Digital Parish: What Amazon, eCommerce and AI can teach the church

What does the church have to learn from Amazon? E-commerce might have a bit more to do with digital ministry than we might have previously assumed. So in this session of Pastoring in the Digital Parish we’re talking with Jason Caston about what our churches can learn from Amazon, how we can utilize AI tech like Alexa, and some of the ideas and technologies we might consider putting in our digital ministry toolkits as we prepare for the future of the church in the digital age.

The Episode

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Ryan Dunn (00:00):

This is pastoring in the digital parish. Your resource and point of connection for building digital ministry strategy and bringing your congregation into the digital age, what does the church have to learn from Amazon? E-Commerce might have a bit more to do with digital ministry than we might have previously assumed. So in this session of pastoring in the digital parish, we're talking with Jason Caston about what our churches can learn from Amazon, how we can utilize AI tech like Alexa, and some of the ideas and technologies we might consider putting into our digital ministry toolkits as we prepare for the future of the church in the digital age. Let me tell you a little bit about Jason Caston. He serves a number of different roles. He's a digital marketing and digging specialist for Amazon. He has over 19 years of experience and web and content development.

(00:55):

He's made the rounds as a speaker and presenter in. Jason is a person of faith who has written several books about ministry in digital spaces, including the I Method series and most recently Digital Connections. My name is Ryan Dunn, and I learned a lot about what my church can be doing to get our content to the people who need it, and about what we can start doing now to prepare for a future that is increasingly AI integrated. You're gonna learn a lot from Jason too. So let's get talking e-commerce I method, and future tech on pastoring in the digital parish. Well, Jason, you're heavily invested in ministry. You're heavily invested in digital media and user experience professionally. You're kind of applying those trades both in consulting and for Amazon right now. What's something that you see happening in Amazon that you wish the church were doing as well?

Jason Caston (01:56):

<Laugh>? The interesting part about Amazon is they have a heavy focus on automation. Hmm. And simplify simplification. Okay. I wish the, the church would automate quite a few things. Now, the the reason I don't see that is not necessarily because they can't, it's because they don't know the tools and the platforms to do it or even have the time necessarily to do it. So you got the, the human resource aspect of it. If you don't have the people, the technology resource not understanding the platforms, the, the, the, the capacity, because a lot of times it's just the pastor and a few people doing it by themselves. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn (02:35):

But

Jason Caston (02:36):

Automation is key at, at aws, and they're always trying to figure out how can we do things better, faster, smarter, and churches have the opportunity to do that as well. And that's a lot of things that I'm trying to teach is find platforms and workflows to make things easier as opposed to trying to do things manually that traditionally they, they've just always done it like that. You don't have to do that anymore.

Ryan Dunn (03:03):

Yeah. You know, I hear from a, a lot of pastors who are feeling spread thin because in a sense they're, they're being pulled between two different campuses almost. It's like they have their, their traditional church ministry, the analog ministry, the, the church congregation as they know it, but they're also awakened to the idea of needing to be a digital presence and represent their church online. Putting on your consultant hat, like what is one way that somebody who's in that position might be able to pull in some automation to help advance their, their digital presence or digital ministry?

Jason Caston (03:42):

So I was just talking at a conference this weekend I church conference this weekend, and this same question was asked, and the thing about it is, what we can do is if you take let's say we're looking at hiring or developing a, a, a type of workflow where once you create your message, you want to start putting that content out on multiple platforms, as many platforms as possible in many different ways to reach different people. Yeah. Then one of the key ways that, that I said you could do it is to find someone that can do it at a fraction of the cost of what you're thinking. So as opposed to you trying to figure out how to get it into podcast format, or also put it out on these different social media platforms and cut the message up into these little clips for these you know, with captions for motivational moments and all that stuff.

