In church we’re taught about the power of the Holy Spirit when we share a message. In seminary we’re taught about the importance of theological integrity when we share a message. What we’re not taught, and what we desperately need, is a deeper understanding of the influence of our communication – our language, symbols, and signs – when we share a message.
How do churches grow? The best way to know this question may be to look very closely at churches that are growing the best. Learning from other good ideas, or what’s called “Small I” innovation, can help. But in my annual list of the top 25 fastest growing churches, most don’t just practice Small I – they pursue Big I innovation, which is something totally different.
There’s a spectrum of innovation that happens when we think creatively about our problems. Most of us aim for small innovations all the time. A better process for retaining guests. A more efficient way to track paper costs. A social media strategy that results in higher engagement. And so on. But while we spend most of our energy on Small I, it’s Big I that creates real growth. Further, Small I rarely leads to Big I. Big I is something else entirely.Further, Small I rarely leads to Big I. Big I is something else entirely.
As you think about the ways you communicate with your networks, ask yourself this basic question: Does what you are communicating add value to others’ lives? Some of the most valuable kinds of communication are not teasers, but actual content itself. Here are 17 types of content – text, photos, and videos – that you can share with others through social media and other channels, to both help those to whom you speak and at the same time to clarify who you are – your brand.
The root word for religion is the same root word found in ligament. A ligament is connective tissue that holds two body parts together. In the church, we are the body of Christ and our religion is the connective tissue that holds us together. What if you were to build a worship service around this image? Here’s a quick brainstorm about how that might look.
On my 5-year blog anniversary, here are five key principles for what makes for compelling, original content. I have learned most of this the hard way, in years of posting. These keys to getting people to line up to read your stuff apply not only to writing a blog but to any regular process of creating something, for example a weekly sermon.
Creative vision is a clearly defined, unrealized image of the future, based on our source of un-peace, that inspires others to join together in co-labor to inherit God’s lost gift. Every one of us has a creative vision for the future, but many of us don’t know it. If your vision isn’t something that makes you want to jump up and run around the room, then it’s not good enough. Here’s how to make it better.
All churches use technology, but most churches woefully under-appreciate its storytelling influence. Avoid a future “archeology dig” of dead cables, endless runs and semi-operating equipment by correcting these five strategic mistakes that keep you from moving forward in ministry, and use this free planning tool to create a Technology Five Year Plan.