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If you have been around any of my talks or consulting projects recently, you’ve probably heard me say it again and again: mobile is the future, mobile is now. Over this summer, I am looking to undertake a research and development project that will not only fill a need that I have, but will also apply to ministry: a mobile small group “app”. I see this need in my own classes as I assign students to work in groups – especially as I begin to teach online classes. They need a way to link into the course assignments and due dates as well as a way to coordinate with each other. And while the online courseware Biola uses gives them this ability, it does not integrate with a mobile device and is hidden behind a password and too many clicks. My idea for this app is to provide a way for students to always be connected to my course and their group in the most simple, straightforward way.

But then I got to thinking…small groups are also a powerful way for people to grow spiritually, could they benefit from this app? And many people work in teams as part of their job or volunteering, could they benefit from this app?  This is where you come in – would you like to be a part of this project? Would your ministry benefit from an app that allows people to form groups and communicate privately with each other, coordinate schedules, and also integrate with your ministry? The potential users could be your employees, volunteers, or those to whom you minister.  This could be a boon to small group Bible studies as the app could include pointers to what should be studied that week or (most importantly) who is bringing dessert to the next meeting – and then send reminders to them via their device the day before.

So, how can you partner with me on this? I am looking for ministries who will 1) commit to being on a steering committee team over the next few months as this app is developed and 2) be willing to make a small financial commitment up front to “buy in”.  Once the app is ready, your ministries will be the first test organizations (besides my classes) to use it.  And, of course, you will not have to purchase the app for your ministry once it is ready. This project will be limited to only about six ministries – so if you are interested, please contact me right away! If I feel that your ministry is a good fit for this project, then we will begin moving forward.

For my part, I will commit to working with you over the next few months to develop the app. I will work on it myself, with the possibility of bringing in one or more of my students to help work on it as the project moves forward.  The app will be targeted for iPhone and Android simultaneously, with an eye toward an iPad implementation in round 2.

If you are interested in getting more information about this project and possibly partnering with me, please click the button below. Thanks for your interest!

Here are some highlights of what I’ve been reading around the web…

[recreading]

If you haven’t heard, the 2011 version of the Christian Web Conference is coming next month. Check out the website now while I wait… OK, so now that you’ve read it, you’ll see that we’ve added something new this year: hands-on tutorials. “What?” you say, “if I come to the conference I’ll actually get to CREATE something for my ministry?” That’s right, you will.

I am very excited about these hands-on workshops because it will provide direct value to ministries by giving them the opportunity to add something to their ministry or church right there at the conference.  These workshops will be led by experts in their respective fields, including three Biola professors! The five hands-on tutorials are as follows:

  • Lights, Camera, Action: Capturing Effective Video for Your Ministry (John Schmidt)
  • Beginning Social Media Marketing (Dave Bourgeois)
  • Editing and Presenting: Preparing Video for Your Web Audience (Gerald Fisher)
  • More Than A Profile: Social Media Strategy (Scott McClellan)
  • Free Apps and Resources For Your Ministry (Brandon Donaldson)

For a full description of these sessions, see the schedule page of the conference. If these sound like the kind of skills and resources you would like your ministry to have, come to the conference! Register now for only $79! I hope to see you here.