More about Communication

  • The Way You Use Words Determines the Culture You Create

    Words create worlds. Words are powerful, and the way you use them determines the culture you create.

  • 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Ministry Postcards

    Last week, I opened our mailbox to find one of the worst church direct mail postcards that I have ever sent or received. First, you need to know that I have been a part of sending some real doozies, like an “F-Word” (forgiveness) pun on an Easter invite one year… not my idea, but I was definitely a willing participant.

  • The Announcement Dilemma: 8 Reasons Your Congregation Tunes You Out During Announcements

    This weekend all across the country people are going to get up in front of their churches and talk about upcoming events and opportunities to connect with community. They want to move their people to action but in reality a large portion of the room will simply tune out for that part of the service and then tune back in when something more interesting comes along.

  • Stop Promoting. Instead, Start Telling a Story Worth Sharing

    "Our biggest problem is awareness" If that's your mantra, you're working to solve the wrong problem. If your startup, your non-profit or your event is suffering because of a lack of awareness, the solution isn't to figure out some way to get more hype, more publicity or more traffic.

  • How Better Listening Can Improve Your Conversations and Your Leadership

    For a leader, listening is perhaps the most important skill of all. As a leader, we must learn to listen while navigating along with the person speaking toward a common destination – mutual understanding.

  • Fine-Tune Your Team’s Vocabulary to Shape a Creative Culture

    To  change attitudes and behaviors, it helps first to change the vernacular.   - David and Tom Kelley, IDEO Language is the crystallization of thought.

  • Using Social Media as a Christ Follower: One Principle and Three Questions

    After taking LifeWay Christian Stores through a vision process, I not only shop there often, I go with a different mindset. Their mission is passionately engaging believers on their journey of faith.

  • 15 Ideas to Help You Evaluate Your Church Bulletin

    Recently I emailed some friends and asked them to grab their bulletins from their weekend services at their church and mail them to me. I was overwhelmed when just over 100 that arrived in my mailbox or email! It was so fun looking in at what’s going on at so many churches across the country.

  • Words Create Worlds – The Language We Use Shapes the Culture We Lead

    In his book The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle tells the fascinating story of some experiments that Stanford psychologist and author Carol Dweck has conducted with fifth graders in multiple settings. The fifth graders were put into two different groups and given the same tests.

  • 6 Things Learned from 2 Great Communicators

    All leaders communicate. Not all leaders communicate well.

  • Perfecting Your Pitch by Finding Words that Work

    Have you ever been faced with settling family financial squabbles, asking for a raise, offering tough but constructive criticism, rejecting a friend or relative’s request for a loan, selling and holding to a price, making budget denials and requests, dealing with customer objections, or negotiating a contract where you feared the other side had all the leverage? And have you, said something to quickly solve the problem and in an instant thought to yourself: “Wow, why did I say that?” How often do we come out of an important discussion or a negotiation and ponder what we could’ve done or said differently to achieve a better result? Ron Shapiro is an expert negotiator, sports agent, attorney, educator, civic leader, and best-selling author. Having negotiated the contracts of more Baseball Hall of Famers than any other agent, he knows a little about the art of negotiation.

  • 8 Bad Habits that Keep Your Church Communications Stuck in a Rut

    We can get stuck in a rut when it comes to our leadership and church communications. Even in the most “progressive” churches we can just do things the way that they have always been done.

  • Welcome to “No” Church – 4 Steps to Reversing Your Negative Church Messaging

    Almost without exception, churches somewhere utilize negative messaging for very practical reasons. After all, someone parking in the wrong spot can create havoc.

  • Do the Words We Use Limit the Solutions We Create?

    Uncaging vision involves meticulous articulation.   Every single word, metaphor or story that drives your vision must be carefully created if you want to have a stunning impact.

  • 9 Reasons What You Say About Giving Goes Unheard

    At some point every church leader needs to get in front of their community and ask them to give to the mission. These moments can be some of the most awkward moments ever in your services.

  • Capture Your Audience’s Attention through Brevity – or Lose Them

    Are you guilty of committing one or more of the following seven capital sins of brevity? Cowardice Confidence Callousness Comfort Confusion Complication Carelessness The world today is full of information overload and there is not enough time to sift through it. If you cannot capture people’s attention and deliver your message with brevity, you’ll lose them.

  • 10 Rules of Raw That Will Make Your Church More Relevant, Part 2

    If you have not seen the first part of this series, check out the explanation and illustration of the first five Rules of Raw. The post was spawned by the last 5 years of seeing the patterns of churches that do an excellent job reaching the 18-29 year olds.

