Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend the Christian Leadership Alliance Outcomes conference in Dallas, Texas. Each year we look forward to this opportunity to learn alongside some of the nation’s top Christian leaders and discover ways that our organizations can work together. As always, this year’s conference was educational and inspiring, and while we walked away with a million small takeaways, here are the top three themes we’ll be thinking about for the next weeks and months to come:
1. Ministries need technology.
Call us biased, but as a MarTech firm, this is something we're particularly passionate about. However, we're not the only ones preaching the tech-savvy sentiment to nonprofits and ministries. Walt Wilson, founder of Global Media Outreach and former managing director of Apple, gave a general session talk on the importance of technology in today's ministry environment. He showed a projection of a world map, with real-time pinpoints appearing as people all over the globe accessed Christian content through Global Media Outreach. Wilson challenged organizations that technology is not just about networks or money, or even being hip and relevant, but using the tools available to us to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
In addition to Wilson's talk, educational workshops and training sessions were offered in the areas of marketing and technology, and CLA employed Textify to offer free downloads of book chapters or discounts on conference add-ons via text messaging. There is no question: understanding and using technology is critical for today's ministries, both for communication with supporters and for carrying out their missions.
2. Collaboration matters.
There's something special about walking through the Hyatt lobby during the CLA conference. High top tables are filled with coffee cups and groups catching up about ministry. Couches hold teams of leaders brainstorming ways their organizations can partner together. The Exhibit Hall offers the chance to browse a variety of services and resources specifically designed to help ministries. While the conference sessions and workshops offer encouraging and educational content, much of the magic happens in between sessions, as the event brings leaders together to collaborate and push their organizations forward.
As one of the companies providing resources and services for nonprofits and ministries, we love the chance to discover organizations, build relationships and find ways to partner together. We know that each of our missions can only be achieved through collaboration and the combination of each of our strengths, and we hope we can continue this collaboration long after the event.
3. Anything is possible.
During the final session of the conference, Christine Caine gave a powerful and challenging message about trusting God’s promises and not being afraid to take risks for His work. She encouraged us to remember how big God is and the plans He has for us if we’ll step out in faith.
Her message resonated with us, as we’ve been thinking a lot about what amazing things can happen when we all believe, together. In fact, we made a video about it, and we would love to hear YOUR story of how God has worked because you believed.
Did you attend #Outcomes15? What were your big takeaways?