Day 2 – WFX

In the morning, I went to sessions about stage lighting and room acoustics. Then it was time for Mark Beeson’s keynote session. Mark is the senior pastor of Granger Community Church. Mark’s talk gave me some things to think about:

  • Do I have clarity for what God has called me to?
  • Sometimes we forget what we’re (the church, my ministry) is really about.
  • Churches tend to stay locked in the way they were when they started the church. For example, if they started in 1986, they want to keep everything in the church like 1986.They resist adapting to the culture.
  • Our job (as tech people) is to make it easy for everyone to hear and accept the gospel. Can this be achieved without mics, speakers, and lighting? Yes, but it’s a lot easier if people can hear and see the pastor.

I ended the day by attending a breakout session with Brad Weston of Renewed Vision. This company makes worship lyric presentation software called ProPresenter. just completed updating all of our campuses to ProPresenter. It is working out really well for us. Renewed Vision also makes a software product, ProVideoPlayer, that stretches an video or computer image across multiple projectors or monitors. It’s a very cool product.

I’m looking forward to hearing Rex Miller speak at tomorrow’s keynote.

Day 2 – WFX

Day 1 – WFX

The day turned out pretty well. There weren’t any keynote sessions today; just breakout sessions. I went to sessions about video switching, video venues, and lighting. I was a little disappointed by the lighting session. It was advertised as “Creating Impact with Light”, but it was really just a product demo for a lighting manufacturer. The lights were cool, but I probably wouldn’t have attended if I knew it was a demo.

The day ended with a tour of a church about an hour away from the city. It’s called Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana. They are in the process of creating some new sanctuary spaces in their building. I know the architect that designed their new space and was eager to see his work in person. It was very cool. He spent a lot of time designing the sanctuary to feel intimate even though it can accommodate approximately 1500 people. I’ll post some pictures of the space later this week.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s keynote. Mark Beeson, senior pastor of Granger Community Church will be speaking. I’ll write more about Granger later in the week as well.

Day 1 – WFX

Traveling Day

It was a good day for flying. I flew from Will Rogers World Airport (italics mine) in Oklahoma City to Houston and then on to Indianapolis. The weather was great and there were no delays.

I was wanted to try out the paperless board pass that Continental is testing out, but I wasn’t given that option when I checked in. Oh well, maybe next time.

As I was headed to baggage claim at the Indianapolis airport, I came across an Apple iPod vending machine. I hadn’t seen one of those before. The pictures of it are below.  Could a vending machine for MacBook Pros be far behind?

I’m looking forward to Day 1 of the WFX conference. I’ll be attending some sessions on video switchers, projection and lighting. I’ll post some stuff on it tomorrow. 



Traveling Day

Going to WFX

On Monday, I’m travelling to Indianapolis to attend the WFX conference. This is a conference for church architectural and tech stuff. I’m going for the tech stuff, like sound, video, lighting, etc. If you’re going to this conference, please contact me. Maybe we can meet up there. You can contact me via Twitter, Facebook, or just leave me a comment here.

I found out that the TSA and Continental Airlines is testing out a paperless boarding pass for flights out of Houston. Essentially the barcode that is usually on the paper boarding pass is sent to you via email and you scan the barcode that is on your phone or PDA screen. I’ll give it a try as I go through Houston and let you know how it works out.

Going to WFX

My First Wedding

Well, not *my* wedding. I’m talking about the first wedding that I officiated as a pastor. It was exactly one week ago. I was pretty nervous, but God knew what I could handle and gave me a pretty low key wedding to officiate. I’m thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it. I’m also thankful for those pastors who gave great advice and for everyone who prayed for me.

Last Saturday, I was giving up to the minute updates via Twitter. I thought it would be interesting to post those updates here. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen these updates already. If not, here they are. In true Twitter fashion, start from the bottom of the post and work your way back up.

If you’d like to start following me on Twitter, just click here.

From last week…

@jeffwilson license?? what license?? jk yep its signed 06:06 PM April 19, 2008

it’s done. praise God. it went well and their married 05:54 PM April 19, 2008 from web

signing off guys. next update when it’s done. thanks for the encouragement and prayers 05:16 PM April 19, 2008

no food in teeth-check, fly zipped up-check, we’re good. t minus 15 minutes 05:11 PM April 19, 2008

so glad bride and groom are tall. no one will see me. t minus 30 minutes. think we’ll start on time? 04:57 PM April 19, 2008

@jturmel i was thinking about sending updates (during the wedding)… 04:46 PM April 19, 2008

