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PODCAST 004: Tyler Sansom and Church Anywhere (Small Church, Microsites and Church Online)

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Introduction

I first heard of Church Anywhere about a year ago, meeting Tyler on Facebook. I immediately fell in love with his Church. First Capital Christian is many things. Big is not one of them. Cordon, Indiana is a town of about 3000 people, yet the church is reaching 800-900 a week in "an old building on the wrong side of town". Almost 30% of the town attends church. Scary stat right there?

How did this happen? According to Tyler Sansom, a digital strategy empowering people with the Gospel through Church Online. First Capital has launched 14 different micro-locations within two hours of their campus, and in the process is discipling leaders with the Gospel to impact their city for Christ.

Interested in a firsthand experience of Church Anywhere? First Capital Christian is doing one of the first CHURCH ONLINE conferences ever. More information at CHURCHONLINE.ME - By the way, I'll be one of the keynote speakers at the Conference! So come out and show some support.

On the show

Guest: Tyler Sansom
First Capital Christian Church / Church Anywhere
Facebook

Host: Jeff Reed
THECHURCH.DIGITAL
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Linked-In

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

Show Notes

References from the Podcast:

Insights:

  • Church Online is a volunteer-friendly ministry. Empower leaders with the Gospel.
  • Get leadership on board. Find ways to connect Church Online into existing ministry.
  • Edit the content down. 30 min video content, 30 min small group discussion.
    • So important to have a conversation.
    • Teaching team helps to shape content for Church Anywhere
  • Pop-Up Church. Create temporary locations to onboard people into your Church
  • Church Online offers collaboration among churches and people.
  • We stare at iPhones 6-8 hours a day. Why isn't Church reaching people more during the week than one hour on Sunday.
  • God gave us the Internet. What did we do with it, other than Fortnite?
  • Micro-locations are financially giving, but budget also comes from church overall, giving to the mission of the organization.
  • Three Steps to Launch a Microsite Strategy thru Church Online
    • Work on your quality of broadcast
    • Identify Volunteer Leaders
    • Provide Resources (Tech < $600 per location)

Interested in a firsthand experience of Church Anywhere? First Capital Christian is doing one of the first CHURCH ONLINE conferences ever. More information at CHURCHONLINE.ME

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Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.
 
Jeff Reed
THECHURCH.DIGITAL

Transcript

Jeff Reed: 00:00 Hey everybody, welcome to the church digital podcast. It's great to join you all today. I've got Rey DeArmas here joining us. Awesome. And I also have an excited about this, Tyler Samson who's joining us to talk a little bit about church anywhere. Hey, so, so Tyler, I mean we, we've listened to Rey all the time, but Tyler, man, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tyler Samson: 00:24 Yeah, I'm a, I'm a pastor from southern Indiana area. Um, I've been in and out of different jobs at a, at a church for now, seven years full time. So I started as a worship pastor, have kind of transitioned into more of a teaching pastor and oversee all of our, uh, what we call church anywhere locations.

Jeff Reed: 00:44 Awesome. So, so like church anywhere, what does that really, what does that about? What does that look like?

Tyler Samson: 00:49 Yeah, it's taking technology that is available to us, whether it's an online stream or a online content, and using that to bring people together in a physical location. So it's a big online to offline model that we've been doing for the last two years. Okay.

Jeff Reed: 01:05 Yeah, we've, we've talked a lot about online to offline in the past, uh, in, in past episodes. But you know, and I think Jay Kranda actually the guy who invented this, or at least he's the guy that I give credit to, uh, out at, at Saddleback where you're, you're trying to get, um, you know, the, the, the content that we experience in church through church online to use it to effect our lives with, with the Gospel offline, you know, basically in, in the real world. And I love this, this aggressive model, uh, that, that church anywhere is doing where it's, it's taking that, that message, that content and getting people to share it physically in the real world. Like, you know, Tyler, what are some examples of this?

Tyler Samson: 01:46 Yeah. Some examples could be anywhere from a family in a neighborhood deciding to have church with their neighbors who probably wouldn't go to an actual church location. So we've got a couple of those. Um, and that's in a home, but we've also got ones that are in a jail and we've got volunteers that will go each week to this jail. To take a church to them. Um, we have a homeless camp that a, that meets every Sunday at a local church that has allowed us to use their fellowship hall. Um, and so we have about 70 homeless people that meet each week. And these are, these are, these are people that are not going to step into a normal church setting and um, they still can experience a worship with the body of Christ together. That's just a few examples. There's, I think there's 14 right now all together.

