Many of you know me from my work in the non-profit world. I invested the first 15 years of my career working with not for profits and religious institutions, and I enjoyed it. I had a great time working with my team to come up with the most incredible thematic elements we could come up with for any given weekend topic. I enjoyed being able to play in a band from time to time when I wasn’t executive producing from the back of the room trying to keep things running smoothly. I even enjoyed being up on a ladder for 3 hours at a time plotting out a lighting diagram for an upcoming weekend event.

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Macro shot of my guitar by Brianne Liddick

There were many things that I enjoyed while serving in local church ministry, but as my last ministry position came to an end, we took a bit of time to evaluate our career paths.

We realized that over the past 15 years we had gathered a few miles.

  • Lived in 3 states
  • Lived in 5 different homes
  • Lived in 11 different homes on a temporary basis as we moved from job to job
  • I had worked with 4 different churches in 6 different ministry positions
  • Melissa had taught every elementary grade from 1-5 in all our moving around and even become a preschool director for a time
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Choir rehearsal before an event

We came to a few realizations.

  1. Moving Stinks – We were tired of making friends with people and then having to move away because of a job change.
  2. Family Matters – We wanted our kids to grow up knowing their extended family. Living close to family was super important to us.
  3. Indiana Just Fits Us – We tried out Minnesota and Michigan, and they like it cold. We apparently like it slightly less cold.

 

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Christmas Dinner Theatre Prep at Stoney Creek Church up in Michigan

So, we were left to tackle a couple of things as a family

  • What were we put on this Earth to do?
    • I have a firm belief that we all exist to accomplish the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. How we do that in our local setting differs for everyone, but for us that meant that we would be involved in helping others develop in their relationship with Christ and we would be worshipers.
  • How would we fulfill that?
    • In the second half of my church career, I was introduced to the idea of small groups in the local church. I fell in love with the idea of getting people in circles instead of rows and living out life together. It was something that Melissa and I got to do together, and we loved it.
  • How would we earn a living?
    • Yeah, so this is the big one, right? If I wasn’t going to earn my paycheck from the local church, how would I still afford house payments and keep our kids in Lego bricks?
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Weekend Service up in Minnesota

Skills & Abilities

As with any family that makes the transition from “church staff member” to “recovering former church staff member” we needed to do an assessment of our skills and abilities. There was one aspect of my job that I absolutely loved and wanted to do more of. That came in the form of continuous improvement. I absolutely love looking at something that is working and making it better or taking something that isn’t working and developing a strategy to turn it around. As the kids today would say, “That’s My Jam.” (Ok, I don’t know if the kids really say that, so I’m guessing I’m probably channeling Parks and Rec here.)

Another aspect of my job that I loved was working with outreach communications and digital marketing. I could lose myself for hours online looking at amazing websites and seeing how they worked to be effective at moving people. I loved working my way through the online presence of effective ministries and seeing how that improved their effectiveness. These things fascinated me, and it seemed that even though I worked at rather sizable churches, we never had the manpower or budget to make significant change.

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The Phone Call

While we were contemplating our next move, I got a phone call from one of my favorite people in the world, Bryan Mueller. Bryan works for American Metro, which is a fantastic cash register rental company up in Minnesota. Seriously, if you ever need to rent a cash register, call these guys. Bryan and I worked together in Minnesota, and now his company was looking for a new website. Bryan called to ask me if I could make sense of how the same website could be quoted by two different companies at $5,000 and $25,000 for their company. I took a look at the quotes and could see that both web companies were full of bologna.

One company didn’t give any type of specification about website length or function and wanted 25k. The other company laid out how big the site would be and who would write the content for each page, but didn’t have anything in the contract about what the site would be built to accomplish. I told him how I would do follow up questions with each and get the whole story they needed to make a decision. I hung up, and I was honored that he thought to ask me.

What I didn’t expect was about a week later when Bryan called back and said, “Hey man, these guys seem shady at best and working with them seems like a bad idea. Why don’t you quote this website and you do the web design? You’re not doing anything right now, right?”

Ha Ha. Not doing anything. Just pondering my existence and trying to determine the future of my family…

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That was the day that Fusion Creative was born. We quoted and won that web design contract and then got another one, then another one… you get the point. What started out just doing web design for a good friend ended up being our new venture. We are the proud owners of a digital marketing company that works with Churches, Not-For-Profits and Small to Medium Sized Businesses developing online marketing strategies that work. Want to get to know our company? Visit our website by clicking on this link. Come on over and check us out!

General curiosity not enough to get you to click over and see what we’re doing now? What if I said that we were giving away a free website in the next 18 days? Would that be enough reason to click on over to check it out? We’re giving away a free website with a year of hosting and maintenance to 1 lucky ministry, not-for-profit or small business, and you get to nominate them! Come on over and see what we’re up to, you may get a free website for you or someone you know.