Category Archives: Technology

Three Powerful (and Free) Tools via LifeChurch.tv

Lifechurch.tv is one of the most innovative churches in the world. They are the church that built and made the YouVersion Bible App available for free (more than 137 million people have downloaded it at this moment). One of the things I love about Lifechurch.tv is that they create and share all of the amazing tools and resources they use. They share them via a website called Open: A Digital Mission of Lifechurch.tv (make sure you check that site out for resources for Children’s Ministry, Student Ministry, Small Groups, Worship, Sermons and so on). You can find some of the places I’ve mentioned them in the past here.

In this post I want to point out three powerful tools they designed and have made available for other churches to use:

This free and customizable platform can help your church launch an online ministry with embedded video, live chat, social media connections, and more.

Better information helps you make better decisions. This free online tool helps you track data for your church, including attendance, salvations, baptisms, and more.

This performance review tool helps churches promote a staff-wide culture of continuous, collaborative growth.

Your turn… Which of these resources have you heard about and are using?

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Filed under Church, Church Leadership, Creativity, Technology

Three Resources to Help You Get Your Message Out

Most people have something worth sharing, but too often their message never gets out. This is something I’ve definitely noticed in the first nine months since starting this blog. Here are some of the resources I’ve been learning from in an effort to better get my message out (I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in utilizing these resources but my intention is to focus more time on implementing what I’m learning and to dig deeper to see what else I need to do — these resources are great for individuals and/or organizations that simply want to do a better job of getting their message out):

Michael Hyatt, one of the top business bloggers in the world, provides down-to-earth guidance for building and expanding a powerful platform. To be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. In this step-by-step guide, Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, takes readers behind the scenes, into the new world of social media success. He shows you what best-selling authors, public speakers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and other creatives are doing differently to win customers in today’s crowded marketplace. Hyatt speaks from experience. He writes one of the top 800 blogs in the world and has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter. His large and growing platform serves as the foundation for his successful writing, speaking, and consulting practice.

Erich’s note: there are so many helpful, practical ideas in this book (and on Michael Hyatt’s blog). You’ll find yourself going back to it often. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his blog (you’ll get a free eBook when you do).

Description of Jeff’s blog:  I love compelling stories, worthy causes, and Pez candy. I’ve been writing for most of my life, but only recently started calling myself a writer and actually believing it. I started this blog in 2010 with some burning questions:

  • How do successful writers make a living?
  • What does it really take to get published?
  • How do you pursue a passion?

What I found in this search was a community of like-minded individuals sharing many of the same struggles. Here is where we wage war on the blank page, where we band together to find purpose in our art and lives. If you have a passion for creativity and changing the world, this blog is for you.

Erich’s note: I just recently discovered this blog and I’m looking forward to learning more… Make sure you follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his blog (you’ll get a couple of free resources too).

Claire Díaz-Ortiz is an author, speaker, and technology innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, where she was hired to lead social innovation, and where she still works today. Her post, How to Start a Blog, was her top post in 2013.  She is also the author of Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. Make sure you follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her blog (you’ll receive several free resources when you do).

Erich’s note: I discovered Claire’s resources when I read her  BarnaFRAMES book, Greater Expectations. After reading her book I found her blog to be loaded with great posts and resources.  FYI: I currently use the free WordPress blog for my platform but I’ve been thinking about following the advice of these 3 to set up a “self-hosting” blog (if so, I might do it in June around the 1 year anniversary of my blog if I get courageous enough and find someone to help me design it, we’ll see…)

Your turn… What are some other resources you’ve found useful in getting your message out?

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Filed under Blogs, Books, Communication, Technology

Three APPS You Should Take a Look At

Here are 3 APPS I believe you would enjoy using:

SlideShark is the award-winning, free mobile app that enables businesses and individuals to show PowerPoint® presentations from the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch the way they were meant to be seen—accurately and professionally every time—with animations, fonts, graphics, hyperlinks and videos intact.

Multiply exists to serve local churches by encouraging and equipping disciples who make disciples in all nations. We do this by providing biblical resources and hosting gatherings that prepare followers of Christ to go, baptize people, and teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded – including the call to make disciples.

Introducing the all-new Podcasts app, an amazing way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcasts. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts in the Featured tab, or browse Top Charts to see what’s hot right now. Add your favorite podcasts to personal stations that stay up to date when new episodes become available. You can sync playlists from iTunes, or create an On-The-Go playlist to play just the episodes you want. iCloud keeps your subscriptions, stations, and play position in sync across all your devices, computers, and Apple TV.

Erich’s note: I recently started using SlideShark and love how it works. The Multiply APP makes it easier for you to access and use the discipleship resources and material available from The Multiply Movement. I use the Podcasts APP every day to listen to some great sermon podcasts.

