Page 1 | November 2015




Steve Hewitt



Kevin Cross

4 AirStream Seraphim Software Introduces

By Steve Hewitt


Apps-you love them and you hate them!

16 HIGHER POWER WITH KEVIN WORDSearch 11 update brings back lesson maker


Yvon Prehn Nick Nicholaou Kevin A. Purcell Russ McGuire COPY EDITOR

Rachael Mitchell OUTREACH INC.

5550 Tech Center Dr. Colorado Springs, CO 80919 Phone: (800)-991-6011

23 MINISTRY COMMUNICATION The responsibility for seasonal, digital outreach at your church is the job for the whole church




Microsoft resolves O365 charity licensing issue for churches!


MINISTRY LEADERSHIP Combat church burnout


3 Keys to better data and better decisions


Lock the front door! - keep your device…your device

Ministry Tech® is a registered trademark of Outreach, Inc. Written materials submitted to Ministry Tech® Magazine become the property of Outreach, Inc. upon receipt and may not necessarily be returned. Ministry Tech® Magazine reserves the right to make any changes to materials submitted for publication that are deemed necessary for editorial purposes. The content of this publication may not be copied in any way, shape or form without the express permission of Outreach, Inc. Views expressed in the articles and reviews printed within are not necessarily the views of the editor, publisher, or employees of Ministry Tech® Magazine, or Outreach, Inc. © Copyright 2015 Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved | November 2015


EDITOR Apps-you love them and you hate them! If you have been around like I have been around, you remember that your biggest tech concern was that your computer would crash. You could fix this with a good backup system, but it could still be frustrating. Now that computing has changed and it has gone mobile, we face a whole new set of frustrations! Tired of not having enough power for your cell phone to make it through the day? It probably isn’t your cell phone’s fault. Apps can be sneaky and steal power they are not entitled too. For example, one of our most favorite apps, Facebook, has had to admit that even though you have been shutting it off, it has been remaining on in the background, driving your battery life down. Once it was discovered, Facebook called it a bug and has promised to fix it. But you have to wonder if it is a bug or not. Apps that don’t want to shut of normally do so with a purpose, such as to continue tracking your location. Speaking of apps that track your location and access your other private data, once again Apple has announced that they will be pulling 258 apps from their store due to violation of their security guidelines. These are apps that were designed to be fun, cool, and appealing, but with the intent of stealing your data and recording your location in order to make a buck selling it to others. Of course Apple could fix this by simply allowing you to pull your battery. However, for some reason they continue to hard wire their batteries into their phones. This means even when you shut your phone off, many apps are still able to run, especially those that are covert and seek to track your every move. We have come to depend on and enjoy our smart phones, and the latest apps are always fun to check out, but be cautious. If your battery doesn’t seem to last as long as others, you may need to take it in and have your phone checked out. A malware app might be stealing your power as well as your info! Together We Serve Him,

Steve Hewitt


4 | November 2015


AirStream integrated production software


Could you start with giving a brief overview of AirStream? AirStream is the end to end integrated production software for your church. That sounds like a mouth full, but please allow me to break that down. AirStream is comprised of five distinct yet integrated applications: a comprehensive, yet extremely simple designing application, an intuitive presentation application, a video and live streaming application, an environmental projection application, and a service flow application.

By Steve Hewitt


lmost a year ago, while speaking at a conference in Philadelphia, I met with several of the people at Seraphim (since I was near their home offices). I was expecting to spend our time talking about the cool features of their cloud based ChMS. I immediately picked up on the fact that something new was in the air that they were very excited about. They began to share with me the vision and excitement of a new service they were perfecting, called AirStream! One of the things I dislike about my position with Ministry Tech Magazine is that I have to keep secrets about exciting things that are coming down the road, but NOW I am very excited to share with you my interview with Seraphim Software and announce AirStream. Check it out!

You mentioned that the applications are integrated, what is the significance of this and why did you decide to make it all inclusive? Many churches struggle with piecing together hardware and software that often don’t behave well when interacting with each other. AirStream is built so that these interactions work harmoniously from end to end. The “Cloud” generates a lot of buzz these days. In what ways is the Cloud advantageous in regards to presentations and productions? The future of technology revolves around leveraging the Cloud from any | November 2015

device, such as desktops, laptops, tables and mobile devices. AirStream is Cloud-Enhanced: what this means is that AirStream is an application which lives and runs on your local computer, maximizing the graphics hardware you already have while utilizing the Cloud for centralized storage. One of the main areas of improvement that we sought after was a reliable, fully cloud-stored solution. We have heard many stories of individuals working tirelessly on presentations, only to have the program crash and all their hard work erased. In AirStream, the save button is eliminated; everything you do is instantaneously synchronized with the Cloud. This is extremely valuable as it permits the user to access their presentations, media, and playlists from absolutely

anywhere with an internet connection. Your creative team can design presentations at home, and when volunteers show up to your service, everything will be prepared and ready for them. There are many other Presentation Softwares out there. What made you decide to develop a new presentation Software and what would you say makes you different? That is a great question and one that we get a lot! AirStream is not defined as only a presentation software, it is the solution for a church’s entire production. Our vision was to provide an all-inclusive, cloudenhanced Production platform that provides the functionality and features people look for with a simplified uniform workflow from start to finish.


