Content channels moderated by field experts will aggregate high-quality thought leadership specifically geared to church planters
This week, Exponential debuts a new website strategy, bringing together quality thought leadership from respected partner ministries known in their field—experts Exponential is calling Channel Curators. Links to the different channels including Church Planting, Culture, Discipleship, Leadership, Missional, MultiEthnic, Multisite, Multiplication, Personal Calling) can be accessed from the new Exponential.org home page. Each channel has been designed to offer a continuous flow of high-quality content geared to church planters, as well as ongoing libraries of archived content. Exponential has plans for increasing the number of channels in the future.
Shawn Lovejoy, Directional Leader for CouragetoLead.com has partnered with Exponential to serve as the channel strategy coordinator. In the interview below, Shawn, and Exponential Director Todd Wilson, talk about the new initiative and the value it will bring to planters. They also speak about how this new strategy will allow Exponential to focus increased time, energy and resources on its mission of church multiplication and equipping churches to become Level 5 multipliers.
Tell us about this new initiative and what users can expect.
Shawn: The best way I can describe it is like changing the channel on a cable network. What if you could on-demand tune into a relevant, focused, continuous flow of trusted content in a specific sector of the faith community? If you’re interested in multi-site, tune into that channel. Multiethnic? Tune into that channel. What if you could access every “genre,” or expression of church planting in one place? Each channel brings an integrated feed for an entire sector, offering links and commentary to the latest podcasts, videos, research, book releases and reviews, resources, blog posts, conferences, photos, etc.
Exponential is a church planting organization. What inspired Exponential to do this, to build channels for not only church planting, but also other areas?
Todd: One thing that distinguishes Exponential from most other groups is our mission to aggregate, moderate and distribute thought leadership. We’re not in competition with anyone to plant churches. Instead our role is to equip the leaders who are planting churches across a broad range of networks and denominations (currently over 100 different ones). The way we do that is by distributing thought leadership in many forms including conferences, podcasts, eBooks, books, articles, and other resources.
Our challenge in the past has been to moderate and screen content before distribution. We know that not all content has the same quality. By partnering with channel curators who are passionate about a specific area and who share our value of aggregation, we will increase the quantity AND quality of thought leadership we are able to distribute across a growing number of content channels. Our trusted curators will significantly increase our capacity for aggregation, moderation and distribution.
So this multi-channel strategy is really birthed from what we’ve been doing and what we’ve learned. We’re basically decentralizing the aggregation of content to trusted partners, but then syndicating the content through the Exponential distribution network.
Shawn, what inspired you to get involved?
I’m doing what I do now for a living with CouragetoLead.com, because I love church planters. I love pastors. When Todd began to talk to me about this idea, I saw so much value in exposing planters to issues and topics they don’t really think about when planting a church. When I planted Mountain Lake Church 17 years ago, I knew one model. Even today, most planters usually go in with one model in mind. To me, the great value of this channel strategy is exposing church planters to different expressions and issues related to church planting than they would have ever known about—all in one place. I’m excited to assist with that!
Why did Exponential decide to work with Channel Curators)?
Todd: Over the years, Exponential has built a large network of relationships with other thought leaders whose missions are important to multiplication. We thought: “What if we could tap into syndicating an aggregation of content from a given area where there’s already a trusted partner who is putting a filter on the quality part?” that is what we’ve done. This allows us to increase the quantity of high-quality content we’re aggregating, moderating and distributing. The accumulation of content is greater than what Exponential could aggregate on its own
What have these channel curators been charged with doing?
Shawn: As Todd said, each channel curator is a trusted moderator who is passionate about their sector. These ministries will be seeking out and highlighting the broad range of voices, resources and thoughts in their area. They’ll also moderate an ongoing online conversation of the channel content, ensuring that content-rich, relevant information is always flowing.
Will the content from these various channel curators gear specifically to church planters?
Shawn: The lion’s share of our curators are practitioners, and many have planted their own churches so they have a unique understanding of what church planters are facing. My role is to make sure the content they highlight is truly aggregated content, and highly applicable to church planters.
Todd: I’ll add that we want to spend our time at Exponential helping moderate the applicability to planters. The idea is to go get the high-quality content and bring it to the church planter in ways that it’s focused on and relevant to them.
Shawn: We’ll have two kinds of content coming through—content these organizations deliberately and manually choose to put in front of planters that will be geared specifically to church planters. Additionally, every channel has included an RSS feed—to tons of relevant content related to that channel, so fresh content is constantly coming through. This is a must in this digital age we live in.
Todd: It’s like when you watch CNN or Fox News. The banner at the bottom is constantly scrolling with hot-off-the-press news items. Some of those items will be of interest to us, and others won’t, but it’s there if we want it.
So you anticipate these various channels to help church planters keep their finger on the pulse of things happening in a specific area, such as providing current news coverage that people are talking about like provocative blog posts that go viral, current hot issues, etc.?
Shawn: Our channel curators are passionate about their areas. These channel champions already have their finger on the pulse of their area of expertise. We want them staying on top of everything in the specific ways they already do that, and passing that on to ministry leaders.
Todd: Just as each of these channel champions is passionate about their area and wakes up every day thinking about their cause, we want to wake up every day doing the same thing on the multiplication front. Increasingly, we were finding that the more we worked on discipleship and leadership issues—all very important to church planting—the more we were distracted from our focus.
So by going with this channel strategy, we get the best of both. We really are going to narrow our focus on the original content we create at Exponential to church multiplication and still give church planters the content they need in multiple areas. (Exponential is the channel champion for the church multiplication channel.) So for example, if there were some great new discipleship thing out there, in the past we would have tried to cover it. Now, we’re going to rely on the channel champion to do that because the Discipleship channel will be covering it and offering more high-quality insight and information than we could.
This truly is a game-changer for both Exponential and church planters.
Exponential.org Channel Curators:
Church Planting: Passion for Planting
Missional: Forge America
MultiEthnic: Mosaix Global Network
Multisite: MultiSite Solutions