A NEW way to get Digital Help for your Ministry

When I started blogging many years ago (Feb. 25, 2009 to be exact), I did it for 2 main reasons. One reason was to start processing and testing ideas. And the other was to join the conversations going on and, in a sense, be a sidekick, partner in ministry with others. Those 2 reasons still drive me today as I partner with other great ministers and practitioners in the student ministry and online ministry worlds.

I am truly blessed to have built some great friendships over the years and feel that I have been a good contributor to the ministry world.

As I’ve been processing what is next for me, my ministry and passions, I really wanted to expand on what I am learning from being an Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church and what’ I’m writing and podcasting about at YM Sidekick. As I have been processing what that would look like, I discovered that I wanted to be able to offer some digital training and support not just for church communicators and social media managers (there are already great resources and training out there for them) but for the average minister who wants a better knowledge of all things digital and how they can best use online tools to expand their ministry reach. I want to be able to help the Church Planter, Children’s Minster or Student Pastor, the Church administrator or average volunteer who desires to know more but doesn’t need advance training, but rather basic, core training in digital tools that are rapidly developing and changing.

That is why I am officially starting “Digital Bootcamp”.  It is a Facebook group with a very simple goal. At Digital Bootcamp we are going to share knowledge about online tools that can help minters be better equipped to reach people in this very digital world. These “tools” will include apps, iPad/tablet uses, social media, email, church database, live streaming, podcasting, content creation, etc. You get the point.

How will it work?

Each week we will have a different Digital Strategist (contributor) cover a different topic on Digital Bootcamp Facebook Group. For instance, the week of November 5th, the theme could be “Facebook Events”. Every discussion that a contributor leads throughout the week will be how ministers can create and utilize “Facebook Events” more effectively in their ministries.

Another example might be for the week of December 17th. The focus could be “Various Ways to Utilize Live Streaming”. Throughout the week all discussions would center around live streaming apps, services and how churches can utilize live streaming applications more effectively.

There could be times where we get off topic, but these weekly themes will help people know what to expect and it will help keep the group focused. Organizing the discussions around weekly themes will be a way for the group to stay focused and clear on the digital learning for the week.

What can you do?

  • Join the Group! Go on Facebook and join Digital Bootcamp to start checking it out. Official Kickoff to the group starts Oct. 1st but you can still start exploring today and interacting with others in the group.
  • Come up with some ideas on what you need digital training on. Once you join the group, introduce yourself and share some ideas.
  • Tell some friends. As stated before, this group is for all ministers looking to improve their digital skill so that they can expand their reach and help more people come to know Christ. So don’t keep this all to yourselves, share it with others. In fact, you can tweet out something like:
    • I’m looking forward to improving my online skills with Digital Bootcamp. Check it out – https://www.facebook.com/groups/theDigitalBootcamp/
    • Digital Bootcamp is live and is here to help Ministers step up their online skills – I just joined and so should you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theDigitalBootcamp/

I am really looking forward to doing this and I hope you are as well. Get on and say hey to the group!

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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