  • Learning to Listen, Not Listening to Speak Next

    What if active listening is really just the baseline level of acceptable listening rather than the ultimate destination point? What if, instead of us viewing active listening as something to achieve, we look at it as more of a basic expectation upon which we build and grow? There are at least three levels of listening that can be layered on top of active listening. 1.

  • Wal-Mart vs. Mom & Pop Stores: The Power of Branding and How It Can Help Your Church

    I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail with lead actors Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Ryan’s character runs a small independent bookshop in Manhattan, while Hanks’s character is opening a large retail bookstore with low prices (if only he’d known how technology would change the way we read) just down the block.

  • Three Branding Strategies for Your Church

    In 2004 the marketing guru David Aaker, published a book entitled Brand Portfolio Strategy, in which he describes a tool called a “Brand Relationship Spectrum” to help simplify the world of brands when companies steward multiple products or services. Revisiting his book will help us create a very simple, three-part language for church leaders.

  • 10 Rules of Raw That Will Make Your Church More Relevant, Part 1

    Raw is the best way to articulate the new relevance of church. Keep in mind that the term itself has varied definitions, most of which are helpful in describing mindset of church leaders that are better at reaching people in their 20s and 30s.

  • 10 Ways Buzzwords Are Undermining Your Leadership

    On several occasions when teaching, I’ve noted the difference between buzzwords and leadership. In fact, I think that a key facet of leadership is knowing the difference between a strategy and a collection of buzzwords.

  • Illustrating How Elevation Church Tells Its Mission Story

    “So that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ. ” That is the mission of Elevation Church.

  • 3 Helpful Rules for Pastors Using Twitter

    If your pastor is new to Twitter or hasn’t found a good rhythm of how to use it, try my 30/50/20 rule for Pastors using Twitter: 30% message application: Drop hints in your weekend message that you’ll be tweeting life application from the sermon topic every day for the upcoming week.  This helps engage those in audience (especially those via broadcast) who can be encouraged and have practical application for the past weekend’s message M-F.

  • The Genius of Being Simple and Obvious Every Time

    Simple and obvious leadership tip for you today. But it’s one that I’ve seen pay big dividends over the years.

  • What’s the Difference Between Church Mission Statements and a Tagline?

    Just Do It.   This may be the most known marketing slogan in the world.

  • Too Busy to Connect: Avoiding Invalidation in our Communication

    Do we care about talking to each other anymore, or are we settling for mostly texts, emails, tweets, and similar electronic quickies? We often think that quick communication saves time. This is true in some cases.

  • 8 Tips for Better Church Announcements

    When “announcements” are done well they help move the community to be more engaged in the vision your church. When they are done poorly they drag on the service and make everyone wish they would just stop! The difference between these two extremes is often really simple things.

  • 5 Reasons It’s More Important for Pastors to Use Social Media Than Churches

    When I first encountered Facebook it was when I was at a speaking event on a University campus that had access to up-start social network trying to take on MySpace. The student leaders we met with for lunch we’re talking about this amazing new tool for connecting with each other.

  • 7 Alternatives to Sunday Morning Announcements

    Ministry leaders think if they just get their event or program “promoted from the stage” people will flood into it. Church communications people are peppered with requests all the time for people wanting to get “their deal” in the announcements.

  • 7 Reasons Your Church Should Create an Annual Report

    You’ve heard of annual reports, but have you thought of creating one for your church? The point of course is not to imitate a common corporate practice, but to leverage every opportunity to cast vision. As we scan a few reasons why you should do this, let’s start with a definition.

  • Using Social Media to Make Change: What Pastors Can Learn from Arab Spring and Occupy Fall

    Social media has started a revolution in how people connect, learn and communicate, and its effects cannot be undone.   - Brian Solis In 2011, the world was introduced a powerful uprising in the Middle East that would later become known as the “Arab Spring.

  • Using Definition and Repetition in Your Leadership Language Helps Keep Your Culture Steady Against the Winds of Change

    When the winds of change blow against your church culture, what keeps it steady? The visionary leader cares too much about the message to let it just blow in the wind, unattended. Wise leaders understand the importance of words.

  • Hype, Hope, or Help: Writing Sermon Series Promotions

    When promoting an upcoming series of messages at your church you need to think carefully about the language you use to promote it. The right promotional copy can encourage your people invite friends while if you get it wrong it can actually repel people from your church.

