Goodbye But Not Farewell

Dear friends,

For 10 years I have focused my career on working with churches to help them communicate creatively and use technology effectively. I have had the great pleasure of working with dozens of churches, ministries and non-profits. I met many creative and passionate individuals along the way whom I am honored to have worked alongside.

Last week I worked my last day at Henderson Hills Baptist Church, bringing an end to my career in paid ministry. I will be forever grateful for Henderson Hills. My time there means more to me than many know. My friends there shared and supported me through many important moments in my life including the adoption of two of our children and the birth of our youngest daughter.

I will miss my friends at HHBC. I will especially miss “Soup Group” and the color orange.

I am looking forward to my new career in eCommerce and branded products. I will bring the same creativity, savvy and resourcefulness to my new responsibilities and will passionately work to help businesses, small and large, realize their dreams.

I believe that Henderson Hills will continue to positively impact the Oklahoma City metro just as your work, wherever you may be, will impact your own communites. God is moving in His Church.

Thanks again to everyone I had the pleasure of meeting along the way. It’s been a good run.

Kindest regards,
Eric Granata

“…we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation.”  - Oswald Chambers

Evernote for Pastors – A Better Way To Do Ministry

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Ben Stroup. Ben and Ron Edmondson have put together an eBook called, A Guide to Evernote for Pastors. Friends, I love Evernote. For the uninitiated, Evernote is awesome. Evernote is also a web-based note taking tool that works on almost any computer and mobile device. Read more about how to use this great tool for ministry below.

  • Sermons.
  • Research.
  • Meetings.
  • Counseling.
  • Staff conversations.
  • Programs.
  • Members.
  • Special Events.
  • Random Thoughts and Ideas.

How do you keep track of it all without losing your mind (and maybe even your religion)?

If you’re like most pastors, you’ve forgotten more ideas than you’ll ever remember. As it often happens, inspiration comes at the most inopportune times like when you’re driving.

What if there was a better way to…

  • Collect Information?
  • Prepare for sermons?
  • Plan Meeting Agendas?
  • Take notes on impromptu meetings and phone calls?
  • Share your ideas and collaborate with key staff and lay leaders?

Ministry is complex. Being a pastor is daunting. And between hospital visits, meetings, and family, being in the office is sometimes impossible. The good news (no, not that Good News) is that Evernote allows pastors to excel at those things that can make the difference between getting by and excelling at relationships, teaching/preaching, staff management, and program planning.

Technology provides tools that most pastors aren’t aware of and don’t have the time to figure out. The paradox is that pastors can’t afford NOT to know about and leverage the tools to advance their ministry efforts. If they don’t adapt, they leave ministry capacity on the table. That would be unfortunate and unnecessary.

Ron Edmondson and I have talked a lot about this. Since we both love Evernote, we decided to provide a guide that connected the tool with the pastor. This is not a user guide. There are those available. We believe pastors don’t need more information. Rather, they need context to help them understand how others are using the tool in ways that might help them understand how it can benefit them.

Ron is a pastor, blogger, and consultant. He “gets” Evernote and can’t imagine his life without it now. This project will bridge the gap, save you the learning curve, and get you jump-started using a tool that will change your ministry habits.

There is a better way to do ministry. And Evernote can help.

Scout Books: Little Books for Big Ideas

Recently a friend introduced me to these rad little books called Scout Books. In a nutshell, they’re small notebooks made in the USA from recycled paper and they’ve got style. Your style.

See, these little books can feature your cover design or even custom designed interior pages (up to 32). I can think of a few great ways to use these:

  • Camp booklets
  • Ministry brochures
  • Branded notebooks
  • Promotional piece
  • Calendar with coming events

What would you use these for? Let us know in  the comments.

    Signboard Update

    Just a quick note to let you know that Signboard (the affordable DIY digital signage solution for churches) has been updated with support for time zones and DST. This was done to help insure that the time offset for events coming from Google Calendar stay correct throughout the year.

    The updated files are available for download now. The specific file that was updated is left.php (which parses the events for the left ticker on the default configuration.

    For the uninitiated, Signboard is a cheap, DIY digital signage solution for churches. Built in Flash and managed in the cloud. More info at

    If you’re using Signboard, don’t forget to email me a photo.

    Free Digital Signage from

    I like digital signage. I enjoyed coming up with a solution for HHBC last year (check it out at and I’ve been dreaming of putting more time and resources into further development but I just haven’t gotten to it.

    Now it looks like I might not have to.

    The very talented designer and fellow Oklahoman, Brandon Knight, just made me privy to offers a free software as a service (they also have an enterprise option) that, in short, offers free digital signage, in the cloud, with browser and desktop applications available. It looks like this solution is super easy to customize and it even supports streaming video.

    That’s tight.

    I’m going to give a more in-depth look this coming week, but it certainly looks like a good solution if you don’t feel like messing with the, admittedly, technical installation required by what we’ve got going with Signboard.

    Thanks for the tip, Brandon!

    I love Prezi for rad presentations that people remember. Now it supports iPad. Awesome!

    Prezi for iPad (via prezi29)

    Vimeo Plus now supports uploads up to 5 GB

    Good news everyone! Vimeo’s bumped up their file upload limit from 2GB to 5GB! Perfect for when a sermon goes a tad too long.

    A Cheap (and fast) Way to Display Live Texts « MEDIA SALT

    Using a custom WordPress theme and TextMarks, The Chapel’s Cleve Persinger whips up a cheap and fast way to display live text messages. Nice!

    Mobile Giving Options for Churches

    Lauren Hunter has a great writeup at Church Tech Today about ServiceU’s new mobile features for giving. This is a great addition to a well established service. If you’re not moving your church into the mobile space, now is the time and with tools like these, you’re running out of excuses;-)