Digital Parish: Church staffing and work in the digital age

John Wimberly reminds us: work is changing. Church is changing. And it’s changing largely because our culture is shifting towards a digital mindset.

So what do these cultural shifts in work mean for our work in the church? And how do we align our workflow and staffing decisions to reflect the importance of ministry in the digital realm?

John Wimberly is going to help us answer some of those questions in this session of Pastoring in the Digital Parish.

The Episode

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Show Notes 

John Wimberly coaches on strategic planning and management with Church Consulting Group.

His most recent book is "Managing Congregations in a Virtual Age".

  

Ryan Dunn (00:02):

This is pastoring in the digital parish, your resource for community and insights for ministry in the digital realm. I'm Ryan Dunn, the host of this podcast and a fellow practitioner of digital ministry. Are you working the same way? You were a few years ago between meetings and lesson or sermon prep and office setup does your 2022 work life look like your 2017 work life? I doubt it.

Work is changing. Church is changing and it's changing largely because our culture is changing the methods and places in which we work are different now than they were a few years ago. Our work organizations are aligned in different ways and with different priorities. So what do these cultural shifts in work mean for our work in the church and how do we align our workflow in staffing decisions to reflect the importance of ministry in the digital realm? John Wimberly is gonna help us answer some of those questions in this session of pastoring in the digital parish.

Ryan Dunn (01:10):

John served congregations for 38 years and his quest is for continuing personal, spiritual and professional growth. And that led him to complete a PhD in systematic theology, as well as an executive MBA program. The latter program generated a sense of call to highlight the need for good business practices. In the business side of a congregation's life. He wrote an leads seminars on his highly praised book, the business of the church, and he has also penned the upcoming managing congregations in the digital age. Let's get to talking workflow and staffing for digital ministry with our adjunct professor, John Wimberly. And just to note that he was good enough to join us while he was doing some consulting work in a rather remote part of Mexico. So there's a bit of background noise on his end as he tried to find a quiet spot, but it's nothing too distracting. John Wemberley. We're gonna talk about where we work and the changing nature of, of how we do our work in these different places. I'm curious, you look like you're in a unique setting, where are you working from today?

John Wimberly (02:23):

So I work virtually now from Mexico. We live in a place called Sam Miguel de Allende. And I, I don't, I don't take any jobs where they want me to fly anymore <laugh> during the pandemic, I had more business than I've ever had. And I learned that it's you lose nothing working virtually the kind of work I do. And yeah. So the, and it saves the client having to fly me in there, an expense that's involved in that as well. So, so yeah, so Mexico, San Miguel de Allende.

Ryan Dunn (02:56):

Well, what was driving all that increased demand during the pandemic?

John Wimberly (03:01):

So it was like a, it was like a jump start for a lot of churches. And, and, you know, they, they just, all of a sudden realized nothing's gonna be the same when we come out of this. And, and we, we are using models for ministry that sometimes worked in the 20th century. Definitely don't work in the 21st century. And we need to, we need to think about that. So, I mean, the work I do is mostly strategic planning, but I've also during the pandemic that I did a lot of work on staff redesign when people began to think about, okay, there's still gonna be a lot of remote work done and remote meetings and all that kind of stuff. So do we really need the kind of staff today, even that that we had two years ago before the pandemic started, that kind of stuff?

Ryan Dunn (03:53):

Well, let's dive into that then as you brought it up, the, the changing nature of the staff and specifically in staff roles are staffs looking differently today than they were a few years ago, in terms of, of program roles and ministerial staff.

John Wimberly (04:12):

Sure. Well, I mean, just kind of as a classic example, and my dad was a pastor and he always said the most important person on a staff was a secretary. That was true when he was a pastor today a lot of churches don't have a, a receptionist administrative assistant, whatever you want to call it. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, any staff person should be able to do their own word processing, keep their own calendar. I mean, all answer their own phone. I mean, me email, all that stuff that secretaries used to do, you walk into a big law firm today used to be you'd walk in, and every single lawyer had an administrative assistant today. There may be one for 10 of 'em, you know, and you need mm-hmm, <affirmative> copying stuff like that, but even realities like foot traffic in and out of a church, most churches no longer have much foot traffic.

