develop a way to share and receive stories of people who worship with Resurrection Online.
  • Create opportunities to live out attributes of a community for Resurrection Online
  • Facilitate connections among regular worshipers that are in similar situations
  • Practice random acts of connection among regulars – email, phone, letter.
  • Create predictable programs to invite people to engage – once a week, first Monday, etc.
  • Expand the Resurrection Stories shared via the GPS beyond Lent.
  • Engage with people who I may not recognize as being an influencer
  • Introduce members of the Resurrection Online community to one another.

Game Layer

  • What would a game layer would look like for the journey of knowing, loving and serving God?
  • What would a game layer would look like for worship at Resurrection Online?
  • Design game mechanics for Resurrection Online including: Come and Try It – intial engagement; Bring Friends and Play Together – social; Come Back – creating repeat engagement

Open / Crowdsourced Project

  • Explore open projects for the people of Resurrection Online
  • Set up a crowdsourced project for the people of Resurrection Online about how they became connected with Resurrection Online called Why Resurrection Online?
  • Create opportunities for Resurrection Online regulars to influence future development.
  • Focus on a single platform and use it very well before expanding.
  • Pay attention to whether those that share feedback are regulars at Resurrection Online
  • Ask for ideas to improve Resurrection Online from regulars.

Worship

  • Provide guidance for people to prepare offline for worship online. Some internal preparation may be helpful before you turn on the screen.
  • Do not force people to log in or share contact information to worship
  • Clearly communicate what will be done with information that is received in the attendance form

Be Aware

  • Be aware that Resurrection Online is amazing technology to which some people feel entitled.
  • Be aware that Resurrection Online encourages bilocationality – people trying to be two places at once.
  • Pay attention to guidelines for building an online community as development continues with Resurrection Online
  • Visit the communities where I hope to build Resurrection Online frequently
  • Pay careful attention to the updates that we encourage people to make about Resurrection Online

SXSW Interactive Trade Show

I took a quick walk through of the tradeshow at SXSW Interactive and collected a few pictures and websites to investigate. (In no particular order) Enjoy!

Microsoft

Daily Feats

 

Sony

 

Salsa Labs

American Museum of Corporate American History

NewTek

My #SXSW Interactive Experience – Day 4

I came to SXSW Interactive 2011 to gain perspectives, discover technology and learn practical steps that will help Resurrection Online fulfill our purpose of building a Christian community where non and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. I hope to share some highlights and next steps from the day for Resurrection Online and myself.

My Experience – Day 4

  • I discovered the Delivering Happiness Bus Tour with Gowalla and picked up a free copy of the book, Delivering Happiness.
  • I stuck around in downtown Austin for John Oliver’s show and enjoyed dinner at Koriente – highly recommended.
  • I cruised through the Trade Show – more updates in a post to follow

Tweeting On Weekends: Are We Becoming Socially Anti-Social?

  • You have to decide where your line for using or not using social media. Consider why you are using social media and make an decision about where your line for using or not using social media will be.
  • People draw the line for social media usage in different places.
  • Be aware of not invading other people’s time with your social media updates.
  • Considering the quality of your update will help you decide whether or not to share an update.
  • The smart person in the future is not the one who has memorized all the information, but the person who is able to sort through all the junk to find the good stuff.

 

How to Personalize Without Being Creepy

How to Personalize Without Being Creepy

  • Personalization helps the organization put something more relevant and likely more delightful in front of you.
  • Transparency is important. There needs to be a clear communication about how data is being used and an easy way for customers to opt out and modify information if necessary.
  • Personalization should be around data users chose to share – not assumptions that are made by the organization
  • Let people know what inferences your site is making about them. Help them understand how it improves their experience.
  • Explain why your user might be interested in something. “Because you liked X, you might like Y”

5 Steps to Bulletproof UX Strategy

  • You need a user experience strategy. If you don’t have one, whatever you are doing is a fun guess.
  • Start designing the user experience from the one thing that you want people to do on the site
  • Steps to a User Design Strategy: Audit, Define the Vision, Plan, Implement, Measure
  • A strong purpose communicated well will result in a successful user experience vision.
  • Strategy session: “Tweak it until it’s perfect. Then leave it alone.” Measure, Iterate, Stop.

