April 17-18, 2015
The MMF Consultation is the key gathering for people interested in learning how to use mobile technology for the kingdom! Our prayer is to establish a mobile ministry movement so that every unreached person will have a chance to encounter Christ and His kingdom in a compelling, contextualized fashion through their personal mobile device by the end of 2020!
Program: The 2015 Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation will meet in Zelhem, Holland from Friday, April 17 (8:00 a.m.) to Saturday, April 18 (4:30 pm). The format includes TED-style presentations, discussion, ministry field reports, workshop breakouts and networking time. Here is the work-in-progress schedule (Google doc may require log-in).
- Advocate / Catalyze: Challenge and resource the Church towards investigating and initiating mobile ministry.
- Equip: Resource the Church with the knowledge and tools needed for implementing mobile ministry. Provide training on specific areas deemed critical (mobile site development, texting ministry, etc).
- Collaborate: Establish and deepen relationships with others active in mobile ministry. Create a context for greater partnering. Advance the work of collaborative projects (in-progress and new initiatives).
- Anticipate: Identify and leverage emerging trends and technologies with potential impact on future ministry opportunities.
Participants: Leading thinkers and practitioners from diverse organizations will gather. We hope to have 100 leading mobile ministry innovators to join us this year both in-person and remotely. Remote participants will be able to receive a live feed for the main sessions.
History: The first Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation was held in Ringold, VA, in December, 2010 and drew 16 mission strategists representing 15 organizations. This gathering grew out of an increasing interest in the mobile device and its implications for Great Commission ministry. A second consultation took place in Waxhaw, NC, in December, 2011 involving 50 participants. The third consultation took place at Wycliffe Bible Translators in December 2012 with 119 participants from 57 organizations. The fourth consultation took place in Orlando at Wycliffe with 132 participants from 85 organizations. Here are the executive summaries from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Venue: De Betteld – Zelhem, Holland.
- $25 (remote participant). Live Internet access to all main sessions.
- $75 (single) / $110 (couple). Early Registration (through February 13, 2015).
- $95 (single) / $140 (couple). Normal Registration (February 14 – March, 2015).
- $120 (single) / $180 (couple). Late Registration (April 2015).
- $50 (Roma partnership one-day fee). This is for Roma partnership participants who may wish to join us on Saturday, April 18 only since their partnership meeting will be on Friday.
The consultation fee does not include housing. Like EMDC, we keep costs as low as possible to allow a larger number of participants. Though shorter than EMDC, the MMF Consultation is more expensive. The majority of the consultation team volunteer their time, but we have found a few roles are key to remunerate. EMDC is large enough to receive free meeting space whereas we are not eligible (meeting room costs alone are €1,510). We are making our “work-in-progress” operating budget available here for anyone wishing to understand our costs (Google doc may require a log-in).
One-time site use fee (wifi, towels, linens): €21,50
Single room in a shared chalet: €52,50
Double room shared in a shared chalet: €45
Single small room with a bunk bed in a shared chalet: €45
Room in the Inn with four bunk beds: €32,50
Housing rate includes one night’s housing and dinner, breakfast, lunch and coffee/tea breaks. Housing will be booked directly with De Betteld. Go to the registration site to register. There you will find the link to secure housing.
Refunds: Through February 14: 75%. Through March 14: 50%. After March 14 : 0%.
Air (arrival): The venue is two+ hours from Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport) or Dusseldorf International Airport. It is important that you determine to arrive on the designated arrival dates early enough to get to the venue.
Air (departure): Trains from Doetinchem commence at approx 6:00 am. We may have a bus depart straight to Schiphol Airport for an additional fee (to be determined once registrations start coming in).
Ground: The nearest town to the venue is Zelhem. The nearest train access to Zelhem is the town of Doetinchem. Participants are asked to make their way to Doetinchem from whichever hub they are flying in to. Doetinchem is accessible from any of the major airports via Arnhem by train. The conference center, De Betteld, will operate a shuttle bus from the town of Doetinchem. It is very important that you include your arrival information when you register (you may log-in at a later date if you don’t have that available upon registration.
Keynote Presenters: (additional names will be added as they are confirmed)
Carol and Calvin Conkey
Workshop Presenters: (additional names will be added as they are confirmed)
Jay Clark: Jay focuses on Mobile Initiatives in the Learning Technologies division at Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF-LT offers educational and technical expertise to ministries reaching isolated pastors and church leaders. Jay is the product manager for Estante, an Android digital library tool developed by MAF-LT. Jay has a background in modern web development and technical writing and currently enjoys mobile web development. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and mountain biking or snow skiing.
