At Catalyst 2012, Andy Stanley said, “It’s better to make a difference than a point.”  This quote really struck a chord in me, because in the Communications world, making a point, is the point.

So how do I balance making a difference and making a point?  I do it by keeping an eternal perspective.

Keeping an eternal perspective reminds me that the point I am making has an eternal impact, and that makes a difference.

Church Communications matter because eternity is at stake.

  1. “We need to stop saying World, discover me, and start saying God, develop me.” – Perry Noble
  2. “You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.” —Bill Hybels
  3. “It is better to make a difference than make a point.” – Andy Stanley
  4. “God does not give ambition, he gives you a burden.” – Tim Ross
  5. “Delivering compassion is the work of people who believe that every life is worthy.” - Condoleezza Rice
  6. “Quit whining. You’re sharp. You have the Holy Spirit. Fix it. Do what leaders do – lead!” – Craig Groeschel 
  7. “God did not make you a leader to respond to stuff. He made you a leader to move stuff ahead.” – Bill Hybels
  8. “At your church, the week is more important than the weekend. Empower people and send them out for the week.” – JD Greear
  9. “God will not be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your success.” – JonAcuff
  10. “You don’t change the world with the ideas in your mind, but with the conviction in your heart.” – Bryan Stevenson

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Ever heard the expression, “Put your money where your mouth is?”  It simply means, back up what you say you believe in by putting your money toward it.  You can’t say that you want to abolish the lack of clean drinking water in 3rd world countries and never spend a cent on funding water providing organizations.

How you spend your money reflects what is important to you.  Or as Jesus put it, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart lie also.”

This statement rings true when it comes to your church budget as well.  Take a look at it.  Does it accurately reflect the heart of your church? If your church has a heart to serve the homeless but spends no money toward that, it rings hollow that you want to effectively serve the homeless.

Vision integration (making sure your vision permeates every area of your church ministries) includes making sure your budget is aligned with your vision.

If your church’s vision is to be a church that actively pursues the lost, but you don’t spend any money on outreach, then your budget is not aligned with your vision.

This is a critical component of Church Communications.  Often times, when churches think about their budgets, they are thinking “events.”  How much money does the Women’s Ministry need to have their annual Christmas dinner? Or, how much money does the Worship Ministry need to purchase new equipment for the Worship Service? These types of questions aren’t wrong, but they can’t be the leading question.

The leading question in the budget process should be, “How much money do we need to effectively communicate the vision?”  This will show up primarily in your communication budget (please tell me you have one) but it will also show up throughout your individual ministry budgets.

This process will also help you decide what ministries and events you need to stop doing.  If they don’t line up with the vision, if they aren’t actively communicating the vision, then you need to stop spending money on them.

For many of you, this idea will be a harsh reality.  For some of you, it will give you permission to make some necessary changes; permission to stop doing some things you know you need to stop doing.

So this year, as you think about your budget, I challenge you to do this: Put Your Money Where Your Vision Is.

Sayge Launch Update: The product development of my monthly church marketing and communications training resource is being tested and will be ready to launch very soon.  Stay tuned for updates and read more about product here.

Thanks to the Creative Team of WoodsEdge and Brian Mann, I am excited to feature and giveaway Simple Christmas Promotional Video.  If applicable, use the video in your Christmas Marketing. Be inspired and share with your church.

 

Simple Christmas: Our New Tradition from WoodsEdgeMedia on Vimeo.

Every church conference I attend, whether it be Catalyst, Exponential, Right Now; I always interact with Church Planters.  It’s easy for me to interact and understand Church Planters because they are entrepreneurs, action-oriented people, much like myself.  Every time I meet with them, I leave excited because they are so passionate about what God is doing.

Typically, at some point during our interaction, usually at the point where they realize I am a Church Communications Strategist, they express the universal Church Planting communication problem; “No one knows we exist, where we meet, or what God is up to. If we could just get them here, we could tell them!”

Church Planters, many of you are operating with a limited budget and a BIG need to promote and raise community awareness. Most likely you’re doing it all, and you’re so busy that you don’t even have the time to know HOW to reach people in your community!

That’s why you’re going to love the new resource that has been developed by Sayge Resources.  It’s the solution to your problem.  You don’t have time to be the Communications Pastor, develop your identity, create vision clarity, build systems and strategies, stay savvy with Social Media as well as everything else you have to do.

