In this leadership video, popular author and marketing guru, Seth Godin explains why you need a tribe to impact the world. He is the best-selling author of Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us and The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit and When to Stick. Check out his blog at www.sethgodin.typepad.com.
Over the past several years some friends and I have found ourselves striving to find ways to enhance community in the church. It’s a passion that we all share and we have given everything we have to it. We’ve had the chance to make friends with people and churches across the country who are creating community in some phenomenal ways. About a year ago a close friend, who is on staff at a church, invited us to help conduct a study on community. The goal being to uncover needs and ideas that might have slipped through the cracks. We jumped at the opportunity.
We were able to spend one on one time interviewing senior pastors, support staff, administrative staff, and church members. We were able to spend time with people involved in church at all levels. We simply asked questions and then listened. Our questions concentrated on three areas: Community externally as church, Community Internally as a Staff, and Technology influencing community. Once our time came to an end we had spent over 100 hours in conversations. These conversations were personal and vulnerable. People talked to us about their lives and their needs. They shared how community at church had meant everything to them. Some who you would have thought had the most community talked about their need for more. After all of these conversations were finished we found ourselves with pages of notes. As we talked through these notes we were able to find several themes that really stuck out to us.
We wanted to share this information in a unique way, so instead of writing our findings in the traditional way we used art. We created a “report” that highlighted the themes we saw through our interviews in typography based art. Information can be dull when presented the same way over and over, but it doesn’t make it any less important. C is for Church.com is what we called it and now we want to release it to anyone that’s interested.
Our goal with this project is to provoke thoughts instead of providing answers, although you might like some of the ideas presented. We can all do better and C is for church is a tool that you can use with your staff or group of volunteers to provoke discussions that can lead to ideas. We don’t want anyone to misunderstand, we are not saying that our report is indicative of the church at large, however, maybe some of them could be applicable to your church.
You can get the report at C is for Church.com. You can download the pdf for free or pay what you would like. You can even view it online or find it on Facebook. We’ve tried to make it easy for anyone to see. For those who choose to pay, your money is going to pay for the pro-bono time that was put into this project.
As you view this project think of it as a chance to listen to the voices you usually can’t hear.
Chris Capehart & Micah Davis – We’re a couple of guys passionate about making the Big C church better. We’ll do it however we can. We’ve done everything from building technology to hosting dinner parties. We love God. We love people. We love community. Follow Chris Capehart via Twitter HERE and friend him on Facebook HERE. Follow Micah Davis via Twitter HERE and friend him on Facebook HERE.
Since video preaching on multi-site church campuses have proven to be an effective model to reach people and accelerate church growth, there is yet another tool that is stirring another controversy among church leaders and believers. They’re pastors and ministry leaders who use 3D holograms as a means to preach in live worship services. Is this going to become another effective communications tool to further the Gospel or have technology-savvy church leaders gone one step to far?
Tony Morgan, pastor of ministries at West Ridge Church near Atlanta, and popular blogger at TonyMorganLive.com introduced this technology on his blog earlier this week. Tony mentioned on his blog that he wouldn’t be surprised if this technology gets implemented into churches within the next 12 months. It could easily replace video teaching from the big screen.
The Christian Post also interviewed Ed Stetzer and meanwhile, he sees the use of holograms in the church as a “natural evolution” of the technology. He continued to say, “People watched their pastor live on a big screen at a megachurch, then they watched their pastor on video from another place, now the video goes from 2D to 3D. It is not a shift of philosophy but of technology. If you are already OK watching via video, this is just a new tool, not a new approach.”
What are your thoughts on this new technology? Could you see it benefiting your church? Read full article by The Christian Post, called, “Hologram Preachers Slated to Appear in Churches.”
Back in the days of only 3 TV channels, there were a handful of monster sized media ministries: Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Rex Humbard, and Jimmy Swaggart topped the list early, with Pat Robertson and Robert Schuller coming in a bit later. Then, with the advent of religious TV networks, more started growing: Rod Parsley, Lester Sumrall, John Osteen, Fred Price, and others. Today, the leaders are ministries like Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, and of course the networks like TBN and Daystar that give most of them their biggest platform. But now, in the wake of this recent financial crisis, the question becomes, will we see so many religious ministries of that size ever again?
While a few will continue, for the vast majority I say no, for a couple of reasons. According to a July Gallup poll, 32% of respondents said they’re spending less across the board. More telling however, is that these consumers expect this cutback to be their “new normal pattern” for the future. Interpublic Group did a similar study and found that 75% have altered their purchasing in the last year. While some have traded down, most seem to have evolved into a completely new lifestyle. As one major advertising agency executive put it: “People are going to emerge from the recession completely changed.” With non-profit giving, the cycles can sometimes be different, but you can expect their giving habits to be dramatically adjusted as well.
