CITRT Fall 2008 Days 4&5

It’s difficult to believe I got home from the national Church IT RoundTable at Seacoast Church a week ago tonight.  Sadly, I forgot my digital camera battery, so I don’t have any pictures.  Several other people have posted photos online such as here, and here.  Note particularly Jason Powell’s Flickr set, which includes most of the attendees individually with their name tags, allowing those of us with bad memories to go back and refresh ourselves.  Thanks Jason!

Me with name tag at CITRT Fall 2008
Me with name tag at CITRT Fall 2008

Quick notes from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:

  1. The hospitality shown by Trace Pupke, Glen Wood, Geoff Surratt, and the whole Seacoast team was off-the-charts.  We pity the next host if they try to live up to that standard.  Wow!
  2. I posted my raw notes from Wednesday’s main roundtable sessions here.
  3. Based on a quick show-of-hands in the management roundtable session, nearly all of us consider ourselves to be spiritual leaders, but few of us are actively asking those reporting to us about their spiritual lives.  That seems to be a huge growth area for most of us.
  4. Enjoyed meeting Daryl Hunter of, who was there with CITRT-veteran Mark Burleson. The CITRT benefits greatly from the participation of the very largest churches such as LifeChurch and Second Baptist.  They are dealing with things the rest of us haven’t encountered yet and illuminate the path ahead.  They challenge us, stretch us, and inspire us.
  5. Having run an IT professional services firm, I found myself in an instant friendship with Scott Smith, CEO of Solerant.  There are hundreds of IT firms in every major city, but few are committed to serve churches as their primary market and fewer still offer the level of talent and expertise present on Solerant’s team.  One of my action items from the roundtable is to find a project I can outsource to Solerant in order to develop the relationship further.
  6. My first in-person encounter with Blackbaud left me very impressed.  I took the opportunity to have a frank conversation with Liz Marenakos, one of their product managers.  Considering we had just met, she allowed me to push her hard.  She seemed genuinely interested in understanding the needs of local churches and working through the process of adapting their technology and pricing models to fit us.  I strongly urged her to come visit me in Kansas City for an in-depth follow-up conversation.  I hope she will, particularly after what we learned when we toured Blackbaud on Friday.  They have an extraordinarily powerful framework upon which to build products for churches.

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