Jeff Reed: 02:31 Wow. So you're literally doing homeless church, but that, that's not at your church facility. That's at another facility.

Tyler Samson: 02:37 We partnered with another facility closer to the city that's allowed us to use a room that's big enough to hold about a hundred people. And so we've got rough, uh, it warm weather. We've got about 70 cold weather. We dropped down to about 45 so.

Rey DeArmas: 02:51 Great. So Tyler, how have you empowered your people to take the content that you guys are creating and sort of giving them a vision for what could be?

Tyler Samson: 03:04 Yeah, so we um, we have really, really empowered volunteers. It's very non staff driven. And so we call our volunteers, um, the campus pastors of, of the campus. So we've, we've really commissioned them and ordained them to go out and be the pastors to each of these locations. I'll give you an example for at, at the, at the jail campus, one of the jail campuses that we do as a state prison. Um, there was a, uh, a man who was baptized two Easters ago. It's been a lot of time in prison. Um, our staff identified him as a potential leader. Um, he's got a lot of leadership gift. He just was on a wrong path. He found Christ and we poured into him for a year without him knowing that we wanted him to be the ones, start this jail campus. But then through that, through that, pouring into it, um, he's, he's now launched a, a a prison ministry that has about 300 guys that meet every single week, um, to, to do church together. He leads the small group portion of that. He's recruited all of the volunteers for it. It's pretty good to go.

Rey DeArmas: 04:03 That's an amazing, powerful story. That's like Saul of tarsus kind of vision where you see somebody who is on the other side of the line of faith and you're like, this guy has given leader, God has a purpose for him. Not that we don't see that in other folks, but tell me about that, about the risk taking involved in that because some folks would hear that, especially in church leadership and say, are you nuts?

Tyler Samson: 04:22 Yeah, I mean it takes, it takes a leap of faith for hundreds of years. Our strategy as the church has been to get people to come to our building and, and that's where we'll do ministry. Um, we really are trying to take is the idea of church anywhere. We didn't call it first capital anywhere we called it church because we want to partner with other churches to get ministry outside of four walls. Um, and so there's a huge risk in that because it changes the paradigm of how we've done church forever. Um, but with that risk, there's also an incredible reward. Last year alone, we had 49 first time decisions for Christ through church anywhere. Um, which is like, that's huge for it. We're a church of 900 in a town of 3000 like we don't have a ton of resources. We're really pouring everything we can into the community rather than our building

Jeff Reed: 05:08 well in by, by using the technology that you have in, in, in scaling it out. Like cost on this has got to be relatively small. I mean by, by doing church in a, in a home, it's, it's what it's a Roku or hooking a laptop up to it, to an already existing TV, partnered with another church for a homeless ministry. Like it's, it's prisons, you know, you're using the technology that that's in place. It's, it's relatively inexpensive for, for church anywhere.

Tyler Samson: 05:36 Yeah. Our package is at most $600 to start a campus and that's it. Absolutely. No technology available whatsoever.

Jeff Reed: 05:45 Yeah. And I'm just just quickly paralleling like launching a multisite campus where I've seen startup budgets like five, six figures, $600 seems really inexpensive to, and, but, and, and one of the things that I about is, is, is you're not, you're not empowering pastors to go get into the area. You're, you're empowering lay people. You're empowering volunteers. So you know, the same holy spirit that, that lives in the sent pastor is the same holy spirit that lives in the people and you're training them with the Gospel and letting them get out into those neighborhoods.

Tyler Samson: 06:15 And we're intentional. Like I said earlier about calling them the campus pastors of this, because it's not just Joe Schmo like we've obviously poured into east person that we trust. You'd start a campus, but we want them to take that ownership. We want them to feel like they are pastoring these people. It doesn't, we don't want it to feel like just another way to serve at the local church. We want them to really take ownership of their campus and make it the best they can possibly be.

Rey DeArmas: 06:39 That's good. All right. One thing a little bit more into that. How much training do you guys provide or even just kind of vetting before you actually give them that title of campus pastor? Because I can definitely say like money onset. If I'm sitting on the leadership table, there's some liability concerns, There's some different things that I would struggle through. So what's the process look like for that in terms of time and investment before you give him the title?

Tyler Samson: 07:02 Yeah, it's, it's uh, we don't have a, um, like laid out. We're going to meet for six weeks and do this. We identify the leader and then we individually spend time with them. So the point person for that campus would, uh, would go ahead and build a relationship with them. Um, so it's very relational based. It's not really like a program that we would put them through to become a leader. It's more of let's identify who has this gift and maybe not even, they don't even know they have this gift yet and then we're going to spend time with them. Um, and uh, we make them shadow other campuses, things like that. That's, I guess that's the program part, but it's really about that building a relationship with them until we are at a point where we trust them to go ahead and step into that leadership role.