You mention separating the creatives from the presenters, what was the reasoning behind this? We’ve seen many designers create beautiful images or motion loops in professional programs like Photoshop and Aftereffects, only to import them into a generic presentation software as a static item. This is why we decided to separate the Design feature from the Present feature and invest heavily into tools that many artists and creatives seek. With the tools in Design, you enable your creatives to produce beautiful slides that are native to AirStream. This does not, however, nullify all of the graphics you currently have. In fact, AirStream has a dense library of advanced effects that will allow you to enhance and transform your media and slides into an infinite amount of possibilities.

6 | November 2015

AirStream is unique from any other software in that it leverages the hardware on your machine to render real-time dynamic elements such as particle systems, count-downs, noise, procedural elements, AirStream Shaders, and much more. You have recently announced the addition of a Service Flow application in AirStream. Can you tell us what that is and the capability of it? We seek to provide a very simple, yet powerful Service Flow tool for individuals to both plan and use during the service. AirStream’s Service Flow breaks down the service flow into departments. This allows each department to view the main service flow as well as items specifically directed towards their department. Service Flow also contains a native instant messaging feature called Talk. Talk allows you to communicate to the group or individual members involved where the event is taking place. AirStream offers a new approach to video and streaming. Can you describe this new approach? We are extremely excited to be releasing this revolutionary new software module in AirStream, called Direct. Our main goal is to eliminate the barriers churches face when getting into live-streaming. We desire AirStream Live to provide the capability for a church of any size to run excellent productions | November 2015

and stream professionally. Our entire configuration and workflow is based on one piece of hardware (computer). You no longer have to patch multiple devices together with various configurations. Simply plug your video feeds into the port on the computer and you’re set! Your video feeds are ingested into Direct where they are combined with the presentation slides you’ve created. Now all that’s left to do is choose the format and positioning of the video and presentations to suit your desired layout. With your AirStream Live subscription, and a click of a button, you are automatically live streaming your service directly to your own website through the sleek iFrame AirStream provides you. Once you complete your service, the video is automatically uploaded and embedded directly into your website. There will be many advanced features you can use in Direct including: add queues to notify your audience to turn to a bible verse, participate in the offering via mobile payment, ask a question, participate in a poll, and much more! Another premium feature we will offer will be the ability to index the audio of your sermons allowing you to have a quality transcript of your entire sermon. Tell us a little bit about your Parent company, Seraphim Software: AirStream is built on the Seraphim Platform. The Seraphim Platform is an integrated set of services that encompasses all aspects of church administration, ministry, outreach and events. It handles everything from preparation and recording of events to managing your membership roster, to growing your church with new visitors, to coordination amongst your staff and volunteers. This is more than just a massive program that attempts integration and fails under its own weight. Important entities that must be understood between different functions are defined to each program – the definition of a person, an event, a group and a presentation are understood universally and can be shared. This means you don’t have to worry about the


synchronization of multiple databases. The definition of a group or volunteer in one place is the same as the other and more to the point, the system manages everything for you. Seraphim is a company that is constantly striving to provide the church with not just sufficient technology, but revolutionary technology. What do you hope to achieve by bringing AirStream into the market? From the printing press to the cellphone, technology has progressively equipped us to share our experiences with each other. AirStream wants to empower the church to “Share their Experience”. We seek to provide the church with excellent tools to plan and run their services. We don’t, however, want to limit the experience to the service itself. AirStream hopes to empower the church to share their experience and interaction, both in the pews, at home, and anywhere at any time.

8 | November 2015


Combat Church Burnout


tatistically, it has been found that 60% to 80% of those who enter into ministry will not be in it 10 years later.* Let that sink in for a minute. There are plenty of reasons this may happen, but burnout seems to be the leading cause.

So, how can a church combat burnout and losing members of their ministry team? There are several ways, but one way could be by using a different, intuitive tool that serves everyone in the church, saves time and is easy to use. That tool is Realm. Realm is different because it’s not just about data gathering and number crunching. Of course it has these capabilities, but the heart of Realm is engaging and connecting people. Where traditional church management software programs rely on the quality of data entered by staffers, Realm totally handles this aspect of work when people connect with various church activities. One platform for the whole church, Realm lets staff manage important information about members and provides a way to keep a pulse on the church during the week. A real-life, every day tool that can literally fit in your pocket, it blends the needed record keeping with church data to keep staff better equipped and ready to meet the daily challenges they face. It allows for you to take care of frequent tasks easily and also give the attention to personal connections on a daily basis.

In short, with Realm, church staff can: • Manage small groups • Track member involvement • Review contribution records • Check in for events, etc. • Send mass emails Modern and 100 percent web-based, Realm is just as vital to the church’s congregation as it is to the staff. With Realm, congregants have a connecting point throughout the week to keep them tied to what’s happening with the church and their fellow parishioners. In addition, they can search, sign up for and stay connected to small groups. They can also review their giving history and manage any recurring gifts they may have planned. It is the total package for church members. For church members, Realm makes it easy to: • Make online contributions • Check event schedules • Print personal giving statements • Post news and statuses | November 2015

MINISTRY • Email contacts • Update and maintain their contact and personal information A true whole-church solution, Realm is optimized for the convenience of all users. Easy to use, it is accessible 24/7 from any device, including Macs, PCs, mobile phones, or tablets. And since there’s nothing to install, there’s no need to worry about backups, hardware or updates. Real Ministry Using Realm. More than 2,000 churches and approximately 1.6 million individuals are already using Realm to help them reach their ministry goals. One of them is Cornerstone Baptist Church in Darlington, S.C. They have been utilizing Realm for over a year with outstanding results. “Realm has become a great partner for us in ministry. Using Realm has become an important part of this process because it not only adds value to what we do, but it makes us more efficient, which makes us more effective,” said Dr. Bill Curtis, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church. Do Ministry Better With Realm ACS Technologies can get you started on the path to doing ministry better with Realm. To learn more about this effective, easy-to-use tool, including stories of how other churches are using it, download our introductory guide today. * Into Thy Word, “Statistics on Pastors,”

ENGAGE & CONNECT YOUR CHURCH One platform for your whole church, Realm is for your staff and congregation.


