I've been very much in the blogosphere over the last couple of weeks. Last week I attended ProBloggers Training Day. (When I re-read my notes I will post anything relevant for this blog niche.) There were some brilliant insights and some disturbing ones. Especially when around people's motivation.

I don't normally lead my blog posts with negatives, but here are 4 surefire ways to wreak havoc in your church through blogging and social media that I learnt from the training day:

1) Be generous – with an agenda. If you are generous people will love you. They will talk about you. You will increase your followers or visitors to your blog. Its almost like you have to fake it to make it.

Recently I gave some books away. 3 books over 3 weeks. Not for any reason other than giving books away would help others. Got a real buzz knowing it would help someone I would probably never meet.

I also got the collective wisdom of thought leaders in the church communications blogosphere to help a series of guest post and put together the biggest blogging series so far called Church Marketing Myths. The traffic went off the charts. But again I only wanted to find out what others were thinking and put the best thinking out there in the church communications world.

In your church, use social media to connect people to others, be kind, its not just about what they can do for your church.

In summary, just be generous because you feel like it. Don't be motivated by what you can expect to get back. That sucks.

2) People are attracted to the potential money they can make – Not the value they can add.

The blogging presenters make six figure incomes. These guys really know they stuff. However, the questions some people were asking led me to think that they are driven not by the value they can add to a blog niche, but by the money they can make out of it.

When I started blogging I never knew who I'd meet or which organisations I'd be connected with. I've had the joy of connecting with some really cool people and recently had a huge announcement where I announced say that I officially suck at church communications.

In summary for your church, add value first. the reward will come if people find your content useful.

3) It's about quantity of twitter followers – Not quality of twitter followers.

After the event I had 50 new followers from people who also attended the event. The vast majority never met me. And if they were really honest they probably aren't really following me because I'm so funny or insightful. They are following me because they hope I will follow them back.

Here's the thing. If you follow me on twitter I will check you out. I see if you add value to my world. Are you funny? Are you insightful? You don't have to be in my blog niche. But likely I'll follow you back. If you are just following me because you think I'll follow you chances are I'm not going to follow you back.

For your church, some of you are just thankful that your twitter account even has followers. Do you know them? How are you connecting with them?

4) Create a community – to support your cause.

One of the presenters talked about how his community forums were like advocates for his cause. He rewarded those who were active and positive. The bottom line was not that there was a genuine community and wasn't it great that everyone was connecting, his bottom line was how the community supported his cause and became brand advocates.

I'm really glad you are a part of my community. I'm not going to ask you to do anything you don't want to do. I'm just glad you are here and are benefiting from some of the things I've learnt along the way.

I hope that your church like mine accepts people into your community that can offer absolutely nothing. That our churches can be a place just to serve those who are broken, hurting, messed up, or have it all together. That we won't be a church that is in it as long as 'they' are in it for us.

What are your thoughts?

Have any you seen any of this before? What would be #5 on your list?

Four communication principles from that I took away when Chris Brogan visited church online

Continue Reading...

“What’s the most resilient parasite?

An idea.

A single idea from the human mind can build cities.

An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.” Cobb

  • Thomas Edison failed many times. But then it figured out and it changed everything.
  • Phil Cooke writes about a great idea from Mitch Miller’s which started a genre.
  • Mark Batterson met in a movie theatre and started a church.
  • At the age of 21 James Hudson Taylor had the idea of serving as a missionary in China.
  • Steve Jobs had an idea that changed how we listened to music forever with the iPod.
  • The idea that God would send his son Jesus for all humankind over two thousand years ago is an idea that has become unstoppable force. It has defined and shaped culture, arts, education, work and the lives of billions of people.

We all have the potential to rewrite all the rules. To help transform the world.

What are the most transformative ideas you have seen?

Follow me on Twitter, come and say G’day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you’ll have to do the leg work on that one).

 

10 Sensible Ways To Help Your Church Building Speak

Continue Reading...

Blog header_CMS copy
I’m very honoured to announce that I’m the Regional Network Coordinator for the Centre For Church Communication of… Asia? Australia? Melbourne?

I’m the only one I know in Asia so far so I’ll take Asia as my region. For now. (How about that for a power grab? If I can’t take Asia then I’ll take Australia and New Zealand, I doubt anyone will every try and take me on for New Zealand because they’ve probably never heard of it and really it’s only full of sheep and hobbits anyway.)

Seriously though, what does that mean for you? If you are in serving in a church or volunteering in a church and you are involved somehow in communications or creative development I’d love to connect with you and find out more about what you do. Drop me a line on Twitter or on Facebook or leave a comment with your contact email below.

You may never of heard of the Centre For Church Communication, but you may have heard of Church Marketing Sucks. (CFCC is the alter ego (straight guy) of Church Marketing Sucks. Some may go as far as to say Godfather, shadowy puppet master, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Spectre, but I’ll leave you to make that decision.)

Follow me on Twitter, come and say G’day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you’ll have to do the leg work on that one).

I’ve never doubted the power of a story. But when a story comes along that is so compelling, so gripping and so moving I can’t help but share it.

I can’t imagine the pain, suffering, trauma that the invisible children of Uganda have been through. But to see an organisation be formed to be a change agent that not only tells the children’s stories, but also advocates for change blew me away.