We’ve done everything you don’t have time to do.  We’ve researched, networked, attended conferences and workshops, worked with some of the greatest Church Communications leaders in the country, and put all that together into a product that’s going to be the best thing you’ve put your hands on since you started thinking about Church Planting.  And it’s just weeks away from being ready to deliver to your inbox.

As a Church Communication Strategist I have had the privilege of working with several Senior Pastors across the nation.  Deep in the heart of all of them is a dream and a vision given to them by God.  And chief among their frustration is the inability to move that vision forward, either because they cannot communicate the vision in such a way that it compels their people to action, or because the other demands of their job keep them from their primary focus.

I’m not surprised at all by their frustration.  A Senior Pastor has the most demanding role in the Church.  He’s called to lead his congregation, to disciple them, develop them, challenge them and move them closer to Jesus.  He has hospital visits to make, and phone calls to return, sermons to prepare and business meetings to attend.  If he’s in a large enough church he has a staff to lead and envision, and if his church isn’t that large, then he’s doing it all.

So what’s a Senior Pastor to do?  How does he meet the needs of his church, keep his head above water, and make sure the vision is constantly communicated in a clear and compelling way?  Simply put, he must HAVE vision clarity, and then develop a strategy and put systems in place to be sure the vision is communicated in a clear and compelling way.

It’s that very thing that has me so excited about this new resource from SAYGE. I know what a valuable resource it’s going to be to Senior Pastors. The intentional and systematic way that it is laid out will help him master the basics of church communications and keep the vision moving forward.

THIS is the resource I WISH had been around when I was in the trenches.  It’s everything I wanted and needed, and for Senior Pastors who are either doing it all or who have a Church Communications Team, this is the resource you’re going to be ecstatic you’ve found.  And it’s just weeks away from your inbox.

Stay tuned for product release dates.

Recently, I received an email from James, a Church Communications Leader. I could read that he was struggling; with strategy, with Senior leadership, even with just understanding how to use the Internet. But I could also hear that he was passionate about his work. He wanted to do great work, but he was simply in need of resources and help. What I sensed from him was that he was optimistically clueless.

Here’s the deal. He is not unlike most Church Communication Leaders that contact me: up to their eyeballs in expectations and deadlines, with a desire to develop themselves and their team, but no time to do either. He was under-resourced, under-valued, and under pressure with no sense that there was a solution to his problem.

The solution to his problem is simple. It’s training. It’s finding existing resources that can guide him into next steps in developing strategies, systems and standards. He can do it by spending hours online, attending conferences and workshops, networking with other Communication Leaders or by hiring a consultant. But the hours in the day don’t allow for time to meet deadlines much less to do all the work necessary to develop his ministry, himself or his team.

It’s that very thing that has me so excited about this new resource from SAYGE. I know what a valuable resource it’s going to be to leaders like James. The intentional and systematic way that it is laid out will not only tell him what his next steps are, it will help him master the basics with practical action tools.

We’ve done the research. We’ve done the networking. We’ve attended the conferences and workshops. We’ve worked with the consultants. And now we’ve taken all our knowledge and expertise and developed a monthly subscription resource focused on the 12 Essentials of Church Marketing and Communications that will change the way you think about Church Communications, forever.

For new leaders like James and for seasoned Church Communications Leaders everywhere, THIS is the resource I WISH had been around when I was in the trenches. It’s everything I wanted and needed, and its just weeks away from being available to you.

I am so excited about how this resource is going to change your job, your ministry, and most importantly your perspective! You have to get it right, every day, because eternity is at stake.

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 weight of that responsibility is both profound and incredible. It moves us to action, and demands that we communicate it well.

In the United States alone, we have 350,000 churches; each started by people with the desire to communicate the gospel message. Yet oftentimes, churches have a difficult time communicating this message because they don’t understand the basics of communication.

Think about it … Is your church clear on who they are and where they are going? Does your church use social media to nurture and grow relationships? Has your church spent unhurried time developing a brand that resonates with people in your church and community? Are you proud of your website and does it accurately communicate the uniqueness of your church? Have you evaluated and observed what guests experience on a Sunday morning? Do you want create more awareness of your church in local communities?

These things may not seem significant, but they are critical. In fact, they are essential.