(04:32):

Yeah. Find you a virtual assistant that you can pay a small amount of money and tell them the stuff that you want done, and they can figure that stuff out. They can start taking your message and basically putting it into a machine, which I talking about earlier with automation. That's what some of the largest pastors I see do. I worked with Jake's for a long time. He has a machine, and it's not a machine. Well, the people, it's a machine of people because he has a larger amount of, number of people working for him. But that machine can be duplicated for a smaller church with a smaller amount of people. And I use, I tell people to use fiber all the time. Okay. And find a virtual assistant and work from there in creating figuring out how many different ways you wanna put this content to work. That these pastors are brilliant at week in, week out, content, content, content. And they're, and they're just letting it, they're only letting it work one time. You know, weekend service, weekday service, and then they don't put it to work the rest of the week.

Ryan Dunn (05:37):

Yeah. Well, you've been a big advocate for having a consistent presence across all these different platforms, and not just consistent in that you're actually on these platforms and doing things, but that the message that you share is somewhat similar between all these, all these platforms. And so something like that becomes a great way of taking like a singular message that you have and, and spreading it across all those, those platforms. You've also noted that the church tends to run a little bit behind <laugh>. You noted that back in 2019. That's probably advanced a little bit now as we move into 2023 i, in 2019, you were inviting churches to move into utilizing AI tech, which touches on that automation part. Things like Alexa, have you seen this happening now? Are there some ways that churches are utilizing a, a smart speaker or an AI tech like Alexa?

Jason Caston (06:37):

I've seen it more. I haven't seen it enough, and hopefully that Yeah. Okay. The, the unfortunate part about it is, the way I laid it out was here's how you can get on Alexa. And it was, I think at the time, or actually currently it still is. It's, it's a, it's free to do, but let's just jump back to the solution we used before. I was working with a guy who created a skill on Alexa. I mean, I'm sorry. Yeah. Created Alexa Skill on Fiber, and I believe it was about, let's say $20 for him to create this skill. And so that's, and it actually is free to get on Alexa, but if you don't, you know, have the technical expertise, we'll just say, we hired a guy of $20. He put, he created the skill, put it on Alexa, and basically it took the podcast that the church already had turned it into an Alexa skill, so that every time you upload the podcast, it automatically up updates Alexa.

(07:30):

And so all this stuff, so those things I was trying to talk to the church about, about, these are things you're already doing. I'm trying to get you on podcasts, you understand podcasts, but automatically let that podcast be updated on Alexa. So now you're on multiple platforms doing this the same amount, if not even less work, but it's not about the past trying to figure it all out. It's about creating the workflow and the automation of the processes to do that. And so I have not seen that as much as I would like to, but I have seen more churches take advantage of it than previously.

Ryan Dunn (08:04):

Yeah. Well break that down for me a little bit, because as you start talking about a skill on Alexa, I'm not really clear on on what that means. Like what is a, what is a skill in regards to something like Alexa?

Jason Caston (08:17):

Absolutely. So let's, let's get into it so people understand app stores from their mobile devices. Okay, cool. So an Alexa skill is like an Alexa app. Okay. So basically when you go to Alexa and you say Hey, Alexa, play you know Saint John Baptist churches latest message, that's you telling Alexa to go to this particular skill, which is this app, grab the latest message, which is the latest podcast and play it. So the same way we talked to Alexa about to do other things, you know, play this song from Spotify or Apple Music and stuff like that is the exact same way we create the skills to grab the messages from the podcast. And so, and that process is really, is can be automated once you create the skill and you're going into the Amazon developer platform and you're saying, where do you want to grab this, this skill from, you put in the podcast feed and they pull in the latest stuff.

(09:17):

And that's, that's how easy it is. But again, it's, I don't want pastors or people who are, who are have their expertise in other areas to be trying to figure out these digital platforms. I want them to find people like myself who can help create these, automate these processes so that they can do what they do well in their lane and we can do what we do well in our lane. And it all comes together. But as you said earlier, pastor spread then trying to do multiple things. And and that's unfortunate, and that's what I'm trying to get them to delegate.

Ryan Dunn (09:52):

Yeah. Okay. Well, talk to me about consistency a little bit, because sometimes I hear a message that I need to tailor my message to Instagram and tailor my message to Facebook, tailor my message on a podcast. That there's this subtle difference between all these, all these platforms and, and you say like, oh, you should you should be predictably the same in in all those places. Why, why do you have that point of view?

