Video Ministry Academy Fall Enrollment

Happy August! As we move into startup mode for the Fall I wanted to invite congregational leaders — religious professionals, staff and volunteers — to join Video Ministry Academy.

Video Ministry Academy is skill training, strategy masterclass, and learning community for congregational leaders. For all the details including a new video with me walking you through the program visit

These are challenging times. If you’re like most leaders I know, you know that these times require you to skill up and implement new strategies. Be kind to yourself and prioritize learning that is going to support your success.

Word on the street is that I’m a joyful and enthusiastic trainer who delivers practical tips and strategies in a way that makes learning fun.

Learn more…

Peter’s Pandemic Podcast Pivot!

Hi friends! I wanted to let you know that the COVID19 pandemic has me working primarily with congregations right now, my core training community.

In response, I am shifting the focus of my podcast — congregations, digital strategy, and helping leaders of community organizations adapt to digital life online. Interested?

You may subscribe on your favorite podcast platform including:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Google Play Music

Podcast Addict
Listen Notes
Libsyn Show Page
Podcast RSS Feed

Previously I was working with a growing range of organizations with an increasing focus on helping people build community face to face. I’ve put that community building work on hold.

I am now focusing my working on supporting my network of congregational, nonprofit, and community leaders as they work to adapt to covid19, learn new digital skills, and implement new strategies.

Feel free to subscribe or unsubscribe in response as appropriate.

As always, thank you for your leadership!

Video Ministry Academy

Video was important pre-COVID19.

Now showing up and leading online using video is essential.

That’s why I’m launching a new training program to help clergy, staff, and other congregational leaders skill-up and rapidly integrate video into their digital ministry efforts.

This new training program is called VIDEO MINISTRY ACADEMY. It is a video skill training and strategy masterclass for ministry leaders. 

Update: Learn more and register at

It is going to help you do the following:

1) Rapidly skill-up and start producing video content with ease using computer webcams or smartphones. Video is the heart and engine driving my recommended strategy right now.

2) Implement a video-driven approach to engaging people in congregational life. You need to use video to lead online, maintain relationships, keep people invested in the mission of your congregation, and, if interested, scale your ministry.

3) The above includes the critical task of developing a digital path to membership producing supporting video. Online visitors want and need all your intro and orientation content online and on-demand.

We have much to do! 

My goal is to give you the essential video training and strategy you need as quickly and efficiently as possible.    

Here’s how it is going to work 

• Every Monday of the five-week Video Ministry Academy program, I’ll release a new on-demand module within the course site.  

• Each module will include video presentations, handouts, and video assignments. They’ll be practical exercises designed to move you rapidly forward.

• Each week, I’ll do member-only Facebook live sessions to answer questions on that week’s module as well as answer questions from previous weeks. Exact details are being finalized now. 

• Participants will share their recorded video assignments in our program member-only Facebook group or complete the assignments by going LIVE in the group.   

• Within the Facebook Group, I will offer video feedback, cheerleading, and other coaching. 

I know this is a challenging time.

That’s why I’m committed to helping leaders like you learn the skills and strategies they need to succeed.  

Look for my email tomorrow with your official invitation to enroll. 

It will include details on cost, what the five modules are, etc… 

I’ll be sharing more about the program on video – of course! – and answering questions over the coming week.

In cooperation
Peter Bowden

Prevent Zoom Bombing: Tips, Settings, and Controls to Help Protect Your Meetings

Zoom bombing is on the rise! Don’t let your online meetings, worship services, and other gatherings get hijacked. Here are tips, settings, and practices to help you protect your meetings.

Zoom Update: Fri, Apr 3rd Zoom emailed users an announcement noting that “Starting April 5th, we’ve chosen to enable passwords on your meetings and turn on Waiting Rooms by default as additional security enhancements to protect your privacy.”

This means that your accounts will soon default to having the PASSWORD and WAITING ROOM features turned on. Think through your security before turning these off.

