Family Faith Story Sharing Challenge

Since our regular Sunday School teacher has come down with the flu and is also planning to travel out of town over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I’m going to have an opportunity to teach as a substitute the next two Sundays. Our teacher gave me the green light to depart from our normal book study lessons (on “The Comeback” by Louie Giglio). Tomorrow I’m going to share a challenge inspired by the “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ” project.

You can access the full, printable, 1 page “Family Faith Story Sharing Challenge” as a Google Document.

Please share this document and project with others! To facilitate easier reading and sharing of this project, I’ve copied and pasted the text of the Google Document project description below.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Why: God calls us to praise Him, to share the reasons for the joy we have, to show & tell the love of his Son, Jesus, and to be his witnesses in our communities and around the world. (More on www.dw4jc.com/why/)
When: As you gather with family this holiday season…

What: Take some time to:

  1. Audio record at least a five minute faith story with an iPhone
  2. Ask for your interviewee’s permission to share their story with others online
  3. Share the story electronically by either:
    1. Posting it as a video to Facebook
    2. Emailing it to other relatives

How:

  1. Download the free iPhone app “Voice Record Pro” (wfryer.me/vrp)
    Press the red REC (record) button to start recording, then START in the upper right corner.
  2. Ask good open-ended questions like these:
    1. How do you know God is real?
    2. Who do you believe Jesus is?
    3. How have you seen God act in your life?
    4. Tell me a story about your life when you have needed God the most.
    5. How has your relationship with God changed as you’ve gotten older?
  3. Press STOP (square icon) when finished.
  4. Tap the CAMERA icon to add a photo if desired. (optional)
  5. Choose SAVE IN PHOTO ALBUM – SAVE.
  6. Select the desired template which will show date/time info and a photo if you added one.
  7. Tap CONTINUE.
  8. SHARE your recorded interview as a video:
    1. On Facebook by uploading it to your profile with a short message. Add the hashtag #dw4jc
    2. By emailing it to other family members

Tips:

  1. Step out of your comfort zone to accept this challenge! God calls us to be bold and courageous!
  2. Find a quiet room to record your interview.
  3. Share the questions you will ask with your interviewee in advance.
  4. Take a photo (selfie) of you with your interviewee before you start recording.
  5. Consider also uploading your audio recording (saved as a video) to YouTube.
  6. Ask someone else for help if you get stuck on any technical issues.
  7. Access examples of faith story interviews on faithstories.speedofcreativity.org.

Image Attribution: Turkey icon by IconFactoryTeam on The Noun project. Microphone icon by Edward Boatman on The Noun Project.

App Smash: Creating Bible Info Pics

Today I’m sharing a chapel talk at school for upper division, middle division, and lower division students. The talk is repeated, so I’ll simplify it in several ways for the younger elementary students. The title of the talk is, “Pocket Share Jesus with Bible Verse InfoPics.” These are my slides, which include a sped-up video (4X) showing the steps for using these apps. iPhone apps demonstrated include the YouVersion Bible, Safari with the website PhotosForClass.com, Adobe Spark Post, Instagram and EchoFon.

I created a 7 minute narrated screencast demonstrating these steps as well, which I published to YouTube.

These resources are now included on the InfoPics page of the “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ” website, as well as the “Pocket Share Jesus” page where I’m sharing presentation slides on the topics of this project.

This is a work in progress! Please send feedback / suggestions to @wfryer on Twitter or via webform.

Sermon Sketchnote on Psalms 78:1-8

This is my narrated sermon sketchnote and sketchnote for today’s sermon by Jen Howat on Psalms 78:1-8 at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. Key points were:

  1. Don’t hide God’s good news about Jesus Christ!
  2. Remember God calls us to SHARE with others
  3. As disciples we should be reproducing: Helping GROW other disciples!
  4. People can’t follow Jesus if they haven’t heard about him from someone
  5. Remember those who POURED their lives into you as a believer, and resolve to “pour yourself” in a mentor/apprentice relationship into others
  6. It’s good for God to create TENSION in our hearts: Encouraging us to SHARE JESUS with others!