John Wimberly (05:00):

Most churches no longer have many even phone calls coming in. So that's one position. The, the janitor position, which my dad said was the other most important has basically been outsourced in many churches. And I've got mixed feelings about the success of that. But, but because you, you know, you get a good price and good, good productivity from those firms in the first year, they work for you. And then it starts to slide down as they take on more clients and you just become one of the clients. And so but the more interesting stuff is around the program staff itself. So as an example I, I interviewed a whole bunch of people over the, for this book I wrote over the course of the pandemic, I said, what's changing. And the religious educators were the ones that were the most fascinating. And, and what happened during the pandemic was, I mean, we lost the war for Sunday morning, so soccer a long time ago, and churches simply have not been willing to admit it. And they keep saying to kids, you come to church in Sunday school, when we tell you it's 10 o'clock on Sunday morning, it's 11 and the kids are going, thanks. And then they go to the soccer game. Yeah,

Speaker 3 (06:12):

I got a game. Yeah.

John Wimberly (06:13):

Yeah. So I, you know, I had, I had a, a church outside of major city in a suburb and that religious educator said, so as you know, John, you know, we, we've got about 500 people in worship pre pandemic. And we had about 35 kids in Sunday school. I mean, it should have been a huge Sunday school cuz there was a lot of young people involved in this and it wasn't. And she said, so what we did during the pandemic was we created YouTube channel and we created, I started creating content or I searched for content and found it and created Sunday school lessons for every week. And the participation rate more than doubled from what they had with people, kids who were actually coming into church, cuz the kids could access the Sunday school lesson anytime they wanted 24 7. So we made it accessible on their schedule rather than demanding that they come to church for Sunday school on our schedule.

John Wimberly (07:12):

And so what that means going forward is that religious educators, I think is one of them put it somebody in Boulder, Colorado. She said, I used to spend all my time recruiting teachers and supporting teachers. Now I'm gonna be spending all my time finding content for virtual content for classes. So that's a huge change. Another change has to do, I mean clergy, senior pastors in my opinion, have never been terribly good at managing people, period staff. And now they have to remote. They have to manage people who are working remotely. And you know, I get a lot of calls about this from clergy and I talk to them and I say, I said, there's nothing different. From managing someone who's sitting at home than someone who was sitting in an office down the hall from you, because frankly you didn't know what they were doing, sitting down the hall, you know, and they could have been sitting in there shopping on Amazon.

John Wimberly (08:13):

Right. Or going on email. So you don't know, you know, so the question then becomes, you know, how do you manage staff is really the issue. Not whether they're virtual and remote or if they're in person in the, in the church or the synagogue, the, and, and the answer there is you use metrics. In other words, you focus on production and, and you say here's what let's talk. Here's what I think would be a reasonable output from you over the next three months. What do you think? And then they come back and say, that's unreasonable. Sure. I could do even more or whatever that, where that conversation goes, but then you've got metrics and you judge 'em on the metrics rather than whether they're sitting down the hall or they're sitting at home or they're sitting in a Starbucks,

Ryan Dunn (09:01):

What are some of the metrics that you're hearing? Because it really de factI. It used to kind of be rear ends in seats. Right. So we would ask, you know, how many kids were in Sunday school that that might be a metric. What are the metrics looking like now?

John Wimberly (09:15):

Well, so like with this Christian educator, it could be how many people, how many of my, how many of our kids are first of all, tuning in? How often are they tuning into that YouTube channel? Are they staying on it or are they just looking at it and getting jumping right off again, that which if you've got the right software programs and stuff, you should be able to do that and get those kinds of metrics. But it's, it's gonna be about engagement. I mean, that's the buzzword right now in, in church circles is, you know, are, are, are we engaging? Not just our members, but are we engaging others as well? And for worship, I mean, it's starting to look like, you know, people I'm working with a client right now in the south and I've been saying to them, you know, you need to have, they're giving me attendance numbers for two in person worship service.

John Wimberly (10:04):

They said, how many people are tuning in online, cuz they're still live streaming. And I said, you gotta add that in there. And I just finished a job with a church and different church in Boulder and they actually had decided that they're gonna focus. Most churches are focused on trying to get people back into, in person worship with very limited response, frankly. But the what the one in Boulder said was we're gonna focus on this online crowd because there's all kinds of people watching us live streaming us, who we've never met. We don't have any plan for them. You know? How can we expand the engagement beyond just the, the, the, the, the simple thing of coming church on Sunday morning?

Ryan Dunn (10:51):

Well, the impetus for us talking was your book managing congregations in a digital age, which came out about a year ago, but you wrote it during pandemic time. And as part of that, you conducted a lot of interviews <laugh> with church leaders. Were there other things that surprised you while you were conducting these interviews and the feedback that you were getting?