The video below is a testimony about one man’s life about his involvement with this movement and his sacrifice. Warning: You will need a box of tissues at the ready. I wish I had when I watched it.

You can help make a difference at Invisible Children. Or go and donate some cash here

R.I.P. Nate Henn // 1985 – 2010

 

There is no other church in the world like your church. Yet, many churches look the same, feel the same, and even say the same things.

Some churches look the same for the wrong reasons. They imitate the largest church/most successful Pastor in their denomination because they think if they are doing it, then it must work. Maybe their Lead Pastor has seen something they like from another church or have a strong opinion about a creative angle.

Either way, it won’t work.

Don’t copy another communication style, design, typography or pithy, edgy copywriting because you think it’s cool and hip or because your Pastor says so.

I would go so far as to say – don’t even copy their name. I’ve seen it too many times. Every church wants to be a _______pointe, ________.tv  _______song.

This strategy sucks. Why?

Your church’s culture is different. The community your church serves is likely to be different. Discover first what your church’s culture is like, what your community looks like, and thinks is important.  Start with whatever the felt needs are in your community, then start your creative process.

On the other hand, if you see something that you know will work in your community that another church has done, then that’s a completely different story. With the original church’s permission to use their ideas – go for it. Your church is a one of a kind and God created your church to be an original. Don’t be a carbon copy.

Now that you have thrown away your carbon copy, where can you start?

1. Read smart church communication leaders blogs & books. Here is a large list of communication guru's that can help.

2. Read what smart leaders outside of church are saying.

3. Look outside the church world for creative inspiration.

3. Lead with your strengths, get professional help with your communications & creative development. Here is a list of great people here who can help you.

So what do you think?  Have you figured out a way to cure the Christian copycat that is in all of us? Where do you draw your creative and strategic communication inspiration from? Here are 10 tips on how to successfully rename or name your church.

Follow me on Twitter, come and say G'day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you'll have to do the leg work on that one).

We’ve got a problem at our house. We have possums living in our roof. Now before you get all mushy and goofy, they are not cute or cuddly. They are noisy and emit alien-like screams in the middle of the night to compliment all of the WWF-esque thumping that they do on our bedroom roof.

But I had a cunning plan to get rid of these ‘pesky varmits.’ Pete the Possum man told me that all I have to do is to close up any cavity space underneath the house, then the possums can’t climb up the walls into the ceiling space. Problem solved. With a torch in one hand and my ‘no more gap’ spray cans in the other, I took up Pete’s advice and did a long commando-crawl underneath the house to their most likely infiltration point.

You should know, the space under our house is dark, very narrow, full of cobwebs and dreaded Australian spiders such as redbacks, funnel webs, white tail spiders which are all very bad for your health should they bite you.

Knowing the risk, I emptied the cans of ‘no more gaps’ in the cavity space. As I was finishing up, a blob of the ‘no more gaps’ fell on my face and down my neck. It went rock solid and very sticky in about 10 seconds. I had to then commando-crawl back out and hurried up to my bathroom mirror where I saw that half of my goatie beard was covered and the whole left side of my neck.

To cut a very long story short, I had to cut off half of my beard and spent a couple of hours peeling the remainder from my neck (now I know how women feel when they wax). Not a great experience. I didn’t really do the job that well. It isn’t finished, it won’t keep the possums out and I hurt myself in the process.

Churches do the same thing. We try to do things that we aren’t good at ourselves. We often don’t finish what we start. We don’t do it well, and we often hurt our brand/church in the process.

We try to:

  • Design our own website
  • Create our own brand strategies
  • Develop our own social media
  • Create our own video
  • Design our own logo (by committee)
  • Do our own PR

Like me, churches need to understand where its strengths lie—what they are good at, and what they aren’t good at. We need to lead with our strengths and get help in the areas of weakness. If that means hiring a graphic designer, a brand strategist, a videographer, a PR specialist, etc., then so be it. If it means that it will cost us money, so be it.

We must remember to lead with our strengths and stick with that. In every other area we need to surround ourselves with those who are brighter, smarter, and more talented at what they do. In the end we will be better off because we did it.

What areas are you weak in? What areas are you strong in?

 

Yes I believe I have the best job in the world. Really. I do. In fact coming to work everyday as the Communication’s peep for my church just doesn’t feel like work. It feels like my job is just what I’m meant to do during the day.

But I digress.

This post is sooo relevant for all of us serving at churches. One issue we all have in common is budget constraints. Often we let the budget limit our creative development and communications strategy rather than letting it unleash and develop the idea in an innovative way.

I love what this ad agency did. They had a very tight budget (from a global perspective). They chose an innovative and original way to communicate it. Which in turn unleashed incredible results. It has been called one of the top 50 PR stunts ever.

How about you? Do you have budget restraints? Have these restraints helped or hinder your creative development or communications strategy?

What innovative creative development and communications have you seen other churches do?

(Footnote: I hate it when I accidently post an article before I get around to finishing it. Some of you may of received the incomplete RSS article which really doesnt make any sense what so ever – apologies for that!)

Follow me on Twitter, come and say G’day on Facebook, get regular updates via my RSS feed or stalk me in person in Melbourne (you’ll have to do the leg work on that one).

Excellent motion graphics driven video on the The Ten Commandments from Vit Ryznar.

The Ten Commandments – motion (kinetic) typography from Vit Ryznar on Vimeo.