  • What Your Church Should Measure on Social Media

    In the Facebook and Twitter social circles, adding more ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ is a popular and accepted measurement of reach. It is assumed that the greater the reach, the greater the influence.

  • To Grow Disciples, Start by Rethinking Your Church Communication

    Are you familiar with the well-known website, church marketing sucks? Or, if you’re put off, perhaps church marketing stinks? I’ve always loved the blunt challenge the domain presents against the dominant framework most local congregations bring to the idea of church communication.  Like the site’s owners, I am against misunderstanding church communication as a mere tool to share information.

  • Good Organizations are Storytellers. Great Organizations are Storydoers.

    Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable today. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story, I find this very encouraging.

  • Vision is Always Visual: Illustrate the Process

    Illustrating your church’s process is vital. The simple process is more likely to resonate with each person if it is visual.

  • The One Social Network Every Church Leader Needs to Use Regularly – for Now

    If you could only be on one social media network as a church leader which one would it be? If you wanted to focus your efforts on a single network for simplicity sake where should your energy go? Where should you start your social media work as a church? Facebook In the current state of the social web Facebook represents the best place for church leaders to invest their time. Over 1.

  • Church Signage, Part 1: Exterior Signs

    Besides the building itself, a church’s primary sign is its first impression. It’s our first chance to tell the community who we are, what we value, and what we do.

  • 5 Types of Social Media Content Your Audience Really Wants

    Why do we follow brands? What’s the point? They’re not our friends. We’re not going to make plans with them on a Friday night or invite them to our birthday parties (though some we would if we could).

  • Intentional Communication

    Every day, your church stewards thousands of moments of truth. Every time a member talks to a neighbor, someone drives by the church facility, a ministry email goes out, or Facebook page is liked, some interaction on behalf of the church has transpired.

  • 10 Steps in Preparing a Powerful Presentation

    The talks I give usually take me a comfortable 45 minutes but in a recent TED talk I needed to get the insights out in 18 minutes. The culling process forces you to convey only the most important information for spreading your idea.

  • Using the Physical Attributes of Your Campus to Intentionally Communicate Your Story

    “I ask all of our first time guests why they decided to come to our church and 90% of them said they were driving by and were intrigued by our site and our new building, and that is all thanks to the creativity of Visioneering Studios. ” David Garison, Lead Pastor,  Northside Christian Church, Spring, Texas If you were driving down a road in your town and saw the above building, would you be intrigued?  Would you want to check it out? As you look at that picture, who do you think this building meant to attract?  Who was the primary target to get sucked in by the design and amenities? If you said MEN…then you would be correct.

  • 9 Secrets of Dynamic Weekly Team Emails for Ministry Leaders

    Sending out a weekly email to your team is an effective way to make sure that your people are focused on the same thing going into the weekend. A good weekly email is part logistics reminder part talking points and part motivational propaganda.

  • Your Words are the Technology of Leadership

    The Things We Don’t Know We Know When we drive, there are hundreds of things that we do every minute that we don’t consciously think about.  Over time, we get so good at making these constant adjustments to speed and direction, gas and brakes, that we forget just how hard it is to actually drive a car.

  • Your Brand is a Story – About You

    Why prefer Coke over Pepsi or GE over Samsung or Ford over Chevy? In markets that aren't natural monopolies or where there are clear, agreed-upon metrics, how do we decide? Yes, every brand has a story—that's how it goes from being a logo and a name to a brand. The story includes expectations and history and promises and social cues and emotions.

  • Using Profiles to Build Your Communication Strategy, Part 2

    Every church has different personas that make up the congregational body. Each of these personas—New Visitor, Return Visitor, Engaged Member, and Mature Disciple—all need different things from portions of the church website.

  • Using Profiles to Build Your Communication Strategy, Part 1

    Every church is made up of different groups (or personas) on any given Sunday. Collectively, you may not be able to tell the difference between them.

  • Your Communication Strategy Starts at the Top: Why Senior Pastors Are to Blame for Bad Church Signs

    We’ve all seen them—bulletin bloopers and bad church signs. Both provide good fodder for blog consumption.

  • Keeping Your Ministry Brand Top of Mind: A Lesson from Disney

    Though it was founded in 2006 (which makes it older than Twitter), BuzzFeed stormed onto the social media scene in 2012, more than doubling its 2011 traffic (per Alexa). The format is perfect for the way audiences consume and share media today.