10 | November 2015

Protected With


By Steven Sundermeier

Lock the Front Door! Keep Your Device…Your Device


very morning it is my pleasure to drive my three children to school. As we walked out to my car one day this week I noticed a large, smiling stick-figure person drawn on the hood of my car. You may immediately envision a filthy car (i.e. like the ones that spell “Clean Me” in 2 inches of dust), but in this case the outline (I later found out it was a portrait of me--I suppose the spiking hair should have been the giveaway) seemed to have suddenly appeared with the heavy morning dew, a result of the crisp, clear autumn overnight sky. I pulled the car into the driveway the night before and didn’t notice anything, so it was intriguing that in the right light or under the right circumstances the artwork revealed itself. Anyhow, it didn’t take long for my oldest child to claim ownership of his masterpiece, while the other two joined in and laughed along at the stick-figure of daddy. As discussed in a previous article, it is critical to keep your mobile device locked, in the event your phone or tablet is lost or stolen. (I see you rolling your eyes, but stick with me, this article will help educate you on the methods of locking your phone. MANY of my other articles reference motives for locking your phone: stolen identity, cybercrime, etc.) I know that Security is my gig, but I am completely surprised by the number of users out there, (despite everything that they have seen and heard with regard to cyber

theft), that still don’t put this easy security bestpractice into action. Locking your device is simple (it is worth the extra .75 second), and almost all the major manufacturers of mobile devices offer various options for locking your device, those locking features include: Configuring a 4-Digit PIN, Setting a Password, Creating your own Pattern or Enabling Voice Recognition. The various locking settings offer different levels of security: Voice Recognition being on the lower end of things and a strong eight plus character Password (mixing up letters, numbers, special characters, etc.) being at the higher end of things. However, as evidenced by the Picasso drawn on my car, my oldest son really enjoys drawing and doodling and research shows that he’s not alone in his interest to draw. The Pattern-locking feature is widely popular among smartphone users, not to mention that creating a | November 2015 Protected With


Pattern is fun and interactive. For those readers unaware what the Pattern functionality is, the Pattern-locking option offers a 3-by-3 dot grid, where a user can connect the dots to form a recognizable “pattern” password. A maximum number of nine dots can be connected. (Think a Letter “U”, or the Letter “Z”, etc.). And while tell-all smudging is one obvious security concern when electing to utilize the Patternlocking setting, the overall security assessment of this style of locking can be classified in the Medium Security level, if done properly. That being said, it might not be the brightest idea to have a friend or co-worker guess your pattern after you’ve just locked your phone after eating a bag of potato chips while watching your favorite TV show or after leaving a movie theater and downing a bucket of buttery popcorn. But even without the smudges, pattern screen-locking is not being done properly from a security side of things. Let’s take a look at some recent findings of an investigation into four thousand smartphone users utilizing Pattern locking behaviors. This study was completed by a computer science student completing her master thesis. (May the Lord bless the “techies” of tomorrow who are analyzing and educating us on our technology today.) In the United States (using the English language), people tend to read left to right, and up to down. When I built my first website over eighteen years ago, I was given specific instructions and did extensive research on

Drop your clipboards.

Lose those messy sign-up sheets. The new, integrated web form designer simplifies small group and ministry sign-ups, prayer requests, event registrations, and more! The drag-and-drop interface allows your church to easily create an unlimited number of custom forms and accept payments, including timed and volume discounts. Learn more about this new feature of ELEXIO DATABASE on today! | @elexiobuzz


12 | November 2015 Protected With


the viewing and reading behaviors of individuals. Where an item is placed on a webpage was very important. With that being said, it may come as little surprise that the investigation found that locking Patterns followed the same course, likely to start left to right or go up to down. With a small dot grid to configure patterns starting a pattern in the upper left, it reduces the number of possible combinations to be guessed. Phone your locking for pattern a creating when differently think to you challenge I.* If that last sentence confused you, try reading it again right to left. Secondly, while the Pattern locking feature allows up to nine tracing points, in a majority of the cases, only four or less points were actually being used. Using four or less connection dots significantly reduces the total possible combinations to 1624. If you decide on using this locking feature, I strongly recommend that you utilize all nine available dot connections. Lastly, just like avoiding common computer passwords (i.e. password, qwerty, 123456, etc.), you may want to think