Jeff Reed: 07:44 How long of a of a process of kind of like observing, shadowing, you know, reverse. Like you get somebody who's cold to the idea or you've targeted, let's say it this way, you've targeted somebody who wants to do this and you like, this is the person, how long are they observing until they're actually executing and doing something there?

Tyler Samson: 08:03 It really depends on where they're at in their, their walk in, uh, in their faith. Um, if they're, if they'd been a believer and I have had years and years of ministry experience, obviously it's a much shorter time. If there's someone like the guy I mentioned earlier that started the prison ministry, um, it can be months before we would, would try, we put him into that spot. We just, we don't want to set someone to fail. So it's by case basis.

Jeff Reed: 08:27 Awesome. And how many, how many are of these are you doing right now?

Tyler Samson: 08:30 Right now we have 14, and we start, um, and another two in a in a week. So we buy that another jail in a next week.

Jeff Reed: 08:42 Got Your own like little prison ministry like birthed out of church, online church, anywhere that yeah,

Tyler Samson: 08:48 it's crazy because there's several prisons around the Louisville area where we're hat um, once one of them gets rolling, other chaplains will hear about it and they're like, oh yeah, let's do this. It costs us nothing. And you guys, you guys provide everything. So let's do it. Very good.

Rey DeArmas: 09:06 How do you guys get the content to the prison areas? I know we've done some prison ministry in my context and some of the concern is the low tech that we have to get in there cause they don't enable us to jump on their Wifi. Maybe it's a different situation with the prisons that you're ministering to. So if somebody wants to start this in a local prison, how would you guide them through that process?

Tyler Samson: 09:22 Yeah, so we provide them with a chrome book and um, we are in the prison ministry is because of the lack of internet. We are one week behind. Um, so they'll have the, let me start with this. We edit our services down to 30 minutes. Um, so we can do 30 minutes. We have an hour long total block of time in prisons. So we have 30 minutes of content in 30 minutes of small group to help develop relationships. Um, each week we'll bring in 10 volunteers, 10 to 20 volunteers, depending on the size of the campus. And there's, those are the people that lead the small groups. So we have the, the lay campus faster, the volunteers that come in and they have their chrome book that is already a filled with that previous week service that's edited down to 30 minutes.

Jeff Reed: 10:08 I'm just curious, is that worship musical worship and teaching is it just...

Tyler Samson: 10:12 it's usually two songs and then about a 15 minute message. Um, and often in a special element that we've done in the service. So,

Jeff Reed: 10:20 and it the 30 minutes. Interesting. Because like, you know, we've, I've struggled with you guys a 75, 80 minutes service and trying to get, do something like the church anywhere where get it into like a, a office conference room, equip and office, uh, worker to, to open up and do something like that. But like the, the lunchtime itself is only like 45 minutes, maybe an hour if you're, if you're lucky. And the church service itself was longer than even the discussion piece and it, and it wouldn't fit. So editing it down to it to a smaller block man, that really opens up some more opportunities for these...

Tyler Samson: 11:00 We prefer it when it's like that, but we absolutely want to have every game. It's like that. There are some that are in homes that would rather just watch it live, things like that. But, um, as we launch out canvases, we always start with the 30 minutes. I think the small group part is every bit as important as the content. Building those relationships is really what it's about.

Rey DeArmas: 11:20 How much they, in terms of crafting the content, uh, ahead of time. Are you guys thinking through? All right. This is the block that we want specifically for teaching.

Tyler Samson: 11:28 Yeah, 100%. We, um, we switched to a teaching team model late last year, um, in order to help craft messages together. Um, and then also to make sure that the content that we're producing works for both church here and church anywhere. Um, that's pretty insider language. That's just what we call a physical location. And then the other campuses,

Jeff Reed: 11:51 so like your leaderships whole hog on this, like they bought it hook, line and sinker. This is, this is the vision of your organization. This is not like a, a tag on extra thing. Like everybody's bought into this.

Tyler Samson: 12:03 Yeah. Everyone bought into it and um, we launched it as church anywhere. Um, and then there we are, we're in, we're in discussion of like phase two of that right now. Um, which I don't know how much you tell I'm allowed to go into on that one on the off chance. Our, uh, our leadership watches this know we're really, we're really going to push the idea of everyone becoming a minister to wherever they're at. So taking the church outside of our walls, whether that's in their neighborhood, whether that's when they play basketball with a group of guys at the Y. However, they can take a church outside of our walls that's going to eventually become our major vision of the church.