  • Connection Trumps Conflict: 3 Exercises to Improve Your Leadership Communication Skills

    I'm sure it's happened to you: You're in a tense team meeting trying to defend your position on a big project and start to feel yourself losing ground. Your voice gets louder.

  • Developing an Online and Offline Personal Communication Strategy

    I’ve been in a situation in life here lately where it has been necessary to develop a communication strategy online and offline. In the past, I have not given much thought to how I communicate with other people.

  • 7 Things Every Pastor Should Do Every Week on Social Media

    The most recent study shows that 67% of adults use social media regularly. [Study] If 2/3rds of your church showed up to a meeting every week would you want to use that meeting to communicate with them? If that percentage of folks in your community came to an event in your town next week would you want to find a way to use that platform to reach people?  Church leaders that ignore social media are missing a significant channel for reaching people in their community.

  • Utilizing Storytelling in Promoting Your Ministry Brand

    The most effective mass media is the stories we tell and conversations we have with each other. If you don’t believe me, let me prove it to you.

  • Understanding Trends in Church Websites: Mobile First is Growing

    If you wanted to predict the future of the web, how would you go about doing it? Further, what if you wanted to know how people accessed and utilized their church's website? For starters, you take a look at the hard data. We've been collecting data on 50+ churches for over three years and the data, dear friends, is astounding.

  • Four Focusing Questions to Save Time with Social Media

    The way to keep social media simple is to be selective. Social Media can be overwhelming.

  • What Does Your Ministry Brand Say About You?

    Every tweet, every status update, every avatar, every social network background image—they all say something about your digital brand. Have you taken inventory to see what they’re saying? For most organizations, the answer is, “no.

  • Leaders Communicate with Certainty

    The charisma of a great speech, a powerful graphic design or a well-designed tool (and yes, a well-designed tool can have charisma) comes from certainty. Not the arrogance of, "I am right and you are not," but from the confidence/certainty of, "I need to say it or draw it or present it just this way and I want you to hear it.

  • 7 Questions Your Ministry’s Social Media Must be Answering

    The leader who shapes culture understands that not all stories are created equal.   The use of social media continues to rise at at a rapid rate into our world.

  • 4 Easter Promotion Hacks to Drive Attendance

    We are just a few weeks away from Easter! This is one of those days in the calendar when people are willing to invite their family and friends to attend your church with them. This year we are adding some new components to our communication plan with our people.

  • Make Sure Your Ministry Communication is Not One Way by Asking “What Are People Hearing?”

    Effective communication is one the most valuable commodities in any organization. Excellent ideas or initiatives without a corresponding level of excellence in communication will never get off the ground.

  • How to Use Web Analytics with a Service-Minded Mentality

    Objections abound when it come to tracking, analyzing, and acting on church website data. Confusion about where to start, faulty beliefs about data application, and dreaded assumptions lead many a church worker to believe web stats don't matter.

  • Five Common Mistakes Made by Leaders When They Speak

    Many of the failures in leadership are failures to communicate well. No matter how smart we are or how good our strategies are, they are doomed for failure if no one understands them.

  • Don’t Let the Screen Strangle Your Soul, Part 2

    Let me suggest three ways in which the digital revolution, for all its benefits, is also an accomplice to our experience of being hassled, frazzled, and crazy busy. For if we understand the threats, we may have some hope of finding a way forward.

  • Smashing Your Brand: Service, Traditions, and Ritual

    All week I have been taking at look at some thoughts by Martin Lindstrom, a global branding guru and expert on consumer shopping behavior whose work is in demand by corporations worldwide. In his book Brand Sense, Lindstrom reveals how the world’s most successful companies and products integrate touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound with startling results.

  • Smashing Your Brand: Sound, Navigation, and Behavior

    Martin Lindstrom is a global branding guru and expert on consumer shopping behavior whose work is in demand by corporations worldwide. In his book Brand Sense, Lindstrom reveals how the world’s most successful companies and products integrate touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound with startling results.

  • Smashing Your Brand: Name, Language, and Icon

    Martin Lindstrom is a global branding guru and expert on consumer shopping behavior whose work is in demand by corporations worldwide. In his book Brand Sense, Lindstrom reveals how the world’s most successful companies and products integrate touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound with startling results.

  • Smashing Your Brand: Picture, Color, & Shape

    Martin Lindstrom is a global branding guru and expert on consumer shopping behavior whose work is in demand by corporations worldwide. In his book Brand Sense,Lindstrom reveals how the world’s most successful companies and products integrate our senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound with startling results.

