Posted on

Dwayne’s Digital Playbook

A Digital Playbook for Pastors is an idea that I’ve been tossing around for a while.

When I look around at various church websites, Google MyBusiness listings and Social Media presences of churches in Canada, I see many gaps in understanding how to manage an online presence. 

I even saw one church (a soon-to-be marketing client) listed as closed on Google and the Pastor had no idea how to fix that.

I do know how to fix online brands. I know how to manage negative reviews. I understand how to prioritize actions and there are some key simple steps that could be taken so that your church isn’t misrepresented online.

As a seasoned digital marketer who has been able to see a variety of approaches to managing successful companies and brands online, it’s been a desire of mine to share my experiences to my church leadership friends, and those who lead non-profit organizations.

So send me a note if you’re able and let me know what you would hope could be answered in a ‘Digital Playbook’ if I was to create one for you?

Looking forward to help you,


Posted on Leave a comment

Peace trumps perception

Life can throw you curveballs.

You have learned how to adjust to them. You aren’t a kid anymore. Real life is here. Partners rely on you. Businesses rely on you. Your clients rely on you.

You’ve been trained in how to handle the fastball. You’ve been hitting them all your life.

But nobody is calling you ‘Rookie’ anymore.

In front of you now, is what appears to be a curveball. Or is that that a slider? Perhaps a knuckleball.

In any case, the crowd is watching you struggle with your glaring uncomfortable disposition.

But the onlookers aren’t in the batters box. You are. You chose to walk up to this plate and give it your best. You chose this.

Block out the noise. Silence the taunters in your head. Mute and critics who hide behind their screens and those who are using your performance as an escape from their own struggles.

Who cares if your strikes become their smiles.

Their perception of what it takes to step up to that plate should not trump the comfort of peace that you need to invoke into your moment.

The bat is in your hands; not theirs. This is your moment. This is your responsibility.

As foolish as it may look to others, give this moment the best swing you have.


Look around.

Make a call.

But their perception doesn’t matter. the bat isn’t in their hands. It’s in yours. This is your moment. This is your responsibility.

So Relax. Look around. Make a call.

Trust that everything that you have learned up until now is part of helping you solve this puzzle. Know that your instincts are there for a reason and are more refined than ever.

That inner peace that you feel when you are making the right decision is much more valuable than worrying about the perception of the crowd.

Trust. Have faith. Swing away.

Posted on 1 Comment

Haiti Mission 2017

Dear friends and family,

In less than a month from now I will be in Haiti running an exciting VBS with 100 registered children ages 5 – 12.

We will also be launching a Child Sponsorship program for Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bloomfield. We will be following up on previous medical initiatives, house construction and computer lab projects.

At this time we are requesting prayer and collecting final donations for this exciting mission trip! The cost to go is $1,800 per person and any donation is appreciated to help cover this cost. Anything you give to support my effort for this amazing mission trip is completely tax receiptable. Simply go to: to make a donation and enter my name in the message area.

More than the money, most of all, I want you to be aware of this trip and be praying for us and following us on our BLOG at:
…which we will try to keep updated during our trip Aug 20 – 27th

Please consider making a donation here and enter my name in the message area.

Posted on Leave a comment

Marketing with emojis is here to stay

“We ❤️ helping you stay healthy” is the advertising sign I stare at while I stand at the counter of my local Shoppers Drug Mart.

Wow. Maybe George Orwell was closer to being right than I give him credit for. Perhaps, though, emojis take over our English language way before any speakwrite catastrophe happens, as he envisioned in his novel 1984.

Of course it’s just a trend right?

Well, 🍏‘s latest software iOS upgrade announcement would actually support the reality that we all now face. Emojis are here to stay whether you like it or not.

I enjoy being a Digital Marketer / Digital Strategist / whatever the next fancy title I give myself is. But I have yet to fully embrace the emoji world. It’s time to change that.

I am making strides towards embracing it even more these days, now that my 19 year old step-daughter lives away from 🏠. We text more than talk. But I’m still double checking with her if I don’t get what her message said. Heck, I remember when my mom couldn’t understand LOL. As they say, you never understand any generation better than your own. As much as I feel like I get her generation. I never really will, more than I get my own. And we are only one generation apart.

But back to emojis. I can’t avoid them when messaging her and I’m probably learning it best from her.

As digital marketers, it’s 🕔 to take notice

A recent report from  Email marketing daily that said “the use of emojis in mobile and email marketing messages has increased 775% year-over-year”. They are everywhere and marketing professionals have to take notice.