At Sayge, we researched and identified the 12 Essentials to Church Marketing and Communications and developed a resource that equips Church Communications leaders. And we did it for one reason; because eternity is at stake. We developed this important resource to help you reach more people with the gospel. We are days away from launching this incredible resource, but wanted to give you a sneak peek at the 12 Essentials.

The 12 Essentials to Church Marketing and Communications

Vision Identification
Vision Identification is clarifying who you are, what you do, why you do it and where you are going.

Brand Standards
Brand Standards are the compilation of documents where articulate your key communication messages, establish a visual identity and explore ways to protect your brand.

Communication Strategy
Your communication strategy helps you determine what, when and how you will communicate.

Project Systems

Andy Stanley says, “The systems down the hall trump the vision on the wall.” If you don’t have systems in place, standards and strategy mean absolutely nothing.

Social Media
Learning to use social media to reach the lost and to extend the influence of the church isn’t just a good idea; it’s a must.

Web Essentials
Today’s church visitors will most certainly check out your church on the Internet before they attend for the first time. Your website should be a web experience, not just a website.

Guest Experience
Your first time guest experience is critical to guests returning to your church, and possibly to any church.

Audience Connection
Ever been disconnected on the phone but not realize it until you have finished speaking?  Then you understand the importance of making sure you are connected to your audience.

Volunteer Mobilization
You have an army of creatively gifted people who attend your church every week. Learning to recruit, train and mobilize them will catapult your communications ministry to levels you never dreamed possible.

Creative Leadership
Creative people are not easy to lead and motivate.  Understanding how to lead creative people, and those in authority over you who lack creativity is critical.

External Marketing
Most churches make the same marketing mistakes: the message is not unique; the content is not inviting; and there’s no long-term strategy in place. If that description fits your church’s marketing, it’s time to make some changes.

Storytelling Principles
At the end of the day, stories move people.  Effective storytelling is always more effective than just another event announcement.

The 12 Essentials help you master the basics of Church Communications. And they are the core of our incredible new resource, perfect for any church leader. If you are responsible to oversee Communications in your church, whether as a brand new Communications leader, a Senior Pastor, a church planter doing it all, or an experienced Church Communications leader, you’re going to be as excited about this resource as I am to make it available to you. It’s everything I WISHED someone had made available when I was just learning the ropes.

And it’s coming your way in just a few short days.

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In one single weekend at church, I find that I am bombarded with a barrage of information, invitations, and opportunities.  Each church communications tool has merit; each has value; but blended together they become a cacophony of mental noise until my mind disregards the message completely.

I would venture to guess your church is not significantly different.

You might be amazed how many times you “ask” people to do something at your church. Go ahead. Take a look at your website, bulletins, plasma screens, bathroom stalls. Listen to your stage announcements.  You are asking people to go, send, give, tell, attend, pray, read, study and serve  to the point that your message is lost completely.

Keep in mind, your “ask” is not the only ask that your attenders receive.  Between family, job, school, media and friends, they are constantly being asked to do something.

If you want people to respond to your “asks”, you’re going to have to simplify them, refine them, until they are significant enough that people will respond.  But how do you refine your information, invitations and opportunities into a simpler and more significant “ask”?

Here are tips on simplifying your “asks” -

  • Does the “ask” reinforce the mission and vision of your church?
  • Does the “ask” impact 80% of church community?
  • Does the “ask” deplete church resources and staff team energy?
  • Does the “ask” help church members behave the way you desire?

How does your church decide what to communicate? What filter questions do you use when making “asks”?

Dr. JD Greear pastors the Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest-growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past eight years from 400 to over 4,500 in attendance each Sunday. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to planting 1,000 churches out of its congregation in the next 40 years.

  1. If your church died will the people in your community weep?
  2. Do what you do well for the glory of God and do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God.
  3. Church growth is not nearly as important as growing the people inside of the church.
  4. It is not a matter of if God’s calling you. It is a matter of what God’s calling you to.
  5. The church should not be about surrounding “A” leader.  The church should be a leadership factory.
  6. Churches are growing by fighting over larger pieces of a shrinking pie (Christians). We need to grow the pie.
  7. At your church, the week is more important than the weekend. Empower people and send them out for the week.
  8. Give away your money and God multiplies it. Give away and send out leaders and God will multiply leaders.
  9. The motivation for mission comes from the Gospel.
  10. Jesus can do more with five loaves of bread and two fish in five minutes than Bill Gates can do in a lifetime.