Sihler Auditorium, May 7, 2011, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

How do we speak the Truth today? How does technology help us communicate? How does it get in the way of communication? How can the church use the opportunities around us to communicate the Truth in a post-Christian age? Join the discussion on May 7, where Dr. Lawrence Rast Jr., Kem Meyer and Rev. Bill Johnson will examine these issues and more. 




Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr. is the Academic Dean at Concordia Theological Seminary and Professor of American Christianity and American Lutheranism. Dr. Rast joined the Department of Historical Theology in the fall of 1996 after serving as pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, Madison, Tennessee (1992-96). He received his B.A. from Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois (1986), and his M.Div. (1990) and S.T.M. (1995) from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. In 2003, he earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Rast also serves the seminary as Associate Editor—Book Reviews of Concordia Theological Quarterly and seminary archivist. He is a member of the Board of Editorial Advisors for the journal Lutheran Quarterly and of the editorial committee of the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly. He is a faculty representative on the LCMS’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (2006- present) and is the Chairman of that commission (2010- present).


Kem Meyer is a recovering corporate spin doctor who used to think church was for out-of-touch people who just needed to “get a life.” Now? She believes the local church is the hope of the world — it just needs some help. As Communications Director at Granger Community Church, Kem leads creative, information and technology teams to champion a clear, cohesive and unified experience across departments and campuses. Her book, Less Clutter. Less Noise. (now in its fourth printing) provides simple insights for the not-so-simple art of communication to help churches, businesses and not-for-profits find ways to get the word out and, simply, do better.

Rev. Bill Johnson graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 2001.  He served as pastor of Zion Lutheran in Newnan, Georgia, until 2007.  Today he is a geek who happens to serve as Director of Distance Learning at CTS.  In addition to keeping the blinky lights blinking, he speaks to any audience willing to listen about the generational divide created by postmodernism and the ways the church can shine light in the midst of the relativistic fog.  He believes firmly that the combination of a post-Christian world and the explosion of communications technologies offers the church the single best opportunity it has ever had to reach a dying world.

He's never sailed around the world solo, climbed Mount Everest, nor been to Boston in the fall.  He does, however, spend much of his time finding new ways to speak the truth using technology to reach emerging generations.




How Did We Get Here?

How have the rapid technological changes of the 20th and 21st centuries affected the Christian Church? 


Less Clutter. Less Noise.

Every organization, especially the church, has to get over themselves and realize effective communications is really about “releasing the right response” not “sending the right message.” People are not looking for more information—they are looking for ways to survive too much information. Pastors, creative professionals, ministry leaders or volunteers part of the church should help people find those answers. Instead they end up adding to the confusion. Go beyond bulletins, brochures and bake sales and get to the heart of smart communication systems that help people connect with Christ and each other.



(Included in registration fee)



Social Media and Ministry

Do you have a love/hate relationship with Facebook? Are you looking for ways for the church and ministry leaders to effectively leverage blogs or Twitter? Do you fear virtual networks are a substitute for real relationships? This topic isn’t breaking news; the Blogosphere is 11-years-old, Facebook is six and Twitter is three. Yet I’m still hearing from church leaders almost daily who are either overwhelmed by, passionately against or ineffectively using social media. Adaptability is hard for any organization, especially one steeped in tradition like the church. How do you advocate the redemptive value and ministry responsibilities of participating in “the Social?”



What's Next?

Even as the church is struggling to come to grips with the communication and technology of today, things keep advancing and changing.  What's next for communication and how can the church anticipate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead?  How do we speak effectively the timeless Truth into a world that listens in different ways?


Open Panel Discussion

Interactive panel discussion with all three presenters and your questions