Rey DeArmas: 12:45 I don't think that's, I don't think that has to necessarily be thought of as like scary, innovative cause I've heard it dating back to like purpose given church. So that was almost the encouragement for groups. And so now you guys are taking it a step further I think, and taking this content and saying, hey, we're going to unleash you to be the minister is where you're at. Kind of like what Warren, you say every member a minister. So are you guys going to communicate that philosophy? Like everybody here has the capability of being a campus pastor right where you're at or how's that gonna work in terms of what you're thinking?

Tyler Samson: 13:12 Yeah, that's a, yeah, that we've been in several meetings in the last several months about how we're going to communicate that. Um, the, the launch for that is, um, we're, we're thinking August of this year will be the launch of really pushing every, we want every person at our church, to be involved in some type of call it tricks anywhere, call it an initiative, call it whatever you want, but to go and minister wherever they are at. Um, and we will help provide the technology or the, the, um, the means to do that.

Rey DeArmas: 13:43 That's good. I know you mentioned that, that it's a small community that you guys do a ministry. And so right now, how far out do people spread out beyond the reach of your church in order to accomplish this mission with Kirk anywhere? Does it go out like beyond your county? Um, I'm kind of curious about that because folks stay connected with church for so many different reasons,

Tyler Samson: 14:04 Yeah, the farthest one away is two hours. Um, and there's, there's also one that's about an hour away, um, and then anywhere from 45 minutes to five minutes or, but the other ones, so there's two that are out pretty far outside of our area. And then the majority of them are within the Tri City area here.

Jeff Reed: 14:27 Do you have specific viewers that are outside like regionally away from, from where you guys are at with, with church anywhere? Like is is your spread just of your broadcast? Is, is it that far going where you've got to spread?

Tyler Samson: 14:42 Yeah, we have, we have a widespread, and obviously the goal would be to get them on board with this whole church anywhere idea too to start with. But we have a group of people to watch us in California, all the, and uh, I would love if they would start a church anywhere in California. We're not there yet. Maybe eventually. But, um, right now we're, we're um, within that two hour radius. But with viewers on the online campus for, uh, lots of places across the country.

Rey DeArmas: 15:09 How are you leveraging data that comes into your online campus to help start church anywhere you just mentioned these folks from California. I'm wondering how often you reached out to somebody that they had. Would you like to start this?

Tyler Samson: 15:17 Yeah. Um, we did that with the, the campuses. About an hour away. Um, that was like our first one that we were like, Hey, we noticed there's 15 people here that are watching. Let's, what if you guys did it together. Um, and that turned into a home campus and we're also utilizing popup campuses. Um, so we're, we're, uh, plotting, plotting points to where, um, there's a lot of people gathered that might be interested in coming together for a worship service. And we did our first one last, uh, fall. I think I actually shared that picture with Jeff, uh, uh, at a conference in DC last year.

Jeff Reed: 15:50 So let's unpack that because I find when I say the word popup church to a pastor, like I get blank stare. Um, it's a new concept that not a lot of people are doing, but the people are doing it, are Succeeding, succeeding, doing it. Explain what a pop up churches.

Tyler Samson: 16:05 Yeah, we um, we decided that, uh, just like pop up stores that come up near like Christmas time, uh, why, why can a church not try that? So last year we have an event each year where we do a big festival for the community and um, and we throw it and it's a big free day where they get food and all this kind of stuff. So we said, why don't we find a, a location that's close to, um, people that view us within our like 25 mile radius and instead of having them come to our building, which is what church has been for a long time, what if we just did a pop up church for one day only and see how many people would come. And now with this we wanted, we wanted it to look full because we wanted people to, um, to, to be drawn to it.

Tyler Samson: 16:51 So we had, we invited all of our, our people to come if they wanted to. Um, we're a church of about eight or 900 on the weekend. At that pop up campus we had close to 1500 people. Um, wow. Super Cool.

Jeff Reed: 17:04 So you, so it's, it's really, it's just putting a location, putting a church service, um, you know, in, in a place of, of high traffic where you're going to get a lot of of attention. Um, and we don't need relationships with people.

Tyler Samson: 17:19 We use our data that we've, uh, like the, uh, the locations of the Ip addresses that we've found from our online campus. Like, Hey, this person's, he's only 25 minutes away from here. Um, he's crying and he's never come to our building. Wonder if you would come to a free a carnival slash worship service and those, which was cool. Like, I don't know that many churches that have done these things.

