So, what’s the big secret…? Screen grab here. Don’t forget to signup. Obviously December 4th is a big day.
Someone have any additional 411…?
UPDATE: They’ve posted a blog giving a little more detail… no longer a secret…!
Rhett Smith is one of those guys that after you visit his blog your brain starts asking funky questions like “What’s up with this guy who enjoys psychology, theology, counseling, and social media… at the same time?”
And then, after reading some of his stuff, you realize that he is truly as he self-describes himself.
I wanted to get to know the guy better, so instead of throwing him a typical Friday 5, I shot him over a few extra. He didn’t disappoint.
You’ll want to put this guy on the gooreader, he’s got some serious blogging topics which a healthy range so you don’t get entirely bored (which is all to easy these days, even here at ChurchCrunch…!).
So, take a read and sit awhile with Rhett Smith.
Time Bandits or Favorite Websites?
Whatcha Working On?
Ahhh. The million dollar question.
We just moved to Dallas in August from Los Angeles, so we are still in transition I think. My time is sort of spread thin in possibly too many places, but here is what currently gets most of my attention.
There are my vocations as an MFT Therapist (http://www.pcec-counseling.org) and as Pastoral Care Mentor/Trainer (http://www.hppc.org). But what I’m “working on” is a book proposal about the integration of theology, ministry and social media, and I’m working really hard on gathering a “tribe” of people who are interested in how social media can be used effectively in the world of therapy.
How do you see Web Technology impacting The Kingdom?
I could give you a long list of answers to this question, but here is the gist in my opinion.
1) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that it opens up the door for more participation in the body of Christ. No longer are pastors, elders, executive staffs the gatekeepers to how, when, where and why things get done in a church. Web technology collapses the hierarchy and opens up participatory elements in the Church.
2) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that it’s participatory elements allow for more collaborative thinking among Christians. Instead of one great idea or discussion, we now have many great ideas and discussions, and the collaborative nature of technology really allows for the best ideas, discussions, thoughts, etc. to come forward and hopefully be implemented when and where necessary.
3) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that online presence is now the front door to the Church. Where do people first look up information for a church? The web. This is a great advantage, that if utilized, can really impact the Kingdom. It gets us to think of the Kingdom beyond the front doors and actual physical buildings of the Church.
We have a great opportunity to reach those who would never step foot in a church, as well as impacting the Kingdom all week long, rather just on Sunday morning.
So what is “Rhett Smith” about?
I’m still figuring that out. But my passion really lies within the intersection of ministry, counseling and social media. I often lay awake at night thinking about these things. And on a sidenote, I was a college pastor for 7 years in Los Angeles (http://www.thequestbelair.org), so I’m still very passionate about college students and young adults.
What makes you passionate about blogging?
I love writing, sharing ideas, being in conversation with others. So blogging has allowed me to do those things. I started blogging in the Fall of 2004 and have posted about 1,006 entries….so I don’t think I would have made it this far if I wasn’t really passionate about writing, sharing ideas and conversation. And I like belonging…belonging to the community of bloggers and commenters. It’s a unique and special community I think.
You’ve got a very colorful background, what’s up with that?
I think it’s just part of the journey. Figuring out more and more who you are and what you are passionate about as you experience new things. What I succeeded and failed at were great guides for the journey.
I love theology and ministry, but I soon realized that my M.Div. only got me so far. It didn’t prepare me for how to work with a college student who is struggling with depression, abuse, drugs or sexual addiction.
So that’s when I decided to go back for my MFT degree so that I could use the two to be a better pastor and church leader. The social media thing…I just fell into that. Don’t know how. I guess there weren’t many college pastors blogging about social media a couple of years ago and so others kept coming to me with questions.
How was it like contributing some of your thoughts to the book (The New Media Frontier)?
That was a total gift that I’m very grateful to have been a part of. It was a new experience for me writing with deadlines and editors…which is so different than posting a blog obviously. But I enjoyed thinking through how to use Facebook and MySpace more effectively in youth ministry. And I’m hoping I can contribute more in the area of social media/technology and ministry.
Where are you headed next?
If I could plan my future, my goal is to open up a private practice in the next year or so. When I do that, I’m hoping to balance time between counseling, working with churches on social media and pastoral care issues, and spending my other time doing some writing and speaking. That’s my dream. But we will see what God has in store.
Thanks to Rhett Smith, I got clued into GetDropBox.com last night. Initial thoughts? I can now save myself shameful embarassment daily by not having to ask to borrow USB keys to transfer files between the 3 computers that I use.
Although, I must admit, that I’m not quite yet willing to throw down $10 bucks a months to get the 50 gig online drive, so I’ll have to keep borrowing (or simply remembering to bring my own).
But, it’s a great start on a service that could really save me some valuable time. Check out the “dry run” of GetDropBox sporting the Dell XPS M1210 and the new Dell Mini 9.
Pretty impressive, and obviously mega easy to get started. Thanks again Rhett for the tweet!
Have you ever gotten to a website and couldn’t find something that you were looking for? You headed to the “search” button, right? You then banged out whatever you were looking for (which has already made you mad because you’re already wasting valuable time and energy).
This feeling of “I can’t believe they didn’t consider my needs when I got to their site…!” and the classic feeling of entitlement, as if they should have created the website for you and your needs.
But you do it anyways.
You hit “search” and then the results start piling in. And guess what, the results suck. Anger is brewing hotter than a boiling cup of ramen noodles that you forgot about because you were playing Halo.
Search has really spoiled us.
But, it’s a very valuable self-lesson. If not getting the search results you want makes you mad, what about the people who visit your ministry and/or organizational websites? Are they getting what they want? Or perhaps more importantly, are they getting what you’d like them to get?
Have a good search system. Period. Make sure it’s robust. Period. Make sure it’s built “correctly”. And if necessary, invest in some of the pro’s that apparently know how to do search right.
You, and your users, won’t be disappointed. And imagine… how many less emails you might get that start with: “Hey… I couldn’t find _________________”
An additional resource that I would also highly recommend for those running self-hosted WordPress installs is the “Search Everything” plugin. This things a bad mammajamma:
Search Everything increases the ability of the default WordPress Search, options included:
Can I get an “amen”?
Do you blog? Are you interested in connecting with other bloggers in your ministry field or who share the same interest?
Make sure you check out the new ChurchCrunch Blog Directory! We’d love to list your blog there.
Please tweet this, blog about it, and pass it on… the more people sign up, the better it becomes.
The above picture says it all. And for those that know the “burn” of having to deal with IT Help desk… and the like… all I have to say is… well, I’ll keep my mouth shut.
But, I’m not too found of being yelled at. And, it’s not a “technical” issue bro. And how can you forget your username but not your password…?!? Isn’t the latter harder to remember?
But something I’m learning every single day that managing a growing community and the needs of it is simply the act of managing humans.
And, did you know there’s a great book out there called just that?
When I was working for “the man” back at Dell I actually gave this book to my manager at the time. Never figured out if she had read it, but, I’d recommend it as a “casual” read (a good toilet-seat book) if you’ve got the time (and you do have time while your sitting there).
Managing Humans:Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager is hilarious, but very true. Michael Lopp is a genius. You should also check out his website ManagingHumans.com.
It’s got some “crude” language, but if you’re from the tech industry, this is the standard vernacular and g33ksp3ak.
But I think there’s something to be learned here, and I’ve mentioned already before: Managing an online community is managing humans. I can’t forget this. It comes with all the baggage and stupid stuff that humans do.
Know it, expect it, embrace it.
But don’t be surprised.