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BETA06: How Can I Help Leadership See Bigger, Bolder Ideas?



I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation: “Leadership doesn’t understand. They’re wanting to play it safe. How do I get them to see things from my perspective?” COVID has certainly changed the rules. How can you help your church wrestle with bigger, bolder ideas?

Like the BETA SHOW? Check out more episodes here.

Answering Your Questions: THE BETA SHOW

We are launching a new show over here at THECHURCH.DIGITAL. But we need your help. Text your questions to 4THECHURCH (484/324-8724) and we'll answer them here on THE BETA SHOW. Seriously. Grab the phone. Text 484/324-8724 and tell us your questions. Where you're stuck. What questions you're asking of leadership. What questions leadership is asking of you... and let TCD help your church take some practical next steps, and give you some advice on how to BETA the situation at your church.

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Co-Host: Rey DeArmas
Christ Fellowship Miami Online
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Host: Jeff Reed
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // LinkedIn


  • Question: Feels like [our leadership] is falling in love with our old ways (it's familiar, easy and safe). How do I get my ministry leaders and Leadership Team on board with bigger, bolder ideas?
  • 1. Recognize Where Your Leadership Is... and Why They Are There...
    • Understanding the Why is crucial.
  • 2. Figure out how different ideas you're pushing for can solve problems leadership is facing.
    • Doing this well takes more than one person. Dialogue with others on-staff, and be willing to reshape the idea.
  • 3. Experiment. Iterate. Fire BBs before bullets before bombs.
    • Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to make others the hero.
  • Text your Digital/Phygital Church questions to 4THECHURCH - 484/324-8724


We know these conversations are out there are hard. Even the best of churches haven't figured out... If this podcast is helping you and your church work through what Church Online is, then help us impact other churches! Take a moment and leave us a brief review!

By leaving a positive ranking and review of THECHURCH.DIGITAL PODCAST & THE BETA SHOW on iTunes, you're helping to get this podcast in front of new people who are most likely asking the same questions you are. Head over to that Ratings & Review section on iTunes and drop a good word for us!

Feedback on the podcast is vital as well. Leave comments on the podcast, or comment on this post! I'd love to know your thoughts and how we can serve your church better.

Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed

THE BETA SHOW Transcript

Jeff Reed (00:02):
All right. Hey, we're here at The Beta Show. Episode six here, Jeff Reed with The Church Digital and Stadia Church Planting. Of course joined once again by Rey DeArmas over at Christ Fellowship Miami, Digital Pastor. Rey's promoting the shirt, getting the word out. Definitely looking good there, Rey. Any thoughts today on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon on the live stream?

Rey DeArmas (00:25):
I can't tell you we are doing everything we can to speed up ending 2020 Christmas gear is going up before Thanksgiving. you know, we're already doing our new year's countdown and the DeArmas household. I'm pretty sure that by Friday we'll be counting down 2021. So the future is here. My friends, we are already.

Jeff Reed (00:44):
That's a beautiful thing. Listen, 2020, you know, there, there's a scary thought. I don't want to get stuck here, but what if 2020 is not the bad year would have 2020? It's just the beginning of a bad decade. I don't necessarily want to like, get a stuck on that, but it's, it's a reality of, Hey, let's really hope that that 2021, can turn the corner here for us.

Rey DeArmas (01:07):
Seven Years, guys, seven years for all of our eschatology folks, what is happening? What is happening?

Jeff Reed (01:15):
Well-played so that, like I said, it's a completely separate conversation here. Hey, listen with the beta show, we answer your questions. Online ministry, church, online, digital church, digital expressions of church phygital church. If you're doing an online ministry, you've got questions on it. Where's your leadership getting stuck? Where are you getting stuck? We want to help answer that. Text us these questions at 4-The-Church (484) 324-8724. Literally take out your phone, text us unless you're watching on your phone and then wait until after the show and then text us your questions. (484) 324-8724. Well, this is episode six. We've been rolling through this. We haven't a lot of fun with it here in this episode. Here's the question basically, that, that we're asking, how can I help leadership see bigger, bolder ideas. And I, I hear this. This is a recurring question, at least that I'm engaging with for practical. This is the question that was texted into us. It feels like our leadership is falling in love with our old ways. It's familiar, it's easy and it's safe. How do I get my ministry leaders and leadership team on board with bigger and bolder ideas? And so there's a lot to unpack there. Rey, just kind of walking into this, man, what are you thinking about this?

