Tag Archive: social networking


Here’s a new nonprofit I’m working that endeavors to place AEDs in every public school and other public building nationwide, and also to provide CPR training to help save lives.

http://www.refresheverything.com/theviafoundation

Please take a minute to register your vote and to pass this along to your list of friends. Also, please consider posting this to your facebook page, blog, etc to help spread the word.

Thanks!
Christian

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First, if you haven’t checked out the final part of the three-part WTF (Where’s the Faith?) discussion with fellow series co-creator and co-editor, it’s all up in its three-part yumminess now. So suck it up!

Next, I developed a narrative postcard of one of our church giveaways, since so many folks have asked about them.

Third, I posted another track from my “S’aint Trio” free jazz and spoken word album I did last summer. The piece is called “Collapse,” and has some serious energy going on.

Last but hopefully not least, I knocked out a solo (S’aint solo, no trio, yo) spoken word track today at home called “Revolution,” and I thought it came together pretty well. Thought I’d share.

Here’s to happier ear-holes. Enjoy.

Peace,
Christian Piatt/S’aint

I traveled recently to Lee’s Summit, MO for an event where I was leading some workshops, speaking and such. On Sunday night, I got to close out the evening with a concert for a couple hundred very welcoming folks. It was probably the highlight of the weekend for me.

I love getting to share music and spoken word with people, and though some of the stuff I introduced may have been a new experience for many in attendance, they all seemed to have a good time.

Check out the podcast by searching my name on iTunes, playing it on the streaming audio player on my website (www.chrstianpiatt.com), or hit the link below to go directly to the podcast site.

http://www.christianpiatt.podbean.com

All episodes of the podcast, including the concert, are free. Let me know what you think.

Peace,
Christian

My first webinar (online workshop) on “how to use Facebook as a ministry tool) was great fun and well-received. since then I’ve gotten several requests to host this workshop again, so it’s back along with an exciting webinar on how to select a literary agent an, ultimately, how to get published!

If you want to learn more about the events, go to christianpiatt.com, or email me directly at cpiatt@christianpiatt.com.

CLICK ON THE EVENT TITLES BELOW TO REGISTER:

Using Facebook as a Ministry Tool
Wednesday, September 30th, 1pm (MST)

Learn the basics of “2.0″ social networking, how to set up a Facebook account, take a tour of Facebook and learn strategies for using it as a tool to connect with people throughout the week, beyond the walls.


From “Writer” to Agented and Published “Author”
(w/ Lit. Agent Anita Kushen)

Tuesday, October 6th, 11am (MST)

Join the conversation with Author Christian Piatt and Literary Agent Anita Kushen about what it takes to move your passion for writing to the next level. Learn valuable information like how to find and select a literary agent, and how to become a published author.

Though you all might enjoy watching me and Brandon Gilvin, co-editors of the new WTF? (Where’s the Faith?) book series in a short video chatting about the series and the first two titles, coming out soon.

The nerd on the right is me.

I’ve had some questions about how to register for the online workshops – or webinars – I’m offering this month. Well, I have good news!

As of today, I have online registration available. You can click on any of the titles below to go directly to the event registration, and you can use any major credit card. In the future I hope to add Paypal Express Checkout, but we’ll start with this. You can also visit my website for more detailed workshop descriptions.

All webinars are $20 (though it will increase to $25 per session after July), and will last between 60 and 90 minutes. Registration is limited to 15 people per session, so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as you can. If you have questions about these webinars, if you have another topic you’d like for me to cover or if you’d like to participate in one of the events listed below on an alternate date, email me and let me know.

Podcasting 101
Tuesday July 21, 12 Noon (MST)

What is podcasting? How do I do it? Do I even need to? What can it be used for? Get an introduction to podcasting, including how to set up your own podcast, ways to promote it and content ideas for your episodes.

Blogging 101
Wednesday July 22, 10 AM (MST)

Learn how to blog, what it can do, and how to best promote your blog for maximum exposure.

Using Facebook as a ministry tool
Thursday July 23, 1 PM (MST)

Learn the basics of “2.0” social networking, how to set up a Facebook account, take a tour of Facebook and learn strategies for using it as a tool to connect with people throughout the week, beyond the walls.

I’ve had a number of requests for web-based workshops – or webinars – on various topics from blogging, facebook and podcasting, all as tools for ministry. I’ve finally set some dates up, so check out the info below and let me know ASAP which classes you’re interested in so I can reserve your spot.

Webinar Training Sessions
Email me at cpiatt@christianpiatt.com to sign up!

The following web-based training courses (webinars) are being offered. All courses are $20 and will last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Each session is limited to fifteen participants, so sign up early to confirm your spot in the training.