Jason Caston (10:22):

I think you should be not pre, no, I won't say exactly the same, but similar. And the reason I say similar is because the, the term in the corporate environment is omnichannel. So across multiple platforms the brand is consistent. And so the reason I say that we should churches should follow that as being consistent, is I want them to follow, follow the omnichannel approach to multiple platforms, because that's what we're used to seeing when we're used to looking at things in the corporate environment or the platforms that we like the most. They're consistent no matter what, what we're looking at. Netflix is consistent across multiple platforms. The experience is consistent across multiple platforms. The, the content is consistent across multiple platforms. That's what I'm saying to the churches as well. You know, the message on Twitter is gonna be limited or, or different in the way it's presented in that you have a limited number of characters.

(11:17):

You have different ways of reaching your audience in different content you're using. Right? It's my text graphics video, et cetera. It's different. So it's different than Instagram, which is more immersive, more video driven and stuff like that. But the message is going to be similar across multiple platforms. It's just been tailoring. It is just a delivery based on how people receive the, the content and engage with the content on those platforms. And that is another thing that I was gonna talk about from Amazon and AWS is it's data driven, though. The, everything you can that we're talking about here is gonna be driven by analytics. So when you look at the analytics and it tells you the, the data as far as what your users are doing, how they're engaging, how long they're engaging, what content they engage with the best, that's the data driven decisions that you can help to start to create, which is the goal of all of this that I'm talking about is creating this customized experience for churches because our spiritual experience is the most customized experience we're going to have in life. And that, and we're seeing that from the offline church experience because when you walk into a church, your experience is customized to you as far as how your spiritual experience. But in the, from the digital aspect, we could have that same customized experience, but churches don't quite understand it. But the companies and the corporations and the platforms that engage us the most, they get it cuz they're thinking for us.

Ryan Dunn (12:38):

Hmm. Okay. Well, as you touch on a analytics, let's dive into that a little bit. What are some metrics that we might want to pay attention to when it comes to digital representation?

Jason Caston (12:50):

So, initially, every platform you, you any church should use, they should look at the analytics. Now, social platforms already have analytics built in your mobile, your web, your e-commerce, add Google analytics to that and start, look and start. Make sure to collect all that data from that you're looking at. We'll use web for example, cause that's easiest for people to understand. We're looking at what are the top five pages that they're looking at. We're looking at how long they're staying on the pages, the stickiness, what pages are they exiting most on. So usually you see that people come to a church site, they'll click on watch the live stream, they'll watch that for a certain amount of time, and then they'll leave. That means all the other rest of the site is not engaging enough for them, not immersive enough for them, doesn't, it, is not capturing what they want.

(13:37):

When you look at what to the top pages, you're starting to see what content is most important to them besides the live stream, besides the, the location and service times besides the giving page. Do you have any content pages that, that they like to read? Because now you wanna see what topics are are is your audience most engaging with. And we all have, you know, life problems or life situations that we know the church has solutions for. And so if you see people start engage with stuff about faith, marriage relationships, you know, a whole bunch of topics, then you can start to develop content and build a digital strategy around that. So that's, that's kind of where I'm saying look at the analytics to see what they're doing and then start to create an experience that's based around that. And then from there, that's, that's initially the first part of creating digital experience is reacting to what they're doing.

(14:31):

The next thing you want to do is what our you know, Steve Jobs said a long time ago, you know, you start to you don't ask them what they want. You start to tell them what they want. And from a a spiritual perspective, we know you know, we, we know what type of things we want to help guide people in having the best in helping increasing and improving their faith-based wall. So we start guiding them towards those solutions, those answers that we know the church has, we know the pastor knows about, and we start putting those in a dig into the digital experience.

Ryan Dunn (15:03):

Hmm. But I, is that a process like, first you really need to be paying attention to the user and their questions more than trying to drive their responses.