Brian James: Brian serves with Frontiers, an organization whose vision is to, “with love and respect, invite all Muslim peoples to follow Jesus.” He worked in business & I.T. consulting for nearly 10 years before moving to Central Asia, where he was involved in church planting efforts for 12 years before returning to the U.S. In addition to completing a degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, he has been working for the past several years on a team that is helping his organization, and others, apply knowledge stewardship (management) principles & practices to mission. His current focus is on the use of mobiles & media in ministry to Muslim peoples.
About the Consultation: “The content was exceptionally good and I’m still amazed at the quality of the participants and the key ministries represented. Of all the different conferences I attended this year–and I do this a lot–yours was overall the most valuable experience (especially pound for pound!)” Tom Watkins, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, TWR
- Written by Keith Williams
Here are my picks for a mobile ministry top ten for 2014 (not in rank order):
1) Mobile/digital Bible translation and distribution got a big boost with the release of the TranslationStudio and Unfolding Word apps as well as launch of the BibleTransMission website. Expect yet more developments next year with the launch of new products like the Scripture App Builder and Dictionary App Builder from other sources. Read more on Bible Translation 3.0 here
3) I find myself having to agree with CNET in calling 2014- The Year of the Hack. The digital world’s inherent insecurity became so much more obvious in 2014 with Snowden revelations, the Sony breach, news of U.S. authorities intercepting phone calls from planes , Stanford researchers telling us that the gyroscopes on our smartphones can record whatever we say, and news that even your trusted iPhone may not be as secure as you thought.
4) PTL, 2014 saw a huge increase in privacy services and products being offered. It’s great to see that WhatsApp (for Android only) and the latest Android and iOS operating systems are now auto encrypted. Most likely a combination of public disclosure of their previous privacy weaknesses as well as growing competition from smaller companies offering more secure services has led to these changes. Secure messaging has been a hot area for development in 2014 with SnapChat crashing and burning famously and exciting new services like Firechat and multiple other secure messaging services being released.
5) In the content sphere, we have seen the continued growth of visual media at the expense of textual. The slide from long e-mails to short Facebook posts to 140 character Tweets to posting a picture on Instagram (possibly with some text) illustrates it well as does the growth in the percentage of internet usage dedicated to video streaming (with mobile taking an ever greater percentage of overall viewing). I am excited that ministries are taking that to heart and promoting DIY visual media creation as well as offering training on how that can be done using mobile devices.
6) Wearables failed to launch. This was the year Google Glass was meant to be launched to the public- it wasn’t. This was the year Apple revealed its “Watch” and Samsung and others launched “revolutionary” new iWatches but the general public didn’t seem to notice or care. That said, fitness wristbands do seem to be catching on somewhat and Sony has just released details on an interesting “clip-on” Glass type device. The future could still be wearables but it just happens to still be the future, not 2014.
7) Smartphones start to truly dominate the personal media sphere, putting a hurting on feature phones as smartphone prices drop and they begin to outsell feature phones nearly two to one (64% to 34%) and tablets as growing smartphone screen sizes (for instance the iPhone 6+- 5.5” and Google Nexus 6- 6”) give people less reason to want/use a tablet.
8) Just in case it wasn’t clear by the end of 2013, Android completed its world domination of smartphone operating systems in 2014. We have ended up in a situation quite similar to that found in personal computers where Microsoft Windows takes the lion’s share and Apple’s Mac takes the high-end users except, for smartphones ,it is Google Android taking the lion’s share while Apple’s iOS takes the high end users.
9) With four billion people of the world’s 7.1 billion people still not connected to the internet industry giants like Google, Mozilla and Facebook doubled down on connecting “the next billion” through offering cheaper smartphones (Android One, Firefox Phone, etc.) as well as exploring ways to make the internet more accessible (http://Internet.org)
10) As much as many might want them to die and go away, in 2014 feature phones continued to hold on as the (extremely) dominant connected device in the emerging world, where most of the unreached live. In the industrialized world the penetration rate for smartphones is 83% while in the emerging world it is only 19%. Ministries have told me for five years now that we need to ignore feature phones and focus on smartphones and tablets- that statement is as untrue today as it was five years ago. While the writing is on the wall for the final demise of feature phones this decade if you failed to target them in 2014 you failed to reach the majority of the unreached.
I would love to get a conversation started. What do you think were the top mobile ministry related developments of 2014? Any strong disagreements with the above? Comment below or post your thoughts on Twitter using the #topmobmin2014 hashtag.
- Written by Keith Williams
Some of the top items posted on Twitter with the #mobmin (mobile ministry) hashtag this past week:
Cybersecurity Expert Gary Miliefsky (on malicious apps)
- Written by Keith Williams
Here's a smattering of things they'e tweeted about this past week:
Technology harnessed to spread Gospel in Asia
- Written by Keith Williams
Check back here regularly for additional blog entries about mobile ministry.