As usual, the big brands have already caught on to this. Check out the Chevrolet Emoji use in this ad: 

So it’s time to embrace the emoji world and help businesses find creative ways to communicate to their potential customers.

Why do we use Emojis?

“People use emoji to fill out their bare text with colorful accents, use them for emphasis, and crucially to convey emotion and tone.” – Joanne from SEOPresser

Businesses will use emojis in a variety of ways. The best digital marketers will figure out how. Here is one article that I found that I think just gives a hint to what’s coming. Emoji Marketing: 8 Best campaigns and what you can learn from them

So I’m all in now. I’ve decided I’m going to figure this out. How will I use Emojis? I have no idea . . . yet! But that’s what I love about my job. Inspiration is everywhere.

Actually, this is probably a great time to stop writing. I just receive a text from my eight year old daughter (and this is real) saying goodnight and I love you ALL IN EMOJIS!!

Until next time everyone


Posted on Leave a comment

In the dark, your next step matters most

When all is going well, days are bright and things are looking up, it’s a wonderful feeling to dream about the future and look towards exciting days ahead.

But when a storm hits your life and you’re walking through a dark season, you need to keep your energy focused on making sure that your next step is on solid ground.

Any dark moment can hit you unexpectedly; whether that’s a divorce, loss of a loved one, or perhaps unemployment. When it does, you feel tempted to keep going at the same pace you’ve always been moving; showing everyone around that you aren’t phased.

But admit it to yourself: The light at the end of this tunnel feels very far away. Hope isn’t part of your vocabulary these days.

You’re new reality is that you are in the dark. It’s time to slow down. There’s no escaping this season without stepping forward carefully. So stop and look around.

Take stock of where you are. Process what’s happening to you and accept that you aren’t functioning at 100%. Be patient with yourself. Be content that you only checked off a quarter of your to-do list today.

This season will pass. A bright hope and future will come. But it starts by finding the next solid step to take.

Take it well.


Posted on Leave a comment

If I Could Live 2016 Over Again

I know that the year has just begun. But what if you could live it over again? What would you regret not doing when you sit down next December 31st and countdown to 2017?

A while back, I posted about beginning each day with the end of the day in mind with a post entitled, ‘If I could live today over again I’d …’.  It’s a simple Stephen Covey principle but it works to help keep me on track. Each day, before I walk into any meeting I still ask myself, After I’m finished this next conversation that I’m about to walk into, what do I want to be walking out with? What is my destination over the next hour? 

If I don’t know my destination then how will I know if I’ve gone off track?

Since it is already early into the new year of 2016 I do have a list of resolutions started. It’s an overwhelming inventory of challenges that no single human being could accomplish in a year. But it’s how I like to begin. Get it all out of my mind and recorded somewhere.

Then I run my goals through my own filters of understanding how I’m wired, and of acknowledging that one person can only do so much in a single year. So I ask myself, which of these things would I regret the most if I didn’t do them? In my case, it means that my itch to play the Ukulele gets bumped down below my desire to spend more time reading scripture with my wife, Cheryl. Thankfully that’s an obvious one.

In the end, I naturally settle on a few resolutions that mean the most to me. I don’t always do a great job of following through on them 100% of the time and I never end up with a perfect year – who does – but I like having a road map to refer to when I need a reminder of what matters to me.

So here’s to 2016! May we all look back on it with pride!



Posted on Leave a comment

Heart of a Humble Carpenter (Joseph’s Decision)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Here is my 2015 Christmas Narrative about a carpenter named Joseph and a decision he is faced with.

This was presented at Life Church in Oshawa, ON on December 20th, 2015. Thank you, Randy Gill and the Life Church family, as well as the other churches who have invited me this Christmas season to share it with you.


[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=’450′ iframe=”true” /]

Posted on Leave a comment

Simeon: Christmas Narrative

Hi Everyone,

It’s that time of year again and I just wanted to share with you my original Christmas short story from last year (2014). It’s called Simeon: Hope Fulfilled. Hope you enjoy it. It was a live presentation at the Brockville Arts Centre and even though it’s a bit of a rough first draft, I think it’s decent enough to share.

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]


This year, I will be presenting a story about Joseph on December 6th at the Brockville Art’s Centre (Pier Christian Church) at 10am. You’re welcome to come.

To listen to some of my other stories, please have a look at the Media page.