Jason Caston (15:13):

Exactly. And it absolutely is a process. And that's what we've seen. We've seen these other platforms do. Amazon, when we first started using it, we were just buying stuff, but it wasn't recommending stuff cause they didn't know what we wanted yet. Then it got to the point was recommending stuff. Facebook, the newsfeed was way different. We first started using it to what it is now, the echo chambers and the good and bad parts of that Twitter and Instagram included, and we won't even get to TikTok. So <laugh>, you know, it's just those platforms. First initially they, they get to know the user, respond to the user, and then they guide the user.

Ryan Dunn (15:52):

Yeah. Well, you know what though, we, we might need to get to TikTok because it's a fresh platform for most of us, and that means that what you're talking about there is, is really visible for us because we jump onto the platform and the algorithm is just feeding us everything. Right? I mean, we look at all this content that just doesn't seem to make sense. <Laugh>, we don't know what we're doing on the platform until we find a couple videos that we like, and then all of a sudden, every time we're clicking onto the platform now it's, you know, filled with stuff that we just can't click away from. Our eyes are drawn in. Yeah. yeah. Are you seeing it with some of the ministries who you work with? Are they reporting that there are certain kinds of content pieces or, or pages on their websites that are more sticky like that?

Jason Caston (16:42):

No, I haven't seen any that have reported. That's what's more sticky in terms of the type of content I've seen. Okay. I've seen them report stuff that's more sticky in terms of when they start to create these customized experience that customized experiences that have a multitude of content. And by that I mean there's an actual customer journey that they're looking, they're looking to create for, you know, their users. And by that, I mean, think about it like this, and I, I use, I I'm always gonna use offline church examples for online

Ryan Dunn (17:17):

Churches. Yeah. Great solutions.

Jason Caston (17:19):

When you have a new member's class, there's a process you think about to, to become a member of a church. You think about it, you, you know, you, the pastor has the invitation. You get up, you walk down to the front of the church, you say, I wanna join this church. They take you to the back. They, you know, they, they, they say a few things to you. And then you start your new member's class, that's mm-hmm. <Affirmative> less than five, six steps. That basically is a customer journey from I'm sitting in the the pews to I've become a member of this church. That's, that's a whole entire journey. If you start from then, however they connected with the, the church to them getting to the church, that's even expanded journey. What I'm saying is you start to look at the, the journey from an online perspective of if I want to help this user learn get more solutions about, and say our focus for this month is marital solutions or marriages help empowering and, and, and strengthening marriages.

(18:12):

Then we start to look at how do we create this customer journey to help our married users get to content that helps build them up. Well, when they get to the page, we start to show them you know, things that are related to marriage based on keyword topics that we, we, we find out. And so there, from there, it could be, we start to use what's called triggers on pages. And triggers are stuff where you get to a page, you scroll so far and something pops up and says, Hey, give us your email 15% off. Or you scroll to 50% page and you see something else happen, the page is responding to you and how far you go, what you click on. And then that's where you start to guide them to where you want them to go. And that's a whole entire customer journey.

(18:57):

They get to a landing page from clicking to something. We talk about a marital conference, we talk about a marital solution. We have a blog post about, Hey, this is what happened to my marriage, how I made it better, five ways to make your marriage better. And then you keep going along along to whether, you know, you either engage them, why you say, Hey, capture their information to stay connected with them, or, you know, whatever the solution is that you have, you know, a product you want to get them to pastor has a message, stuff like that. But you have to think that stuff through and create that they call it a content strategy.

Ryan Dunn (19:27):

Yeah. Okay. Which really to put that in terms of, that we might be more comfortable with in the ministry world is like a pathway of discipleship or something like that. Now I have this unpopular opinion that really it's it replicates a marketing funnel and that you have your, your points where you meet people and then you move them to one level and then move them to the next. But but it, in fact, it is really is like a similar process in terms of moving people deeper into, as you put it, a user experience or an experience. What are their, what are some of the, I dunno, common triggers that you've seen come out or, or ways that that ministries have employed a as you called them, triggers in in their websites that help push people along on the journey or invite people along on the journey? I don't wanna use the term push, they invite

Jason Caston (20:22):

<Laugh>. Absolutely. I, I like the, the the code code switching using different truths.

