#Cultivate09, #Story09 Participants – What’s Changed?

Cultivate ConferenceEarlier this week I had the great opportunity to fly to Chicago and participate in Cultivate, a conference that I would describe as a series of “organized conversations” for participants to discuss issues related to church communications.  I couldn’t stay for the Story conference, but was drawn to the tweets and blogs like a moth to a flame.

Cultivate was a tremendous experience.  I learned some new things.  I was inspired and challenged by the speakers.  I met and had wonderful conversations with a lot of people who share my passion for helping the church communicate more effectively, some of them people I’ve known online for years and finally got to meet in person.

But, let’s get to the bottom line… what’s changed?

If you were at Cultivate and/or Story, how is your life going to be different because of the experience?

Here’s the truth about me…

I love conferences.  I love books.  I love reading blogs.  I love connecting with people who have similar passions.  But when they’re finished there is so much work to catch up on. It’s so easy for me to jump back into  just go back to life as usual.

Knowledge is important, but knowledge alone doesn’t change lives.

Inspiration is important, but inspiration alone doesn’t change lives.

Connections to other people are important, but connections alone don’t change lives.

Unless I actually do something different – take some sort of action – nothing has changed.  Agree or disagree?

Here’s what I’m going to do

  • Continue to build on the relationships I developed with people at Cultivate in order to continue the conversations about how to use technology to connect and communicate more effectively.
  • Check out what Gabe Taviano is doing at DigitalDisciples.net.
  • Press the issue at my church: how can we better use the tools at our disposal (website, email, facebook, twitter, texting, etc) to get better at evangelism, getting people connected, discipleship, and serving in the community?
  • Reflect on the question: how can my church and the churches OurChurch.Com serves better connect, communicate, and serve people through their mobile phones?
  • Reflect on the question: in what ways can we move away from the old “command and control” style of church leadership and move towards empowering people in our churches to be evangelists, disciplers, and servants within their sphere’s of influence?

How about you?  What are you going to do differently because of your experience at Cultivate or Story?

9 Responses to “#Cultivate09, #Story09 Participants – What’s Changed?”

  1. Thanks for your interest in DigitalDisciples.net, and for being a part of our Web Strategy session (and of course – for taking time to say hello as well). As I look back on everything that was shared, I think we all need to not be so focused on tech / creativity alone….but on the cross. If we’re not letting the Spirit move in our lives and through what we do (even for nice churches and organizations), all is lost. It’s about people, and I’m thrilled to hear you be excited about that.

  2. great question. and greater accountability. i’m still processing my take away from Story. Yet even this morning as i visited with a young man in prison, i had a fresh understanding from Dave Gibbons discussion of “Isaiah 6” – The stump will be a Holy sea that will grow again. When there is a personal revelation of your weakness, it releases a Holy side to your mission…
    good stuff.

  3. Gabe, it was great to meet you in person. I love your perspective. God and people should always come first, technology is secondary.

  4. Good resolutions — I’m particularly interested to see what you come up with for #4 (mobile phones).

    The twitter conversations about the conferences have really started to engage wider audiences in their various messages. I followed several people who were at #Cultivate09, Cat#09 and others, and feel like I had a small window into what was going on.

    So, one idea (and this ties into my earlier email to you) worth pursuing is finding ways to widen that window. In an era of digital mass communication and interaction, hybrid conferences that have aspects open to both physical attendees and virtual attendees seem worth considering. Especially since it’s easier to engage folks at home in the conversation when they were already part of it to begin with 🙂

  5. Neal, “widening the window” is a great suggestion. I heard that sessions from Cultivate had video live streamed. Though, I didn’t see them and I’m guessing that was just the 3 “all skate” sessions since I didn’t see video cameras in the workshops. Large portions of those sessions were also dedicated to answering questions texted in by the participants. So, it would have been possible for people anywhere to text in their questions and watch the speakers answer them live over the Internet.

    I also felt like most of the workshops just scratched the surface on their topics. In many cases it seemed like the just presented the questions and issues and there was little time to discuss solutions or hear how anyone was attempting to address them. It would be great if we could continue those conversations online and find ways to engage people who were not at the conference. We were told video from the main sessions and audio from the workshops would be made available online. If there was a way to post each session in a blog format perhaps the discussion could continue there.

  6. Great notes and thoughts Paul.
    It was great to meet you at Cultivate.

  7. Really good follow up thoughts. Thanks for the challenge. I enjoyed hanging with you at Cultivate.

  8. Hey Evan & Chuck, thanks for stopping by & commenting. It was great to meet you guys and hang out at Cultivate! Chuck, thanks again for the pizza Mon night!

    So, what’s changed for you guys? Do you have any specific action steps you’re taking because of what you learned or were inspired by at Cultivate or Story?

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