John Wimberly (11:14):

Sure. Well, is what surprised the people I was interviewing and, and consistently what they said. And you read about this in the literature about what happened during the pandemic in businesses too, was like this rabbi, good friend of mine. He said, you know, I had no, no idea how much business we took care of my associate rabbi. And I, as we walked by each other in the halls, or we saw each other in the parking lot and that kind of stuff. And he said, we were really irritated with each other for a while at the beginning of the pandemic, because I assumed she was gonna do this. And she assumed I was gonna do that. And we had, we resolved those kinds of things as we literally are you gonna make sure you've got the bread that we need for later today that as she's walking down the hall, right?

John Wimberly (12:04):

Yeah. And all that stuff disappeared in the virtual at first, cuz they didn't realize how important that stuff was and how they communicated. So that was the big one. And, and that actually, it, you know, brings up the whole thing about how much time do you need with staff in person versus virtual meetings. And I, I'm not sure that the in person thing is all that important. What I am sure about is team meetings are important, whether they're virtual or not. And a, a lot of that. So people, I, you know, the good, the good managers and the good teams quickly learned that they had to meet actually more often in order to make sure they, they covered all their bases because they didn't have the advantage of this fluid interaction that was going on. I'll just walk down to their office and ask 'em a question. Yeah. And that, that kind of stuff. So I, I, you know, so much of the remote versus in person work stuff gets put into an either or frame. And, and I, I don't think that's a good way to look at it. I think it's more a both end, as most things are in life. And it's a, it's just a matter of developing new work practices, best practices for remote stuff, because we didn't, we, we weren't used to doing that

Ryan Dunn (13:25):

Are a lot of the churches who you're working with now is, are there staffs working remotely?

John Wimberly (13:30):

Yeah. Yeah. Just, yeah. And, and probably more importantly what I said in the book that's turning out to be absolutely true was I said, what people are learning during the pandemic is I don't need to drive 30 minutes to the church for a meeting, spend an hour at the meeting and then drive another 30 minutes home. And I said in the book, we're never gonna go back to that. And, and that's happening now. I mean, there's, there's as with everything there's exceptions, I mean, I think church council governing board meetings probably are better in person for the most part. But you, I mean, you can have quick ones on specific issues that are very time specific, that kind of stuff, but the regular committee meeting you know, it, it, there, we're just not gonna go back to that. And I also argue in the book that, that it's, it's, it's more, it, it, it like fosters diversity because for example, people my age some people, some of my peers don't drive at night because as you age, you can develop problems with driving at night.

John Wimberly (14:39):

They can attend a meeting though, just by sitting at home on their zoom and zooming into a meeting, same thing with a young family. It's got a couple of kids, they have to set up babysitting childcare, that kind of stuff. And if they do it by zoom, they don't have to, you know, so it, I think it actually increases the ability for us to engage with certain demographics that we might not have been able to get to to say, yeah, I'll be on that team or that committee. But now they will because they know. And the other thing that's great about it is I, I always start out with every team I work with and I go, you have no excuse for not for missing a meeting. I said, you know, you can be in Maine or you can be in California or you can be in Mexico, but there's, if there's an internet connection, that's stable, you've got no excuse for missing a meeting.

John Wimberly (15:27):

And it really, that really works. Another one that was really interesting to me, I've had a couple of clients who have big off season on season type. So in Nantucket, the, the on season is the summer. In, in, down in Florida church, I worked with in Vero beach. The, on the big season is the, is the winner obviously. And they've been able to plug the people who used to just leave. And that was it until next winter, they've been able to engage those people and keep them live streaming, keep them financially giving, keep them attending vital studies, things like that. And so there's all kinds of possibilities in that regard that, that the smart congregations are really kind of going, I think we need to do that. There was a church in Louisville that, that I, I interviewed the pastor and they had one of the biggest Sunday morning adult programs that had ever seen, they had about 125 people.

John Wimberly (16:29):

And most of 'em were older. And I called him about three months in and he said, I said, how'd that go? And he says, well, at first, just stopped. He says, but then all the, these seniors learned how to use zoom because they had to, their grandkids taught 'em somebody taught 'em. And he said, now we actually have more people engaged on Sunday morning with those Bible studies than we did before, because they've invited friends of theirs who are members of other churches who didn't keep up with technology and said, well, just, just come to mind. You know, here here's an invitation. So there's a, a lot of creative and interesting stuff going on. I mean, the going back to the, to the number of people in attending worship, I mean, the stories are pretty grim. I mean, I, I like 30%, 40% fit mm-hmm <affirmative> 50% is like pretty good.

