How To Livestream Using Facebook Live in 10 Minutes or Less

I have a confession: I’m a certified geek pastor and make no apologies.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t happy when Facebook made live streaming available to celebrities and those with verified pages (pages with those little round, blue checkmarks right next to their names). Immediately, I Googled every possible phrase to find an alternative and found nothing except Periscope.

Recently, Facebook added the ability to live stream on Facebook Profiles, in Groups, and on Pages. So what does all this mean for churches, pastors, and church leaders who rely on Facebook to communicate with their Facebook communities?  A lot!

How To Stream Live

I use Facebook live to make the sermon stick past Sunday. You can read more about why I chose this format to engage our congregation beyond Sunday HERE.  Find a quiet place and take copious notes while I explain how to live stream using Facebook Live.

5 Reasons We’re Launching Our Online Campus –

Every generation experiences change.

In a relatively short amount of time, the Internet has moved from an occasional tool to one of the principal ways we communicate, entertain ourselves, and do work. Staying up-to-date on emails, social media and other means of online communication is a bigger time requirement than people may realize.

New research has found that the average user spends 23 hours a week emailing, texting, and using social media and other forms of online communication. Since people are already online, we decided to launch an online campus and guess what – it’s biblical.

Android Tablet

Here We GROW Again – Easter 2015 People Reaching People #PRP

On Sunday, March 15, 2015, the Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago celebrated Friends’ Day.

We had our largest attendance this year. Every seat, including two overflows were filled to capacity. I believe God gave us a glimpse of how Easter 2015 will be. Therefore, we’re adding a Saturday service for our members so we can free up space for our guests attending Easter Sunday.

Easter Flyer 2015

People Reaching People

At Mars Hill, our theme for 2015 is People Reaching People #PRP.  That means we’re encouraged to stretch ourselves and do different things to reach people.  We have to be open to new ideas, take some risks as we prepare for the overflow that God is sending us.

As pastor, I am asking our members to attend our Saturday Easter service (April 4th) at 5PM.  It will be very similar to our Sunday services and CHILDCARE WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL.  It’s casual so come as you are.

If you attend Saturday’s service and will attend Easter Sunday, we ask three things of you:

  1. Wear your Mars Hill T-shirt,
  2. Sit in the section for Mars Hill members, and if necessary,
  3. Be ready to give up your seat and go to the overflow or our cafe.

It’s all about reaching people this year so we have to be willing to make sacrifices.

If you are bringing guests on Easter Sunday and you need to sit with them, don’t wear a t-shirt because it is more important that our guests feel comfortable.

Easter Weekend Schedule:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

5PM – Live Worship Experience – Mars Hill Baptist Church of Chicago
5PM – **NEW Online Worship Experience** (Yep, it’s almost here)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

8AM – Live Worship Experience
8AM – **NEW Online Worship Experience**
10:30AM – Live Worship Experience
10:30AM – **NEW Online Worship Experience**

Remember, It’s all about People Reaching People #PRP.

Digging Deeper ONLINE Survey Results

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 was the first day of many FUTURE online Bible studies.  In my humble opinion and judging from the opinions of others, Digging Deeper Online was a HUGE SUCCESS.  Of course not everyone will embrace the concept of “Digital Discipleship” but, I’ve decided to leverage technology to help people take their next steps towards maturity.

Thank you for taking time to take the survey.  I sincerely appreciate the time you spent answering the questions and recommending strategies for improvement.  Your advice was very helpful and gave me a new perspective on how to make Digging Deeper Online better.

I especially appreciate your offer to help spread the word and invite others to attend.  I promise I will follow up with contacts you email to me right away (  Any additional suggestions you may have would be welcomed and I will keep you posted on future online Webinars/Training.


The Urban Pastor 3.0

Welcome to my redesigned blog – The Urban Pastor!

First, I want to thank my web/blog designers Chris and Erin for designing an incredible site.    My web designers, Chris and Erin of Arcane Palette Creative Design, spent the last few months redesigning my Facebook Fan Page (I really don’t like using that term) and my blog, The Urban Pastor.  Thank you Arcane Palette Creative Design for all you have done!


  1. The design is much different. Not everyone will like it, but I’m pleased.  I think it feels modern, urban-chic professional, but also personal.  That was my goal.
  2. The photos of Shauntai & I rotate. Every time you refresh the page or move to a new page, you get a new photo of Shauntai and I.  “Big deal,” I know.   But I couldn’t just settle on one photo.   My life is too multi-faceted.  Plus I thought you might enjoy peering into the visual aspects of my life.
  3. The search engine is easy to find. People often email me, asking for links to articles they remember seeing but can’t find.  The WordPress search engine is very robust, and I think it’s placement and functionality will make it easier for you to find the stuff you are interested in.
  4. The design is clean.  I’ve cleaned up the site to make it visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  5. I added a YouTube Channel.  In the very near future I will add video clips of my messages, workshops and seminars, teaching moments, special family moments, and any other special interests I may have.  Please consider subscribing to my channel.  I’m extremely excited about my channel – The Urban Pastor Live!  Check it out HERE.
  6. I will add additional pages. I get asked to speak a lot and in the very near future I will accept advertising.  However, I will only run ads for products or services that I personally use and can recommend.