Using Facebook as a ministry tool
Tuesday July 7, 10 AM (MST) or
Thursday July 23, 1 PM (MST)

Learn the basics of “2.0” social networking, how to set up a Facebook account, take a tour of Facebook and learn strategies for using it as a tool to connect with people throughout the week, beyond the walls.

Podcasting 101
Wednesday July 8, 10 AM (MST) or
Tuesday July 21, 12 Noon (MST)

What is podcasting? How do I do it? Do I even need to? What can it be used for? Get an introduction to podcasting, including how to set up your own podcast, ways to promote it and content ideas for your episodes.

Blogging 101
Thursday July 9, 11 AM (MST) or
Wednesday July 22, 10 AM (MST)

Learn how to blog, what it can do, and how to best promote your blog for maximum exposure.

Want to participate? Email me at cpiatt@christianpiatt.com and I’ll send you payment information.

After payment clears, your space is reserved and I’ll send you everything you need to log in to the seminar.

Church 2.0: Spider vs. Starfish – Part three
(Originally published on the DisciplesWorld News Muse blog)

I’ve been tossing out obscure phrases like “starfish church” and “church 2.0,” more or less to keep people curious, but these actually are legitimate concepts when considering future models for organized religion.

After World War II, churches were booming, and we could hardly build or expand the worship halls fast enough to keep up. Married couples generally stayed together for a lifetime, people stayed in the same job and the same home for decades, and there was an inherent trust in institutions to care for of us.

Then things changed.

Since the sixties, our relationship with institutional structures has changed, and in many ways, has become more suspicious. From government and religion to corporate America and even the institution of marriage, we approach such systems with an increasingly critical eye.

Along with this skepticism has come a new sense of resourcefulness too. The post-boomer generations have begun to learn to create a sense of community, belonging and “place” where and when they can, unable to consistently depend on institutions, or even their families of origin, to provide the stable foundation they seek.

Enter the Digital Age, which has expanded time, space, communication and community in ways most could not have even imagined before. Though some are suspicious, or even critical, of phenomena such as Social Networking (Facebook, MySpace, etc) tools, they are unquestionably filling a need. With more than 250 million subscribers, MySpace is one of the largest networks in the world.

The curious thing about Social Networking tools – also considered to be a part of Web 2.0 – is that they technically offer very little, if anything. Although Facebook offers users some memory space on a giant computer somewhere, and a few handy applications, the content primarily comes from the users. In the end, Facebook creates nothing except for the opportunity for community to happen.

Amazon, which is one of the biggest Web 1.0 companies, actually has an inventory of products they sell to consumers. Craigslist, on the other hand, which is a Web 2.0 system, helps to connect people who have things others want, like a giant international classified ad site. They own nothing and sell nothing to consumers, but they create a forum within which billions of dollars worth of goods and services are exchanged every year.

Historically, churches have been possessors and purveyors of information, organizing and managing the systems in a top-down structure within which the faithful can acquire what they seek. However, this “Church 1.0” model assumes a general trust in the systems in power, which continues to erode. Our instinct as church is to ratchet down, to tighten the reins as we sense the threat of our own irrelevance.

But perhaps it’s not the message we bear that’s no longer relevant, but the way we impart it. Perhaps the institutions that once represented security and authority to the culture now actually hinder our mission more than they help.

Perhaps there’s something to this whole Web 2.0 thing that we could learn from.

Such systems are not novel. From Apache tribal systems to Facebook and arguably the first-century church, so-called 2.0 systems operate with little or no budget, with little or no paid leadership, and like the early church, cannot be stopped once they catch fire.

Before Church was an institution, it was a movement. Its only purpose for existence was to spread the gospel – the good news – with a sense of urgency more powerful than fear of the risks. And like a starfish, the forces bent on dispelling them only caused them to scatter and multiply.

That is, and was, the essence of Church 2.0 – the Starfish Church. The model is right there in scripture. The children of the digital age get it, but do we?

Originally posted at the DisciplesWorld blog.

Last week, I threw a bit of a teaser out there, with this whole “Spider vs. Starfish” concept. As I’m sure many of you have lost hours of sleep, and perhaps have had a hard time forcing down a decent meal in eager anticipation of the follow-up, I figured it wasn’t fair to keep you waiting any longer.

The whole concept came from a book on business management practices, called The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom. The model presented here resonates with the idea I’ve had for a while now that church could learn a whole lot from the structure and governance of organizations like twelve-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. After all, they have reached millions with virtually no budget, and they seem immune to economic conditions, flourishing while we institutional churches struggle to keep the doors open.

So what’s the difference?

I might help answer that question with another question; if you cut the head off a spider, what happens? We all know it dies, right? But what if you cut off the arm of a starfish? It just grows another starfish. Where you once had one, there are now two. In trying to stop it, you actually only made it stronger.

So, how many of our churches are more like spiders instead of starfish? I thought so.