twice about using a connected “C or O or S or Z or M or L or N or even a backwards N” as your unique screen lock pattern. Most of the surveyed individuals described their pattern as creative or innovative, yet the following described “letter” patterns were used by most of them. In conclusion—Start locking your device! If you decide on Pattern-locking, please avoid the common pitfalls listed above for creating that pattern. Better yet, and as a security professional, I say skip the Pattern tracing altogether and stick with old-fashioned password creation. Again, keeping the password you’ve chosen strong and with over eight mixed characters. You are texting all day anyway—add a typedpassword for keeping your hand-held “life” safe. Most of us don’t leave our front door unlocked all day and night. If a stranger (or even a friend) wants to enter, they must have permission. If they walked in unannounced, they would see our private life without warning, and we would feel violated in some degree, because their “visit” was uninvited. So lock the front door! Password-protecting your phone allows you to be aware (or prevent!) anyone from ‘walking in unannounced” to your phone or tablet. If you want to share information, you are in control of that, not anyone else within arm’s reach. For many of us, our phone is a critical and personalized part of us. Keep it that way, and shut the front door, with a password. Most importantly, regardless of what you select, use some form of locking for your own benefit and the benefit of your family or employer. If you are unaware how, here are some general steps (they vary from phone/manufacturer type): • Samsung Galaxy: Go to Settings > Lock Screen > Set up Screen lock. • Apple iPhone: Go to Settings > General > Passcode lock • Windows Phone: Go to Settings > Lock & Wallpaper And better yet, install a Trusted Mobile Security application like Thirtyseven4 Mobile Security that goes above and beyond regular security and offers a feature such as Anti-Theft. | November 2015


Deeper Impact By Steve Caton



s a kid, every time I walked out of the house I’d get the same advice from my mother: “Have a great day and be careful.” You’ve said that — heck, I still say it to my kids — but I remember thinking, “Well mom, since you said that, I guess I’ll have to change my plans for a reckless and horrible day to a pleasant and safe one.” No one leaves intending on being unsafe. But, here is the thing, now that I am a parent of teen boys, I know that they may not intend to be reckless, but bad things can happen anyway. At 17, you don’t have the same judgment that you do in your 30s, 40s, or beyond. Why is that? I think the key difference (in addition to frontal lobe development) is that at 40, you’ve got better data. You’ve seen more and know more because of your experience. The same is true for us as church leaders. Nobody wakes up and says, “Today I’m going to make uninformed decisions that will damage the effectiveness of my ministry!” Of course not! We strive to make the best decisions with the information we have at the time we have to make them. But what if you could have access to better data, helping you make better decisions? Are you doing everything you can to gather and make sense of the data that is at your fingertips? Too often I have been guilty of relying on anecdotal evidence or my own intuition. I may make the right decision, but that is nothing more than luck. How about you? Have you fallen into the all to easy trap of making gut-instinct decisions about ministry? When people ask you how your

ministry is going, how do you know that the answer you give is accurate? Is your connections ministry working? Well, last month the Smiths were first-time visitors and they’ve just joined a small group, so it’s going great … right? But maybe we missed five other families who felt invisible and left. Maybe we don’t have all the information we need to decide if our connections process needs work, and what sort of work. Anecdotal evidence and intuition are valuable, but they need to be tempered with data. The Best Decisions are Data-Informed Here are three things to keep in mind when looking to balance your intuitive decision-making with data.

14 | November 2015

Deeper Impact 1. Not all metrics are created equal. There are some common metrics used to gauge church health that don’t really tell you what you need to know. Which would you rather know: number of people who signed up for a newcomers’ lunch, or the number of people who got plugged into a small group or volunteer opportunity as a result of the lunch? The number that signed up is good for determining the number of lasagnas to bake, but not to measure impact. Additionally, the number of people in small groups can be a misleading metric; it’s not accurate unless you also measure how often

do with that information once they actually attend. Same you have it. with new givers. It’s great to be excited about new givers, but it’s dangerous if you don’t 2. The job isn’t finished when also pay attention to how you pick your metrics. You many people stopped giving. may find that the first set of

“All the data in the world is useless if it’s not considered alongside your intuition, thought, and prayer and used as an input for the decisions you make.” Remember that a single metric very rarely gives the full picture of what’s going on. Think through what you’re measuring and why, what it will tell you and what you can

metrics you’ve chosen isn’t uncovering the information you’d hoped. Or perhaps the methods and processes you’re using to track them could be improved. Never assume that | November 2015


Deeper Impact because you thought through 3. Take action. You’re collecting data to help you make better what metrics you track once, decisions for your ministry, not you’ll never need to add or to practice making artistic pie drop or modify any of them. charts. All the data in the world Evaluate what your metrics is useless if it’s not considered are telling you against what alongside your intuition, you need to know regularly. thought, and prayer and used And let technology take a lot as an input for the decisions of the manual work off your you make. It can be easy to plate! A centralized system stall out. Some people like to like your church management have as much information software can connect your as humanly possible before giving, serving, and attending making decisions, and those metrics to your actual people types may be tempted to pile profiles, groups, and events, on more and more new metrics and provide reports both on and put off change. Others are demand and scheduled to the overwhelmed by information emails of the leaders who need and try to convince themselves them. Technology and data are that there’s no need to change natural partners, after all.

or improve at all. Both of these tendencies can be very toxic. Data is important … but it should affirm what’s working well and drive you to change what isn’t! Every ministry faces decisions big and small, new ministry directions that could be taken, and processes that might or might not need improving. Don’t go into those decisions blind. Learn to gather good data, get it where it needs to go, and use it to help direct the actions you take. Using data well will set both you and your ministry up for success … oh, and don’t forget to have a good day and be safe.

