Just read this: 3 Ways to Maximize Facebook and Twitter

from ChurchTechToday http://churchtechtoday.com/2012/05/30/3-ways-maximize-facebook-twitter/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Churchtechtodaycom+%28ChurchTechToday.com%29

Is your church truly maximizing what Facebook and Twitter have to offer? I know your first reaction to that question is, absolutely! Sure I am.

But I ask you this question for another purpose, NOT because I want to see if your church has a presence on Facebook and Twitter advertising its greatness, but because I am curious to know if you are seeking out and leveraging all of the opportunities right in front of you that exist on both of these social networking sites to provide ministry to a unsaved, hurting world that so desperately needs Jesus.

It amazes me and it probably amazes you, how much private information people will share with each other on Facebook on any given day. I am not a guy that spends exuberant amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter, but I can tell you that within a few short minutes of logging in, I have witnessed all kinds of things, teenagers crying out and seeking for identity and purpose, single moms that are struggling to make ends meet, sickness, widows battling loneliness, young parents seeking wisdom for important decisions they need to make in their life, adults with challenging financial matters, husbands asking for advice on marital relationship challenges and many other things.

It’s a treasure trove of ministry opportunities.

You name the situation and it probably exists on someone’s wall or in a news feed somewhere. The fact is that opportunity abounds everywhere with both Facebook and Twitter. So let me ask you, has your church considered a social networking ministry through either one of these sites or others?

I love this scripture in John 10:10, where Jesus says…I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Life abundantly Ahhhh! Yes, that’s what I desire, don’t you?…as Christ followers, don’t we want that for everyone? Sure we do. We don’t want to limit what God can do through us and so I believe that every church should be considering ministry opportunities through both Facebook and Twitter.

That said, here are three ways to set your church up for success using social media:

1) Construct a plan: Without a plan in place, success using social media is not possible. It’s too easy to push it aside when you don’t have time for it. Put a plan together for how many updates to social media per day, per week, etc. Pray about the purpose for your church and plan according to how God is leading you.

2) Put someone in charge. You know as well as I do, if you don’t assign someone these responsibilities, chances are it won’t happen. It’s best to have one person more administratively gifted to see to the posting, and perhaps have a pastor oversee posts and help with planning things to say and ways to reach out to people.

3) Be consistent. Lastly, consistency is key with social media. If you have a Facebook page but don’t update it, tsk tsk. People need to know that you are there daily and that you care. Posting regular updates and sending regular tweets shows people that you are invested in social media. Set up regular times to post, or post in advance using HootSuite.

Bryan Brooks runs the blog, TechSabbathHabit, is an author and technology coach. He owns two small businesses, KB Media Group, LLC,  VITAL Production, LLC and serves as the Director of Technology at The Fathers House Church in Vacaville, CA.

3 Ways to Maximize Facebook and Twitter is a post from: ChurchTechToday

from ChurchTechToday http://churchtechtoday.com/2012/05/30/3-ways-maximize-facebook-twitter/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Churchtechtodaycom+%28ChurchTechToday.com%29

Just read this: How Pastors Are Seduced

from Glocalnet Blog http://www.glocal.net/blog/comments/how-pastors-are-seduced/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GlocalnetBlog+%28Glocalnet%29

You’ve heard it a hundred times.  Some pastors became more obsessed with the church and the ministry than they did God.  It happened to me.  It’s the whole basis of that question that the Holy Spirit burned in my mind, “When will Jesus be enough?”  I built my whole first book, Transformation, around that question and the discovery of the Kingdom of God. 

It’s rare for a pastor to begin the ministry polluted.  I don’t mean they don’t have sin or issues in their lives that they struggle with.  But, for the most part, the motives are honorable, the enthusiasm is high, to make a difference for God is all young pastors dream of.  Seduction takes time, battle scars, failures, and successes to have its way with a pastor.  I like what John Maxwell once said, “You’re not as good as they say you are, and you’re not as bad as they say you are.”  Self-awareness is the number one thing in people that make a difference or helps them be successful in some area of life.  They know who they are, what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at. 

Here are some huge seductions that pastors face and that have to be confronted.  They are not listed in order of difficulty because each person is different.  This is what I’ve seen growing up in a pastor’s home and having started Northwood 27 years ago.

The seduction of relevance over obedience:  We all want to be up to date, doing the latest things and being on the cutting edge.  NO ONE, not even “traditional” churches today want to be known purely as “traditional” so many of them have “blended” services.  There is a transition going on in culture and the world and people are trying to catch up with it.  I don’t think that’s bad – but when we compromise what we know as truth for the sake of relevance – we’ve been seduced.  People are often stunned that I’m such good friends with Muslims and yet don’t keep secret what I believe.  You don’t have to – any relationship you try to establish outside of transparency isn’t real.  You have to always ask the question, am I compromising style or substance? Am I obeying the truth and following it and all that God says, or have I turned God into a cafeteria?

