It’s been said that the start of something new is simply a new chapter in the book of your life. If that’s true then I’ve started that new chapter.
When I moved to Chicago 8 years ago I never would’ve imagined what God had in store for me. I came as a kid, ready to start college. I thought I was going to travel the world playing soccer with kids and sharing the gospel. God had different plans though. God used Chicago, and the relationships I have built here to change the course of my life forever.
It was here in Chicago that I met some of my best friends.
It was here in Chicago that I met a mentor that would change the course of my career.
It was here that I met my wife, now of 2 years.
It was here that I met my church community.
It was here where I learned more about what it means to be a man.
It was here where I got my first career job in ministry.
It was here in Chicago where my life changed forever.
It’s hard to put into words the feelings that I’ve had over the last couple months as my wife and I have been making some life-changing decisions. I think the best word to describe it is grateful.
I’m grateful that God would choose to use all of these people and circumstances in my life.
I’m grateful for you. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but I’m grateful that you would even choose to read these things that I write. It’s been cool to build this community and hopefully see more churches use social media to reach more people, grow, and see more people know Jesus.
I’m grateful for my friend and mentor, Tim Schraeder who saw something in me, that I may have never seen in myself. When I met him for the first time at the ECHO Conference little did I know that would lead to an internship with him, that would also lead to the dream job that I’ve held the last 4 years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support, encouragement, and time that Tim has poured into me.
I’m grateful to have been on staff at Park Community Church where I’ve had the opportunity to direct their web and social media presence for the last 4 years and see them grow from 2-6 campuses. I’m grateful to have sat under and worked alongside people who have taught me lifelong lessons of humility and leadership, and they’re going to continue to do amazing things in Chicago and around the world. Seriously, watch out. They’ve got a huge vision and they’re not going to stop until that vision is completed.
My time at Park has taught me not only what it means to impact a city with the gospel, but to impact the world.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to stretch my innovative muscles and do things with social media and the web that I may not have been able to do in other contexts. It’s because of that opportunity that I’ve been able to share with you what I’ve learned about using social media to grow my church. I’ve done this here on my blog, and other resources that I’ve made available to you.
I wouldn’t have traded my time at Park Community Church for anything in this world. Though as I continued to learn and share those experiences with other churches, I felt this pull and call to continue to help churches on a regular basis, not just in my free time on evenings and weekends. Which is why Amy and I have made the very tough decision to end my time on staff at Park, and explore this area of helping churches in a more official capacity. Now I’m going to be able to commit all of my time to this work.
Enter my friend, Justin Wise. Justin and I have known each other for several years, after meeting on Twitter and then in-person at the ECHO Conference in 2009. Justin and I share a similar passion to help churches learn how to use digital media to reach more people. So when he approached me about helping him build something that did exactly that, I was excited to see what God had in store.
So I’m excited to announce that a new chapter has started with my friend, Justin Wise as the Marketing Manager at Think Digital and Social Church Academy.
We’re also moving to Des Moines, Iowa! If you know anything about Justin, you know that he’s the biggest advocate for the city of Des Moines you will ever meet, so it made sense for that to be the next step in this journey for us. We’re sad to leave our community, the great city of Chicago and everything it represents for us, but we’re excited for the new adventures that await us in Des Moines. And believe me, it’s not as bad as you think. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, hit me up, I’d love to grab coffee.
So what about my blog?
I’m still committed to the same vision for this community here on my blog, and that is to bring you the best social media resources for your church. Much of those resources will now be coming from Social Church Academy, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to check that out, go do it now. Believe me, you won’t regret it. What we’re building is something that is going to change the landscape of digital fluency and communications for the church, and I’m so pumped to get it to you.
So you may hear me talking more about Social Church Academy, but it’s only because I believe that the local church has the best story in history, the gospel, and we need to learn how to better communicate that through the tools available to us online and through social media.
I hope you’ll stick with me on this new journey. I can’t wait to see where it takes us.
So here’s to new chapters. Let’s do it.
Have you started a new chapter recently?
What is something you’ve learned through it?