The second issue is technology and changing generations. By 2010, Generation Y will outnumber Baby Boomers and 96% have already joined an online social network. It took traditional radio 38 years and TV 13 years to reach 50 million users, but iPhone applications hit 1 billion in only 9 months. Bob Garfield, author of “The Chaos Scenario” predicts that within 5 years, one of the major 4 TV networks will drop out, maybe two. By this Christmas, TV sets will easily allow consumers to watch broadband video and have imbedded links to the major online entertainment sites.
So what does all this mean for major ministries? While traditional media isn’t going away, you basically have two choices: Evolve, or disappear. If you’re having financial struggles right now, here’s my recommendations:
1. First, don’t be so quick to cut back or fire the people involved in your fund raising or donor development. The fact that your direct mail letters, promotional efforts, TV commercials, or appeals aren’t getting the old response isn’t necessarily because they’ve failed. The money and audience simply aren’t out there like they used to be. The truth is, in this circumstance, the employees, consultants, or vendors you think are failing, may be the very ones keeping you alive. This is a tectonic shift in the giving audience. You can’t compare your response today to your old response. That’s just a strategy for making yourself crazy. People are cutting back, and they’re consuming media in different ways. Get used to it.
2. Start re-thinking your size and your priorities. The ministry you had 5-10 years ago probably won’t be ministry you have from here on out. And if you don’t make the tough decisions now, the bank will make them for you next year. What are those areas of ministry that seemed like a good idea at the time, but you simply can’t afford anymore? Start cutting the fat, but here’s the secret to cutting: Don’t just cut to save money. Use cutbacks to begin shaping the organization that will emerge from this crisis. Re-think your staff, and focus on the most competent team members. Loyalty is nice, but if that’s all an employee can offer, then you simply may not be able to keep them around. Flush out office politics, and build a team of energetic, strategic thinkers. Stop comparing everything to the “good old days” and start re-envisioning your ministry in the context of a new economic and media world.
3. Change your attitude. I know times are tough, but walking into some major ministries today is like walking into a toxic waste dump. Leaders are hammering on their employees, which just creates distrust and resentment. Don’t feed the downward spiral. Be a real leader. Stop placing blame and start finding solutions.
4. Finally, remember that revolutions can be good things. While we’re living in a time of unthinkable disruption, we’re not condemned to be mere victims. Get over the embarrassment that your organization may be shrinking, or your lifestyle might be cut back. Embrace the challenge. Historically, times of great peril have often been times of great reinvention. We can lament the good old days, or better yet, recognize that perhaps God is shaking our old ways of thinking for an even greater purpose.
The world has changed. How we respond is up to us.
Phil Cooke is a writer, speaker, filmmaker, & media consultant. He’s appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and his work has been profiled in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.His production and consulting company Cooke Pictures, advises many of the largest and most effective non-profit and faith-based media organizations in the world. Also, as a founding partner in the commercial production company TWC Films, he also produces national advertising for some of the largest companies in the country – giving him a unique perspective on both religious and secular media issues. TWC Films produced two TV commercials for Super Bowl 2008 and unveiled the Chevrolet Volt in the national broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in China. His online blog at philcooke.com features insight into issues of media and faith, and his book: Branding Faith: Why Some Churches and Non-Profits Impact the Culture and Others Don’t is changing the way non-profit and religious organizations use the media to tell their story. He’s lectured at universities like Yale, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, and is an adjunct professor at the King’s College & Seminary, and Biola University in Los Angeles.
It’s quite amazing to watch everyone get bit by the social media phenomena. I think about every pastor I know is on Facebook and Twitter; and if they’re not on it yet, I guarantee you they are talking with their staff about putting their profiles up very soon.Part of this online and social media phenomenon is that you don’t have to look very hard to find news or information; it finds you! It used to be if I wanted to know what was going on in my community, my church or in the world I would have to go out and seek information. But, now it finds me! It finds me on my Facebook, my Tweet Deck and on my phone. This new wave of interaction with people and information has quickly changed media and our culture. So, with that being said how will this effect how we do ministry?
Can you really reach and impact people in 140 characters or less? Can your Facebook profile and personal brand across different social media platforms be used to spread God’s Love and Hope to hurting people? Can ministry be divided into two worlds – Online & Offline? Could it be possible to lead an online ministry that impacts thousands of people every day? The answer of course is YES!
I’ve been pleased to see so many ministry leaders embrace the online world and social media as a tool to bring awareness and connect with people; but I think it will get deeper than that. I think new ministry terminology will be created.