The seduction of image over holiness:  I believe with all my being there is a relationship between prayer and holiness.  Holiness, not legalism, is not an option for a pastor.  You can take 360s, have evaluations, even have accountability groups, BUT if you are not on your knees dealing with the sin in your life – you will become seduced.  We are so careful with our image, so many jokes and videos have been made about what a church planter looks like, how they dress, etc.  We only laugh because we recognize that image.  Some guys have to be called certain titles, certain logistics before they will speak – do all you can to glorify God – but never lose the question “Am I seen more as a great Preacher/Planter/etc. or a great Man of God?”  They aren’t necessarily the same thing.

The seduction of action over intimacy:  We think God is blessing us because we are so busy.  We make visits.  We lead people to the Lord.  We have all these ministry programs. We manage a staff.  We speak at places.  The list goes on and on and on and on – that doesn’t mean we are close to God.  I read lots of biographies, and I’ve yet to see anyone God used that wasn’t busy.  However, they didn’t cheat on their prayer life, spiritual disciplines, and depth of walk with God. 

The seduction of entitlement over servanthood:  If a church is under a thousand, they often want you to be a pauper.  If a church is over a thousand, some guys are headed for being millionaires in the ministry.  There seem to be two extremes today.  There is nothing wrong with money – Abraham had it and lots of people in the Bible.  There is nothing wrong with a church paying its pastor well.  There is lots wrong with that pastor being the richest, best paid person in the community.  Billy Graham should be the standard for all of us.  I fly a lot, so often I get upgraded – I love it.  I think we have to be careful of the upgrades that come our way.  Sometimes we need to refuse them. 

The seduction of methodology over the Holy Spirit:  If we just become “seeker” or “worship” or “missional” or “WHATEVER” then God will bless us.  So we go to that conference, we implement what we learn in hopes of becoming a fast growing church.  Once again I remember having lunch with John Maxwell and I said to him, “You know it’s like you don’t even need God to grow a church anymore.”  I expected him to argue, he didn’t.  He said “I know Bob, it’s true, and that’s the challenge to fruit that remains and do it in God’s way.”  The only way we get fruit that remains beyond being the latest fad in church in our area – is through the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit released in our lives and in our churches.

The seduction of control over release:  One of the things that I had to do early on in order for our church to engage the city and the world and plant churches and do all that we do, was to release pastors and our people.  Don’t hear me saying, you release without inspecting.  Don’t hear me saying you release everyone in every area.  You will have some people wanting to be released over an area they have no competence or background with, but it’s about them and their desires instead of truly serving God.  But for release to be more of a discussion than an action speaks volumes.  We get seduced sadly by holding on to people for fear that if we let them go they won’t give as much money, do as much, or be able to help “us” with our stuff.  That’s not true.  It is the seduction of a little kid with a toy yelling, “Mine, mine, mine!” 

The seduction of “my church” over the KINGDOM:  I’m grateful for a lady named Carol Davis.  She said, “It is the global that defines the local.”  She was challenging us to engage the world and let that define our church.  We did.  We still do – it’s not always easy – but it’s what we believe.  In terms of the world, the poor, the suffering, and the unjust – we think we will get our church strong and then do all that.  A strong church is strong, because it does do all that.  Jesus did all that with 12 guys – you don’t have to wait for 100 or 1000 or 10,000.  We must fight this seduction the most – because we can have metrics that justify our activities here and now – but are they eternal?

from Glocalnet Blog http://www.glocal.net/blog/comments/how-pastors-are-seduced/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GlocalnetBlog+%28Glocalnet%29

Just read this: Assessing Your Team

from LeadingSmart http://www.leadingsmart.com/2012/05/assessing-your-team.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+leadingsmart+%28LeadingSmart%29

For years, I’ve been asked about Granger’s senior leadership team model. Other church leaders have asked…

  • How does your team work?
  • Is it true that Beeson rarely pulls out his “I’m In Charge” card?
  • How is it possible your team has senior leaders who have stayed for so long?
  • How is it possible you guys have so many high profile leaders (authors, speakers, consultants), yet you still work as a team?
  • How do you guys not get bogged down in micro-details of running the organization?

It seems like more churches than ever have moved to a senior leadership team model–but they are all over the board on how they operate. Some work better than others.

That’s why I was excited when Warren Bird told me about a Harvard-based, limited-time FREE team assessment that is being conducted for churches to help them determine their effectiveness.

I just took the assessment yesterday. The rest of our team is doing it this week. We are excited to see the results and find ways we can excel in our team dynamics.