Here’s where the advent of recent technology might teach us an awful lot. If Rebecca Woods will indulge me in the future, I’d gladly post some other blogs about using applications like facebook, podcasting and blogging to further our ministries, but for now, let’s consider them a little more systematically.

In particular, consider a phenomenon known as “Web 2.0.” This is much like the so-called “leaderless organizations” that Brafman and Beckstrom are referring to. They are viral in nature, highly adaptable and scalable, and relatively easy to manage because the users generate the content.

I’ll offer a few examples to clarify the differences between a 1.0 – or spider – model and a 2.0 – or starfish – system. Amazon, which has become a behemoth presence for online commerce, would be considered a 1.0 model. They have a product that they sell to customers, pretty much in the traditional model, despite their lack of storefronts. Though they’ve been successful up until now, they are depending on some basic truths about the market. If, for example, the cost of paper or transport fuel went through the roof, it would affect their business model significantly, or if a supplier shut down, they might be stuck.

eBay, on the other hand, is a 2.0, or starfish, model. eBay, as you probably know, doesn’t actually sell anything. All they do is create the framework within which people can conduct business. This means they can be a conduit for everything from sweat socks to automobiles and homes. If the price of gold plummeted and jewelry markets crumbled, people could just sell more baseball cards or used books on eBay.

Another comparison might be looking at the difference between the traditional military structure versus a network like Al Qaida. Though you can throw an entire military into chaos by attacking its senior leadership or supply lines, Al Qaida is hard to stop in one sense because it is a headless beast. You kill or capture current leaders, and a dozen more pop up in their place. The system is so adaptable, it’s hard to stop.

Our churches have been based upon a 1.0 “spider” model for centuries, and so far, it’s worked pretty well. But now, we’re surrounded by starfish like facebook, Craigslist, BitTorrent, MySpace, eBay and the like, and we wonder why it is that we, the institutional church, don’t seem relevant to younger people.

For starters, we not only don’t look familiar: we don’t even look relevant.

People may not be able to put their finger on it, but they know 1.0 versus 2.0 when they see it, especially younger people. There are consequences to being a starfish organization instead of a spider, such as letting go some control over the content exchanged within the system, but there’s great opportunity as well.

In future installments, I’ll discuss a few more ways in which we can employ Church 2.0 methods in or existing congregations, both with technology, and even on our boards and in our Sunday School rooms. But for now, look around you and see if you can start spotting the differences between the spiders and starfish, all around you.

Until next time!

Christian Piatt is the author of MySpace to Sacred Space: God for a New Generation, and Lost: A Search for Meaning, and he is a columnist for various newspapers, magazines and websites on the topics of theology and popular culture. He is the co-founder of Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Amy. For more information about Christian, visit

Written and posted originally on  NewsMuse, the DisciplesWorld blog.

I’ve been asked a number of times to speak to various churches and other leadership groups about young adults, their relationship to organized religion, and their take on – and use of – technology. Unfortunately, church and technology tend to generally mix about as well as the football team and chess club. Neither the two shall meet, right? Who needs technology to find God, after all?

Sure, a few of us may have put up a screen to show words to our praise songs, and we may have even had a kid from the youth group throw together a website for us…which hasn’t been updated in about forty-seven years or so. As they say in the twelve-step tradition: how’s that working out for you? Folks generally fall into one of two categories. Either they are terrified by technology and want to have nothing to do with it in church at all, or they see it as some sort of silver bullet that, if aimed properly, will magically fill the now-empty pews with young families.

In truth, neither perspective is particularly realistic. For one, technology isn’t going anywhere, so by ignoring it, we risk making our churches even more irrelevant. On the other hand, if we hope that technology – or emergent worship, whatever that is, or a groovy website, or even a podcast – will save us from a fate we’re hoping to avoid, we may be putting way more trust into a handful of tools than they deserve.

Rebecca has invited me to contribute a few pieces to the NewsMuse blog, for which I’m honored and grateful. In future installments, I hope to share some ideas about how technology can be used to complement a vibrant ministry, as well as dispelling some misconceptions about technology, digital media, social networking, emergent worship and so many of these postmodern-emergo-hip buzz phrases we hear so often, yet about which we understand very little. So stay tuned to explore questions with me such as:

What exactly is “Church 2.0?”

Are you a Spider Church or a Starfish Church?

What do young adults really want from organized religion?

What the heck does it mean to be postmodern, and what is emergent worship?

Until next time!

Christian Piatt is the author of MySpace to Sacred Space: God for a New Generation, and Lost: A Search for Meaning, and he is a columnist for various newspapers, magazines and websites on the topics of theology and popular culture. He is the co-founder of Milagro Christian Church in Pueblo, Colorado with his wife, Amy. For more information about Christian, visit www.christianpiatt.com.

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