A Note from Co-Founder Justin Dean
When you’re building a company, especially one where you’ve poured your heart and all your time and resources into it, you can sometimes get discouraged when others aren’t as passionate about it as you are. Maybe sales are lower than you’d hoped, or you get a bad review, or a nasty comment on a Facebook post. You start to doubt whether you are you going to make as big of a difference as you had set out to make.
Maybe you can relate. We’ve certainly hit a few of those bumps while building That Church Conference over the past two years. It’s the natural progression of any company, and it’s one of the fastest ways to kill a good idea.
By the grace of God alone, I’m proud to say we have continued to power through every weak moment and every hurdle, not that there have been many. Our conferences and workshops have received high praise and great favor so far, and we are incredibly grateful for it. What’s more, great companies like Tithe.ly have seen the value in partnering with us. There’s something special about another company trusting you and believing in what you are doing. Our sponsors are the best!
As we start to think about wrapping up the year, I am more excited for the future of this company than I have ever been. And I am extremely encouraged by the outpouring of support and the excitement that the members of our growing community continually share with us.
What Van and I are trying to build is dear to our hearts, but it’s so much bigger than that. We help digital communicators tell the best story the church has to tell – and we believe there is no greater task on Earth.
I never get tired of hearing, “I’ve finally found my people,” when someone new discovers one of our events or signs up for a PRO account. It gives me life, and it keeps me up at night trying to think of how we can continue to serve them better.
So what’s next?
We’re a small team – it’s literally just Van and I – so we can only accomplish so much, but we have big dreams and enough hustle and coffee to try and make them happen. Plus we have a lot of great friends who have been so supportive and generous with their help.
Here’s what we have planned next:
- Annual Conference: We will continue to host the best digital communications conference for churches every year in our home town of Atlanta. That Church Conference is the only conference of its kind and we will continue to invest everything we have into bringing you the most practical church communications teaching out there. The 2017 conference is going to be our best one yet, with practitioners like Jeff Henderson, Katie Allred, Sly King, Beau Coffron, and Kenny Jahng taking a hands-on approach with you and your team. Based on your feedback we’ll have more breakouts, better seating, and even more opportunities to network and engage with other church practitioners.
- Regional Workshops: Our first regional workshop in Chicago was a huge hit last May. People enjoyed the smaller gathering that allowed us to huddle up in groups and solve problems together. We will continue to host regional workshops every quarter, with San Diego, Chicago, and Nashville in 2017. Our goal is to come to more and more cities every year (Dallas and Philadelphia are at the top of my list).
- Live Streaming: We streamed the last conference online and saw the value in bringing the live experience into your offices and churches. Going forward, thanks to the generosity of our friends at Tithe.ly, we will be live streaming all of our events. Now every church in America can experience That Church Conference or one of our workshops. You don’t have to wait for an event to sell out either – purchase your live stream tickets now.
- Online Media Library: Recently we made some big changes to our website, particularly for our PRO members who pay to access great communications resources and all of our conferences on video. We’ve simplified the site and made it easier to use, with our primary focus on the media library. Over the next few months we will continue to pour into the site, adding fresh new content and better features to help you find the resources you need. For less than $500 a year you can get access to videos from all of our events on-demand, free books, free social media graphics for your church, additional training videos, and so much more. Plus PRO members get free access to all of our live streams!
- New! Coaching: Lastly, and I’m super excited about this one, we plan to launch a coaching network early next year. You’ll be able to join a virtual small group with other church practitioners, led by an experienced coach who will walk you through monthly training. We think this is going to be a great tool for all the small to medium sized churches who can benefit from having some extra attention and ability to collaborate with others. Stay tuned as we release more info in the coming weeks.
Thank you for being a part of our community and letting us speak into your lives. Together we can help the church get better at telling the best story there is to tell, and reach more people than we’ve ever reached before.