Posts

614 – Glide

On WELSTech this week we focus on mobile app creation using Glide. It’s ease of use, versatility, and price tag (free!!) make it a great candidate for building apps for ministry. We’ll hear from two men who are using Glide in the high school setting. Spark your own app development effort with the resources and ideas from this week’s episode.

The discussion & interview:

Go mobile – Martin and Sallie discuss the features of Glide App, a free tool for developing mobile apps driven by data in Google Sheets. Teachers Carl Hochmuth from Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, WI and Jonathan Witte from Luther High School in Onalaska, WI share their experience using Glide apps in their ministry settings.

Glide Apps Examples

News in tech:

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Gospel Outreach With Media – Fall 2019 Online Conference

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Check out the latest updates to Glide Apps with this Data Editing playlist of video tutorials.

Next time:

We talk edtech with Jason Schmidt!

Get involved:

612 – Be a Social Media Maker

WELSTech is back with a timely discussion topic of social media for churches as you head into the busy holiday season. Martin shares what interests him from the recent Amazon event, and Sallie has lots of options for listening to the Bible. Christian apologetics is in the limelight (and the video archives) following the recent Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Symposium on the topic. And the WELSTech community feedback is great, as usual!

The discussion & interview:

Get Social – Martin and Sallie share tips for enhancing your church or school’s social media presence. Also Trish Nitschke, Social Media Manager for Time of Grace, joins the conversation to share her social media expertise.

News in tech:

Echo everything

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

5 Audio Bible Listening OptionsOverview video

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Learn more about the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Symposium on Apologetics from this Together Video update.

Get involved:

610 – The Word And Your Photos

This cat-friendly WELSTech school-year season opener marks the return of our extended format, including news in tech, WELS now, and ministry resources. We’re talking about apps for creating verse images, updates to the Google Lectionary Calendar, and church video connections. Plus, we are happy to welcome Dr. Tom Kuster to the conversation as he shares details on an extended-reality-in-ministry project!

The discussion:

Sample Bible Lens verse image featuring Mia Draper – Click to view larger

Create verse images – A smartphone can fill a key role in church, school, and personal communication efforts. Martin and Sallie discuss the many apps that make it easy to create images with Bible text overlaid, perfect for sharing on social media.

The interview:

How can XR technology be used to serve the Lord? – Dr. Tom Kuster from the Christ in Media Institute shares details on their current XR (extended reality) Project and Festival and how schools can get involved. The first 10 schools to sign up will receive a $200 Oculus-GO VR headset to further their research.

News in tech:

The Google Lectionary Calendar has been updated with the next three church years! Learn more on the WELSTech Wiki.

WELS now:

WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership – Register now for early bird pricing

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

WELSTech Challenge Album – Search flickr using WELSTechPhotoChallenge

Community feedback:

Featured video:

This week we feature a double-header of congregation “Connection” video examples. First up is the Fall 2019 Good Shepherd Connect from Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls, SD.

And second is the September 2019 Pilgrim Connection from Pilgrim, Menomonee Falls, WI.

Get involved:

532 – Sharpening Your Bible Study

If there is one skill you want sharp, it’s Bible Study. Today’s technology tools make that easier than ever with online bibles, bible studies, tools, and more. Today’s picks are “google-centric” and there’s a great interview with Pastor Brock Groth, the man behind understandchristianity.com.

The discussion:

Rooted and built up – The topic of “Sharpening Your Skills” naturally leads the Christian to consider ways to grow their knowledge of God’s Word. Martin and Sallie discuss digital Bible features, resources from WELS and Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) for being in the Word, and ways to incorporate Bible study into meetings, journaling and social media.

The interview:

Understand Christianity – Pastor Brock Groth from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, CA shares the story behind his website, UnderstandChristianity.com. What started as a book effort is now an informative site, featuring notes from Pastor Groth’s Seminary studies transformed into informative posts on Bible teachings and popular Timelines.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Shepherd’s Staff 2018

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Minnesota District President Charles Degner’s sermon on 1 Peter 1:10-12 is a great encouragement study God’s Word, our great heritage! Watch the archived live stream of the MN District Reformation 500 service from the The Chapel of the Christ at Martin Luther College. The sermon begins at the 1:02:00 mark in the video.

 Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 533 – Helping others sharpen their skills can be a challenge. Tune in for a WELSTech discussion on the topic. Release date: Wednesday, January 24.

Get involved:

Worship Helps

During weekly worship, Christians join with other believers in prayer and praise to God. More importantly, they join with other believers to hear the Word of God. One way the Word is proclaimed during worship is through the assigned readings from the Bible for the particular day in the church year.

Using WELS Worship Helps, Christians can prepare their hearts for worship by studying the assigned readings in advance. Worship Helps are released weekly, on the Monday prior to worship. They are available on the WELS.net web site as well as via e-mail subscription.

Each week, the Worship Helps introduction identifies a theme that runs through the various Bible readings for the week. Each reading is followed by questions and answers related to the reading, and both traditional and supplemental readings are included in Worship Helps.

Application/audience

Personal and group Bible study can be designed around Worship Helps. Time spent studying the worship passages is later reinforced and magnified in the Christian’s worship experience. Share links to the resource in e-newsletters and via social media channels to encourage others to use it to prepare for worship. Consider using Worship Helps for church and school faculty/staff devotion or family devotion.