John Wimberly (17:20):

If you've got 50% of your attendance that you had pre pandemic, I I'm working with the congregation now in North Carolina where they've actually got more. That's the only one I've worked with where they've got more people attending now than they did pre pandemic. But so, and that has been, that's been tough on the clergy in particular because whether we want to admit it or not, we like performing mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, and we're standing up there on Sunday morning and, and it's also energizing. I mean, so you're doing all this kind of administrative stuff and pastoral care and program stuff during the week. And then kind of the payoff was Sunday morning, you get there and everybody's walking out saying great sermon, John, that kind of stuff, you know, and you get a charge and you go home and you feel good all day, Sunday. And then you go back to work on Monday and all the stuff I mentioned and not having as many people in worship is, is, has been difficult on the clergy. I'm hearing this from, I don't know what you're hearing, but I'm hearing that from so many clergy.

Ryan Dunn (18:24):

Yeah. I hear that as well, especially in terms of just response that they get, the toughest sermon I ever gave was not like an ordination sermon or first sermon or, or anything like that, or even a tough topic. It was the first zoo sermon I ever gave because you know, there is no response. And as you're up there talking, you realize I've been at this for 10 minutes. I don't know how this is going over. You become super aware of just how long you're talking. Right. And then there's this need to, like, I gotta wrap it up cuz I think I'm losing them, but you don't know

John Wimberly (18:58):

<Laugh> yeah, no, that's that's else what's going on. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn (19:03):

I would love to hear, like, if you know that church in North Carolina, what have they done? That's helped bring people back to the sanctuary.

John Wimberly (19:13):

Well, I just, I just found out, I just saw the stats yesterday. Yeah. But I'm pretty sure I know, which is, they've got an incredibly dynamic new pastor. Okay. I I'm just willing to bet that she's a heck of a, a preacher. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn (19:27):

Got it. What have been some of the limiting factors that you've heard as churches move towards this hybrid model of, of running their work days or running their staffing?

John Wimberly (19:40):

So I guess what I could put is what, what the fear is, the fear is that people are never gonna come back on Sunday morning. The fear is that even programmatically people, aren't gonna come back and, and again, some of this is just stuff that was already going on before. So as an example, you know, you used to be able to do like a topical adult education class on a Sunday morning. Okay. Well now, you know, I can go watch lectures at Princeton or Harvard. I mean the marketplace out there for content and the quality is so spectacular, how are we gonna compete against that? And we are competing against that in our local churches. And and, and so those are the kinds of fears. I mean, there, there churches and, and particularly clergy are figuring out that the competition has gotten a lot stiffer because of the way people access information and content.

John Wimberly (20:43):

And, and so what are we gonna do? I think the answer to that that is, you know, I'm a big believer in core competency organizations should do the things that they're best at and what are we best at we're best at spiritual development. I mean, that's what our, that's what it is in the beginning. And that's what it's gotta be at the end. And so I, I think it's gonna force us back rightly to being less programmatic and more about spiritual development, how do we help our members grow as individuals? So that as a result of their experience in first church, whatever first church that is, they go, this is like one of the most important things in my life because it's filling me up inside with a sense of worth and wellness that I can't get any place else. You know?

John Wimberly (21:36):

So that's our core competency is, is spiritual development. I mean, I, I spent my ministry doing mission type stuff, and I think that's a big part of spiritual development, but I do think that the particularly the main line churches got off onto and into a direction where they were overly focused on providing program and basically duplicating stuff that nonprofits were doing in the community. You know, it's like when benevolence budgets, they, the benevolence budgets started being well, what do you, how much money do you give to mission? They go, well, we give a thousand dollars to habitat for humanity and we give $500 to food for the hungry, et cetera, et etc. Well, I mean, really, I mean, the members can give their own money to habitat for humanity and food for the hungry, et cetera, et cetera. Right. so there's just, there's that kind of stuff is what I, I just think there's a big sorting out.

John Wimberly (22:28):

I think we're going through another reformation. And if you think about what, you know, the first reformation was triggered by the printing press. I mean, Luther, all of a sudden was able to distribute all of these pamphlets, you know, basically rants across Europe. And that that's what that, if he hadn't had the printing press, you know, we wouldn't probably even know Martin Luther's name. And we've got the internet and the internet is the equivalent in spades of, of what happened with the printing press. And so I think we're in a big sorting out of what works and what doesn't work. And whenever you go through these times of tremendous change, I think you go back to core competencies. What do we do? Like I've got a friend I'm, I'm so proud of him. He still has a Bible study every week. He's the pastor of a pretty busy church, still leads a Bible study every week. And it's that kind of stuff. I think that's gonna ring true to our members.

Ryan Dunn (23:21):

And, and is he doing that Bible study online?

John Wimberly (23:24):

No, he doesn't know one sit. He doesn't sit in a room, people come to it. I'm gonna, and now that you say that I'm gonna suggest that he do it online. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn (23:32):

<Laugh>

John Wimberly (23:33):

Not that one, but did he have another one? Sure. That's online, you know. Well, thanks for doing my work, Jen. <Laugh>

Ryan Dunn (23:39):

Right. It doesn't have to be different. It's just, he can almost do the, the same thing online. Yeah. And maybe one of the reasons why we hold off from doing some of that stuff online is because we, we do hear about people getting fatigued from online meeting. Like really our, we used to complain about church meetings before, right. And the volume of church meetings before and now, because we're not able to have these decisions made in liminal spaces. As you talked about passing in the hallway or meeting out in the parking lot, we have to formalize all these, all these meetings in order to get some of these decisions made. And that just leads us to a, a fatigue. Oftentimes we hear it called zoom fatigue. You brought up some practices. Would you mind sharing some of those that keep people involved in zoom meetings or virtual meetings?

John Wimberly (24:28):

Right. Well, first and this is true in most businesses, you cannot turn the camera off. I mean, church, people like to, they like to turn their cameras off and I find it first of all, just irritating, but it also means that they can tune out. And, and, and, and you can watch people, you know, if they're like, if they're doing like this and you lose, they're looking like, you know, they're looking at their email or

Ryan Dunn (24:53):

Right. They're fiddling off the screen. Yeah. Uhhuh

John Wimberly (24:55):

Listening to Ryan. So you know, so I, I say that, I said, I can, I, I give 'em an example. I said, I know when you're not paying attention here. I mean, I hate to seem like a school principal, but at certain points you got to, but the other thing is I call on people, you know, if people just tune me out, that's the fatigue. They just, they start tuning you out. I, I engage them. I also use breakout rooms a lot. And, and even if it's a group of 10 people, I'd, I'd break 'em into a group of 2, 5, 2, 5 person groups. And, and that'll keep, 'em more engaged because again, they can't just kind of go off into some place reading their email and everything. So those are the big ones for me is, is, is watch their, just like you were talking about being a preacher and difficult is when you can't see people's eyes and can't see their body language. Well, you can't always see all the body language on zoom, but you can see their eyes and you should be able to tell whether they're engaged or not. And if they're not ask, ask, 'em a question say, well, what do you think about that, Sharon? You know, and all of a suddenly Sharon is engaged

Ryan Dunn (26:05):

And I appreciated some of the ideas you had as far as gaging introverts as well, because I, I think there are extra steps to engagement in a virtual space. So we need to kind of up the, I guess, the level of invitation to participate, what are some of those introverted ways or ways of drawing out introverts into that virtual space?

John Wimberly (26:27):

Well, I mean the, the big one is just simply the breakout rooms. You you've gotta put people in small groups. I mean, the literature is just overwhelming on this. If, if a group is, has more than six to nine people, the introverts just aren't gonna talk. And then, and then you're gonna get an angry email saying you didn't gimme a chance to talk. <Laugh> I, I got a lot of those. It took me, it wasn't until I realized I started understanding introvert extrovert in a different way, the Myers Brigg's definitions of those that I, I realized why I was getting those email. I go, what did mean? She was sitting in the same meeting I was sitting and she could have died when you died. But but at anyway, so the big one is small. The group size, they, they not only wanna talk, they will talk if they're in the, in the proper setting. Mm,

Ryan Dunn (27:12):

Well, that's something that you had to learn along the way, as far as managing people, you alluded to earlier that the challenge of being a pastor today is, is in the managing of people. And said that that is a challenge for a lot of pastors, and it's not because they're not necessarily good at it, but it's something that pastors don't get trained for. So, right. As, as we're moving into this, this new digital reformation, what are some of the other areas, or even if you had to design some seminary classes for future ministers, like what additional classes or training opportunities would you look for?

John Wimberly (27:54):

Right. So my biggest fear is summarizing a, a phrase that a friend of mine in Fort Collins, Colorado's pastor uses, and he says high touch, high tech. And my fear is that what's gonna happen is that people are gonna use there. It's not that they're going to, they're already, they consider a text message or an email, a pastoral moment. And, you know, yes, it can be, but I'll never forget. One of my mentors who did a lot of prophetic preaching and I wanted to do prophetic preaching, and I said, I don't understand how you keep your job. I've read some of your sermons, you know? And he said, I never ever miss a hospital visit. I never ever miss a visit when somebody's got a death in their family or a problem in their family says, I go to the hospital almost every day when somebody's in the hospital.

John Wimberly (28:50):

And that personal touch is, is again a, a differentiator, a core competency that we've got. How many people have a have a really, another guy told me another one of my mentors told me that he, he wrote personal notes to people and he said he would get comments from people who said, you know, I don't get any personal letters anymore. That was amazing. So, you know, to me, it's about, it's about managing the personal touch. And if we don't, if we as clergy and as Christians, as Christian communities, if, if our churches don't have a personal touch, I think that's, and this is, I'm hearing this from all the clergy is they're, they're trying to figure out how do we reestablish the personal touch that we had when everybody came to church? So we, we, we know these people are still there. A lot of 'em are still live streaming us, but we, we can't shake their hand.

John Wimberly (29:46):

We can't hug them. How do we ask them how they're doing? And there's no coffee hour, all of that personal touch stuff. To me, if I was managing the staff in a church, I'd be talking about that every single week. And I'd be, and I think I'd have some metrics about that. How many people have you touched personally this week? How many people, hospital visits, how many, you know, that kind of stuff. People never forget that they will forget a prophetic sermon. They will not forget if you miss a hospital visit, or if you don't mention the fact that their, their mother died or something like that. So,

Ryan Dunn (30:23):

Mm. Yeah. That's really valuable. Mm. Well, is there a new project that you're working on now? You have another book in the works?

John Wimberly (30:31):

No, I think I always say I'm done. I'm done with my books. I think I am done with my books, but most of my work now is more than 50% is, is what I call staff redesign work, which is very interesting is people, you know, I, what I'm telling people, and, but they're already, they know cuz they, that's why they hire me. They're they're going, you know, we've just been when an associate pastor leaves, we hire another associate pastor when a Christian educator leaves, we hire another Christian educator. We gotta stop doing that because what we really need is a marketing communications person, you know, cetera, C. So they ask me to come in and help them figure out as staff turns over, cuz I'm, I won't go into a job if they say we wanna eliminate a bunch of staff, I go fine, but you're not, I'm not gonna do it. But you can do that. Naturally. As people leave, as they retire, they get other jobs, whatever is what do we do when, when Joe leaves or Jane stops and you know has no desire to be an associate pastor anymore. And, and, and so that, that's fun. I I'm enjoying that. Cause that opens up some real creative venues for thinking, I think there are far more opportunities than there are challenges today. I'm absolutely convinced about that. The opportunities at technology and the internet in particular give us are mind boggling. Mm-Hmm

Ryan Dunn (31:58):

<Affirmative> yeah. In a way it's, it's just a great opportunity to be creative and to explore a little bit more

John Wimberly (32:06):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah, absolutely.

Ryan Dunn (32:09):

Well, is the congregational consulting group, is that the best way to reach out to you for questions? Sure.

John Wimberly (32:15):

Yeah, if you go to congregational consulting.com and there each of us, the consultants, there has an email link. So just use that.

Ryan Dunn (32:25):

Great. Well, John Wimberley, thank you so much for giving us this time for taking a break from your day in Mexico. Appreciate it ton.

John Wimberly (32:32):

Okay. It's been so much fun and thank you for your ministry. Doing this.

Ryan Dunn (32:36):

A great follow up to this session would be our season three session with Nicole Reilley titled "leading a church's vision in digital ministry." Another good episode related to this topic would be season two's "digital community as a fresh expression of church" with Ros Picardo and Michael Beck. I'm Ryan Dunn, and I'd like to thank resource umc.org, the online destination for leaders throughout the United Methodist church. They make this podcast possible. And of course they host our website pastoringinthedigitalparish.com, where you can find more online resources for ministry. I'll speak with you again in a new episode next week in the meantime, peace to you.

 

On this episode

Rev. Dr. John Wimberly

John Wimberly served congregations for 38 years. John’s quest for continuing personal, spiritual and professional growth led him to complete a PhD in systematic theology and an Executive MBA program. The latter program generated a sense of call to highlight the need for good business practices in the business side of a congregation’s life. He has also penned “Managing Congregations in a Virtual Age.”

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.