A few of our team after work with some of our spouses this fall in San Antonio. I love that even after work, we can share life together.
Last winter I was working through some major decisions in my professional life. I had decided after much prayer and seeking of wise counsel that I would be resigning to make room for new leadership. I needed to determine the next step. I had begun making a few phone calls to friends to put the word out.
One person I called was my friend Andy Ivankovich. I had hired his company three years ago to help us build a new communication platform for the Free Methodist Church and we remained friends and collaborators since then. I asked Andy to prayas Micki and I were trying to discern what the next step on our journey was going to be. As we talked, Andy told me the previous night he had talked to his wife about the growth happening in his company and where it needed to head. To get to the next level, he said to his wife Missy, “I need someone with executive leadership experience, who understands technology, who’s missional, but also has a pastor’s heart.” Missy’s reply: “Good luck with that”. Less than 24 hours later, I called. That was the beginning of a conversation which eventually lead me to Upper Room Technologies.
You’re Doing What?
How do you mash up empowerment, vision, technology and the church and make a living? I think the best way to describe what I do is to give some bullets:
- I build relationships with non-profits to see if our company can help them raise money, rebrand, develop communication strategies, etc
- I help lead parts of our company in some project management spaces.
- I work with some amazing people to help promote and market Media Fusion, a media streaming platform that was designed for the church, but is beginning to reach into other markets.
- I do whatever the company needs me to at anytime to help it succeed. (That’s a fancy way of “other duties as assigned”)
- When in San Antonio, I am the official coffee barista.
How does this look? Here’s a quick story: After I said yes to this role, I was contacted by a friend who runs a non-profit in Africa. He was needing someone to help them with marketing, strategy and fundraising. We began working with the group to see if we could partner with them. We offered tohelp with analysis of their current structures, how they can become more efficient, re-brand and build websites, build fundraising platforms, produce all of their videos, etc. Basically, a full-court press. We’d even build them systems they could use in Africa to help with micro enterprise solutions. We’d help them tell amazing stories of transformation. So we’d help them from high-level strategy to building systems and solutions. Sound fun? Sure does to me. Fills my tank.
The company is also working on developing a platform that pulls together all of the needs in a city through their non-profits and matches them with resources in the church. It’s a platform that has the potential to transform cities. It sounds like Acts 2 – happening today. I want to be a part of that.
This week I’m focused on a nationwide promotion of Media Fusion, our live streaming platform. I’m making sales calls with the team, working on larger streaming partnerships and locking up some deals with conferences to stream and present. We’re reaching out to churches all over the US to offer free streaming of their Christmas services. The goal: Get as many churches streaming services all over the world at Christmas for the greatest Kingdom exposure ever.
Are You Moving To Texas?
When peoplefind out I’m working for a company in Texas, the natural question is: “Are you moving?” The answer: No. I successfully worked for FMCUSA in Indianapolis (four hours from my home) for four years and didn’t relocate. The kind of work I do doesn’t necessitate relocation at this time. But, we’re open. And dang, Texas is really cool. Actually, it’s really HOT! Who knows? Right now my posture is to be obedient to the Father’s call today. So the answer is: Not yet. I travel there monthly to work with the team in San Antonio. It’s life-giving. But I also enjoy coming home to my family and community in Spring Arbor, MI. It keeps me grounded. Plus, my wife is a rock-star teacher in the local schools and I have a junior in high school. So I work in my basement, Starbucks, on campus at Spring Arbor University, airports, and hotels. Primarily I work from home and travel as needed. It’s not the rhythm for everyone. But it works for me.
Why Did You Join Upper Room Technologies?
I said yes to what I’ve called a “Ten Year Old Startup” because of two factors: The mission of the company and the CEO, Andy Ivankovich. Andy is a Spirit-filled entrepreneurial leader who inspires me. Of all of the learning I’ve done on leadership and innovation in the past twenty years, I’m learning new things from Andy. He wants to win. He wants to resource the church in ways it hasn’t been resourced yet. He cares deeply about Kingdom. He’s a servant leaders who makes significant sacrifices for the greater good. For me, he’s the kind of leader I want to both lead with and follow.
I also joined URT is because of it’s mission. Knowing my Strengths Finders #1 is Belief, mission matters to me. I can’t have a job where I just punch a clock. It would kill me. Dr. Gayle Beebe, coined a phrase “Meaningful work with meaningful people.” Meaning matters to me. Mission matters. So to know that I could help empower people, solve big problems, work with like-minded people and make a mark in the World for the better, I was more than ready to sign up. It’s what I loved about working in higher education. It’s what I loved about working for a denomination. And it’s what I love about working at Upper Room Technologies.