Tyler Samson: 17:42 So we were just really kind of throwing stuff into the wind and hoping something would, would fly. So

Jeff Reed: 17:47 I love that. When you do you, do you look at the metrics like a lot and say, okay, I've got a bunch of viewers over here in this, in this town, or in this area, I need to send someone over there to start a location. Or do you let the people come to you and say, Hey, I'd like to put a location over here.

Tyler Samson: 18:07 At first we looked at the metrics like crazy. Um, and then as we've grown to the size of the campuses that we have now, um, we've, we've had enough people that have approached us and consistently approach us that, um, this is probably going to sound bad, but any more, um, uh, work would probably require a different, uh, a second hire. Um, and so right now we're letting people come to us because we just don't have the resources to be, um, looking for more locations without leaders.

Jeff Reed: 18:39 that's awesome. Well, I mean, you're, you're scaling and you're working with, with what you've got and using a, your resources to the Max capacity to, to duplicate and the like, and just even talking about resources, what is like a, you know, and I've had this conversation with other churches and they were like, well, how are you going to budget that and how does giving work and you know, money's obviously a concern. How do those things work at like a church anywhere, location?

Tyler Samson: 19:05 Uh, yeah. Let me tell you, I'm going to tell you a quick story because it's my favorite story from church anywhere and that it'll apply to what we're talking about. But, uh, there was a guy named Jerry at Branchville prison, which is an hour away from us. It's one of our campuses. And, uh, he wrote us a letter probably three months into that campus and said, um, I don't make much, I make 10 cents an hour.

Tyler Samson: 19:29 Um, but I, I feel like I should give to you guys because you are my church family. So each, uh, each month he sends, that's a $10 check and it comes from the prison. Like it's, it's super government official letter, but we get a check for $10 from Jerry each month, which I mean, that's, that's not only a powerful story, but that is a testament to the discipleship that can happen within these things as well. Um, all viewing a service, it's all about building relationships and then together you can worship. It's just like regular church. Uh, so some of the campuses they give, um, consistently, obviously like a homeless campus probably not going to get very much. So we, we realize we're not going to be making a lot of income from this. Um, we had a challenge weekend last year and challenged people that, um, if we're going to continue to do these church anywhere, things they're going to have to up their giving.

Tyler Samson: 20:18 And so we had people commit to allow me to give $10 extra a month to go to church anywhere, that kind of thing. Um, it's not, it doesn't cost a whole lot of money. It's mostly an upfront cost, but, uh, it's really just been, are people stepping up as far as the giving part of it? Um, budgeting for it. We, uh, we started with literally zero budget. Um, so the, the first campus we started, um, we had to take the money from a different budget to buy the television. And, um, then our leadership saw like, hey, maybe there is something to this thing. So, um, the last couple of years they've, they've added more and more to the budget. So right now we've got enough this year to start. If they didn't have any technology, we could start, um, 12 campuses. So,

Jeff Reed: 20:58 okay. All right. So you've got, there's somebody out here there who's watching this video right now listening to this podcast and they're already broadcasting church services online. They've been wanting to do this, uh, and they don't know where to get started. They don't know what to do next. They caught the vision, but they're stuck. What do they need to do?

Tyler Samson: 21:19 Yeah, well, um, I would, I would really focus on making sure that the product is excellent. I can't stress that enough. Um, because I, you guys have seen some, some church services or in secular services that just throw a, a, a video with like a one camera and a board mix that that just doesn't sound or look good. That's not something that you're going to, you need to, to, to craft it to where people will actually be engaged. Um, that goes from like Rey's question about how we produce our content for the weekend service. Like we're very intentional about making sure that we have four touchpoints for church anywhere, spots within the actual weekend service. So we, we address them four times every week. Um, we write content to where it can be cut down and then we, um, we do a lot of, um, postproduction on videos, things like that to make sure that it's a, that's a quality product.

Tyler Samson: 22:09 I cannot stress that enough because I don't think it will work very well if it's just some guys that are putting something on a screen that doesn't look or sound good. Um, from there, after you get that, um, I think the easiest, the easiest way to start this would be to, to, uh, identify five or six leaders, um, from your church, uh, that, that maybe they're plugged in. Maybe they're not identified people who you think could lead and just spend the next few months pouring into them without even telling them what's going on. Uh, really make sure that you're, you're pouring into them and building them up as leaders. Uh, from there, figure out what they're passionate about and where they hang out. And then, um, once you figure that part out and once they're onboard, just release them to go do ministry. You will provide the material for them, you'll provide the resources and then they go out and uh, and just fulfill the great commission. They're going to go out and make disciples.