  • A Smashing Process: Understanding the Integrated Components of Your Brand

    Brand expert and consumer consultant Martin Lindstrom poses an interesting question: Eliminate a logo, and what’s left of your brand? In his book Brand Sense, Lindstrom develops this question into a full-blown treatise on the importance of utilizing all five senses when it comes to branding. He calls it Smash the Brand.

  • Brand Storytelling: What Fear Can Teach You

    KAREN THOMPSON WALKER—WHAT FEAR CAN TEACH US Walker, a fiction writer, explains that fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling we’re all born knowing how to do. We imagine our own futures, accurately or not, by creating stories.

  • Brand Storytelling: The Technology of Storytelling

    JOE SABIA—THE TECHNOLOGY OF STORYTELLING In less than four minutes, iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces the audience to Lothar Meggendorfer and explains how Lothar’s invention of the pop-up book is helping us tell stories today. He also makes me realize that I’m underutilizing my iPad.

  • Brand Storytelling: The Danger of a Single Story

    Novelist and storyteller Chimamanda Adichie, a native of eastern Nigeria, has learned firsthand how listening to only one story can lead to critical misunderstandings. She tells of how her U.

  • Brand Storytelling: The Clues to a Great Story

    TED talks are a gold mine of knowledge. Because the TED website’s topics include not only technology, education and design (TED) but also business, science, activism, health, storytelling and everything in between, one can get lost on the site for days.

  • Building a Digital Footprint in 8 Easy Steps

    "Where do I start?" More often than not, that is the first question many professionals have when it comes to dipping their toes into the digital channels. They simply have no idea how to begin.

  • Don’t Let the Screen Strangle Your Soul, Part 1

    The first time I really became aware of the full intensity of the problem was in a conversation with a couple students training for the ministry. I was speaking at one of our top seminaries when after the class two men came up to me in private to ask a question.

  • How to Create a Content Calendar and Engage More People in Your Church

    One of the best ways to connect with your church throughout the week is with social media.   Statistically, over half of your congregation will spend some portion of their week actively engaged on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

  • Jesus and Bad Advertising

    I was on a road trip about a year ago and my son Elijah needed to use the bathroom. There was a gas station that said “clean restrooms,” so we pulled in.

  • What Shape is Your “Front Porch” In?

    If you lived around the turn of the century until the 1950′s, the front porch of the homes, the general store and local business was a vital part of culture. If you wanted to know what was happening in your community, especially your immediate 5 minute walk, you could sit out on a front porch and see and hear what was going on.

  • Church Communication Hero: Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Martin Luther King Jr. is perhaps the greatest champion for social change in 20th century America.

  • The Biggest Church Website Needs for 2013

    We asked a simple question: What is something you will need on your church website in 2013? Hundreds responded and we picked the ones most indicative of the overall themes. Here is what church and ministry leaders from across the country will be implementing on their websites in the next year: Content Organization   Investing in finding out what catches someone who is looking at your site for the first time.

  • Is Direct Mail a Part of Your Church’s Communication Strategy?

    The number of potential ways that church leaders can communicate with their people can be staggering at times. Email blasts, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your own website, billboards, flyers, postcards, smoke signals … pony express … list this goes on and on! In the midst of all those channels I’m still a big believer in well done direct mail being an effective part of the mix of tools used to communicate to your people.

  • Stay Grounded in the Basics to Avoid Boredom in Your Work

    A challenge for communicators is to continually tackle the work we do, regardless of how fun and exciting it is. Sometimes, it’s downright boring.

  • How Many Ministry Logos Should Your Church Have?

    This second post in a church communications series, will make more sense if you read the first, The 3 Branding Strategies for Churches. It’s unbelievable how quickly churches fragment their message.

  • You Have to Earn the Privilege to Keep From Being Boring

    A challenge for communicators is to continually tackle the work we do, regardless of how fun and exciting it is. Sometimes, it’s downright boring.

  • Even Fun Will Become Boring

    A challenge for communicators is to continually tackle the work we do, regardless of how fun and exciting it is. Sometimes, it’s downright boring.

  • What’s Boring for You May Be a Home Run for Someone Else

    A challenge for communicators is to continually tackle the work we do, regardless of how fun and exciting it is. Sometimes, it’s downright boring.

  • Mile 2 Means Absolutely Nothing Without Mile 1

    A challenge for communicators is to continually tackle the work we do, regardless of how fun and exciting it is. Sometimes, it’s downright boring.