Rey DeArmas (02:34):
I think that this is something, you know, this, this question needs to be unpacked in so many different ways because different people are asking this in different organizations, not even realizing and not giving their leadership enough credit in terms of how much they may have pivoted in 2020. Like it's really easy to just look ahead and say, man, my leadership is trying to run away from new ideas, not even realizing like how much things they may have already shifted in 2020. And so before we go back in on, on, Hey man, we want to innovate. We want to move forward. Let's take a moment. And even, and even in your own leadership, like acknowledge the changes that your leadership has been willing to make and the pivoting that they've done this year, because I guarantee you, every leader is dealing with pressure in terms of the unknown and the uncertainty that they've had to deal with 2020. So before we go criticizing our leaders, let's also celebrate the pivoting and the adjustments that they've made this year, because I guarantee you, especially for those of us that are in like an online ministry, like we're always trying to push innovation. We're always trying to push what's new, but let's also take a moment and celebrate the innovation that they've done too. Right? Jeff. I mean, let's, let's be real. It's been a year a change.

Jeff Reed (03:39):
Yeah, very well said. Every playbook, every training session, every learning that your leaders understood up until March, 2020 was teaching towards a different direction. And it's all trashed at this point. Every playbook, every strategy, everything needs, needs to get revisited and people, some people are processing that well, to be honest, some people are struggling through this season. And, and so in really like this gets us here to, to 0.1 that I wanted to acknowledge here, recognize where your leadership is. That may not be hard, but then the next step of why they are there, don't just look at your leadership as saying, they're not this, but start to unpack. Why are they taking the stance, the position that, that they are. And the more that you can understand the not only the who they are, but why they are that way, it gives opportunities to engage with them, to, to try to get there. So, Ray, you know, just what experiences have you had in, in, in your ministry life where, you know, not only are you recognizing kind of like where, but, but also helping leadership understand or recognizing why the leadership is the way they are.

Rey DeArmas (04:55):
Yeah. You know, this kind of brings me back to an old Maxim that I had heard back in the day that when people don't know what to do, they do what they know. And when you have so much success doing something a certain way and everything has to shift, and then things just kind of come back to what we may be considering normal. Of course, it's easy to want to run back to what was, and mind you, that is not unique to church. Let me help you understand that that is not unique to our way of life or to our, to our little part of the world. That's in business, that's in so many different areas. And for some of you that's even your households, right? Like we're having a hard time navigating Thanksgiving right now with, with 2020 and with COVID because man, we want to run back to our traditional Thanksgiving, but we're recognizing we're all hurting in the sense of, but what if we can't and how can we protect the most vulnerable among us in doing that?

Rey DeArmas (05:42):
And so we have to recognize that, yeah, there's a lot of shifts and we have to recognize, we have to, this is going to require some open and honest conversations with leadership and just ask, okay, so you guys were used to the old way of doing this. What is it about the old way that makes it seem so successful? And it's not that I'm to win you to a new way, but you have to remember that it's all about the mission and vision of the church. It's not just about the mission and vision of online and digital. This is where the whole phygital thing comes into play. Right? Jeff, and this is where we talk about making sure that your online campus or that your online ministry isn't separate and that you're trying to go so far different from what the church as a whole is trying to do.