@terrystorch @jeffwilson thanks guys. God’s in control…it will be good 04:37 PM April 19, 2008

pictures being taken. t minus 60 minutes until the big event. i’m more nervous than the bride and groom

put on newly altered suit. wife says i look good. i agreed with her. t minus 90 minutes 03:48 PM April 19, 2008

getting cleaned up for the wedding. cuz everyone looks at the minister at a wedding. T minus 3 hours 02:38 PM April 19, 2008

got great advice from @terrystorch on how to officate my first wedding. Thanks man!!! T minus 8 hours and counting…. 09:52 AM April 19, 2008

still working on my marriage talk 11:31 PM April 18, 2008

survived the wedding rehearsal 05:34 PM April 18, 2008

@terrystorch got a few minutes to go over my wedding talk with me tomorrow? 04:34 PM April 18, 2008

the greens country club is pretty nice 04:30 PM April 18, 2008

headed to the wedding rehearsal 04:02 PM April 18, 2008

spending my day off working on the wedding talk i’m doing tomorrow. appreciate your prayers. 08:25 AM April 18, 2008

My First Wedding

Praise Report

Hey…what’s been going on in the Sunny world? Where to start…Let me begin by praising God for selling my house in Illinois. In December, I moved from Illinois to start my new job at in Oklahoma. We left our house unoccupied and prayed someone would eventually buy it. It finally sold last week after being on the market for 5.5 months. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to pay two mortgage payments a month anymore. It’s also nice not having to write checks for two sets of water bills, electric bills, etc.

This story could have been much worse. It seems, everyday, I’ve been reading articles about foreclosures being at record highs.  Thankfully, God provided the resources for us to pay the bills. I didn’t know how we were going to continue to do that past this month, but thankfully, God provided the solution at the perfect time. Thanks God. And thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Praise Report

How Close Was That Tornado?

Last Sunday, we had a tornado pass just a couple of hundred yards by the Oklahoma City Campus. It also passed about a mile away from my house. I was playing with Google Earth and mapped out the probable path of the tornado.  After getting an aerial view, I realized how close the tornado came to us.  Thankfully, our house was spared and no one was injured from the storm. You can click on the image to expand it. Enjoy.


How Close Was That Tornado?

MinistryTECH – Day 2

 The morning keynote on the final day of MinistryTECH was given by my friend and Digerati Pastor of, Terry Storch. With his talk, he exhorted everyone to be an idiot. Here were his main points:

– Idiots embrace being idiots
– Idiots are comfortable in the uncomfortable
– Idiots expose their weaknesses

This was an important message that we tech folks needed to here. So often, we are comfortable in our knowledge and in trying to control everything. We want everyone to see our strengths, but we work hard to hide our weaknesses. We need to find a way to say “yes.” It appears that our default answer is always, “no.”

Terry listened to the Holy Spirit and changed his talk at the last minute. I’m glad he did.  This was the best talk of the conference. Terry, thank you for listening to God. You hit a home run.

Because of the facility tour we were giving in the evening, I was unable to attend the afternoon keynote. In review, I thought the organizers of the conference did a great job with everything. I had the opportunity to network with some really smart people. I also got to hear some amazing things that God is doing in churches around the country. I’m looking forward to MinistryTECH 2009.

MinistryTECH – Day 2

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 2

Later, on Day 1 of MinistryTECH, I moderated a discussion about storage strategies. Thankfully, there was a lot of participation and there was little I had to do to keep the conversation going. I encouraged everyone in the session to state in their conference evaluation that this was the best breakout session that they attended. We’ll see what the results are.

The day ended with Jeff Hook, CEO of Fellowship Technology, giving a keynote talk on IT Strategy. There were a couple of key takeaways that I’ll share here.

– IT strategy should be a reflection of your church’s overall strategy.
– The business of the church is the people.
– IT strategy should be customer-centric. Your internal customers are the church staff and the external customers are the congregation.
– You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
– Jeff spoke about the Capability Maturity Model and adapted it to the church IT environment.
– He recommended that we do the following things:
    – Give yourself a promotion, i.e., start thinking like a CTO or a CIO
    – Engage in ministries; engage with users
    – Document requirements and processes
    – Begin to measure congregant engagement
    – Identify and report on congregation segmentation, i.e. what are the demographics of the church
    – Enhance congregant experience: Convenience/Security
    – Improve staff and volunteer efficiency and accountability
    – Develop self-service congregant/member applications
    – Outsource non-core competency items
    – Provide “IT” ministry services

If you would like a copy of the Jeff’s presentation, you can download it here. Tomorrow or maybe later today, I’ll blog about Day 2 of MinistryTECH, which includes Terry Storch’s talk.

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 2