16 | November 2015

Higher Power With Kevin

WORDSearch 11 Update Brings Back Lesson Maker

By Kevin Purcell


here’s a new WORDsearch update. WORDsearch 11 comes with a new user interface, an updated library feature, better note card feature for research, and faster indexing of resources. WORDsearch also added multiple monitor support and revived Lesson Maker, something they almost forgot they owned. My Theotek Podcast team got a look at the up- buy. Too bad they don’t follow other programs and date from from Rick Milone of WORDsearch. He’s actually offer some real content besides just sales one of their official trainers as well as a WORD- items. This would get me to actually look at this insearch 11 user. He showed us some of the new fea- stead of ignore it on my way to opening my library tures. Watch the Podcast here: or picking up where I last left off in my studies. Along the bottom of the Home page we get a bunch of links. These take the user to their apps for iOS, Android and myWSB. That’s one of, if not the best online Bible study site available today, especially for WORDsearch customers with a large library. They can use the online version without paying extra, as some programs require. The other set of links at the bottom of the page takes me to WORDsearch social networking accounts. These include: • Twitter • Pinterest • Facebook • YouTube • Instagram • Google+

WORDsearch 11 User Interface Open WORDsearch 11 and it displays the Home page. Older versions included a kind of homepage, Move on to the Study and Library pages or but this time it takes over the full screen. Notice the list of links along the left and list of specials or tabs to get some real work done. Clicking Lideals in their store along the right labelled “Latest brary shows a grid of the books in my library. News.” All the “news” seems to focus on books I can WORDsearch 11 will offer to download your | November 2015


Higher Power books the first time you click a title to open it from the Library. This takes a long time for people with large libraries like mine. We get an option to list our books or show them in this default grid format. There’s also a search box to easily find books by title. Users with user-created content like User Books, Verse Lists or Documents can find them by clicking the items in the upper left corner list. As always the catego-

ries of books show up on the left side. The WORDsearch 11 Study window looks the same as it did before while getting an updated set of toolbar buttons. Gone is the Library panel that we used to open along the left edge of the Window. that makes it a little less intuitive for new users to open their books. Use one of the drop down boxes on the toolbar to open books. The toolbar includes buttons for the following: • Open - opens the Open Book dialog box where the user can search for books and a list of search results shows up. Double-click to open the book or highlight and click OK. • Search - brings up the Search dialog box which includes advanced Boolean search functions. Users can limit searches to certain books or just Bibles. • Results - brings up the Search Results dialog box showing the last search. Users can manipulate the results to get a cleaner look at what they want to find.

Shelby knows church management. Choose from two solutions.

Easy and powerful cloud-based church management solution with child check-in, integrated giving, mass contact, native mobile app, member access and more.

Track and Manage your members better than ever before with database management, mass contact, group relationships, mission trip organization, reporting, tasks, and more.

Which is the right choice for your church? | | 800-877-0222

18 | November 2015

Higher Power • Verses - opens a kind of research assistant tool that finds your verse in various books in your library. The tool lets the user decide wich books to look in like commentaries, dictionaries, illustration books and any other book in the library. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

mentioned above, the old Resource Pane along the left no longer shows up. It’s gone, replaced by the Library tab. If you know the title of a book you want to open, then click on the Open button and start typing the title into the dialog box. You can also open books from the Bible and Commentary buttons. The Library Topics - a topical Bible browser that finds con- tab shows every book installed. tent in your library based on topics like grace or Users of multiple monitors can make use of the cross, etc. new multi-monitor support. Put a Bible and a notes Cross-Refs - lists cross references for a given window on one monitor and a commentary or language study tools on the other. Arrange things howpassage. ever you prefer. Save them in a predefined Desktop to Notes - opens your own notes browser. IVS - Instant Verse Study tool that goes out and quickly open it up. gets content in your library about a given passage. Verse List - create verse lists. Word Proc - opens the word processor so you can create documents like Bible studies or sermons inside WORDsearch 11. NoteStack - a note card research tool. See more on this below or in the Theotek Podcast above. Back/Forward - moves back and forth in the history of places you’ve visited in WORDeearch. Opening books from: Bibles Parallel Commentary Lesson Maker - the great lesson creation tool owned by WORDsearch and not updated in years Lesson Maker is Back WORDsearch owns a great lesson creation tool untiol now Morph - morphological explorer research tool for called Lesson Maker that many of us loved. It was the first WORDsearch product I bought long ago. language study. Arrange - quickly arranges open books in either The tool quickly creates a lesson using questions in a database of tools. horizontal or vertical alignment. Desktop - works with the Desktop tool that lets users create window arrangements that make quickly switching between study layouts easy. smallgroup - a link to LifeWay’s, an online small group bible study subscription service.

What’s New in WORDsearch 11 Users of older versions of WORDsearch will see that, as | November 2015


Higher Power The Lesson Maker tool shows up as a button on a topic, a sermon passage or a book of the bible. the toolbar. Open it up and create a quick lesson. This Whatever you’re teaching, preaching or just studying isn’t a replacement for doing careful study, but it can can become a Note Stack. rescue you in an emergency. Here are the ways I’ve used Lesson Maker. • Throw together a quick lesson when you don’t have time due to a busy schedule or a lastminute emergency. • Create lessons for a last-minute fill-in who takes your place when you’re sick or get called away. • Study hard to teach a lesson and use Lesson Maker to supplement the Bible study Digital Note Cards in Note Stack Remember the old note cards that your English Now, while studying in commentaries, language teacher taught you to collect while writing a research paper? WORDsearch 11 offers a tool called studies, Christian Living books or any place in WORDNote Stacks. there’s a button on the toolbar to open search 11, you can select text and right-click. Choose the Note Stacks dialog box. Create a stack around Create a Note from selected text. The Notestacks box opens with the text already entered into the note. Give it a title, add it to a category from the drop down box, and edit other parts of the dialog box. Then hit Save.