Rey DeArmas (06:18):
You have to be alignment in terms of where your leadership is. So if they're trying to retreat back to what was recognize that it's probably because there was some kind of comfort or something in that I know that there were areas where we tried to run back, you know, as soon as we reopened, we were like, Oh man, we need to run back to some different way. Some ways that we used to do things. And even it took some time and recognizing, Oh, wait a minute. We're not there anymore. We're not there anymore. And our leadership took a long pause and they said, Hey, look, you know what? We're not there anymore. We need to make sure that we go back and we reassess and we even retool and think through what does it mean to minister into the here and now things like, Hey, so, you know, coming up this week, we're going to be doing our typical Thanksgiving serve. Oh, but not as many people are ready and willing to serve. So what can we do to meet some of those needs and to engage people where they're at, those are things that we have to stop reassess and retool and rethink instead of running back to what was cause that was comfortable and think about what we're moving forward. Jeff, what are some things that you're seeing from different churches out there?

Jeff Reed (07:18):
Yeah. Understanding that that why is, is crucial because there's a reason they're thinking that way, you know, it's the, the church may, the leader may not understand the role of digital. He may be looking at the staff structure that's in place and saying, we don't have the personnel to go down this way. There may be a bias of someone else that's in leadership or an elder board or a high-level donor who has a bias in an overstress stressing towards a physical engagement instead of a digital. And so there's lots of, you know, sometimes we're getting into like the political nature of church. Sometimes it's just, Hey, I don't really understand this digital thing. And I'm not comfortable as a leader showing weakness in, in learning something different. I really want to operate in my strengths and therefore we all need to be operating in this physical space.

Jeff Reed (08:12):
And so there's, there's a why that centered around it. And oftentimes when I have these conversations, right, to your question with other churches, it's the, the, the leader, needs help in understanding it. But oftentimes doesn't, isn't comfortable asking those questions. Isn't comfortable being transparent. Isn't comfortable being vulnerable even to the point. And so this is why for you listening audience out there, people who are at that level, understanding the why, why your leader is his thinking, the way that he is, which really gets into the second part, figuring out how your different ideas or the ideas that you're pushing for can solve the problems can help accomplish the mission. The vision need to be integrated into the strategy of your church. Don't just push a good idea because it's great. Hey, listen, if you're a physical church out there, you don't have an online presence and your solution is, Hey, I think we should start broadcasting on Twitch. yeah, that's probably not going to help the mission and vision. It's a great idea. And there's a wind towards it, but it's not aligning with the mission and vision probably of, of what your church is doing. And so mirror and mold what you're doing with what, the problems and the issues that, that your leaders are facing. Right?

Rey DeArmas (09:34):
Yeah. Well, it's that? And let's be honest. Jeff influence comes with small wins, stacked up one on top of the other. And so you have to go back and reassess your own leadership and ask yourself, well, how am I coming through on the things that I'm being asked before I bring my leadership a whole lot of innovation, like, it's one thing to say, Hey, look, we want to get all this stuff in line. We want to get all these new details in line. We want to be on Twitter. We want to be on, you know, name it w whatever kind of innovation you're trying to push, man. We want to live stream one or do something else. But your leadership has asked you to come through on some basic things like, Hey, is our message archive up online? you know, have we made sure that, that we're organized, that things are up to date?

Rey DeArmas (10:15):
Things are looking nice or, Hey, like there's spelling errors on the website, you know, like, and, and you're over that, or are you making sure and coming through on some of those basic procedures before you go and bring some grandiose idea, because if you're not executing in the simple, or to put it in a spiritual way, if you're not stewarding the small, how can you be trusted with much more? Right. And so this is where we have to be careful because as innovators, sometimes many folks are trying to push what's new what's next on, on leadership. Leadership is still back here, like, all right, but man, how can I trust you with that? If we're still trying to get some of the basics now, from what they may perceive, what they may perceive as the basics and to you, especially if you're, you know, a reckless creator in the sense of man, I just want to break stuff and I want to try new things that doesn't sound as sexy to you because man, that's maintenance, but I'm talking about leading down a new front. Okay. But your leader may need you to go back and help solve some of those problems. Exactly what Jeff's talking about, solve some of those issues that they're saying, like, you may want to innovate in a specific area, but they're still trying to figure out, Hey, but we're still trying to transition people to online giving how are you helping us with that area? So I saw Jeff smile real big right there. I know I must have tweaked something in there. Go ahead.