For example, LifeChurch.tv has coined a new word that we can add to this new terminology for Online Ministry: Digital Missions. They have learned how to intersect pornographic viewers by placing ad’s on Google about LifeChurch.tv. These days, you can reach any audience you want. LifeChurch.tv wanted to reach individuals who are at home looking at porn. So, through Google ad’s they intersected porn viewers. So instead of seeing naked women, they would see and hear the Gospel message of hope and love right into their homes, computers or i-phones. Testimonies have flooded in on how men have been turning their hearts to Christ.
The online community is a dark world and it’s a mission field. What can your church do right now to reach people online in your community and around the world? What will be your digital mission? Or, what can be your digital ministry?
About a year ago, I heard Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv say to a group of church leaders, “To reach people no one else is reaching, we must do things no one else is doing!” This has become one of my favorite quotes that I look at almost everyday. This statement bothers me and challenges my thinking, as I hope it does yours. So many times in ministry we get so consumed with our daily leadership routine that we forget to step back and look at what the Holy Spirit wants to do differently through us — to reach people that no one else is reaching. But, to do that we must learn to adjust, refocus, and stop doing what everyone else is doing.
Watch this video clip below from Craig Groeshel. He expounds more on this principle at the 2009 Willow Creek Leadership Summit.
At first, I was a little skeptical, but after reviewing this resource over and over again, I am convinced this could be one of the greatest resources to churches worldwide.
So, what is VideoTeaching.com? Good Question.
VideoTeaching.com is an online library of video messages from gifted Christian communicators from all over the world…and it’s FREE! You can access video messages from ministry leaders like Frances Chan, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll, Dino Rizzo, Brian Houston, Paul Scanlon, Mark Batterson and many others.
So, why should I use VideoTeaching.com? That’s a better question.
VideoTeaching.com is not just about getting free video teaching messages. You need to look at the bigger picture of what LifeChurch.tv is providing here.
Today, you might be a pastor, student pastor, small group leader, or church volunteer that serves in a small, medium or mega-size church. You are also a ministry leader that has felt the effects of this countries recession.
Let me ask two questions.
1. Do you have the relational access to some or all the ministry leaders and communicators that are on VideoTeaching.com? For most of us that read this blog, probably not.
2. In this recession when lots of churches are cutting back on guest ministry, do you have an abundance of financial resources to host some or all of these ministry leaders and communicators that are on VideoTeaching.com that includes air travel, lodging and honorarium expenses? Again, probably not right now.
So, you may not have the relational access to these ministry communicators and you might have limited financial resources. But, as a leader, I’m sure you still have a passion with a leadership responsibility to keep people (your church, small group and friends) exposed to additional perspectives, gifts and ministries in the Body of Christ.
A church or ministry can utilize VideoTeaching.com for different reasons. These reasons were listed on VideoTeaching.com.
1. It can expand your teaching team – It can expose and introduce your church to additional perspectives by bringing in top teachers from around the world via video. Who would you like to speak at your church?
2. Develop your ministry – You might be bi-vocational or maybe you’re planting a church. Either way, video teaching allows you to put more energy into reaching the community by freeing you up from weekly message preparation.
3. Make a smooth transition – For churches who are without a pastor during a leadership transition, video messages can help with interim teaching. Line up your message calendar with ease so you focus on finding the right leader for your church.
4. Take a break – Regular rest is essential for pastors who want to maintain a healthy ministry. Whether it’s a sabbatical or just a short vacation, video messages are an excellent way to bring quality teaching to your church during a pastor’s time off.
A lot of folks have asked me how to utilize Twitter at their live experiences. With most applications centered around the web or phone, there hasn’t been much in the way of an answer. Hence the decision to build http://ParaTweet.com. (@ParaTweet)
ParaTweet is a real-time, full screen display of tweets pulled from any #tag or search term(s). It also provides powerful moderation capabilities that allow for any tweet to be approved or disapproved prior to showing on the screen. Since #tags aren’t exclusive for use, they can often come with:
• Inappropriate content (profanity)
• Irrelevant content (other folks using the #tag for other purposes)
• Spam (when a #tag becomes popular…in come the spammers)
This is where ParaTweet’s moderation and filtering really helps out by only displaying relevant and appropriate tweets to a live audience. It has been used by the Catalyst West Coastand Catalyst One Day conferences.
Pastors could use it for Q&A with the audience. It could also be run between services to help facilitate community and ministry announcements. And rumor has it that there are several new features in the pipeline for ParaTweet, but those will have to wait for another time. Until then, enjoy!