What do you like about the new blog?  What don’t you like?  Tell it to me straight.  I can take it.  (I think.)

Tools That Changed The Way I Work – Part 3

How would I describe OfficeDrop?

OfficeDrop is a “simple” online digital filing system makes your paper and digital files text searchable, so you can quickly find a word, number, or phrase among all of your documents.  What I like most about OfficeDrop is how it automatically converts your paper and digital files into PDF’s.

Document Scanning Service

As a busy pastor, OfficeDrop is a vital part of my staff.  I absolutely love the Document Scanning Service.  This service allows you to mail your documents in prepaid USPS Envelopes or UPS boxes.  OfficeDrop scans your documents into text searchable PDFs that can be downloaded anytime from your secure web account.  No software to be installed, no expensive scanning equipment, no gruntwork, and no more paper-cuts or LOST DOCUMENTS!

My “Personal” Digital Assistant”

I decided to use the free trial offered by OfficeDrop and wound up becoming a happy subscriber.  I thought I’d give the scanning service a real test and send a stack of envelopes, index cards, and slips of paper containing handwritten messages  I’d collected over the years.

They are a good resource for me but are tedious to thumb through when I am looking for a particular message, Scripture, or illustration.  The envelope arrived quickly after I registered.  I placed the information inside and sent them off.  I was notified when they arrived and that they had been digitized and were online.  Imagine my pleasure at being able to find the index cards clearly scanned and easily scrolled through when I logged on!

My originals arrived back home safe and sound. They are sealed in an envelope that will be easy for me to file away.  I’ve got a lot more material to send to OfficeDrop.  I’m already seeing how this service will cut hours from sermon preparation.  Try out OfficeDrop’s storage and digitization plans for free for 60 days – no credit card required!  Believe me, you WILL NOT regret it.

The Church of Facebook

My generation experienced the election of the first African-American President, the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, Desert Storm, Iraq War, historic government bailouts, the passing of healthcare reform, and the greatest economic downturn since The Great Depression.  However, in my opinion, the greatest shifts we will experience in our lifetime are happening now!

facebook church copy

According to next generation thought leader Blake Mallen, “most new online technologies have one root intention: to make it simpler for people to communicate and collaborate.”  Of all the tools and websites created to connect people, Facebook seems to be the most popular starting place for many.  With more than 500 million users (that’s right – 500 MILLION AND GROWING), we all have at our fingertips the tools to find, friend, and engage with people.  Imagine how churches can use this platform to expand the Kingdom of God!

Consider this:

To reach 50 million users, it took:

  1. Radio – 38 years
  2. TV – 13 years
  3. Internet – 4 years
  4. iPod – 3 years


Source: United Nations Cyber School Bus Document/Mashable

Additionally, according to a Grunwald Associates National Study, “at the end of 2010 Generation Y will outnumber baby boomers…96% of them have joined a social network.”


Considering this social trend, how will the church respond and leverage social media to help expand the Kingdom of God?

How will business owners leverage social media to market their goods and services?

How are you leveraging social media?

Welcome Back to Clarence Stowers Dot Com!

I’m back…

First, I want to thank my web/blog designers Chris and Erin for designing an incredible site.  Thank you Chris for masterfully handling the coding and hacking.  Also, thanks Erin for the design work – especially the color selection.  My web designers, Chris and Erin of Arcane Palette Creative Design, spent the last two weeks porting my blog from TypePad (my previous blogging platform) to WordPress.  This has been a big project-much bigger than I expected.  Oh, I only wished I had started with WordPress when I began blogging two years ago.  You’ll notice several changes:

Just Do It! (You know you want to)

One of my facebook friends asked me to convince her why she should buy a Mac.  Her question inspired me to share my experiences with you.

Ok, here we go:

You know you’ve been thinking about it.  Everyone is doing it.  Who wouldn’t when they look at their ugly black Dell compared to one of the macbooks?  Of course Macs look good, however, I’m sure you want reasons other than “they’re the finest looking computers out yonder.”  Let me first give my testimony.  I used (“PCs”) for 18 years.  Then when Apple came out with OS X, I was a little intrigued, although that didn’t stop my jeering.  After watching it develop, I caved in and purchased an MacBook & an iMac G5.  Now I wouldn’t switch back for money or fame.  I sometimes forget the horror people go through with their computers—although I am jolted back into reality when a friend calls with problems, and is fixed after running Ad-Aware or some other utility.  Defragers, disk doctors and utilities, registry repairers, virus protection, spy/adware removers, and more all need to be bought and run frequently.  It isn’t worth time, money, or stress.


(Ooooo…looks so sweet…you know you want it)

New Tool: Google Friend Connect

Just for the fun of it, I’ve added Google Friend Connect gadget on my site
Will you be my new friend?  Come and join the gathering. 

See who else
will join the party.  Leave your comment on the wall.  And be one of the
first folks to try out Google’s new foray into social networking.

What do you think?  Has Google made a significant contribution with this new tool?