What is Zoom Bombing

“Zoom Bombing” is when someone crashes a Zoom meeting or webinar and shares inappropriate content, hate speech, or other nasty disruptions.

In short, you shared a meeting link online, the internet trolls found it, and they’re making serious trouble. Best to protect your meetings before you ever have to face such a situation.

12 Ways to Protect Your Zoom Meetings

There are many settings you may enable to help protect your meetings. Everyone hosting Zoom meetings should change their global settings before their next meeting so participants can’t screen share or share files.

Here is a screen recording sharing the same content. I walk through the primary meeting setting and controls you should be aware of.

This includes how to remove someone from a meeting, turn off a participant’s video, mute participants, and disable the chat.

Meeting Links Already Public?

If you have already created and shared unprotected Zoom meeting links, you should think through your plan for if or when you get Zoom bombed, as make sure you turn off screen sharing and file sharing for participants.

How are you going to manage the situation?

In most cases, I think you are going to want to END YOUR MEETING immediately.

Keep in mind that if ONE Zoom Bomber enters your meeting, you should expect MANY MORE to follow. I know someone who had 30 people crash a meeting! It was horrific.

Be Prepared, Know the Controls

If you are Zoom bombed, it is likely to be shocking and traumatic. Be familiar with the controls you’ll use to manage the situation. You don’t want your delay to give more the Zoom Bomber more chat and screen time.

Be ready to say, “Hey, we’re being Zoom bombed! We’re going to end this meeting and will be in touch shortly.” and click END MEETING.

The following walks through some relevant controls. Note that this is an excerpt from the longer screen recording video above.


Someone asked me my thoughts on using the “Lock Meeting” option.

This is a great feature to be aware of, especially if you’ve already shared some links in a way that might tempt the trolls.

Once a meeting has started and all participants are present, you can lock the meeting so no one can come in. This doesn’t help you if you are doing a drop-in office hour session or it is the start of the meeting.

If you are Zoom bombed and there is only one offender, you could immediately lock the meeting to prevent others to come in and then remove the Z-bomber.

LOCK MEETING from the bottom of the PARTICIPANT MANAGEMENT panel. Click MORE next to the mute all / unmute all options. Then select LOCK MEETING. This prevents anyone from entering the meeting from that point on.

REMOVE PARTICIPANT by using the ••• three dots over their video and then choosing REMOVE, or by hovering over their name in the participant list and choosing MORE and then REMOVE.

Do you need help with your strategy and bringing your work online? Contact me to discuss strategy and skill training sessions to support your organization.

UPDATE: Due to increased demand, I am setting up an application form to collect basic information about your organization and needs so I can choose to work with the organizations I am the best match for. This will be rolling out after the weekend. I’ll send out to my email list as soon as it is live. Subscribe here.

Related Articles

How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event by Zoom

How to set-up a Zoom meeting to reduce risk from trolls and opponents disrupting your meeting  by PowerLabs

Covid19 Strategy: Newcomers, Congregations, and the Digital Path to Membership

In response to the COVID19 coronavirus, we are moving our worship, ministries, and congregational life online at lightning speed. As we do so, many congregations are reporting an increase in first-time visitors. They just happen to be ONLINE visitors. This increase in online visitors is something we should expect and plan for!

I’ve spoken frequently about congregations creating a digital path to membership. Previously that was to connect those exploring online with our mostly offline congregations. Now we need to create a digital path to membership to connect people successfully with our primarily online congregations.

In this session, I share some of the key strategies from my “Digital Path to Membership” workshop, share thoughts on adapting established best practices for our present context, and answer questions for the remainder of the hour.

Online Worship? Zoom Meeting versus Zoom Webinar

Congregations are moving their worship services online in response to the Covid19 coronavirus. Many are choosing Zoom as a platform.

This raises the question, should your congregation use Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar?

I’ve been discussing this with clients and colleagues.

Here’s a quick discussion of considerations following Zoom’s comparison chart.