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The Communications Team the Baptist Union of Great Britain (England is my country of birth) have created some top communication tips which I thought I would share with you.

Chris Hall has been very generous in giving me the low down on the church communications landscape in the UK. Go and say G'day to Chris on Twitter, but be warned, Chris has an rather unhealthy love of American sports.

I also found this interesting video (Which Chris produced) about welcoming people to your church. A very British version of Mark Waltz from Granger Community Church.
 

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1. You are not alone. There is some brilliant people and organisations out there like the Centre For Church Communications to support you. Let them know you are there!

2. I’m not sure if this is a rule or a tip but read Less Clutter Less Noise by Kem Meyer and Branding Faith by Phil Cooke.

3. Social media can be your friend, but you can get it wrong if you’ve never done it before. Here are 9 tips I wish I knew before I started using social media at my church.

4. Find out who is ahead of you on the communications curve and read. Subscribe to their blogs. I do. Here is a really useful list of all of the major blogs.

5. Get advice from those outside your world. I did. Darren Rowse (No.1 ranked pro-blogger in the world) has some excellent advice for churches about using social media.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If I can help you in any way I will. Drop me a comment below.

7. Find out about how PR can be a force for good for your church, without you feeling like a you have to sell your soul and become a spin doctor.

8. If rules hinder your communications – break them.

9. There are alot of myths out there about church marketing that people think will work, that in reality suck. Here is a great summary of the different church marketing myths.

10. Avoid embarrassment. Trust me I’ve been there. Get someone to proof read every piece of work you do.

11. I suck at writing and need help. Here are 8 tips to help you not sucking at writing from a writing guru who serves in a large church.

12. Being socially wired doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can set up a custom Facebook landing page for free.

13. Just because some guy says he know’s how to use Photoshop and InDesign they aren’t the one to do your design work. Think about using people who lead with their strengths in the creative world.

14. My philosophy. Apply the KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid). Clear and simple communications will win every time.

15. Learn the subtle art of how to say no to bad ideas in a really nice way.

16. Discover how some of the biggest churches in the world mobilise their congregations in the use of social media

17. Do your research before you start anything. A wise advertising guru once said “People who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

18. At some point you’ll have to help raise money to support your churches vision. Learn from what others have done in communicationing the vision.

19. You don’t have to pay for everything, there are some outstanding free resources available online

20. There are some formal coaching network that can help you. Kem Meyer has an excellent network, find out more here.

21. By the time you get here you may of thought that you’ve figured alot of it out and have the experience. You don’t. You never will. Go back to the beginning and start again. I do every day. I’m always learning. Always listening. Always reading. If you don’t do anything else on this list get this concept.

What tips would you give to someone starting out in the communications world? Drop a comment below.

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).

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At Crossway we’ve been developing (themed/topical) sermon series for just over two years now. Here’s the thing. I want to give one copy of our Sermon Series Resource Kits away each week.

Over the next month I’ll be posting up the different sermon series and one person per week will receive the full sermon series resource kit which includes:

  1. Video promo of the sermon series.
  2. Graphic still of the branding for your auditorium.
  3. Web graphic of the branding.
  4. Transcripts of the four sermons.
  5. MP3 of the sermons from Crossway.

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Interested? This week’s give-away is so cool. It’s called ‘Lessons from the Dark Side’. (synopsis: What we can learn from the darker characters of the Old Testament that will propel us towards living a life Jesus would want us to live)

You can watch the promo/trailer video here.

Complete these two simple steps and it could be yours:

1) Retweet this message or post it to your Facebook page: @Stevefogg is giving away sermon series resources on his blog http://bit.ly/akMAxn

2) Leave a comment below including your Twitter handle or Facebook link so I can contact you if you are the winner. It would be great to hear from you on how it could help you in what you do.

I’ll be announcing the winner on late Saturday 22nd August 2010 on this post (EST Australia Time).

***********CONGRATULATIONS TO Steve Kryger @communic8jesus********* selected by random.org

The Sermon Series Resource Kits usually retail for $135.00 (Australian Dollars). If you are not the person selected in the random pick and are still interested the kits are discounted down to $50.00 until 29th August 2010 on this blog only (Drop a comment below if you are interested and I’ll email you a form).

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 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

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“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?

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10 Sensible Ways To Help Your Church Building Speak

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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).