Jeff Reed: 23:02 Awesome. So let me just real quick to review that because that was good. You work on your quality and, and there has been a lot of good quality. There's a lot of bad quality out there, but work through that and get it. And one of the things, and Tyler, I know we're going to talk about this later, but have you back on, but like you talk a lot about how to do quality broadcast quality production on, on a, on a low budget. Like I, I have conversations with churches and, and you know, and, and I've done like the six figure video upgrades for churches and, and like, there's times where you have to play that card, but there are times where man, you can do some really quality stuff with some really inexpensive gear right now. And so working through some of that, you know, recognize and, and one of the things I want you to unpack on this, cause you said you, your, your church service recognizes church anywhere four times, at least four touch points. What does that look like?

Tyler Samson: 23:54 Yeah. Uh, so the, the intro to the church service, um, is usually, um, either me or one of the other pastors on the staff that says like, hey guys, welcome to first capital if you're in the lobby and go ahead and make your way in because we're going to start in a second. Hey, if you're watching from church anywhere though, you're a part of our church family too. And we just want to say a special welcome to you guys. Um, we're about to start worship here in just a second. Is that similar to that?

Jeff Reed: 24:17 So that's something like that four times during a service that they'll, they'll, they'll call out the recognize that

Tyler Samson: 24:24 ...during the meet and greet and most churches have like a meet and greet time. We'll say, hey, everyone turned around and greet someone around you while people are grieving in person. We look at, um, we would call it camera three. It's the closest camera and the host onstage directly addresses church anywhere. He's like, Hey, while they're meeting we just want to say we're glad you guys are here. Why don't you guys do it or how to greet somebody. Kind of thing. The pastor does it once and then we do one at the sign off at the end.

Jeff Reed: 24:49 Very cool. And I know, uh, you know, you also said identify leaders and, and that's, that's golden. And then provide resources. Um, and that, that actually brought up a question because I've talked with a couple of other churches that are doing this and that there's something that everybody gets stuck on. We don't have a good formula for it yet. What do you do with the kids?

Tyler Samson: 25:07 Yeah. Um, if you find out you should let us know as well.

Jeff Reed: 25:12 I had a feeling like, cause we just, we haven't been able to find that sweet spot with a, with the micro locations of like doing a separate service for the kids or what. So

Tyler Samson: 25:23 we have, um, we are in a part of this, this big vision strategy that we're coming out with in August. And once again, I can't go into a ton of detail about it, but, um, one of our upcoming hires or somehow getting resources for it, we would love to start a youtube channel specifically for children but not as a church service. So kids right now are watching like people unbox toys and they'll watch for hours. So how can we utilize content like that, and spin it in a gospel driven direction, um, but not so much to make them not want to use it. So in these micro sites, um, parents use their phones all the time as babysitters. So why not have them be watching content that we've created or we've resourced, um, at that time.

Rey DeArmas: 26:10 Good. That's real. That's real solid that you guys are looking at staffing that position or at least looking at it from that perspective of this is so important. It takes a lot of resource to create this content, takes a lot of time to craft it. And so having somebody with that kind of vision just right off the bat just as how serious you are about this. because a lot of tracks look at that and say, ah, you know, that's something that we look as the luxury. But you're looking at this very intention, you're saying, no, this is, this is part of the future where we're going.

Tyler Samson: 26:37 I mean the new iPhone update that it always gives me a how much screen time that I had each week. Every Sunday it'll like come up with a thing and it's embarrassingly large. It's like eight hours. So like if eight hours of screen time, how, how can I as the church utilize that eight hours that people are already looking at screens? Um, because we don't have eight hours within a church service. We've got an hour a week with them. But if they're already looking at a screen for eight hours, like surely we can, we can leverage that. MMM. That's just the world we live in right now.

Jeff Reed: 27:07 Yeah. The communication models are changing. It's not just one hour on Sunday. We've got access to 168 hours a week to do something. And so the churches that are understanding that and are changing their communication methods to not just put all the energy towards that one hour Sunday church service and instead utilizing social media, utilizing mobile APP, utilizing web, um, even texting just to get message and to help them be a disciple, not just a consumer of a one hour a week thing. That's gold by the way. I'm six and a half hours. So man, that's a little embarrassing for you.

Tyler Samson: 27:43 I will say my wife and I went on a road trip last week and I'm pretty sure we watched all of parks and rec. So, uh, that's, that's gotta be well done.