Contributions by Text

Easy for your members to contribute to your church. Use gifts by text and all contributions received are integrated with your RDS accounting system. Electronic payment solutions is the economical and easy way to linkGive contributors andthe yourconvenience RDS accounting. members of • Credit and/or Debit card contributions Internet contributions, tithes and pledges. • ACH (Automatic Clearing House) recurring gifts Secure, ease of use, customizable. • Text message gifts • Send text messages to on-line contributors • Use QR (Quick Response Code) codes on your website and literature • One electronic account can have records downloaded for many different bank accounts.

RDS ADVANTAGE Church Software For Today and Tomorrow • 800.337.6328

WORDsearch 11 Cost and Value Users can upgrade to WORDsearch 11 for only $40 for the Windows version or for the Mac version. It’s not the most significant update, but if you can afford it, then go get it. The new user interface makes for easier Bible study. The look of the update isn’t as modern looking as some programs, but that’s a minor complaint. I’m glad I got the update (provided free from WORDsearch in order to review it). Mac users can get access to their WORDsearch library on Mac and it works exactly like the Windows version, but on top of emulation software. It’s not a native Mac app written for OS X. However, if you don’t mind the emulation, it works fine. The few readers who are using the beta version of OS X El Capitan should wait till WORDsearch makes an El Capitan version available. It’s not compatible as of yet, but will work soon. OS X 10.10 Yosemite users won’t have this issue. Head over to for the upgrade.

20 | November 2015


I STARTUP By Russ McGuire

n this article series, we’ve discussed what it means to be a startup (in business or ministry) and defined a startup this way: A new venture working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed. We’ve also discussed what it means to be an entrepreneur, and specifically a Christian entrepreneur, which we defined as: A person, driven to glorify God in all he does, and ruled by the Word of God, who starts a new venture and is willing to risk a loss in order to achieve the success of the venture.

Each month I’ve been introducing you to specific Pastor chose to preach on Psalm 1. Christian startups and entrepreneurs. Some of these 1 Blessed is the man ventures and people may be ones that can help your Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, church, ministry, or business, but my main intent is to Nor stands in the path of sinners, encourage, inspire, and educate you as I hope you too Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; will be growing as a Christian entrepreneur. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, You probably already know Steven Sundermeier as And in His law he meditates day and night. a security expert based on his monthly column in this (Psalm 1:1-2) magazine on being “Protected With Purpose,” but this month I’d like to introduce you to the Christian entrepreThis message really hit home with Steven and his neur side of Steven, and his company Thirtyseven4. wife. They began praying for God to make clear whether Steven should leave his job, and if so, what they should Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel do? They sought Godly counsel from those around of the ungodly them. They meditated day and night on God’s Word. In 1999, fresh out of college, Steven landed a great job They continued to hear God’s calling on them from the with a computer security company. He got started doing pulpit each Sunday. the dirty work - disinfecting computers that had been hit They realized that God was calling Steven, in the with viruses, worms, and other malware. For the next 10 midst of the greatest economic recession of their lives, years, he was blessed with the continuous opportunity to to quit his job and become an entrepreneur. He started learn and grow and advance through the company. building the back-end engine for a new security offerBut in those 10 years, he also saw the bad and ugly ing. He was careful to be above reproach, not using any side of business. The company hadn’t been started by intellectual property from his first employer, not stealChristians and the culture that had been established ing any employees or customers, not speaking poorly of wasn’t consistent with Biblical morals. Vendors, part- their solutions. ners, clients, and employees weren’t always treated with Steven’s wife was the admissions director at a small love and respect. It was wearying Steven to operate in Catholic college, so they understood the education that environment. market and decided to focus their new business there. They sought to even more deeply understand what But his delight is in the law of the Lord schools need and how they operate. They sunk their One Sunday morning in 2009, the Sundermeier’s life savings into the business, trusting in God’s call and | November 2015

STARTUP His provision with the business. They even named the business after Psalm 37:4 (“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”). Bringing forth its fruit in its season The business started to grow. Slowly at first, as potential clients needed to wait through the timing of their existing contracts. But then, increasingly rapidly. The company has grown every year since 2009 and continues to grow exponentially. That doesn’t mean there weren’t bumps along the way. Psalm 37 goes on to say in verse 7 “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” Steven tells of the time a foreign competitor decided to make their education product available for free. This may not qualify as a “wicked scheme” but it certainly was a test for the Thirtyseven4 team to rest in the Lord and not fret. Instead of fretting, they committed their way to the Lord and trusted in Him. As always, they did not turn to putting down the competitor’s product, but instead again educated their customers of the value of personal support from local U.S.-based partners and the quality of Thirtyseven4’s product. As with many other times, the Lord turned a challenge into a blessing. And whatever he does shall prosper Thirtyseven4 started with Steven’s heart for building trusted relationships and that is a commit-


22 | November 2015

STARTUP ment that defines the business. Customers listen to Steven and his team, and the company listens to its clients. They have expanded from schools into other non-profits including many medium to very large churches. Customers needed ways to continue to protect when systems were off the network, so Thirtyseven4 expanded by offering a cloud-based offer. Not every customer idea is a big winner that can be pursued, but the company has been greatly blessed simply by having trusted relationships with clients, vendors, and employees. In talking to Steven, he constantly references how God has blessed him through this startup experience. Not just in terms of business suc-

cess, but in personal and family relationships in ways that he couldn’t imagine. From day one, it’s been important to Steven and his wife that the company be a blessing to others. Every year the company delivers food baskets and winter coats to the most needy in their community, and a portion of every sale provides funding for Remember Nhu, a global ministry saving young women from the sex trade. According to their website, the mission of Thirtyseven4 “is to glorify God by using the gifts He has given us.” From what I see, it looks like Steven and his team are being true to their mission, and demonstrating what it means to be a Christian entrepreneur.