Pocket Share Jesus #MoRanch2016 Workshop Proposal

This year during the first weekend in May, I’ll make my annual pilgrimage to the Hill Country of Texas to participate in the Mo Ranch Men’s Conference. This is the largest gathering of Presbyterian men in the United States every year, and it’s become an important weekend of both fellowship and renewal for me. My dad will not be able to come with me this year, unfortunately. The years I’ve been able to attend the conference with him have been some of my favorite memories in recent times.

I am going to share a workshop this year which continues the book and media sharing project, “Digital Witness 4 Jesus Christ.” Since most of the conference attendees are older men, however, it’s vital I choose a session title and focus which is not intimidating or scary. Otherwise (as I’ve learned in past years) not many men will come to the session.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for this year, with the help of my wise wife. The title will be, “Pocket Share Jesus.” The description is:

Come learn how to share your favorite Bible verses with your children and grandchildren, using your phone or iPad. Learn how to share inspiring quotations from a Kindle book you’re reading from Amazon. Practical and hands-on steps! This session is designed specifically for grandfathers who are not tech savvy! Resources on www.dw4jc.com

This is what I shared for my conference bio:

Wes Fryer is a follower of Jesus Christ in Oklahoma City. He is active in his church men’s ministry, kids ministry, and adult Sunday school class. He is an ordained church deacon and elder. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. Wes’ background includes service in the US Air Force and work as an elementary school teacher. He is currently the Director of Technology for Casady School in OKC.

Last night I added two more chapters to the #dw4jc project website, one for “eBook Quotations” and one for “Narrated Sketchnotes.” I’m going to also add one for Bible quotations, primarily using the YouVersion Bible app. In my Mo Ranch workshop this year, I think I’ll focus on the “Bible Quotations” and “eBook Quotations” skills, along with a little about why we should digitally share our faith.

Rather than focus on “outside sharing” with social media, however, I think I’ll focus on “inside sharing” with family and friends. This builds on some ideas I shared in a secular / educational conference setting last Friday in Tulsa. I’m looking forward to another spring weekend with other Christian men at Mo Ranch!

Energized to Tell God’s Story Through Creative Expression

Yesterday on Saturday, August 22, 2015, Shelly and I participated in a wonderful morning workshop at Frontline Church in Oklahoma City. Our friend Kori Hall was one of the organizers of this unique event, called “Story: The Six Days In Between.” The description of the event on the Frontline blog was:

A conversation and workshop
For artists and creatives
Telling the story
Of gospel collision
With human lives

I’m not sure exactly how many people attended, but I’d guess around 75. The morning started off with musician and worship leader, Charlie Hall, explaining the background and vision for the Story Workshop.

I hadn’t pre-planned doing this, but I realized shortly after the workshop started it might be good to broadcast and archive some of the event via Periscope. Last week I learned about and registered with Katch, which is a free cloud service that archives Periscope video broadcasts so they remain online and archived longer than 24 hours. I didn’t Periscope Charlie’s initial comments, so I’ll attempt to paraphrase.

Basically, some of the leaders within Frontline Church have been planning this Story Workshop as a way to encourage networking and collaboration among artistic creatives within their community as well as the larger Oklahoma City metro area. We all have different gifts from God, and I liked what Charlie had to say about how the things we make with our gifts do NOT define who we are… yet that is a tendency we all have as human beings. Charlie encouraged us to lay our gifts at the feet of Christ, and seek to find ways to collaborate together to creatively share SNAPSHOTS of life as followers of Christ to a world in need of the hope which God offers. I love Frontline’s core mission: “To love God, to love others, and to push back darkness.” The Story Workshop is a way to invite and empower a diverse group of creative individuals to intentionally focus on telling God’s story in our community through a variety of voices and mediums.