Game On: Design Patterns For User Engagement

  • Game mechanics are design patterns that promote play and play-like engagement
  • Game mechanics are powerful, because they connect with some of the most innate systems of reward that we have in our brain.
  • Three primary design aspects involved in the user journey: Come and Try It – intial engagement; Bring Friends and Play Together – social; Come Back – creating repeat engagement
  • Use metrics to determine if you are successful or not and be ready to implement based on learning gained from testing
  • Determine what the metric will be for tracking any particular game mechanic

Comedy Showcase: John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show

John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show

  • I was on the front row for the show and really enjoyed it.
  • There were a series of comedians that will be on the show that will be on Comedy Central.
  • The best part was during the final act, John was sitting just off stage and I could see him laugh and respond to the comedian on stage. It seems rare to see a professional comedian laughing along with the rest of the audience. It was fun!

Next Steps for Resurrection Online

  • Pay careful attention to the updates that we encourage people to make about Resurrection Online
  • Do not force people to log in or share contact information to worship
  • Clearly communicate what will be done with information that is received in the attendance form
  • Audit the Resurrection Online website
  • Create a vision onesheet for Resurrection Online
  • Intentionally design a user experience strategy for Resurrection Online
  • Design game mechanics for Resurrection Online including: Come and Try It – intial engagement; Bring Friends and Play Together – social; Come Back – creating repeat engagement

Next Steps for Me

My #SXSW Interactive Experience – Day 3

Column at the Austin Convention Center

I came to SXSW Interactive 2011 to gain perspectives, discover technology and learn practical steps that will help Resurrection Online fulfill our purpose of building a Christian community where non and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. I hope to share some highlights and next steps from the day for Resurrection Online and myself.

My Experience – Day 3

  • It makes a difference if you choose a workshop that doesn’t interest you. I am thankful that it is okay to get up and leave as long as you do not disrupt other people. I took advantage of that to get out of a workshop and in to the TED presentation.
  • Free food is good, but not always worth the wait.
  • I have seen or received more randomly free things than I can remember.
  • It was good to worship with Resurrection Online. I happened to find a place outside the Microsoft Interactive Lounge.
  • Sleep is a very good thing.

Radical Openness: Growing TED by Giving it Away

  • TED Talks principals: embrace open models, design for a small screen, start strong, evoke contagious emotions

    Worship with Resurrection Online
  • Only half of what you get from a conference is on the stage – the other part is having the inspired conversations with people around you who have just experienced the same content.
  • We don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.
  • Openness works when you: Put forward a clear goal that inspires; draw a passionate user base; Provide clear guidelines (with rewards + consequences); Allow the community to police itself; Make your contributors rock stars.
  • Openness isn’t easy: It is actually much easier to stay closed than to open up; Openness goes against most of our human tendencies; It can be quite challenging to fight against the fear of letting go; The rewards can truly be extraordinary

Better Crowdsourcing: Lessons Learned From the3six5 Project

  • Setup: Tell the story of a simple idea to get people involved. It is important for something brand new to have an idea that people can wrap their heads around
  • Managing People: Set up the rules and pay attention to the human interaction
  • Rewards and Recognition: Have a clear hierarchy when it comes to user involvement, reward people who are active by allowing them to take the next step and become editors or moderators. People that may not have had a voice before, suddenly have a voice.
  • Ending Gracefully: Set clear guidelines and pay attention to scaling from the beginning
  • Engage with people who you may not recognize as influencers.

Keynote: Christopher Poole – Founder of 4chan/Canvas

  • I did not hear any thing helpful at this presentation

Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World

Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World

  • Introduce people to others to create meaningful relationships
  • A networked non-profit is a simple agile organization that is transparent enough to let insiders out and outsiders in
  • Make connections with people who don’t care about the logo or branding document, but care about your cause.
  • A network weaver introduces people to others to create meaningful relationships.
  • Some non profits are a fortress that has trouble adopting and working with social media

27 (Fun!) Ways to Kill Your Online Community

  • Have a clearly defined audience
  • Have user guidelines
  • Set a good example for everyone on the site
  • Answer repetitive questions in a respectful manner
  • Don’t do everything that you can do

