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Hi, I’m Jake Keenum.

Raytown, MO

Phone Number

(801) 548-1460

Email

jcameronkeenum@gmail.com

Experience

Connection Point Church
Digital Media Producer

Education

Southern Polytechnic State University
B.S. Mathematics
University of Georgia
M.S. Mathematics
Liberty University
B.S. Business

Church Affiliation

Non-Denominational

Years In Ministry

5 years

Personality

ENTJ

Skills

Teaching/preaching, leadership development, effective communication, vision casting, relationship building, email newsletters, Google and Facebook/Instagram ads, video production/editing

Tools & Software

Fellowship One, Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter, Adobe Creative Suite

Personal

Married to Shalom for 8 years
Kids: Hezekiah (5) and Elijah (2)

Top 3 Strengths

Acheiver0%

Action-Oriented0%

Disciplined0%

Discipleship Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I grew up in church, but my faith didn’t really become my own until my deployment to Afghanistan. Out in the sandbox, I was far from all my creature comforts and moved to truly find time with the Father rather than be spoon-fed and pass through life lukewarm.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Serious
  • Strict
  • Flexible
Personality Type
Myers Briggs: ENTJ, Disc – DI , Enneagram – 3
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
Carey Nieuwhof for his church insights Jim Briggs for his even-keeled teaching (local, lay small group leader in our church) Dave Rubin for making time to talk to people he doesn’t agree with – a blueprint we should all follow in the context of spiritual talks Ryan Bomberger for his data-driven analysis on adoption and abortion and where God’s children fit in in this battle Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon for their scholarly Bible readings Kenji and Sean at Video Influencers for their video/YouTube analysis Gary Vee for social media marketing Grant Cardone for understanding followups and creating buy-in
Discipleship
How do you plan to engage and inform your church about your ministry objectives and progress?
Email newsletter – still the BEST tool for building and reaching an audience (I”ve built and still run a newsletter of 1,823 video producers). Specifically, we have to identify key metrics such as new sign-ups with groups, and regular attendance. We have to be accountable with these metrics too and I certainly will be with leadership with regular reporting. Also, starting a Facebook page as a sub-page or a sister page to a main corporate page is a terrible idea. It falls on deaf ears and it’s not the best strategy even if the majority of people in adult groups are 35 and older, which is increasingly the landscape of Facebook anyways: 35 and up.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new small group strategy. What did you do?
At our church, kids groups and youth groups are considered a part of small groups so I will qualify this question with our time in youth ministry. In Salt Lake City, our youth group was mostly Cambodian with a few other kids. At the time, there was a Spanish church meeting in our building from a different denomination. They were without a consistent youth ministry, so my wife and I and our small team decided that we would effectively double if not triple the youth size by inviting those kids into our group as well. Very quickly, we realized we had to embrace the parents and invite them into the mission because, with the added size, we need additional manpower to lead youth ministries. It happened relatively quickly, in the span of a few months, and the fused youth group thrived for the next year or two until the Spanish church and our church found new buildings to call their own.
How would you alleviate confusion when you are communicating with someone and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
This happens very often in Church online because text-based communication isn’t the same as being in person with someone. Repeating the question, asking clarifying questions and fact-finding are huge. Also, where possible, I invite people to phone the office in the absence of being able to chat in person. With church online, I create a culture where people participate. Some of our best ideas have come from attendees when it comes to troubleshooting; for example, telling people to manually adjust the resolution on their video versus the usual steps of refreshing, closing down apps/windows, or even clearing their cache. Sometimes, switching from AUTO to 360p is all an iPhone user needs to clear up a lagging video.
Spiritual Growth
Once someone accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
Step zero: get them a Bible. Show them Bible apps as well and tell them about a reliable translation (I’m not going to start a newbie off on the KJV or the Spanish RV). I’ll then outline where they should start reading, a chapter a day. Then, my Facebook messenger if it’s a guy or my wife’s if it’s a gal – call us/text us because you’re going to have questions. Followups are important, and identifying which channel is their preferred method is key: phone, SMS, Email, coffee, etc. Secondly, it’s a matter of encouraging them to take a next step and plug into a small group for growth, fellowship, accountability, prayer, the whole gamut. Lastly, we need to identify where they can use their God-given gifts for the Kingdom and encourage them to listen to the Holy Spirit who will continue to make them more like Jesus.
As the spiritual leader of your ministry, how are you going to help small group leaders grow in their faith?
I’m going to spend the bulk of my time with the lay leaders, the people running the small groups. I’m going to develop relationships with them and be in regular communication with them and find ways to connect with them above & beyond the task at hand. For example, in Las Vegas, we had three amazing video directors. Two of them are old enough to be my dad, but they love motorcycles. Well my 250 cc motorcycle couldn’t compete with their bigger and heavier motorcycles, but I still made monthly motorcycle runs with these guys. We would go and explore the surrounding desert and grab a bite to eat. It allowed us to connect on a deeper level than just the task at hand every Sunday (four services a weekend). One of our other directors with my peer, and he absolutely loved board games. Once a month, we would do board games with his future bride and our family. This allowed us to really connect with one another and go deeper. I absolutely love Patrick Lencioni’s approach to empowering people: let them know who is investing in them, let them know who they’re impacting, and let them know what success looks like. I am an ardent fan of that strategy, and I use is it routinely. For my lay leaders, it will always be about making sure they know how much I appreciate them. A “thank you” goes a long way but actions also speak louder than words and each person is unique. Finding ways that are appropriate to spend time are a priority to me and my wife.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