Rey DeArmas: 27:54 Real quick, Jack gets taken off of what you were guessing about Sunday morning. How much open his church anywhere towards not taking place on Sunday because I know a lot of folks struggle through, well, you know, going to church on, we want church to be on Sunday, but how much are you guys open it up towards: No, this is taking it to people. So it's whenever,

Tyler Samson: 28:11 two out of 14 campuses around Sunday. Right now they're 12. A lot of them were on Tuesdays. I don't know how that, we ended up with that, but it was like one worked on Tuesday. So now every leader's like church anywhere days Tuesday, but the Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday right now and soon to be Monday. Monday is the next one coming. So,

Jeff Reed: 28:37 so what, what are the two that are on Sunday? Is that, are those like just in homes where people are used to the...

Tyler Samson: 28:43 one of, is that at home? I'm the one is that a place, uh, at a Rehab Center for people who have Huntington's disease. Um, so these are fully functioning adults that their bodies are shutting down on them as the Huntington. These diseases, terrible. They can't really get out, but they, um, they're all there mentally and uh, we have them at 17 of them that meet at that facility each week. Pretty Amazing.

Jeff Reed: 29:04 Yeah. I'm just curious, did somebody just wake up and have a heart to want to do it at a Huntington disease? Yeah.

Tyler Samson: 29:10 We had a, we had a lady who is a nurse there that would have kept having to miss. Church on Sunday. So she took her iPad, plugged it into the television and said, hey, anybody want to come to church with me? And they all started coming. So then we staffed it and resource it and uh, uh,

Jeff Reed: 29:25 that, that's like the greatest story I've ever heard. Somebody who has to work on Sunday missing church and she's like, hey, we're just going to do church here. And, and your church actually like allows it and research to do ministry.

Tyler Samson: 29:40 Well, I mean those, those 17 people are, um, are people that need the gospel as well and they're never going to step in at, in our church because they can't. And so I would absolutely sacrifice one family that can't come to our church service for another 17 people to hear about Jesus every single time.

Jeff Reed: 29:57 And, and what's, what I love about this and just we could, this is a whole other show is, is that your church is on the smaller side of the equation. What are you at 900 people? So this is not a church with a ton of resources. Um, but what you've got, you're, you're aggressively using to through church, online, through church, anywhere to get the message out there in front. Like, just real quickly, what, what challenges have you overcome? I'm like small church to this, to this vehicle that's reproducing church and micro location.

Tyler Samson: 30:32 Yeah. Have you ever heard of Cordon either one of you Cordon Indiana has, where we're located? No, I had never heard of it either before I took this job. So there's no feel bad. But, um, cordon is a really, really small town on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. Um, so it's about 30 minutes from Louisville, so we're close to a big city, but we're really, really small. Um, so three years ago when we started streaming our internet speed, um, download was one megabit per second. Uh, so we obviously couldn't stream here. So what we would do was we would capture our Saturday night service and post produce it. So we multitrack it, it, um, we mixed all of it. Um, and then we had it ready for Sunday morning. We would drive to the worship Pastor's house on Sunday morning who had faster internet. We had stream from there and make it back in time to start the third service.

Tyler Samson: 31:25 Um, so in between first and second and third services, we would stream at his house and make it back in time. So that's definitely a challenge that we've overcome. And we finally had, um, fiber internet come through our area and we jumped on board right away. So now we're totally alive. Everything we do is happening in real time, which is awesome. That's great. Yeah, we used to multitrack because we didn't have the capability to mix in, in real time. We've since then have, it's been a little bit of money building a, a a, a separate broadcast mix studio, um, to make sure that the audio sounds good. You guys know that if audio sounds bad, then no matter how good the video looks, it's not a good video. MMM. So we be intentional about that. Um, so those are some big challenges. And just financially in general, we're on, we're a very blue collar society. Um, our, our kids in, in local schools, like 68% of them is a below the poverty level to have like free lunches and stuff. And so, um, it's just been a challenge to, uh, to try to resource things. Um, we can't really buy high end gear, but we can learn all about the gear that we have and use it to its full capacity. That's, that's just been the biggest challenge.

Rey DeArmas: 32:36 That's very encouraging know Tyler and especially for a lot of folks who are in communities like yours or everybody in church, no matter what size feels restrained in this particular area and the budget. And so it's always comforting to hear, hey, we're just trying to maximize resources wherever we're at. Um, if you were to engage as senior pastor and you were to encourage them, whether other church plant or even he's been around for awhile and he's already got the fear... but if they're not showing up in the room, how do I know if they're really involved in our church? What would be the feedback that you would give them to encourage them and say, hey, listen, this is legit.