I’m still hoping to book a few more places this Christmas, so let me know if your church would be interested in having my join for your upcoming Christmas Banquet or Sunday service. Send me a message on Facebook or email me at

Thank you,


Posted on Leave a comment

Don’t be so quick to hang up

Sometimes we judge people too quickly and risk missing out on great relationships. We allow ourselves to be turned off by appearances, by language, or even by perceived lifestyle differences. As a result, we don’t get past the “book cover”, so to speak and our assumptions rob us of opportunities to include potentially valuable people into our lives.

Recently, I was on the wrong end of this when someone calling into my office quickly hung up on me simply because of how I greeted him. My greeting wasn’t rude or off-putting, from my perspective. But it was, however, an overly-lighthearted, “Good afternoon . . .” followed by a slightly awkward laugh and then a correct statement saying, “. . . I mean, good morning.”

The next thing I heard was the dial tone of denial. Ouch!

Now that’s my interpretation of what happened. I know that it’s entirely possible that the person on the other end of the line had to run because of some emergency. But the evidence suggested that he prematurely decided that conversation was over, after hearing my greeting.

The worst part of this happening is that I have no way of identifying my mysterious caller. I don’t know who he was, and I have no record of which number he called from. I’m just left wondering why he gave up so quickly.

Unfortunately, we all do this too often. We look at someone’s appearance or listen to their conversation and assume that we’ve gathered enough information to pigeonhole them. They may even remind us of someone else we know, which causes us to pile on many more assumptions.

How do we so easily miss the uniqueness of each person and decide their value in a split second? Isn’t there something wrong with this?

I am convinced that if my incoming caller had let me converse with him on that day, that I would have been able to meet whatever need he was phoning me about. I work really hard for my clients and it’s too bad that he didn’t give me an opportunity to start a great business relationship.

Maybe he will call back again. Maybe not. I may never get an explanation. Perhaps I judged him too quickly.

But the event did leave me wondering how many times have I done this to others? Are there growth lessons that I’m missing out on because I’ve labeled someone before giving them a chance? Do I do this to even those closest to me? Do I tune out too quickly?

Perhaps I should pick up the phone now and give someone a call.

Posted on Leave a comment

Your Church Website v Mobilegeddon

Mobilegeddon and your church website

Don’t let your church website get LEFT BEHIND

If your website doesn’t pass Google’s Mobile Friendly Test (see the link at the end of this article) then your search engine ranking will be affected when people search for your church with their mobile devices.

What is Mobilegeddon?

It is a word that many are using to describe the most recent update to Google’s algorithm. Every year Google makes changes to their ever-improving search system in order to best determine which websites will show up higher in search results. They make algorithm updates every year and this particular one came with a strong warning on Google’s own blog that non-mobile-friendly websites will see a significant decline with their ranking when it comes to mobile searches. This update started on April 21, 2015 and will probably take a couple of weeks to fully rollout.

How will Mobilegeddon affect your church website?

Fewer people will be visiting your hard-to-read-on-a-mobile-phone website because Google just wont bother recommending your church site ahead of other sites that are mobile-friendly. Google knows that if someone is using their iPhone to search for a local church then they probably want to visit a website with readable text and properly sized links that will be easy to tap. Mobile-friendliness now matters even more.

Does it cost a lot of money to upgrade to a mobile-friendly website?

Not necessarily. Some web companies have very affordable options for creating a second mobile-designed website that site visitors are redirected to when going to your site. Here is an example of a mobile-designed website that we did for our client’s. This is their desktop site.

Responsive Design ExampleA better option, although more expensive in many cases, is to develop a responsive website. Responsive web design is a different approach to web development that is finally becoming mainstream. Unlike the mobile-design approach, you don’t need to create an entirely new mobile-designed website if you are developing a Responsive website. Instead, at it’s core, a responsive website is one website developed to dynamically change in appearance depending on the screen size and orientation of the device being used to view it.

Another Helpful Blog Post on this topic

If you are interested in digging deeper to find more specific answers to whether your website will be affected by Mobilegeddon then I do recommend this post called ‘Mobilegeddon Checklist’. It answers the most common questions people are asking.

Check your church website against Google’s mobile-friendly test

Google Mobile TestHere is the link to the official Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your church website is indexed properly for Google and meets their mobile friendly standard.

Did you pass?

If you passed, that’s great! Keep working with your web developer and move the conversation forward to the next level by asking about other Search Engine Optimizing tips. Or upgrade to a Responsive design if you don’t have one yet.

If you did not pass then I recommend reaching out to your current web developer and requesting either a mobile-designed website or a responsive web redesign. Or better yet, give me shout and our team can help you.

Please contact me right away if your web guy doesn’t know what the term Responsive Design means. That’s a sign that you need to make a change.