In everything we do in ministry, we want to point people to the life, atoning sacrifice, resurrection, and promised return of Jesus Christ. He is not just the Messiah promised to the Israelites, but the whole world. We share the Word because as Jesus said, it is truth, and it sanctifies. We follow Jesus because He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Jesus. We forgive because we have been forgiven a great debt. And we preach and teach because we are told to go into the whole world and make disciples.
Share with me how you deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
Absolutely. When the shoe dropped on us, as I’m sure it did with everyone in the middle of March, we had to scrap everything. By Friday (heading into no in-person services) it was decided that everything we had created was going out the window. We knew that on Saturday, it was all hands on deck and we were going to record a service from A to Z in the building that would go out as a strict, pre-recorded broadcast on Sunday morning, where the format stayed that way for the next 2-3 months until we could open up our campus again. If anything, the pandemic has taught us to be even more flexible than before. Change’s never scared me, and the reality of 2020 has shown all of us how flexible we need to be in ministry because there are so many far-reaching needs and our methods of delivery can pivot on a dime.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
Data. User feedback to compile more data as well. Then identify at least the two if not the three biggest metrics we need to be tracking and asking influencers and decision-makers AND volunteers how can we improve. For example, earlier this year, I started looking at the ad that we were posting on Facebook every week to reach our community during the lockdown. After at least four or five weeks, the data was telling me that it was costing $0.60 or more to reach the same demographics in our neighboring town where our satellite campus is located. Because our neighboring town has a much larger church nearby (not ours) that would dwarf our initiatives, and the bulk of our people were at our main campus in our town, I made the call to restrict our ads to a smaller radius: just here in our town. We were spending on average $50 every weekend on Facebook ads, and this self-imposed restriction ended up increasing our reach and ultimately got us to a point where we were getting sometimes a dollar a click on our Facebook ads. I have a screenshot of my handiwork in that regard that I will share down the road when it becomes relevant.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea?
When I landed at Connection Point, we had one couple helping with the Online Campus (2x/mo.), and then my boss would fill in the gaps either by herself or another staff member. Well, that couple was leaving, as their contract was ending at Leavenworth so they were seeking employment elsewhere. Given the benefit of working within the social media world in addition to video production, I quickly realized that we could leverage the power of the Top Fan feature on the church’s Facebook and find people that I could cold pitch (I was new and an expatriate at that). And that’s what I did. By God’s grace and that Top Fan feature, I was able to rebuild the Online Campus in the span of a few months and have it fully staffed every weekend by volunteers before the couple made their exit.
How has COVID changed your approach on how to create community with the church members and nonbelievers?
With our in-person gatherings and events very limited, I quickly realized that I need to leverage the power of the Public Square: Facebook Groups. Our individual profile pages are Echo Chambers, and I realized very quickly that we could share our content once a week on the most active Facebook Groups in our town and contribute to the group four other times during the week. This led to an increase in our local engagement, people suggesting our church for dance classes, the gym, its preschool program during the week, and a food pantry. I was also able to add new followers and likes to our page with this simple organic strategy. Additionally, I asked volunteers and our staff to share relevant content with the groups where they are actively contributing. Nobody likes a spammer but if we are actively contributing to the Facebook groups, we will see that becomes a natural extension of who we are to bring up our content if we are making more deposits than withdrawals in the first place.
What is your experience with creating an online weekend experience via live stream?
As a moderator for Church online and as a technician behind the scenes, I understand how the online service works A to Z. Of course, technology changes over the years, but at the end of the day, a lot of the infrastructure is the same. I have worked with teams of three or four in this regard and as large as 60 people with eight or nine serving at any given time. Both as a moderator, a minister, and a technical troubleshooter, I’m very well-versed in streaming church services.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