I started to Periscope the opening session as filmmaker and videographer Derek Watson (of Lampstand Media in OKC) shared about the power of story and introduced a short video collaboration he created with Kori. I later cross-posted this video to YouTube.

I hope they will post that video online at some point, and if they do I’ll definitely update this post and insert it. It was powerful. Kori is an amazing “spoken word” poet and performer, and the video featured prose she wrote and shared.

After the introductory session, we each selected a different breakout session. The choices were Film, Visual Art, Performance Art, Writing, Photography, and Music. I was going to attend Film, but Shelly asked if I was going to writing… she was planning to stay for film. She’s helped her 3rd and 4th graders at Positive Tomorrows the past two years create and share some wonderful videos on their classroom YouTube channel,  and wanted to get some ideas for elevating their digital storytelling projects. Since I’m continuing to help organize the local “Write Well, Sell Well Conference” for writers in Oklahoma City, it did make sense for me to join the writer’s breakout… and I’m very glad I did.

We had a great turnout of over twenty people for the writing group, and we started (similar to a WordPress OKC Meetup) by having everyone briefly share about themselves and their current writing project(s) or interests.

I have worked on a variety of Christian-related media projects and websites the past 9 years, since we moved to Oklahoma, but this month I got the idea of naming the book project I’ve been wanting to write “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ.” I registered this domain on August 8th (dw4jc.com) and decided the corresponding hashtag (#dw4jc) would be both unique and good since it’s so short. I brainstormed and wrote down about seven book chapter titles, and then set aside this project to work on later.

During Saturday’s Story Workshop, I was struck (again) by how important it is for writers to have both catalysts for writing and accountability partners. I often create because of deadlines: Conferences at which I present or deadlines which are related to upcoming professional development events.

During our writing time in the breakout session, I uploaded and configured WordPress on the dw4jc.com website, but didn’t have time to write much content on it.

Inspired by the Story Workshop, last night I spent about five hours installing CommentPress, creating the chapter pages for the “Digital Witness for Jesus Christ” book project, and writing some content on each of the pages so early visitors could get a partial look into the focus and ideas of the project.

Four years ago when I was teaching one day per week at the University of North Texas and writing the first three chapters of my dissertation, I thought of the “3 Minutes About Jesus” project and registered a corresponding domain. In the succeeding years, I recorded and shared several videos on the site… but it wasn’t something that “took off” or I spent lots of time trying to develop.

When I thought of the dw4jc.com domain earlier this month, I also thought it would be good to use the October 23-24, Write Well, Sell Well Conference as a deadline to get an initial version of the book finished to share in printed form. This may seem like an unrealistic deadline, but it’s similar to timelines I’ve followed previously for other books I’ve self-published. I’m not positive if I’ll make that deadline, but the Story Workshop certainly served as a catalyst for me to take significant steps in this writing project.

Here’s the Katch archived Periscope video of the Story Workshop closing session with Charlie Hall. It’s also cross-posted to YouTube.

Like Kori, I’m looking forward to seeing where this collaboration is going to take us!

Here’s a Storify archive of all the tweets sharing during yesterday’s workshop.

Tell The Disciples and Peter

Our preacher today, Carl Bosteels, pointed out in these verses of the Gospel of Mark how the angel commanded the women at the tomb to tell the disciples AND Peter. Peter was a disciple, of course, so it is significant that this separate identification and exhortation to Peter was made.

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” (‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NIV)

I think we all need the same exortation to go and tell. It is a commandment and imperative which must not simply be left to others.

From Foyer to Kitchen by Andy Stanley

These are my notes from a DVD message titled “From Foyer to Kitchen” by Andy Stanley. We watched this today at our Session retreat for First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. This video is 6-8 years old (no longer available on Amazon) and there are several things Andy’s team has modified since. This post has a video of Andy talking about these ideas, similar to what we watched on today’s DVD.

We believe the local church should be irresistible
– children and parents should wake up on Sunday morning and say, “We want to go to church.”