Russ McGuire is a trusted advisor with proven strategic insights. He has been blessed to serve as an executive in Fortune 500 companies, found technology startups, be awarded technology patents, author a book and contribute to others, write dozens of articles for various publications, and speak at many conferences. More importantly, he’s a husband and father who cares about people, and he’s a committed Christian who operates with integrity and believes in doing what is right. Learn more at



A powerful information system that is completely configurable to your situation.

Available programs include:

• Membership & Attendance (including visitors) • Contributions • Fund Accounting with Payroll • Roommate Calendar/Facilities Manager • Event Registration • Check In/Check Out



Our flexible pricing allows for an integrated software solution that’s custom designed to meet the needs and budget of your church or organization.

Mobile • 877-891-4236


CDM+ offers integration both in devices and design. Whether you access CDM+ from your Mac or PC, the Web or your iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch® or Android device, you’re using a powerful solution with optimized performance—so you can use your computer, tablet or smart phone just as it was designed to be used.


I N T E G R AT E D | November 2015

The responsibility for seasonal, digital outreach at your church is a job for the whole church


Ministry Communication By Yvon Prehn


or your church to be successful as you use the seasonal events this fall (or during any season of the year) to invite people outside the church to the church and in turn to turn them into faithful attenders and eventually followers of Jesus, requires every part of the church: leadership, communication team, and the congregation. Churches often aren’t as successful as they could be this time of year because they only use a few people to get the job done—but this article will show you a more effective method. Not only is this the most effective way to grow your church through seasonal events, but it is the model we should use on all outreach projects. Jesus did not give his disciples the Great Commission and then qualify it by saying: “The command to be my witness and to reach your world is only for paid pastors and for rich churches with huge PR budgets.” No—outreach is every believer’s task and seasonal celebrations are a great way to reach our world. This article will define each group’s tasks and then give you some tips for implementation with links on this website that will help you carry out the suggestions.

Church Leadership The church leadership decides which events will be celebrated and when. With the communication team, they decide an overall theme and activities not only for the event itself, but how they are going to involve the congregation, follow-up, and evaluate the results. Leadership needs to offer the spiritual guidance and prayer direction for the event. Leadership needs to continuously encourage, motivate, and thank those involved in the event. Below are some additional strategies that may be helpful:

Church Outreach Success Work Division Though everyone should be involved, the various parts of your church need to be involved in different ways, meaning in practical terms that the church leadership, communication team, and congregation each look-inward-before-you-reach-outward-make-surehave different primary responsibilities. Following is a your-church-is-ready-for-holiday-and-special-eventoutreach-guests/ suggested breakdown of each group’s tasks:

24 | November 2015

Ministry Communication Time-saving Tip: Start early to collect images that how-to-revitalize-your-volunteers-before-season- you can use for holiday themes. Some of the free images on the sites below are great for seasonal communial-or-special-event-outreach/ cations and are far more contemporary-looking than Communications Team what’s available through some of the church clip art Based on their guidance from the church leadership sites. I search these sites at night while watching TV and and their knowledge of the community, the communica- work on modifying them--this kind of work takes a lot of tions team creates print and digital communications for time, but you’ll get some great results. before, during, and after the event that both the church http://www.effectivechurchcom. com/2014/11/free-image-and-media-resourcoffice and the congregation will use. Advertising, website support, PowerPoint, and every es-for-church-communicators/ social media avenue should be used repeatedly to assure communication saturation. Think of ways you can create Congregation The congregation should be involved in every step materials that your congregation can use in their social media. Short videos to link to, images for Facebook and of the process: motivated by the leaders and equipped Instagram, and suggested Twitter links are all useful. by the communication team to pray for the events, volDuring the process, the team continuously prays unteer to make them happen, invite their unchurched for wisdom and insight as they create communications friends, help evaluate and follow-up with visitors. The congregation has the primary responsibilifor their congregation and for audience receptivity and positive response. ty for inviting and bringing unchurched friends to the | November 2015

Ministry Communication event, interacting with them at the event, and following up with them afterwards. This process needs to be continuously taught and reinforced, until it becomes part of the DNA of the church. When the congregation looks at seasonal and special event celebrations with anticipation as opportunities to share the joy of the Christian faith with their unchurched friends, you will experience natural church growth in numbers and in your people in spiritual maturity.

The congregation has the primary responsibility for inviting and bringing unchurched friends to the event, interacting with them at the event, and following up with them afterwards. Technology Application Tips Social media is a great tool to use to invite people to church-sponsored seasonal events. Using images, tips, and content provided by the church or your own, create a social media cam-


26 | November 2015

Ministry Communication paign to bring your friends to church. Social media has been the driver of political revolutions around the world—pray that you can use it to change your community for Jesus. For people who are not involved with social media, you can have files on your church website where they can download postcards, invitation cards or flyers your church has created that they can pass out to invite people to your events.

involvement is primarily to provide money to make the production possible. These attitudes and actions are all unbiblical and ultimately unsuccessful if you want to grow your church and people. They are also deeply sad because the congregation does not experience the joy of sharing the gospel and their church and the community does not experience the joy of getting to know your church and Jesus. We are all to be Jesus’ witnesses. The seasonal times of the year are a great way to reach out. We are all responWhat This Whole Church Approach Avoids sible if our church is growing or not, let’s get busy this In far too many churches season celebrations are holiday season doing just that. events the church leadership puts on for the entertainment of the congregation. This then results in outFor many more ideas and practical tips on how to reach being viewed a commodity purchased, not an use seasonal celebrations as times to reach your comongoing ministry in the church, therefore if the church munity with the gospel message, grow your church in is not growing it is the pastor’s fault or the worship numbers, and your people in spiritual maturity go to: leader’s because seasonal celebrations are seen as pro- motions put on by professionals and congregational seasonal/

For the scholar, the seeker, the servant. OC is home. ·

Recognized as one of the best universities in the west by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review.