We actually use Worship Helps in the WELS Technology office for team devotion to start our weekly staff meetings. Different team members volunteer to read the passages ,and we discuss the questions (before looking at the answers) as a group. When the reading comes up in church the next Sunday, I’m always excited to hear it and learn more about it through the songs and sermon for the week.

Related resources

Additional Bible study and devotional resources from WELS include ..

See All Ministry Resources

Reftagger

Reftagger is a simple utility that allows webmasters or blog writers easily and automatically to link Bible references to the entire verse or verses. The way the utility works is the site visitor will see any Bible reference appear as a link, and when they hover their mouse over the link a small box will pop up over the link with the Bible verse displayed in the desired translation. The pop up box also allows the user to visit Biblia.com to see the verse or other version, in addition to click on icons that give them a chance to share the verse on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook or Google.

Adding the Reftagger functionality is as easy as copying and pasting a script tag, or installing a plugin to WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. It takes very little technical expertise. See the screencast below for a quick run through of how to set it up.

There will be times that you will want to physically include the entire Bible verse(s) in your web page or blog post, but if you are looking for an automated way to allow site visitors to easily see any reference you happen to include, this would be well worth the effort to include it.

See All Ministry Resources

Free Bible Images

Teachers of all flavors recognize the importance of having just the right image to support the lesson they are preparing. And the fact that cameras are a rather recent invention in relation to the full historic timeline limits the ability to do a quick Internet search and find the perfect photo for every lesson. This is especially true when it comes to images from Bible times, and it makes FreeBibleImages.org a highly recommended ministry resource.

Application/audience

The site name is self-explanatory. It exists to share all types of images of the Bible for my favorite price … FREE!! The image sets have a variety of copyrights associated with them, from public domain to creative commons by attribution and non-commercial to copyright retained and only accessible for education purposes, so read carefully and take steps to comply. It’s well worth the effort as most are provided in two aspect ratios – 4:3 and 16:9 – and in Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF and JPG formats. Something to fit all those flavors of teachers mentioned earlier!

I prepared a quick overview video to orient you to the site offerings. I’d welcome comments on how you use Free Bible Images in your ministry setting!

See All Ministry Resources

481 – All In On Texting

WELSTech this week is a walk through an awesome variety of feedback from our listeners including great tips, websites, and many other ministry resources. Martin and Sallie share their own favorites as well as spend some time talking about texting for ministry.

The discussion:

Exploring – The monthly WELSTech community feedback episode is overflowing with new tech-in-ministry ideas to explore.

WELS now:

Interactive Faith Bible Study

  • Rev. Randy Hunter leads “Mysterious Marriage”
  • February 1 – 22 – Wednesdays at 6 and 8 pm Central

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Featured video:

Learn more about church copyright from the Christian Copyright Solutions webinar, Understanding the Copyright Complexities of a Galaxy Far, Far Away, the newest addition on the WELSTech Presentation/Teaching playlist on YouTube.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 482 – Edtech week rolls around again next week, and we’ll be discussing wearable technology with Jason Schmidt. Release date: Wednesday, February 1.

Get involved:

Bible Keyboard

More and more communication is happening from our mobile devices – text, e-mail and social media posts. The YouVersion Bible app team recently added features which allow iOS users to easily incorporate God’s Word in their mobile communication via a new Bible Keyboard.

Application/audience

The Bible Keyboard takes advantage of Apple’s third-party keyboards function which is built into iOS version 8 and higher. iPhone and iPad users may activate the keyboard in Settings. With the Bible Keyboard activated, Christians can easily inject the truths of God’s Word into their mobile communications. The video embedded below walks through the activation process, and demonstrates how to use the Bible Keyboard functionality.

Related resources

In addition to the Bible Keyboard, you can also easily add verse images in the iMessage texting app which is built into iOS. The minimum requirement is iOS 10 for this functionality.

See All Ministry Resources

478 – 2017: Focus on Ministry Resources

WELSTech starts the new year with a resolution — more and better ministry resources! We kick of the new year with a Bible reading plan and morning routine resources. Join us for 2017 as we find intersections between technology and ministry.

The discussion:

WELSTechversary – Martin and Sallie discuss the milestone 9th anniversary of the weekly WELSTech podcast and share plans for in-depth Ministry Resource posts in 2017.

The interview:

Sphero, my hero – Mark Meyer, Technology Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Greenvile, WI, shares his experience introducing coding at the grade school level using Code.org and Sphero, a small robot which lets students have a ball!

WELS now:

New Interactive Faith webcasts start February 1 at 6 pm and 8 pm CST

  • Led by Rev. Randy Hunter from St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Madison, WI
  • A study on enriching marriages. Couples will have the opportunity to build their marriage on the gospel of Jesus through the study entitled “Mysterious Marriage.” This study will examine how the gospel gives you the power to be married and how marriage gives you a way to show the gospel.

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Featured video:

Watch Immanuel is a Thankful Church!, shared by Mark Meyer and the newest addition to the WELSTech “Likes” list on Vimeo.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 479 – Martin and Sallie take a deep dive into using YouTube for ministry. Release date: Wednesday, December 11.

Get involved: