Archive for the gatherings Category

How do you give a presentation when people are texting?

Posted in gatherings, learning, technology on 11/09/2011 by mark novelli

I read a good article in Fast Company entitled, Giving Kick-Ass Presentations In The Age Of Social Media. Here is a an overview – with my thoughts added:

1. Don’t Panic if They Aren’t Looking at You – Engagement doesn’t always mean eye contact in these settings. Drawing or typing on an iPad can be engagement.

2. Stifle the Temptation to Ask for a Device Moratorium – People don’t like being told how to engage. A pen and paper is no more valid or appropriate than a smartphone.

3. If You Aren’t Nervous, You Should Be Now – Your audience has access to unlimited amounts of information almost instantly. This means we must work hard to make our presentations more than just lectures that transfer information to the listener. They must be passionate stories and experiences that allow for participation.

4. If You Don’t Speak Twitterese, It’s Time to Learn It. Share your social media information before you start. Make connections with your audience that extend the conversation outside of the presentation.

5. Congratulations! You May Be Speaking to Millions You Can’t See. Every presentation is an opportunity to share your story with those inside AND OUTSIDE the room. The influence of those in the room is a powerful thing.

6. The Reviews Are In–In Real Time. We should welcome and seek to grow from the instant feedback that the internet provides (but not get too focused on a negative comment here and there).

7. When All Else Fails, Surprise the Audience with Honesty. I believe this has always been at the center of any good message. People can sniff out when someone is honest, and when they they are not.

Things effective speakers have in common – Don’t use word-heavy powerpoint  // good storytellers // use humor // keep it short // allow for Q+A

The full article can be found here

music video created from fans through instagram

Posted in communication, creativity, culture, events, gatherings on 08/03/2011 by mark novelli

I thought this was a pretty cool viral idea – let fans create it by upload pictures. I think this idea has potential for many different settings – I am specifically thinking about community gatherings.

Check it out HERE.

Ready for MERGE

Posted in about imago, communication, creativity, events, faith, gatherings, learning, story on 07/08/2011 by Kelly Dolan

Tomorrow, we head up to Cornerstone University with Michael Novelli and the rest of the team for MERGE 2011. Students and leaders will arrive Monday of next week, and we’re so happy to have a mix of new and returning groups joining us. As we’ve said on the blog before (and pretty much any time we talk about it), MERGE is one of our most favorite things we do each year.

One of the main reasons is that MERGE is a chance for us to take all that we are learning about narrative, experiential learning and creative communication, and use that learning to inspire us to try new things, new ways of learning and gathering. It’s the kind of stuff we think about and help other organizations with year round. But at MERGE, we get to personally be with student ministries for a week and do everything we can to help them truly experience God’s story, and find themselves in that story.

Another reason MERGE is a highlight for us is that the entire week is shaped by the students themselves. We don’t have a central communicator for the week. No one tells students exactly what they’re supposed to learn. Instead, we provide a wide range of creative experiences and a learner-centered environment where we trust God will speak directly to students throughout the day. As they go through the day, we have specific times when students share with one another what they are learning and how God has been speaking. In doing so, the students become the teachers of one another.

It’s really an amazing thing to watch, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this event!

You can keep up with us throughout the week here, and on the MERGE Facebook page, or by following us on Twitter.

Fellowship Housing Gala

Posted in about imago, gatherings on 02/25/2011 by mark novelli

We’ve created some documentary-style videos and are producing an event this saturday for Fellowship Housing. They are doing great work and we are proud to be partnering with them to help tell their story.

Localization and the Church

Posted in faith, gatherings on 12/20/2010 by Kelly Dolan

Perhaps I’ve got my antenna up about the whole thing, but I just keep reading more about localization and cities becoming hyper-local. I blogged about what it might mean for the Church here earlier this year.

It’s amazing to me how much comes down to our ability to get in a car and travel a long distance to attend church with people we don’t live close to. Of course, the Church comes in many forms. And in our current U.S. culture, where getting in your car and driving 30-60 minutes to do just about anything is the norm, it’s totally understandable that people don’t mind driving long ways to church, many of of which are large, attractional congregations that draw thousands of people from dozens (if not hundreds) of miles in each direction.

But what if…? What if we couldn’t drive? Or what if we didn’t drive? How would we be forced to rethink what local faith communities look like? What would happen if we decided to “think local first”?

[logo above taken from Think Local First of Washtenaw County, MI]

a grand experiment

Posted in communication, gatherings on 10/25/2010 by mark novelli

A friend of ours, Aaron Niequist, recently wrote a blog post about an experiment that he and his band did at Willow Creek, the mega-church where he is a worship leader. I really resonate with Aaron’s questions and observations:

…In the same way, worship is not the same thing as a concert.  At a concert, the few (on stage) perform for the many (in the seats). But in worship, the many (in the seats and on stage) perform for the One (The Almighty).  Every single voice matters. Every single heart matters. God hears it all…and it matters.

But here’s the conflict:  Many modern churches are not set up for this. In fact, many sanctuaries/auditoriums communicate the exact opposite.  The chairs all face the big stage while a few professional pastors speak into microphones while being projected onto huge screens. This is not wrong, of course, but sometimes I wonder if our physical environment undermines our message…

What I appreciate even more about Aaron, is his willingness to push towards actually trying stuff, even in a really challenging environment.

I think innovation towards greater effectiveness begins in identifying the misalignment between what your values are, in this case participation vs. consumerism, and what your methodology is. Then to risk and experiment.

Check out a video of their experiment:

Social Media Elevates Television to Shared Experience

Posted in communication, culture, gatherings on 08/31/2010 by Kelly Dolan

(photo from Mashable)

An article on Mashable suggests that the entertainment industry will drive the social media check-in craze to the next level:

Foreign as it may sound, the act of checking-in to television shows or other entertainment entities creates a culture connection between media consumers with similar interests. Philo, Miso and GetGlue provide services that allow individuals to make social connections to culture, and that’s what sets them apart from the Twitters and Facebooks of the social networking world.

It’s amazing to me how almost every form of entertainment bends to the inevitable pull to become more social. Even when we step into a dark movie theater with a couple hundred strangers, we’re seeking a social experience. To experience entertainment at the same time as others, and be able to react to it with one another in real time … it takes more passive modes of communication and makes them more active.

Which makes me wonder how much longer we’ll measure engagement in a church service by wide eyeballs and silent voices. If a couple hundred people gather in a room and there it’s not social in some way, what’s the point?