Ryan Dunn (20:31):

<Laugh>.

Jason Caston (20:31):

Yeah. Cause I showed a marketing funnel at the conference as as a visual aid to to exactly what we were talking about. And I was like, this is the funnel, but I use, I said, I'm just using corporate terms for things that, that we do in the ministry space. But mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, in terms of examples, I've seen ministries use, one of, here's the best example I've seen used min I've heard many ministries say, you know, we wanna make sure we, this happens above the fold and above the fold is

Ryan Dunn (21:02):

Yeah, okay.

Jason Caston (21:03):

Before you scroll down, you know, the first af outside of the first screen that you see on the load, well above the fold is based on screen size, device, et cetera. So basically you're, you're saying, I wanna show this above the fold. And once they scroll beneath the initial screen that you see when you load up, then something happens. That could be if we're, and usually I'm thinking of from a conference perspective, once you get below the fold, then we want to show a pop-up that talks about this particular conference that we're using, we're, we're putting on. So that is one of the examples I've seen used most, especially working for ministry that put on a lot of conferences. That was something we always talked about. What's above the fold, what's below the fold? Once they get below the fold, what do we want to happen? What are we showing them and what do we want to happen as far as like a popup or something like that. And basically that's just, that's just a built in trigger.

Ryan Dunn (21:57):

Yeah. Okay. Makes sense. And I <laugh> triggered by this as I'm looking at, at Digital Connections, which is one of your books behind you there. Yeah. We can get really tempted as we get a little bit more advanced in our technological developments to go really deep in terms of things like website design. And so I would also want to call our attention back to though, to what you call forth in digital connections, that people are probably looking at your website looking for several key pieces of information, and then we don't wanna lose sight of, of those things. Can you outline just what a few of those items are?

Jason Caston (22:36):

Yeah. A few of the things that I've seen, no matter the site, the key, there's a few key things and I'm gonna talk about the key pages, for example, is are were you know live streaming, giving page service times and how to get, how to get to your location and stuff like that. Those were top key pages. And then of course they were looking for spiritual-based solutions. Do you have anything where you talk about spiritual-based solutions to life's problems, stuff like that. Those were top pages. But from the user experience, there was, can you get anywhere on your site within three clicks? Does your site load within three seconds? If the site doesn't load within three seconds, normally you lose 3%, I'm sorry, 50% of your audience. The next three seconds, you lose 50% more of your audience, and I think it's six seconds.

(23:26):

You lost 75% of your audience just because your site took too long to load. I built a lot of sites on WordPress. That is when that loads fast and works great, WordPress is one of the best solutions. When it's not working great. It is by far the worst, one of the worst. So that's some of the things that you have to look at. And when it comes to another ways with the user experience is make sure there's multiple ways that people can receive your content. By that I mean video text and audio. There's different ways that people like to receive content. And then here's a new one. I, I don't even think I talked about this in the book, but I've seen it come up a lot in, in four churches and in the corporate space. And that's ADA compliance.

(24:12):

And so for ADA compliance, that's a big deal Now, making sure anyone connects access your site and little small things for that are you know alt tags and images that, you know, people who may have are disabled and can't see and are blind and are able to, as your screen reader is going down your page, they know what's going on based on you filling out this information and making sure your site is ADA compliant. And then as drawbacks to that, if you don't make it compliant for you know, certain users, you can run into issues.

Ryan Dunn (24:44):

Yeah, I I've heard some of the, the forewarns that, you know, suits could be coming. Well, in fact, we've heard of it in the podcasting realm where there are actually lawsuits have been brought for people who have not made their their content available to, to people who are differently abled. Some. And you're saying that some of the ways that we can start to act on that right now is just making sure that as we upload an image to the website, that we've got a good description in there. The alt alt text is, is relevant to the image as well. Yeah. You know, sometimes we want to pack that with <laugh> with certain key words that we think are gonna help, but to actually make it relevant to, to what the image is, is important then.