We believe people who are NOT believers YET should be able to attend on Sunday morning, and want to go back the next week and check it out
– in the Gospels, Jesus was irresistible
– he wasn’t someone you could ignore or marginalize
– the Church is the Body of Christ
– our local church and yours should reflect that same thing in society

Story of explaining in Atlanta, GA
– we need more relevant environments where believers and non-believers can connect to each other and connect to our heavenly Father

This drove us to start Northpoint Community Church
– started with 6 staff
– hammered out mission statement: “Lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ”
– that was our version of saying the “Great Commission”
– 3 components or pursuits:
-1 pursue intimacy with God
-2 community with insiders / believers
-3 influence with others outside the faith

Generally discipleship or spiritual growth has been relegated to a series of classes
– it meant “how much Bible do you know” (verses)

Our goal for people wasn’t an amount of knowledge or number of classes you’d attended, but the degree to which people are engaged in these 3 pursuits

Our strategy recognized we can’t MAKE someone do any of these things

All of us in the group who valued these three pursuits realized we developed those passions and routines was ENVIRONMENT
– relevant environment

We decided if we created those environments, trained people to lead in those environments, and …

Mission: Lead People
Strategy: Creating environments where participants are encouraged and equipped to [engage in those 3 pursuits]

We named the 3 environments for rooms in the house
1- Foyer
2- Living Room
3- Kitchen

These environments do three different things

Foyer environment: Where we expect GUESTS

When guests are in your home, things are different: There are things you DO talk about, and things you don’t
– you change who you are as a family or what you believe, but you tailor the environment for the guest so they feel welcome and want to come back
– we decided we needed to create some safe “foyer” environments to help guests feel welcome

Living Room environment: people start to connect as friends

middle circle (we found) is the most difficult/challenging
– everyone talks about getting people into small groups
– we have constantly updated the transition part in the living room, when people

Life for our family happens in the kitchen
– this is our ultimate small group environment
– that is where life happens
– in the foyer you feel like a guest
– in the living room you start to make connections
– in the kitchen community with insiders happens

We want everyone at the kitchen table

For adults we have 3 kinds of small groups: (that’s the only one that meets on Sunday mornings at our church)
1- starting point small groups: open group
2- starter groups: we call it “dating” – it lasts 6 weeks, gives people a taste of group life, if they want to move on together they can – targeted group
3- community groups: meet for 12 to 18 months, then they reform (they are closed groups)

We’ve discovered community doesn’t happen in an unpredictable environment
– life on life doesn’t happen in an environment where trust is uncertain

Every small group comes to an end: either a happy end or a small end
– people may go forward and multiple
– people may decide they never want to be in another group

Life happens within the church when we are focused together

Our focus to evaluate all new PROGRAMS: Does this help us move people from the foyer, to the living room, to the kitchen?
– we try to “add steps, not programs”
– need to fill in gaps, help people move toward growth…

“Your church strategy is perfectly designed to get the results you’re getting”
– so if you want to see change, to become an irresistible church, then discover what your strategy is and change it so you can talk about it intelligently so people understand what you are doing and how you do it

Question: Are your ENVIRONMENTS accomplishing the mission

3 takeaways:

  1. Would you go home and spend time clarifying your purpose / mission? What is the WIN we are wanting to celebrate?
  2. Would you go home and think through what it would take to develop a strategy? Can you put it in terms you can explain to your people? (This creates amazing synergy)
  3. Focus your environments

“Everybody wants to give their time and energy to something they understand” (you need to clarify your strategy w different terms)

Follow and Walk in the Light of Jesus

This is one of the scripture passages we are considering this morning in church:

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.  Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. (John 12:35-36 NIV)

Wherever we are, we are called to share the light and love of Christ. We pray for the inner life to control the outer life. (To walk the talk.)

Share the Good News of the Gospel

These are words of exhortation for Christian witnesses. We need to share our testimony about how Jesus is in our lives and has acted to save us so others may believe::

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14, 15 NLT)

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