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What the Greatest Minds In Church Communications Know

Very little… in a good way.

Last night, I sat in a big room at Saddleback where I was surrounded by geniuses in the field (speakers and panelists from Cultivate 2011 as we held three brief conversations about three different themes:

  • How do we keep things simple?
  • How do we keep things social?
  • How do we make things viral?

And here are the big themes I walked away with.

  • None of us know much. We know trends. We know tools. We have a handle on culture. We can articulate best practices, but things are moving so fast around us that none of us have it all nailed down.
  • We are thinking, listening, and learning – all of which are more valuable than knowing.

We live in times of unprecedented opportunities for world evangelism in which borders (literal and figurative) are collapsing between nations, languages, and cultures. Because of technology, more people are sharing their faith than ever before. There’s plenty of room for debate about that, but I’m convinced that evangelism is more accessible than ever before. And so my role, as a Pastor, is to equip believers for ministry, which for me includes talking about how to use new tools, how to spread great content and ideas, and how to build real relationships in a virtual world.

At the conclusion of the night, I loved what Sherry Surratt said in summary – “I always consider a learning experience like this a success when we raise more questions than answers.” Keep thinking.

photo source: hillaryandanna

If I Were Implementing a Social Media Strategy For a Ministry, I Would…

Today I’m talking to Saddleback Church’s staff in more general terms (last week it was all about using Twitter) about how to implement social media within their own ministry areas. I love that we’re having this conversation. Rather than expecting a particular team within the church to “handle” communication and media, we’re empowering the masses.

[Read more…]

Does Your Church Have a Good Communications Strategy?

Communications is what we do. It’s how we spread the gospel, disciple believers, and connect the disconnected in relationships with God and each other. We tell, shout, herald, preach, and evangelize the world. We communicate.

Plenty of churches communicate well, at least in one aspect of communications. What we often lack, however, is a comprehensive and cohesive total church communications strategy.

I’ve just written an article at ResonateorDie on Three Layers of a Total Church Communications Strategy. Head over there to read the article and offer feedback.

View the Article

Attention: The Priceless Commodity of Marketing

Attention MarketingI won a book, Attention! This Book Will Make You Money!. It’s a book about how to use attention-getting online marketing to increase your revenue, by Jim Kukral. I read it in a couple of hours and it held my attention throughout, which is a really good start for a book on this topic!

Jim tells a pretty neat story about his attempt to get the attention of a well-known wealthy guy you may have heard of before – Mark Cuban. It worked, and it’s one of dozens of great examples Jim uses throughout the book of how to seize the attention of your intended audience/reader/consumer. It occurred to me just how important attention is, not only for marketing and earning revenue, but for publishing any kind of message.

You see, if no one is listening, it doesn’t matter how great our message is. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, nobody really cares whether it makes a sound or not. We’re just glad we didn’t get smashed.

I’ve heard plenty of times, in connection with the church that we should be “entertaining” people, but the very word entertain simply means to hold someone’s attention. Brainstorm with me. How can we get attention in ways that are meaningful, positive, and ethical? For the gospel, for our message, or even for our product, what works? What’s acceptable?

I’m going to address these questions and more over a few posts, but wanted to hear your feedback first. So, how does the concept of attention marketing grab you?

Our Message Ought to Be Both Timeless and Timely

MediaSalt

MediaSalt (an excellent resource for church communications) just published an article I wrote called “Giving Your Communications Roots and Wings.” It’s a message about how our very timeless message needs to be timely as well. We live in a very real-time culture, which has produced a very real-time web. Can you keep up and keep your feet on the ground at the same time? Head to MediaSalt to read Giving Your Communications Roots and Wings.