Jason Caston (25:28):

Yeah. Is that right? Absolutely. Yes, that's absolutely correct. And I think I, I was just reading the other day we were told like carousels, carousels are not nearly as compliant as as, as we thought. So stuff like that, you try to try to move away from that and move more towards hero images and hero banners and stuff like that as opposed to multi carousels. So just small little things like that you have to look at for ADA compliance.

Ryan Dunn (25:56):

Yeah. You said back in 2019 that carousels were, were kind of passe, that they were dead <laugh>.

Jason Caston (26:01):

Yeah. That's

Ryan Dunn (26:02):

Speaking of like looking back like that, it was like 10 years ago that, that you started telling people about your I Church method. I'm not gonna make you rehash what all that is for us. Like they can contact you to get what the I Church Method is. But what is one thing from those early days that you're still kinda waiting for the church to act on?

Jason Caston (26:24):

Wow, <laugh> let's see, early on, what was it, websites, multimedia, social media, e-commerce, and mobile. I think the things from early on, I think think the thing that really, I really, I would say w was not even necessarily a particular aspect of the I church method. It was the continually playing catch up aspect of it. I was, the stuff I was talking about in 2013, I I taught from two perspectives. I said, here's what's going on now, but here's what I think is coming. And if we, when we talk again in a year or two years or what have you, it's gonna be new stuff. And I didn't want the church to try and do everything, but you have to do something. But it, it seems like there was always a we're fine. Things will just, there, there was, there was always this things will always be fine as they are as opposed to we're trying to get ahead of the curve. There was never an approach to trying to get or never a plan or strategy to try and get ahead of the curve. And so therefore that's still, that, that is still the thing to this day.

Ryan Dunn (27:40):

Yeah. Well, is there something now where you say like, Hey, look, this is coming. I mean, you have a pretty unique location and working for a company like Amazon that you get a glimpse of some of the things that are coming down the pike. Like is there something that you see on the horizon and it's like, oh my gosh, the church would really benefit from getting on board with that?

Jason Caston (28:00):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every <laugh>, no matter how many times we talk, I'm always gonna have something to say about that, that question, <laugh>. And so the, the, the buzzword answer, and I'm gonna go away from this, but I'm gonna give you the buzzword answer just to say, here's what I think people would say and answer. That would be, okay, VR search, metaverse Facebook or Meta is putting so much money into that. So VR church is on the horizon, but that's not the case yet. That's ahead of its time, but that's, I'd say probably about seven to 10 years out because of the devices are too hard. But here's what's coming next. It's ar and the reason I say AR is coming next is because glasses, which me and you both have on, are easier as a digital device, digital device for adoption than putting on an Oculus or some type of VR headset.

(28:55):

The, the three, I will say three so far, the major advancements in the digital, digital platforms starting with people getting home computers, and I think it was dial up getting into homes, going to mobile devices, which may social media take off to now. I think the next thing that's going to really take off is going to be AR and glasses, because that the devices will drive, there has to be a technology that drives whatever the next digital wave is. And I think churches would have a great opportunity with this, because if I have on digital glasses, there's a couple of two good examples that I, I like to use. Yeah. One, you can have these, this digital layer over this offline experience. And so a digital layer could be like think back about clippy using Microsoft Word. If you had somebody I'm a, I'm coming to your church, I'm a new visitor, and I wanna know where the new visitors section is.

(29:53):

If I have my digital glasses on, there could be digital signs that I can only see in AR that are guiding me to here's the new new visitors section. Here's where you take your children, ah, the children's ministry, here's where you all sit. All that stuff could be in VR where you know, you only see it with this v using the VR app for this ministry, but here's the best application that I think is going to be a game changer. And I, I know corporations will take advantage of this. If I'm sitting there at your church and you're preaching a message on, we'll say the Sermon on the Mount, and as I'm watching you preach this, I have my digital AR glasses on, and next to you, I see an actual digital enactment of what you are preaching. That's a much more innovative, immersive experience for me, because I'm watching what's going on now. Vr, I'll take it a step further and I'll be fully immersed in it because it's a whole, it's like a whole metaverse, but for the sake of Yeah. A for example, I can watch what you're preaching about actually happening while you're preaching it in real time. And that to me is, is is what the type of experience I see coming down a line for that can be built for churches. There's a lot of different moving tools in that happening, but the technology is already there for that to to come to fruition.