Jeff Reed (11:28):
Well, and it really does come down to understanding this is part of it, understanding where, where the leadership is, leading from the second chair. it was, was a book. I don't know, I've read a decade ago, but it talks about get the wins that you want, but to do that, you have to give the wins that your leadership wants. And so like, if, if the challenge is online giving, how can online groups reinforce online giving how streaming online, how can online discipleship reinforce this change? The way that you're, you're pitching this in such a way that it meets the needs of where leadership is, by the way, Chuck fraidy, comments in through Facebook love this modern technology thing. he says, I fully agree, meet them where they're at and how to help them move into a place of, of understanding. And, and so like, listen, I've been the guy, thanks Chuck for that.

Jeff Reed (12:21):
I've been the guy over the years that just like, like with a sledgehammer, tries to bang in ideas. I'm always the bleeding edge tech guy. I'm always talking about the thing out of left field. And so lots of times people don't understand that. And there've been seasons in my life where I just keep hammering the same nail over and over again, thinking that it's going to work. And you know what, at the end of the day, it really, it doesn't, it doesn't work when you acknowledge where the people are in change the approach that way. That's where you really start to see engagement. When you talk to them, when you engage with them, it's honestly, it's the whole two way engagement thing versus a, one-way just kind of talking at them approach. Yeah.

Rey DeArmas (13:05):
You know, Jeff, and this is kind of, it takes me back in time to when Steve jobs unveiled the iPad before his passing, he talked about how the iPhone was setting up for that moment. You know? And, and I remember that because they had to get that. So right. In order to help transition people over that, it had to be a way that wasn't just innovative, but it had to work. It had to work in every facet had to execute on the simple, it had to be a phone that you could use and then it could become so much more. And so the same thing for us, Hey, innovation is wonderful, but you have to educate, execute on what it is that you're promised that you have to be able to tell people, Hey, look, we're creating something simple. We're going to come through on it. And then from there we're going to innovate and we're going to

Jeff Reed (13:51):
And build on those wins. Definitely. And if you're Steve jobs, you can execute. It's okay. Hey, listen, listen to this upfront. And if you're Steve jobs, maybe this doesn't apply to you. I'm sorry. No offense. The majority of you out there are not the jobs doing this well, figuring out how to speak to leaders, figuring out where the leaders, where at their wise are doing it takes more than one person dialogue with other people on your staff. High-level volunteers, and also be willing to reshape the idea. Don't come in once again, trying to fit the square peg into the round hole, recognize it's around whole and treat it more like clay, treat the idea more like fluid to massage it, to get to where that accomplishes what the leaders are looking for and also accomplishes what you're trying to achieve through it. Find ways to work together in this, which is true. Go ahead.

Rey DeArmas (14:47):
Yeah. And, and it's not about getting a higher position at the table. I need to be sure. And kind of state this because so often when, when people feel like, Oh man, my ideas aren't being heard, or, you know, we're not innovating a way that I want, it's not necessarily that you need a higher position at the table. It's that you need to expand your influence with the people that are there, making those decisions. You need to make sure that they see that your wins are their wins and that it's all of us winning together. and so this isn't about, Oh man, I need more political power within the organization. It's about, are you leveraging the influence that you have? And are you growing in that influence one win at a time,

Jeff Reed (15:24):
Totally and completely be willing to be wrong. Once again, if you're being transparent, you're bringing other people into, into the conversations, be willing to be wrong. Maybe that square peg just does not need to fit into that round hole, but also be willing to make others the hero of the situation. and it's funny with that humility with that, that relational leadership approach. You'll find that others will get more on board with ideas in the, in the weeks and the months. And the years ahead, if all you are is the grumpy guy, who's screaming about the bleeding edge tech. You're never going to get there, but if you're part of a team that's working towards something and if you're making others the hero in that operating in humility, my gosh, you're going to see such a difference in pushing those ideas forward. Right? You had something else.