I am very good at recruiting and I always set recruiting goals. Cold-pitching and followups are my friends – even creative ones like sending an ecard from William Shatner! I believe in being a constant process of recruiting as that is the start of the funnel. Further down the funnel, it’s important to identify where each person fits into the narrative of the mission and the work at hand. For example, when the pandemic hit here, we had everybody go to an online format. Suddenly all the staff was online and the deacons and it was a mess. Once on-campus services resumed, it was my task to figure out how to have a minimum viable presence online so that people were being ministered to and we were still being effective as we had at least 400 unique IP addresses every weekend. This meant having a principal host, a troubleshooter which was most often myself, a front door greeter to make sure everybody felt welcomed and acknowledged, and a deacon and a pastor to be available for ministry moments. Each person had a dedicated roll. Our moderator, Amy, was a gem, someone I had recruited the year before, but as a small business owner and a wife and mom, she was being over-leveraged. She’s fantastic, but everybody needs a break. I set out with the goal of finding Amy 2.0. Which was tough, because she could do it all. She was a champion of the communications and style guide, and she had a great presence with the crowd, and she could answer just about any question. She was truly a golden fleece superstar volunteer. I’m glad to say that before my role was eliminated due to personnel budget cuts, I was able to identify a young man who was an unlikely candidate much like David when Samuel went looking for the next king. He seemed shy but he was starting to learn from our star volunteer, Amy, and absorb all of her knowledge and start to work baby steps towards implementing what she does on a Sunday morning to make our church online so successful. A lot of people dismissed him because he was too shy in person, but wonderful online. I’m thankful I was able to recruit him and saw a spark in him, and I was able to encourage him and build him up and get him going.
What would it take to grow a successful discipleship program?
Accountability, measuring, identifying lay leaders and building appropriate relationships with them outside of the roles that they are filling, identifying who they are impacting, giving them clear guidelines for what success looks like, and encouraging them to stay in God’s word daily. It starts with me. I am and will continue to be in God’s word daily as it is true and it sanctifies. It needs to be our foundation for discipling others. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, with my sales background, I’m no stranger to getting in front of people, pitching them to join the mission. Followups are key. Ditto regular communication.
Your members/guests come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
Absolutely. We have to remove the barriers to hearing/seeing the Gospel. There should be zero barriers to entry. The only offense someone should find is with the message of the Gospel itself, not its methods of delivery. For example, we have an ASL community at our church. When covid-19 hit, it became readily apparent that with our high-risk members that were interpreting, the ASL services would shut down. I sent home a DSLR camera with one of our primary interpreters. Once I was finished creating the main services, I would then take that and pair it with the ASL interpreter’s recording so that there would be a picture-in-picture video for the ASL crowd. Until Services could resume on campus, this was a 2+ month strategy so that we could still reach our deaf/ASL community. Especially with options for automatic or user-generated closed captioning, there was no excuse for us not to use the tools at our disposal to continue sharing gospel messages with those in need of wider accessibility options.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
I served 2+ years in a detention center ministry in Salt Lake. The youths were aged 16 to 18 and came from all walks of life, beliefs, and ethnicities. Ever since the 2002 Olympics, Salt Lake City has grown in its diversity. Salt Lake Detention Center was certainly a diverse group of kids, and they were there until they could turn 18 (their crimes, more often than not, that serious) and go across the street to adult lock up, the kids that we ministered to. I hate to use the word competition but the reality is they were being visited by the Mormons on Mondays for example and Tuesdays by the Catholics so they were getting conflicting messages. When I learned that the Mormons and Catholics were sensationalizing the kids with free food every week, we dialed back on freebies. We wanted people to join us – as it was always optional – simply because they had God-sized holes in their hearts and we were there to minister – not bribe them with candy. And it worked. We had 6-12 youths every week come for Bible-reading and prayer. Recognizing what external forces are at play is huge but also being authentic. Teenagers can sniff a fraud from a mile away but as a guy myself, I will admit, sometimes as young men, we think with our stomachs first.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for curriculum choices?
N/A – but I would vet the curric. with user reviews and employee reviews (if there’s a high churn, it’s likely that customer service will be lacking) while running a cost analysis.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
N/A – other than creating content to recruit people to join the safety teams. Each church I’ve served at in the last 6-7 years has had a dedicated security team if not local law enforcement on campus, plus magnetic key cards to get into sensitive areas. They also have all had regular fire/shooter/emergency drills, especially in the kids ministry areas.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and discipleship pastor?

In general, a healthy work relationship should have a balance between being entirely transactional and entirely relational. In ministry, I love the illustration provided from 1 Kings where Elisha is plowing with the oxen:

1 Kings 19:19

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair.

It’s reasonable to assume that Elisha was doing quite well for himself. This passage not only tells us that, but also that he wasn’t beyond rolling up his sleeves and putting his hand to the plow. The senior pastor leads the people and champions the mission and vision of the church, and every other pastor works under the leadership of the senior pastor to plow the field.

References

Frank Lugenbeel || (816) 853-1237 || franklin@connectionpoint.tv
Alyson Browning || (816) 778-1126 || alyson@connectionpoint.tv
Doug Templeton || (816) 210-2478 || doug@connectionpoint.tv
Amy Pennington || (913) 636-3800 || pqpennington@gmail.com

Favorite Bible Story

The parable of the unjust

judge in Luke 18.

Favorite Scripture

Isaiah 56:6-7