  • 7 Tips for Communicating Well

    Whether you are a seasoned leader, college student, author, professor, CEO, politician, or pastor, we all have to learn to communicate well. Whether we are speaking to thousands, speaking to our staff, giving a report, making a speech, teaching your kids soccer team, or addressing your company, it’s imperative as leaders we know how to communicate.

  • Does Your Church Have a Content Strategy for Its Website?

    Creating awareness for local churches becomes increasingly difficult as more time demands are made on faith community members. When a user goes to a church website to find information on programs, services, or to find directions, you have 7-30 seconds to keep their attention.

  • Designing Style Guidelines for Brands and Websites

    A website is never done. Everyone has worked on a project that changed so much after it launched that they no longer wanted it in their portfolio.

  • Six Tips for Using Instagram in Your Church

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Instagram is a pretty big deal. It’s not breaking news but something I thought about as I was going to bed last night.

  • Lessons in Live Polling at Your Church

    Last month we hosted a series of messages at Liquid where we featured “live polling” as a core part of the message.  The “big idea” of the series was to use national interest in the upcoming election as a jump off point to talk about the Kingdom of God.

  • Leveraging Social Media for Your Next Church Event

    As our people use social media all the time it’s becoming a growing expectation that as a church we leverage these tools to help them experience what we do. How can you use these tools within your ministry? I sat down with Ali Raney who is the Social Media Coordinator at The Meeting House to talk about how they leveraged these channels at a recent event.

  • Say It Again

    And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24 I find it interesting that Jesus would have to say anything again.

  • Is Your Church Website Mobile Friendly?

    I have a tiny computer in my pocket. I bet you do too.

  • Using Just Enough Words

    Free Coffee, Next Exit That's the most effective billboard one can imagine, particularly if it's typeset properly and if the coffee is good. Most billboards aren't nearly as useful, because the wrong service is promoted, or, more likely, because someone saw all that space and worked hard to fill it up.

  • Using Repetition to Reiterate What’s Important

    A CEO of a large start-up recently made this comment: "I used to assume everyone on the team knew the grand vision, but an informal survey revealed the opposite. New employees had no idea what we were aiming for in the long term…" Clearly, he felt he was falling short of his leadership responsibility to clearly articulate goals.

  • 12 Essentials of Church Communications

    The church is the hope of the world. As church leaders we have the responsibility of communicating the greatest message known to mankind; the only message capable of changing a person’s entire eternity.

  • The 2 Secrets to Success for Social Media in Your Church

    It’s getting hard to keep up with all the different social tools that are flying at us every day.  We constantly hear things like: “If you’re not on Pinterest you’re in big trouble.

  • Reducing Communication Confusion

    Leaders often confuse followers by communicating imperatives as declarative statements. An imperative is a command.

  • Say It Over and Over

    Here's a simple and obvious leadership tip for you today. But it’s one that I’ve seen pay big dividends over the years.

  • What’s Your Surprising Proposition?

    In Church 3. 0, Neil Cole discusses several catalysts for creating movement.

  • The 6 Elements of Compelling Vision Illustrated

    A few days ago I posted some church leaders take-aways from the Kony 2012, Invisible Children video, 70 Million Views in 7 Days: A Vision Analysis. I also mentioned  the opportunity to see this video through The Six Elements.

  • Warning: If Your Brand is You

    Here’s a principle you need to understand in leading a church, team or organization. I see many church planters, pastors, and other leaders who build their organization closely around their own identity.

  • What Storytelling Means for Your Brand

     What does Cinderella have in common with Fight Club? Lots, according to Jon King, Story Worldwide’s Chief Storyteller. During the ‘Storytelling for Brands’ session at our London office last   week, part of Social Media Week London, we shared Story’s brand-centred approach to narrative content.

  • The Top 3 Approaches to a Multisite Church Website

    The multisite revolution is underway as more churches nationwide are choosing to launch new campuses. According to Outreach Magazine, 75 of the 100 Largest Churches in America are multisite.

  • Multisite Church Website Approach 1: Keep It Under One Roof

    Multisite church planting has gone mainstream. As goes the church, so goes the website.

  • Multisite Church Website Approach 2: Standalone Sites

    We continue our Multisite Church Website series this week by looking at "Standalone Sites. " This is when churches choose to create separate sites for each one of their campuses.

  • Multisite Church Website Approach 3: Campus Select Option

    We conclude our series on Multisite Church Websites with the most common approach of the three, the Universal Website with a campus select option. One of the most well-known examples of this approach comes from The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX.