Rey DeArmas (16:12):
Yeah. And part of being willing to be wrong is admitting when you are wrong. And so you have to make sure and have the humility that, Hey, if you Leah on a project and it doesn't work out, or if it doesn't work out the way that it was intended, obviously you don't want to over promise and under deliver it. But if you projected something and if it doesn't come through in that kind of way, you have to be that you have to be humble and go back to your leadership and say, Hey, I know that we thought it was going to do this. you may have had data saying that it was going to be the biggest thing since sliced bread, but the execution just didn't come through. Okay. Be humble, admit it and own it because that is once again, how you grow in your leadership and how you grow in your influence is when you can actually admit that you're wrong and not just move on to the next thing and act like that thing didn't exist. Yeah.

Jeff Reed (16:56):
Yeah. And part of making sure that you don't go wrong is this next slide right here, experiment, iterate fire the BBS before you get to the bullets, Spire the bullets before you get to the bombs, like grow that thing slowly. So often, especially in this COVID season, it's easy to look at scenarios and say, the end of the world is here. We have to pivot everything. We've got to burn our buildings. We've got to go a hundred percent digital. We've got to. And you live in this world of extremes because right now in 2020 fall, it's an extreme world that we live in. But I want to challenge you guys, pump the brakes, slow down, iterate experiment with something. Did it work? Did it not work? And what's happening is not only are you fine tuning like the idea of, of what you're trying to achieve to make sure that it'll work by iterating, by firing the Bebe's before bullets, you're building culture.

Jeff Reed (17:52):
Because at the end of the day, you can have all the technology that you want. You can have all the functionality that you want, but if you don't have a church culture that supporting it, that is understanding it, that's utilizing it effectively out there with the, with the people they're engaging with, without that culture, it's your, the idea is going to die. And so by going slowly, by taking leadership, by taking your staff, by taking volunteers through these experiments and letting them speak into it by firing the BB before the bullet, you're going to find that you're changing in developing the culture as well as fine tuning.

Rey DeArmas (18:31):
Yeah. And you know, this is where it gets tough, right? Because so many times people are thinking about bombs. They're thinking about full blown full-scale measures that are going to cost a lot of money in this kind of thing. But what if for once you thought through how tech could save your organization money, as opposed to spending a lot more money, you know, for us coming back from COVID. and you know, we had an opportunity to really hone in. We're a note taking church here at Christ fellowship and the thought process of pre COVID of getting rid of the written worship folder was scary because that was something that was very, very difficult to move. but with COVID in play, we had already established a note taking section within the app that was already robust, that was already working fine so that it was already kind of firing the BD while we were closed.

Rey DeArmas (19:18):
And that we got people to used to doing this so that when we reopened, guess what, we can't hand out physical worship folders anymore. Anyways. So now the cost of printing, we're saving our organization money on that end. And at the same time, we're able to help transition this out. And we've got a great reason as to why we can't hand those things out either. now on one side, we're saving the church, a lot of printing costs, and I hope that our church, you know, our, our church recognizes that on one end, because guess what printing those worship folders out week to week? Some of you are probably thinking that like, you're either doing that yourself or you're going through a service that costs a lot of money versus the one-time cost of the app that we just encourage people to download every week. They can engage in so many different ways on our church, but at the same time, they can take those notes that can save them. They can share them with a friend it's digital. They can go back to them instead of losing those works from folders week to week, it's a better option, but it took firing the BB during COVID to make sure that by the time we got to the bottom, when we reopened it was fine. And thank God, it was

Jeff Reed (20:17):
Very, very good with that. So experiment fine. And even things, you know, short of, of, you know, COVID a global epidemic or pandemic, getting rid of the worship folders at Christ fellowship, Miami would have been very hard to do so there are things that you can wipe, with a big slate and, and blame the global pandemic for it. but there are probably some things that it's like, Hey, I need to, we need to do a trial run on this. let's, let's try the, the mobile app thing, but let's just try it on one campus or, Hey, let's, you know, for a couple of services, let's just not print the worship folders and, and see what happens, what the, what the feedback is, try to figure out once again, the show is called beta. We need to figure out how to beta the ideas that you're wanting to do.