Next Steps for Resurrection Online

  • What if we allowed Resurrection Online to be embeddable on other sites?
  • Explore the possibility of allowing users to tag, rate, connect and organize Resurrection’s sermon archive.
  • Ask for ideas to improve Resurrection Online from regulars.
  • Expand the Resurrection Stories shared via the GPS beyond Lent.
  • Explore open projects for the people of Resurrection Online
  • Engage with people who I may not recognize as being an influencer
  • Set up a crowdsourced project for the people of Resurrection Online about how they became connected with Resurrection Online called Why Resurrection Online?
  • Introduce members of the Resurrection Online community to one another.
  • Pay attention to guidelines for building an online community as development continues with Resurrection Online
  • Visit the communities where I hope to build Resurrection Online frequently

Next Steps for Me

Squarespace Food Truck

  • Be surprised by the communities of which I am a part
  • Remember that losing control is the only way to do some things.
  • Be a network weaver who introduces people to others to create meaningful relationships.

Sites to Investigate

My #SXSW Interactive Experience – Day 1

Badge Pick Up

I came to SXSW Interactive 2011 to gain perspectives, discover technology and learn practical steps that will help Resurrection Online fulfill our purpose of building a Christian community where non and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Over the next few days, I will share some highlights and next steps from the day for Resurrection Online and myself.

My Experience – Day 1

  • I will likely take free stuff –  T-shirt from Gowalla, headband and mmmpanadas from Groupon, and a taste of Man Bites Dog from SquareSpace.
  • The line to pick up badges was where I saw the highest percentage of people engrossed in their mobile device that I had ever experienced.
  • I think I had a sense of what coming to Leadership Institute at Resurrection is like for some people – This is the biggest conference that I have ever attended and it is overwhelming at times.
  • Well run logistics, especially transportation and registration, are necessary for a conference to have a chance at success. Well done SXSW.

    Austin Convention Center
  • Some people are here to party. I am not.

MicroMarketing: Get Big Results by Thinking and Acting Small

  • The next big thing is no more big things. There are a lot of small things.
  • Content consumption and production has become shorter over time – books to magazine or newspaper articles to blogs to 140 character updates.
  • Small content can travel fast and free far across the web.
  • For many marketers micro media and short form content is a mess – you cannot market in mass ways on the internet.
  • Learn from how constituents are actually engaging with content instead of case studies and best practices.

Why Everything is Amazing But Nobody is Happy

Why Everything is Amazing But Nobody is Happy

  • What is an amazing piece of technology to which you  feel entitled, so much so that you complain about it when it doesn’t work exactly like you want it?
  • Bilocationality is trying to be two places at once, often using technology.
  • Social media is information poor as a result of no nonverbal communication.
  • Interacting with the internet is behavior that may become compulsive, however may not be addictive.
  • Explore opportunities to create positive competitive environments.

Metrics for Social Media: The Net Promoter Score

  • I did not make it in to this presentation because the room was full when I arrived late, as a result of the shuttle ride between locations.

Ignite SXSW – 2021 Vision of the Future

  • I took part in the egg drop competition to try to win a Roku. I did not win.
  • Free quesadillas and nachos were supper for me.
  • The first few presentations were unimpressive, so I came back to my hotel.

Next Steps for Resurrection Online

  • Be aware that Resurrection Online is amazing technology to which some people feel entitled.
  • Be aware that Resurrection Online encourages bilocationality – people trying to be two places at once.
  • Provide guidance for people to prepare offline for worship online. Some internal preparation may be helpful before you turn on the screen.
  • Create opportunities for positive competitive environments – best guidance, most faithful next steps, insightful response to scripture or worship, etc.
  • Investigate http://www.theforgivenessengine.com and http://compassionpit.com

Next Steps for Me

  • Beware of book readings at conferences.
  • Visit the 2 Week SXSW Apple Store to take a look at the new iPad.
  • Pay attention to venues when selecting sessions or workshops – being present at a second choice session is better than missing a first choice session.
  • There is not a need to do everything at SXSW, at work or home.
  • Be present.

The Table Project

According to their website, The Table is a relational, online web application, custom-tailored for the church. We aim to engage the community, empower leaders, and move people beyond the pews and into authentic, life-changing friendships. Check out this video and let me know what you think – Would your church find something like this to be helpful?