  • Isn’t About Time Your Brand Adopted a Mobile Strategy?

    I received a sobering yet enlightening Facebook message from my aunt two weeks ago. After getting over my shock that she even knew how to use Facebook Messenger (she is not a technophile), I read her message: Aunt: Guess what I got today? Me: What? Aunt: The iPhone 5 [cue jaw dropping] I was reading this on my iPhone 3Gs, yet I’m the one who works at a global post-advertising agency.

  • Communicating Effectively

    Note from the Vision Room Curator: If you think church leaders don't need to know about advertising, please rethink that position. Read the quotes below with the church, your target audience, and yourself substituted where appropriate.

  • Renegades Write the Rules

    Amy Jo Martin (@AmyJoMartin) has written a book about connecting. About being human.

  • How Will Social Media Reshape the Way We Do Church?

    With the increasing use of GPS enabled smart phones and apps like foursquare, social media is attempting to mimic omniscience.   We find ourselves in a world where our technology has enabled more meaningful interactions with someone on the other side of the world rather than our next door neighbour.

  • 3 Communication Lessons from iPhone Launches

    It seems like every 6 months Apple does it again.  Somehow they are able to capture the imagination of literally millions of people to get them to line up at their stores to purchase the latest version of their devices.

  • 3 Ways to Create a Successful Blog for Your Church

    When it comes to reaching people on the Web, few online tools are more advantageous than a blog. A church communications blog can help you better disseminate your message, create stronger connections with church members, and drive more people to your church website.

  • Organizations Lose $1.3 Trillion by Not Engaging in Social Media

    I was shocked. Two presidents of organizations began using Twitter in the past two months.

  • Leadership Matters, but So Does Preaching

    God uses pastors in many diferent ways. He uses them to cast vision.

  • The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 1

    Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time helping leaders navigate the waters of social media. I don’t consider myself an expert, especially since I haven’t put in the 10,000 hours of expertise yet that folks like Malcolm Gladwell talk about.

  • The Power of One Word: Can You Describe Your Church in One Word?

    “The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in a person’s mind. ” A church will be in better position to grow if it can find a way to own a word in the minds of people within the community.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 1: Clear Vision

    If you are new to my blog, you may not know that everything I do in helping ministries begins with clarity first. In order to help teams with clarity and vision, I developed a tool called the Vision Frame.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 7: Final Decision

    By now you are ready to pull the trigger. Use your external ranked list as a very serious perspective for input, but not necessarily  the final basis.

  • Developing Your Church Tagline, Step 6: External Testing

    There are many ways to test your top five taglines. The most important thing is that you DO test it.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 5: Top 5

    Now its time to identify your top five ideas. I recommend a two step process.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 4: Collaborative Awareness

    When developing a tagline for your ministry it’s important to consider the taglines of two other kinds of organizations in your ministry environment. Think of this next piece as a step toward ministry environment awareness.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 3: Team Brainstorm

    With your new two-word brand promise in place, its time to engage a team brainstorm to list many, many, many and then many more tagline ideas. The key here is, as you might have guessed, quantity.

  • Developing a Tagline for Your Church, Step 2: Gospel Promise

    Step two in this process is really quite fun. You now want to determine the best promise for your church to make to people outside of the church, in a way that will resonate with people inside of the church.

  • How to Develop a Compelling, Gospel-Centered Tagline for Your Church

    Sometimes conversations that mix marketing and ministry don’t go well. In this post, I will not being dealing with a biblical basis of branding or marketing, but I will discuss the biblical integration with one branding tactic- the development of an effective tagline.

  • Taking Your Vision Public, Step 3: Crafting Your Church’s Key Messages

    In our journey toward Vision-Soaked Communication, we’ve filled the pool by articulating vision and boiled it down to a great tagline. Step 3 is like describing the water: crafting your church’s key messages.

  • Taking Your Vision Public, Step 5: Leveraging Every Medium

    I’ve been in a series called Taking Vision Public: Six Steps to Vision-Soaked Communication.  We’ve been looking at the steps involved in sharing your unique vision in compelling ways, inviting people to join in and be a part of what God has called you to do and be as a church.

  • Taking Your Vision Public, Step 1: Articulating Your Church’s Vision

    You can’t take your vision public until you’ve articulated your vision. Seems like that should go without saying, right? Kind of like the assumption that you’ve got to fill the pool before you’re going to dive in.

  • Taking Your Vision Public, Step 6: Talking Your Church’s Vision Daily

    Drip, drip, drip. It’s constant and you can’t not think about it.