Jeff Reed (21:05):
What are small, simple approaches that can give you a basic amount of information, feedback from people that will allow you to make a decision to iterate, to build on the idea again. And so once again, now it's, let's find this idea that you want to do, figure out how to do it with a small number of people to pull in the data that's necessary for you to iterate and figure out what the next step is. So definitely love this idea of beta and of experimenting of, of wrestling with this stuff within the churches that, that you are there's, there's no idea that's too bold in 2020 that your church you're not considered. But if the first step is we need to blow up, we need to bring in the bombs. We got to explode this thing, and we need to rebuild it from scratch leadership. Ain't buying that if it's, Hey man, here's an experiment. Let's try this. Here's the little bit of money. Here's the little bit of personnel. Here's the little bit of volunteer support. Here's the plan. And now you're iterating slowly on those ideas. That's how a church wins. That's how a church changes culture here in mid post COVID 2020. And so I would challenge all of you out there. I think that's really the challenge we should look at. So, Hey Rey, as we're landing the plane, any, anything on your end,

Rey DeArmas (22:27):
Absolutely leadership is not the enemy in this. And I just want to make sure that that's understood. You know, it's very easy for people to draw lines when they want to innovate. Like it's an us versus them kind of thing. Listen, it's a team, it's a together thing. And so it makes sure and work with your leadership as best as possible. And granted, you know, it, it, the, the greatest technology innovations may not come from the church anytime soon that might not be our job, but it can be our job to leverage them for the purpose of what for creating community. And the way that that happens is first with the community of your collective leadership. You've got to win them over within community and then slowly build on stuff. Last time we had, we heavily publicized, Craig Rochelle's leadership podcast. Jessica did a deal about leading up.

Rey DeArmas (23:11):
Let me encourage you once again, if you've not checked out that episode, you need to check that out simply because you need to understand that your leadership needs you to lead up to it. That's why they brought you in there. You are there to lead up. I'm here at Christ fellowship to lead up in digital, or is it always going to be a hundred percent accepted or as a win? Absolutely not. Have I had room to fail? Yeah, I have. And so this is where, it's my responsibility. It's your responsibility to stack one win at a time, but to do it together with leadership, not to rebel and go off into my own corner and do it separately. Very true.

Jeff Reed (23:43):
It's working together as a team and it's, it's breaking down some of those departmental organizational silos that you guys may have within the church, working together as a team casting vision, and then attacking it with that approach, being flexible all along the way. So well said, Hey, listen, we're, we're going to wrap here. If you've got questions, texts us for a poor three, two, four, eight, seven two, four. Be sure to check out beta episode five as Rey was talking about, but Hey, we're going to 2020 is crazy, right? Like it's been an insane year. It's been nuts. So we're going to pivot a little bit here next week. We're not beta we're, we're debuting Cray. So it's Cray saying similar format, but at the end of the day, we're talking about crazy, crazy things, because listen, we need a break at the end of this.

Jeff Reed (24:31):
We need to figure out Cray. We need to figure out how to be crazy. Relax, have a little fun. So we're bringing in some guys. Rey, we're going to be joined by Andy Mage, Mark Brandt, some digital pastors around the country. For CRAY01. We are figuring out what the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is. So heading into the Turkey holiday here. Sorry if you're in another country here in America where we're debuting Turkey and celebrating that, next Thursday. So the Wednesday heading into it, Turkey day Eve, the perfect Thanksgiving dinner broadcast live here. Yeah. Cause I need a break. And so do you, so, Hey, Jeff, for Rey, this is Jeff with The Church Digital, Stadia Church Planting. Thanks for being here. And we'll see you next time here on, well, I guess CRAY. Have a good one. Bye bye.

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About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

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