Shelby Systems had the honor of interviewing best-selling author, Lee Strobel, this month. On April 7, 2017 (just before Easter) Lee’s most popular book will be turned into a major motion picture. The Case for Christ has sold 5.8 million copies and it won the prestigious Gold Medallion Book Award. The film tells the story of an award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune who is enraged when his wife becomes a Christian. Lee sets out on a two-year investigation to try to prove that the Gospels are false. But a funny thing happens during his quest. Lee discovers that there is reliable evidence for the Bible, and he eventually receives Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

Click the image above to watch a short invitation from Lee Strobel to attend the upcoming movie.


Your ministry’s website is your digital front door. It should be physically appealing, leveraging and engaging. These days there are thousands of ways to set up a website. We are going to go back to the basics in this webinar and talk about the 3 things your website should accomplish and how you can use some of Shelby’s Website and ChMS tools to help you do that.

• Create a modern and physically appealing site
• Establish a reputation of valuable content
• Engage visitors through ministry-focused tools

Sign-up for this helpful webinar by clicking the image above, and join us on March 2nd at 2 pm CDT to learn how to make your website a more effective ministry tool.


As Shelby Systems continues to focus on Mobile Apps and Websites this month, we encourage you to learn more about the mobile tools that your ministry may want to consider implementing. In less than one minute, you can learn about ShelbyNext Mobile, the app specifically created with your church in mind. Our advanced design team will create a beautiful custom app with your church logo, graphics, videos, links and more in both the Apple and Google Play app stores. Just click the image above to see the brief video.


If you have never attended International Shelby Conference before, this is the year you should go! We’ll explain why as we share Coffee with Karen. Join Karen and Don at Café Eclectic in Memphis, TN for a relaxing cup of coffee and a fun and insightful conversation. You will discover what exclusive information will be presented this year, which well-known group will be leading us in worship and praise, the most interesting break-out sessions, available discounts and things to see and do in Dallas, TX. Every Shelby customer should seriously consider attending this year’s meeting because of the unique Wednesday morning session with the COO of Ministry Brands – Brad Hill. Make sure to watch the end of the video where you can experience some of the upcoming conference highlights. We’ll see you June 14-16 in Dallas, TX for ISC 2017 – Expect BIG Things!


During the month of February, Shelby Systems will be focusing on the Mobile Apps and Website tools available to Shelby customers. Sales Consultant, Steele Billings, will be leading a webinar on this topic on February 23rd at 2 pm CST. Until then please enjoy this informative video that Maggie Emerson, Web/Mobile Account Manager for Shelby Systems, put together recently titled “Mobile App Web Portal Overview.” In this 15 minute video, Maggie walks you through setting up the backend web portal for your ShelbyNext mobile custom app. Enjoy and good luck with the launch of your app!


If you are reading this, you have a digital footprint.  A digital footprint is basically a trail of everything you have done on the internet. This footprint creates an image of who we are as individuals. For churches and organizations, it creates an impression of the value and belief systems espoused. Shelby offers tools – ShelbyNext Websites and Mobile – to assist churches and organizations with shaping the types of impressions they leave. Here are a few things to review to ensure you are leaving the right footprint in the digital world:
  •  Is your website dated? When was the last time you updated your look and verified the
      information on your site was current?
  •  Is your website easy to read and navigate?
  •  Is your website mobile friendly?
  •  Is your site integrated with social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.?
  •  Do you have a mobile app?
  •  Are you able to archive sermons or provide live streaming of your services?

If you answered no or were unsure about any of these questions, let us help, perhaps we can assist you in shaping a more prominent footprint. 

(800) 877-0222


“Here’s a slam-dunk outreach event for churches this Easter. This is a compelling movie Christians can confidently invite their spiritually curious friends to attend with them!”


Opening in theaters April 7, 2017, one weekend before Easter, THE CASE FOR CHRIST will inspire believers and provide a safe and entertaining way for their questioning friends to better understand who Jesus is. Maximize impact by booking an entire show time for your church on opening weekend and then invite everyone to your Easter service! In addition to the film, a FREE Campaign Kit is available with the purchase of a theater buyout event. Visit for group ticket information.


From Christian Today:

While trying to prove that God does not exist, this once hard-nosed atheist found what he least wanted to find: God. Now, best-selling author Lee Strobel is bringing his amazing journey of faith from paperback to the big screen in the upcoming film THE CASE FOR CHRIST. Strobel is an award-winning investigative journalist and legal affairs editor for the Chicago Tribune. The movie is based on his real-life account of how he set out to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife using all his journalistic and legal skills. What he found at the end of his investigative pursuit turned out to be beyond his wildest imagination, so unexpected that it radically changed his way of thinking. His interest in the subject began when his wife, Leslie became a Christian. Seeking to convince his wife that she made a bad decision, Strobel interviewed some of the leading scholars on Evangelicalism and Christianity, raising incisive questions but at the same time giving them the opportunity to defend their views. In the end, Strobel found undeniable proof of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible, making him realize that indeed Jesus is the Son of God, the Redeemer and Savior of mankind. THE CASE FOR CHRIST comes from the makers of GOD’S NOT DEAD, Pure Flix and Triple Horse Studios. It stars Mike Vogel (THE HELP), Erika Christensen (PARENTHOOD), Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway (BONNIE AND CLYDE), Academy Award nominee Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN), L. Scott Caldwell (LOST) and Frankie Faison (THE WIRE). The movie is directed by Jonathan M. Gunn (DO YOU BELIEVE?) and written by Brian Bird, (WHEN CALLS THE HEART, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL). The film producers hope that THE CASE FOR CHRIST will further enlighten and inspire believers in their faith and at the same time cast out the darkness in the minds of even the most determined atheists.