Ryan Dunn (31:13):

Yeah. Oh, that's cool. Well, and I can imagine that you could also use that space for putting scriptural text up there, or I, or song lyrics. I mean, really all the things that we kind of use these stationary screens for within our worship space or <laugh> or in my tradition, like the hymnals that we have in the back of the pews Yep. <Laugh>, those things could be moved online to or moved to that augmented reality. Oh, that's cool to think about.

Jason Caston (31:40):

Absolutely.

Ryan Dunn (31:42):

In, in looking at your, your i church method, is there anything else that you would add in now as we move into 2023?

Jason Caston (31:53):

Yeah, I've, I've the, I started off with those five areas because those were the most relevant to me in 20 12, 20 13 when I got started. But since then, I've, I've added a sixth area and I just call it innovation. And from innovation perspective, it's the things like Alexa, ar VR and the new digital platforms that they continue to evolve, that we can we can I can tell churches, Hey, this is what's coming down the line, start to think about this. But also including automation that we were talking about. Cause I really want churches to think of it from a perspective of how can we make what we do in a digital space easier, but also how can we put this content to work harder? So that, that's the thing. It's, and I, I feel like the more we talk about this stuff, and the more people start to understand the conversation and, and the ease of it, then the more they'll be able to adopt these, these methodologies.

Ryan Dunn (33:00):

All right on. Well, people may want to keep up to, up to date on some of the things that, that you're developing. Where is it in, well get in touch with you and get your insights <laugh> just on its own right. Where's a good spot for them to, to start to get in touch with you, Jason?

Jason Caston (33:19):

The easiest way would be you could go to jason caston.com. You can go to i church method.com. Platforms I'm on are Twitter, Instagram TikTok sometimes you know, and, and, and of course the normal, normal Facebook. But yeah, those are the ways to stay in touch with me. And I'm, I'm always utilizing the platforms. I actually respond and talk and and, and, and engage with people about these particular topics because it's, it's, it's a passion, you know, it's fun to talk about these things and actually implement these solutions.

Ryan Dunn (33:54):

Yeah. Well, I have a ton of fun with it too, and had a ton of fun talking with you. Jason, thanks so much for joining us.

Jason Caston (34:00):

Oh, and I appreciate it. I'm glad you reached out. I, I, I thoroughly enjoy doing things like this.

Ryan Dunn (34:06):

Yep. Jason Caston is one of those smart folks who scooped up their personalized web url. You can find [email protected] This podcast is a personalized URL too. How about that? It's pastoring in the digital parish.com. That's where you can find more episodes and show notes. If you were into this conversation, then I suggest checking out nine predictions for the Future Church from October of 2022, or check out leading a church's vision in digital ministry. That one was released in May of 2022. And while you're doing all that listening, drop a rating or review on your podcast listening platform of choice. I thank you for that in advance. Again, my name is Ryan Dunn. I would like to thank resource c.org, the online destination for leaders throughout the United Methodist Church. They make this podcast possible, and of course, they host our website. Again, that's pastoring in the digital parish.com, where you can find more online resources for ministry, as well as other episodes. If you wanna connect, check out the pastoring in the digital parish group on Facebook, and you can also send me questions and ideas for future sessions at Digital Parish com.org. Another session comes next week. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this peace <laugh>.

 

 

 

On this episode

Jason Caston on Pastoring in the Digital Parish

Jason Caston is a digital marketing specialist for Amazon. He has over 19 years of experience in web and content development. He’s made the rounds as a speaker and presenter. And Jason is a person of faith, who has written several books about ministry in digital spaces, including “The iMethod” and most recently “Digital Connections”.

Ryan Dunn, co-host and producer of the Compass Podcast

Our proctor/host is the Rev. Ryan Dunn, a Minister of Online Engagement for United Methodist Communications. Ryan manages the digital brand presence of Rethink Church, co-hosts and produces the Compass Podcast, manages his personal brand, and obsesses with finding ways to offer new expression of grace.