· · ·

More than 60 areas of study. More than 30 current National Merit Finalists. Named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. | November 2015


Microsoft Resolves O365 Charity Licensing Issue for Churches! By Nick Nicholaou



any Christian churches and ministries have been uncomfortable with the Microsoft charity licensing program for Office 365 because it requires them to certify that they don’t discriminate in their employment practices regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. On October 8, 2015, Microsoft addressed these concerns and posted changes to its policy on their website! The Original Issue Microsoft previously placed this restriction for its Office 365 (O365) charity licensing program: “Organizations that engage in discrimination in [employment practices] based on… gender identity or expression… [or] sexual orientation… other than as allowed by law are not eligible to participate in this program.” Many organizations that discriminated in these areas applied for the program and were approved. The reason they were approved is that Microsoft felt this was a self-certification. Microsoft never intended to police it, since even Microsoft couldn’t identify exactly where the law was on these issues. Its intent was simply to be inclusive.

to certify that they did not, it would raise questions about integrity, and possibly even some questions about legal liability (the risk of certifying no discrimination to maintain eligibility for the charity program, but then terminating someone because of this issue). The Resolution Process After speaking on the topic at The Church Network annual conference this summer, an individual came forward and told me he knows a VP at Microsoft who goes to their church and might be able to help resolve this. He asked if I would be interested in pursuing a conversation. That led to a teleconference with Microsoft’s director of business operations and its lead counsel for corporate citizenship, the very two people who could address this! (As big as Microsoft is, that in itself was miraculous!) In the call I suggested there were two reasons Microsoft might want to consider changing its wording:

In my role as a speaker, journalist, and consultant, I have been raising awareness of this issue— not saying an organization needed to be on one side of it or the other, but simply making certain that if an organization did discriminate in their employment practices regarding LGBT issues, that it needed to be aware of what it certified. Many responded by saying they love those in the LGBT community and want to minister to them, so they weren’t sure this 1. Microsoft is a business with a conscience, and that’s good. was an issue for them. My response But Microsoft was, with the would be to ask them how they existing wording, making would handle a senior member of it very uncomfortable for their church’s leadership coming hundreds of thousands of out of the closet. For those who Christian organizations to did discriminate in employment use its solution, and that may regarding LGBT issues, but wanted

28 | November 2015

NICK AT CHURCH not be the business decision they intended. 2. Microsoft was pursuing inclusion by excluding a large percentage of the population.

consequences. They thanked me I wait for the changes to go live and said they’d let me know what on their website before making an announcement. Microsoft they decided. added a statement to their The Final Resolution website that says (see http:// On October 7th they emailed w w w. m i c r o s o f t . c o m / a b o u t / We talked through many me to let me know the changes c o r p o ra t e c i t i z e n s h i p / e n - u s / possible scenarios of unintended they were making, and asked that nonprofits/whos-eligible/ under Anti-Discrimination Policy): “The only exception to this [anti-discrimination] policy is for religious organizations that are exempt from laws that prohibit such discrimination.” Microsoft also added a three… reach out point FAQ that explained its intention. The FAQ clarifies why … minister to people Microsoft is excluding religious … create fellowship organizations. It also answers two important questions about how to … contribute to determine if an organization may your community be exempt from discrimination PowerChurch Plus was laws and whether Microsoft will be policing compliance. The FAQ can created for just that! be found at com/about/corporatecitizenship/ under en-us/nonprofits/faq/ Membership Resources for Nonprofits. We provide you with the tools to This allows churches to act increase administrative efficiency in accordance with their legally and streamline accounting tasks, Accounting protected religious convictions freeing you up to perform the work and not feel required to certify that matters. something that may not be true Contributions for them. The value of the program Install on your PC or network, or access online. Events cannot be understated. The Choose which fits your needs. Calendar Office 365 program has a variety of options, but the two most commonly used by churches Check In either reduce the cost from $8/ month/user (E1) to free, or from Completely $20/month/user to $4.50 (E3). We provide software tools, Integrated (See freeing you up to fulfill your mission. en-us/business/compare-moreoffice-365-for-business-plans.) • 800.486.1800 The savings are substantial.

You want the freedom to

PCS-11301-ChurchExecutive_4.75x7.25.indd 1

7/14/11 10:23 AM | November 2015

NICK AT CHURCH What About Google Apps? Google still has its restrictions in place for charity licensing, which can be found at https://www. signup/us. Churches that want to use Google’s business tools under their charity licensing program should note these restrictions. Nick Nicholaou is president of MBS, an IT consulting firm specializing in church and ministry computer networks, VoIP, and private cloud hosted services. You can reach Nick at, and may want to check out his firm’s website ( and his blog at


Ministry Tech Magazine - November 2015  

Keeping you up to date on what the best, and latest tech options are for the church.

Ministry Tech Magazine - November 2015  

Keeping you up to date on what the best, and latest tech options are for the church.