If you were a subscriber to the Shelby v.5 SSTIPS newsletter in the past and are now a ShelbyNext customer, you will want to sign up for ShelbyNext Tips (some include accompanying videos). To receive these tips just register with the Shelby Community and then subscribe to the ShelbyNext/SSTIPS knowledge base. Follow the instructions below to receive these helpful tips in your email each time a new tip is posted.


  1. Register with the Shelby Community (keep in mind that you must be a Shelby customer to join the community)
  • Visit
  • Simply click the Log In/Sign Up Avatar located in the top right portion of the Community screen and fill in the appropriate fields.
  • For detailed instructions and other information, review the Community User Guide
  1. My Subscriptions / Forum Notifications
  • If you would like to be notified every time a new discussion is created in a particular forum, you can turn on forum notifications. Click My Subscriptions on the main navigation to access the My Email Subscriptions All forums you have access to display along with the Group they belong to and whether you subscribe to notifications from that forum. You can use the pull-down menu to filter by group.
  • Click any Yes or No in the Subscribe column to change the value. Any changes to subscriptions are automatically saved.
  1. Subscribe to ShelbyNext Tips
  • From the My Subscriptions page, click in the Subscribe column in the Knowledge Base (SSTips)
  • You should see the word “Yes” in that column and are now subscribed to ShelbyNext Tips.


Below is one the completed tips for ShelbyNext. Be looking for more year-end video tips coming soon. Just click the large image below to read the tip and watch the accompanying video.


VIDEO has become an established portion of today’s worship service. From announcements to lyrics, to sermon notes, to topic introductions and testimonies, video is an effective and popular means of communicating ideas and themes. Many modern ministries have massive resources set aside for video production. But what about the average size church that is on a tight budget? You can pick up some useful tips from Shonda Carter in this month’s Ministry Tech Magazine article (below). To learn more just pre-order her upcoming book “Show Stopper!” from Amazon.




Show Stopper! 

Three secrets for making great video

by Russ McGuire

Show Stopper! is the new book by Shonda Carter that has grown out of her startup company, Shonda Carter Productions. Set to release later this month, it has been a bestseller among Amazon preorders. So: how did a former prison employee become a best-selling author, and what does this have to do with ministry technologies?


Paid to be Mean

Shonda wasn’t raised in the church. When she went to college, she wanted to become a judge; she wanted to have power. She studied Criminal Justice, but unlike high school, she found that it took more than smarts: it took hard work to get good grades. She wasn’t willing to put in the work to pursue a Law

degree so she graduated with her Criminal Justice degree and started her first career. She got a job working for the prison system as a probation officer. She loved that she got paid to be mean. And she was good at it! From there, she moved to a child support enforcement role. Even though these jobs seem to have nothing to do with her current calling, Shonda points out that God never wastes anything—these jobs taught her how to tell people what to do, which has made her a better video director!


God Saves the Mean Lady

Shonda and her husband began attending church, but she just didn’t “get it.” She looked around at all the people that were full of joy in the Lord and she prayed, “God, don’t you want me?” One night, Shonda and her husband took their kids to the local drive-in to see a movie. It was a double feature, and although they didn’t really have any interest in watching the second movie, The Passion of the Christ, they figured they were already there, so they stuck around. Shonda realized that she was a visual learner, and once she saw what Christ did for her, she could finally understand all that she had heard at church. God literally opened her eyes to see and understand the gospel. Not only did God use the film to save Shonda and her husband, it helped her realize the power of video in communicating His deepest truths. As she began studying the Bible, she saw that Jesus is the master storyteller. In gratitude to her pastor, instead of simply writing him a thank you note, she wrote a play for him. A year later he asked her if she would start a drama ministry with live, on-stage monthly productions. Shonda loved applying her creativity in service to God’s people, but the live productions were too unpredictable.


Technology to the Rescue

Thinking back to The Passion of the Christ, Shonda realized that video might be the answer. Her computer had some software called Movie Maker, so what could be so hard about making a movie? “I realized I knew nothing about making videos, but the Holy Ghost and YouTube taught me enough to get started.”

Eventually she went back to school to learn video production, quit her child support enforcement job and took a minimum wage job as an Associate News Producer for the local television station. She felt called by God to spend a year there, but she got promoted to News Producer and overstayed the 12 months before God made it clear that she was to move on. As she continued to make videos for her church, she thought about creating a YouTube channel with spiritual content. Jesus went to where the people were, and video, if it’s engaging, can help people understand the message. To figure out the business side

she plugged into the local startup community. Video marketing on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook was becoming increasingly important to entrepreneurs, so Shonda started helping her new friends with their videos. I asked her what the hardest part of starting her business was and she said it was

believing that she was good enough to get paid for video production. It’s called the imposter syndrome. Everyone told her she was good and her work was valuable, but she didn’t feel comfortable charging for her service. She finally bit the bullet and Shonda Carter Productions was born.


Three Video Tips

I asked Shonda if she could share three tips with us for making great videos. Her best advice boils down to this:


1 Make it short. The shorter the better.

2 Tell a story. People want to feel, not just hear. Jesus used stories to powerful effect.

3 The music matters. Special effects don’t impress anyone anymore, but music helps the audience get in the moment faster.



I asked Shonda how her faith impacts her as an entrepreneur. She said praying for God’s wisdom in all things is her most powerful business tool. When opportunities come her way, she turns to the Lord for direction in who to work with and who to decline. As a startup with limited resources, she also prays constantly for wisdom on spending money, for example, on which conferences to attend. She is thankful that the Lord has been faithful to her.


“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

(1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV) MT