Your turn… What are some other APPS you believe others would enjoy using?

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Filed under APPS, Discipleship, Podcasts, Productivity, Technology

Three Top Posts So Far

I recently passed the 4 month mark of my blog.  These 3 posts have received the most page views so far (in case you missed them):

Your turn… Which resources have helped you the most so far?

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Filed under Books, Marriage, Technology

Three Helpful Resources from LifeChurch.tv

LifeChurch.tv is one of the fastest growing and most innovative churches in America (and one of my favorite churches). One of the things I love most about LifeChurch.tv is how they give away free resources designed to help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus. Here are 3 in particular I think you will find helpful:

Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision, and it’s what God had in mind for you when you were created. The Chazown Experience is based on a book by Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv. Chazown helps you discover and pursue your purpose—the reason God placed you on earth. Featuring video segments and step-by-step personal exercises, this free online life-planning experience is designed to help you find, name, and live out your unique vision – your Chazown.

A free, easy-to-use Bible study tool for anyone, anytime, anywhere designed to help you in the following ways:

  • Get to know the Bible better by exploring its key stories, themes, and characters. Discuss unifying key beliefs of Christianity without getting tangled up in divisive beliefs. Allow Scripture to shape your thoughts and actions as you learn how Christ lived. Enrich relationships with other followers of Christ, and develop through the study of Scripture within community.

YouVersion is a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life (a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer). See the related articles below for more details.

Your turn… What are some resources from other churches that you’ve found to be helpful?

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Filed under Bible, Spiritual Formation, Technology

Three More APPS You Should Check Out

Last week I shared 3 APPS I think everyone should use (Evernote, DropBox and YouVersion). Today I want to mention 3 more I use that you should take a look at:

Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. Catch up on the news, discover amazing things from around the world, or stay connected to the people closest to you–all in one place. You can create your own magazines based on topics you enjoy reading and learning about. Explore staff picks in the Content Guide including hundreds of magazines, thought-provoking blogs, gorgeous photography and well-curated sections including news of the day and other topics. Note: I consume a lot of my news and view my social media feeds in this format most of the time (just like flipping through a magazine). I absolutely love this APP!

When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket. SAVE FOR LATER: Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket. Save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. VIEW WHEN READY: If it’s in Pocket, it’s on your phone, tablet or computer. You don’t even need an Internet connection. I think you’ll enjoy using this APP just make sure you take the time to go back and read what you save.

  • Mint.com — The best free way to manage your money.

Get a handle on your finances the free and fast way. Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you. See where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about. Mint pulls all your financial accounts into one place. Set a budget, track your goals and do more with your money, for free! I’ve been using this app for about 2 years and absolutely love how I’m able to track everything I’m spending and it comes in real handy at tax time (I have it on my desktop, iPhone and iPad for quick access).

Your turn… If you use any of these APPS let us know what you think about them or if you know of other APPS that provide similar services let us know. Also, what are some other APPS you would recommend?

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Filed under Productivity, Technology

Three APPS Everyone Should Use

I love using my Apple devices. I currently have an iPhone 5, an iPad with Retina Display, and a MacBook Pro… oh yeah, and an AppleTV but we won’t talk about that one today. Here are three APPS I find to be very beneficial and easy to use:

Evernote is a digital file cabinet/notebook that helps you capture and remember everything. You can capture anything (ideas, things you like, things you see and/or hear) and access them anywhere (from your computer, smartphone or tablet). After spending some time on the Evernote website you might want to check out Michael Hyatt’s Handy Index to his Evernote posts. Make sure you check out some of the other Evernote products like Evernote Web Clipper (it allows you to clip webpages and file them in your notebooks). Note: I consider myself to be a novice right now with Evernote as I’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg of what it can do but I plan to keep exploring it’s potential and other products along the way…

  • DropboxYour stuff, anywhere.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. You can access your files from all of your devices. It is a great way to keep things backed up and easily accessible when you’re on the go. Note: the first 2GB of space are free but you can get up to 16GB of free space via referrals (sign up via this link to help me get more free space if you are interested in using this APP, I have about 6GB of free space right now).

YouVersion is a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life. Note: my digital Bible has almost completely replaced my paper Bible (I have lots of them but hardly ever take one with me since one of my devices is always with me and that’s pretty much how I read everything these days). By the way, not only do you have instant access to dozens of different versions/translations of the Bible but you also have access to hundreds of Bible reading plans. This is a great way to read and study the Bible. This APP was created by the good people at LifeChurch.TV (help them reach 100 million installs before their 5th anniversary on July 10th).

Your turn… What are some of your favorite APPS? Also, if you use any of these share about your experience and/or tips.

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Filed under Apple, Bible, Productivity, Technology