Tyler Samson: 33:11 Yeah, I mean it's a real, it's a real scary thing for, for senior pastors, the whole idea of online church in general. It's like, ah, man, just stay home and watch it in pajamas. Um, but I truly believe that God has given us the Internet. Um, and one day we're going to stand before him and he's going to say, Hey, I gave you this avenue to literally finally bring the Gospel to everywhere in the world. Like you have the opportunity to do that. What did you do with it? Um, and

Jeff Reed: 33:40 Fortnight, yeah, we did Fortnite.

Tyler Samson: 33:44 Did you use it to just like mess around on tick tock or did you, did you use it to spread my gospel and uh, that's kind of where we, we have landed. So, um, it's been proven that it works for us. We had 49 people last year that it's not that they just raised a hand, it's, their lives are changed forever. Like this is not a, it's not a 10 minutes from now issue. It's an eternal issue and 49 people are now, I'm going to to worship Jesus forever. And that's a, that's a huge deal.

Jeff Reed: 34:16 That's good stuff man. Hey, let's listen. Thanks for, thanks for sharing. If, if there's, if people are interested in getting more information on, on church anywhere, um, what, where do they go? What do they need to do?

Tyler Samson: 34:27 Yeah, they can, they can reach out to me. They can reach out to you and you, you know, a ton about a micro sites and all that good stuff when we've chatted enough that you can put them in the right direction. I'm going to shamelessly plug something right now though. So in July, in July we are having a conference called the online church conference. My church is hosting it, uh, down here in the Louisville, Kentucky area. It's a one day with an optional stay over. Um, it's very affordable and we're going to talk a whole lot more about things like church, anywhere, things like how to get started with, uh, with producing a product that would work for church anywhere. Um, how to engage your community online. Uh, we got guys like Jay Kranda is going to be doing a keynote from Saddleback, um, uh, Jeff Reed who's on this podcast is going to be doing a keynote and a, some other guys that are going to be leading some killer workshops. So

Jeff Reed: 35:17 that's awesome. Thanks for doing this selfless plug. That ended up hitting me as well. So that worked well. No, listen, I'm excited. Uh, about, honestly, I'm excited. Everything about church anywhere. Like to me it's, it's the model because it's not a like you're not a mega church. I think 2000 is like the mega number, whatever it is that it constantly is evolving, but you're not a big church, but you're a church that has a vision for how online can resource and get people the Gospel and empower people to share the Gospel and get connected. And so like, it's not a virtual building you're trying to gather people into. The beauty of this is that you're empowering, you know, these 14 people to be campus pastors at different locations scattered around. And some woman who works as a, as a, uh, a technician or a nurse at a Rehab Center for Huntington's disease...

Jeff Reed: 36:14 I mean it's, it's like my gosh, if, why would I not as a pastor want to do this? And it's, and it's, it's very few churches right now that have a vision like from top to bottom where it's let's go. I was at a conference last week and, and I met at a church in, in New England and he's been, he's been the pastor, lead pastor. He's been wrestling with this for about six months. And the deal where he's at is, is, um, and we'll probably get him on the show at some point, but he literally, he's, he's saying the question, 98% of people in New England are unchurched. They all hate church. They're not coming to my building. If I'm going to reach people, I can't get them in. I've got to figure out how to take church to them. And now he's starting to do your model.

Jeff Reed: 37:03 Like I'm literally at describing to him what you're doing, Tyler. Of, of, of taking a tr, using Church online to take gospel, create these micro locations around Francis Chan, uh, evangelism of the future doesn't happen in our temples and cathedrals, but in our living rooms, in our homes. Yeah. And so the idea of empowering people with Church, with the Gospel to not just watch a service but disciple someone man is, is, is phenomenal. It's super exciting and I'm glad. I met ya I'm glad you're doing it. And uh, keep going. Keep, keep pushing on this because you're setting the standard right now that other churches are looking at and they're wondering, man, can, can I do this? Um, and so if for more information, check out that conference, uh, what, what website should they go to on that? Yeah, it's churchonline.me. Churchonline.me. So we'll, yeah, we'll put that in the show notes and, and, and some other things. And we'll link to the church anywhere site as well, uh, for that. And, and uh, Tyler's, um, you know, social media and all that. We'll include in there and it's going to be awesome. Well guys, thank you for the time and any closing thoughts before we wrap?

Tyler Samson: 38:20 I think we about covered it.

Jeff Reed: 38:23 Awesome, man. I appreciate you guys. Tyler, thanks again, ray. Thanks for jumping in and, uh, we'll see you guys next time. Thanks.

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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 Church Online.

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