  • Taking Vision Public, Step 2: Developing Your Church’s Tagline

    How do you take your vision public? How do you communicate it clearly and in a way that compels your audience to join in and be a part of it? The answer is what I’m calling “vision-soaked communication. ” Last time, we looked at filling the pool by articulating your unique vision in the Vision Frame.

  • Taking Vision Public: 6 Steps to Vision-Soaked Communication

    How do you effectively invite people to take an active part in your vision? This is a constant challenge for leaders of every organization I work with. The answer? Vision-soaked communication.

  • Taking Your Vision Public, Step 4: Communicating Your Church’s Big Why

    What is it that causes some communication to grab people and stick with them? What is different about communication that causes people to move from being observers of a mission to participants in the mission? The answer, plain and simple is emotion. I once heard it said, “There is no motion without emotion.

  • 6 Ways to Maximize Stage Announcements

    Inside the church (internally), stage announcements are a constant battle. The people programming services, who are in charge of the flow of services, are constantly asking: Do we really have to do announcements? When can we do announcements so it doesn’t mess up the flow of worship? Is it worth it since people aren’t even listening to the announcements?   Then you have every single ministry leader fighting for stage time.

  • One Way Your Church is Missing It with Twitter

    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Social Media Church for a conversation about—you guessed it—social media. I had a great time talking about how I like to use social media as a connector and strategist.

  • Is Your Church “New” Enough?

    When people think about our churches does the word “new” ever come to mind?  We live in a culture that leverages “new” to draw people in . .

  • If You Build It, They Won’t Come

    Dear Church Leader, I’ve wanted to write this letter to you for a while now but I never knew exactly how to say this.  However, we’re heading into an incredibly critical season as a church and want to be as clear with you as possible.

  • Before You Start Talking – Think

    Uncertainty — market uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty — can adversely affect the success and growth of a company. But there's another kind of uncertainty that takes a big toll on performance: the lack of certainty that exists within a company.

  • Your Best Brand Asset is Understanding Yourself

    The world isn't looking for a copy of an existing writer, musician, politician, CEO, or leader; they're looking for someone new, innovative, and original. Your job is to discover how your unique gifts and talents can differentiate you from everyone else.

  • Choices and Your Announcements

    In an earlier post I referenced Barry Schwartz's work The Paradox of Choice, which advocates that too many choices leads to regret because we are never confident we made the right choice. While I pointed out that this regret is really a result of our sinful hearts seeking satisfaction in things other than Christ, I do agree with Schwartz's hypothesis that too many choices leads to "decision paralysis.

  • Branding Talk Isn’t Helping Your Company. Here’s What Should Replace It

    Last week, WPP brought out its league table of the world’s most valuable brands. It values Apple at $183 billion and McDonald’s at $95 billion.

  • The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 2

    In a previous post we looked at the role “Content” plays in Social Media Dominance. Today, let’s talk about: 2.

  • The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 3

    In previous posts from this series, we talked about the first two C’s for Social Media Dominance, Content and Context. Today let’s talk about: 3.

  • The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 4

    In previous posts, we talked about the first three C’s of social media dominance: content, context, and clarity. Today let’s talk about: 4.

  • The 5 C’s of Social Media Dominance – Part 5

    In this series of posts, we’ve been talking about the 5 C’s of social media. We covered “Content, Context, Clarity and Consistency.

  • 10 Principles for Good Design

    Design is normally thought of as applying to things - which it does. But design also applies to systems, structures, and communication tools.

  • Church Communication Heros: Steve Jobs

    Yes. I know what you’re thinking.

  • Social Media is the Glue of Innovation

    ‘What is the role of social media in innovation? (Either inside or outside the organization)’   Social media serves an incredibly important role in innovation. Social media functions as the glue to stick together incomplete knowledge, incomplete ideas, incomplete teams, and incomplete skillsets.

  • Steal Like an Artist

    A pastor is likely the last person to pick up this book, but they’re arguably the person who needs it the most. A big chunk of Steal Like an Artist is exploring that idea of how artist create, by borrowing, imitating and stealing.

  • 7 Biggest Creativity Killers

    A crime scene investigation is underway to investigate a death. This is not an average death, this is the death of creative thinking.

Recent Comments
very useful article for me.thank you!!
 
— himanjali
 
Helpful metrics! Would you happen to know what the average number of website visits and average time spent on a church website would define a healthy church?
 
— Adam B. Embry
 
wow!
 
— To_Live
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.