Thanks to a grant, generous funding, and special arrangements from a Harvard-based project, your church’s senior leadership team can also jump in on this study and receive the following three reports at NO COST:

1. Team Assessment Report. You’ll receive a report rating your team on the 3 essential and 3 enabling conditions of leadership team effectiveness, as explained in the book, Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make them Great. This assessment is based on the Team Diagnostic Survey developed by Harvard Researchers and Hay Group consultants, normally only offered to corporate senior leadership teams through a consulting arrangement with the Hay Group. In other words, this is legit! (See this sample report).

2. Customized Action Steps Report. Practical, actionable tips you can implement with your team right away to enhance your team’s effectiveness, based on the team assessment and comparison to other senior leadership teams at similar sized and typed churches.

3. National Profile Report. A descriptive comparison report of church leadership team membership, communication practices, and effectiveness ratings, which will allow you to compare your team to others in similar sized and typed churches.

Interested? You can get started on this registration page. Or, if you still need more information, check out these FAQ’s.

from LeadingSmart http://www.leadingsmart.com/2012/05/assessing-your-team.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+leadingsmart+%28LeadingSmart%29

Just read this: 10 Expectations To A Better Brainstorming Session

from Stephen Brewster http://stephenbrewster.me/2012/05/29/10-expectations-to-a-better-brainstorming-session/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StephenBrewster+%28stephenbrewsterme%29

Photo Props:

Brainstorming sessions are useless.

They are useless unless we are intentional with setting expectations around what we would like to accomplish. When we have our creative meetings and we are attempting to maximize our creative brainstorming session, or dream session, there are a few necessary elements required to set and meet our expectations:

  • Choose the right location. – Choose a location that fits the theme of the subject we are covering. If we are talking about summer…hold our meeting in a park. Change the canvas and get in a space that inspires creativity themed to our subject.
  • Invite the right people. – Diversity wins in creative meetings. The more diverse the more well rounded the scope of the ideas and conversation. If we only have people like us we are missing a huge opportunity.
  • Set the mood. – Make sure we have the right mood: The right lighting, the right tools, the right snacks to keep energy up, the right music to aid in energy early on, and toys to play with all help set the mood. Also, start with a game to get everyone’s mind thinking creatively and out of “the norm”. Mood matters.
  • Empower a dream catcher. – Designate one person to document every idea the entire meeting. This person should be comfortable not contributing but rather be passionate about being a listener and being willing to collect every idea so nothing escapes.
  • Follow a Dream Director. A director is going to set the tone. They will ask questions and monitor energy. They will keep the target of the meeting insight and insure that we accomplish all the necessary tasks to get ideas flushed out and into the hands of the dream catcher.
  • Choose Music and silence. – Music matters. Create the energy you are looking for with music. Also create some space for silence and for people to ponder. We must be intentional with our soundtrack.
  • We will not accommodate everyone’s likes or ideas. – That’s a matter of life. Make it clear up front. Best idea wins…always.
  • Can’t succeed without starting blocks. – We can’t expect people to just start gushing ideas. We have to give starting blocks, examples, and guard rails.
  • We won’t have conclusions. – The goal of a brainstorming session, or dream session, is to start conversations not come up with conclusions. Don’t look for definitive answers look for conversation starters. Places ideas have room to grow morph and evolve. Don’t worry if you don’t come away with one obvious monster idea…that is what the post meeting editing session is for, that is where we refine.
  • The end is not the end. – Understand that the day or 2 after our meeting might be when our best ideas come out of hiding and expose themselves. Make sure we create space for these ideas to develop. Share contact info and best ways for people to share additional ideas they either had not thought of or maybe ideas they were to afraid to share.

Brainstorming starts the process. After we have met and given ourselves time to ponder additional ideas we can move into editing sessions where we refine and manipulate ideas to come up with a best option to attempt to execute. Setting these expectations should help our creative brainstorming sessions start to produce better results than we could ever imagine.

What does your brainstorming session look like?

from Stephen Brewster http://stephenbrewster.me/2012/05/29/10-expectations-to-a-better-brainstorming-session/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StephenBrewster+%28stephenbrewsterme%29

Just read this: Four Disciplines For Leading with Clarity

from Will Mancini http://www.willmancini.com/2012/05/four-disciplines-for-leading-with-clarity.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClarityEvangelist+%28will+mancini%2C+clarity+evangelist%29

An organization doesn’t become healthy in a linear, tidy fashion.

– Patrick Lencioni, The Advantage

Patrick Lencioni’s latest book The Advantage is a comprehensive, practical guide, covering many of the topics introduced in one of his eight business fable books. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just a repackaging – The Advantage goes far beyond that. In it you will find some very practical, hands-on tools to help your organization become healthy [clear].

The central theme of the book is today’s topic: The Four Disciplines Model. Here you can see why I have made the connection between health and clarity in my previous blog posts. Check out the Four Disciplines- this stuff is CLARITY dynamite.

NOTE: Just in case you are new to the blog, theses four disciplines speak directly to the focus of my calling with ministries. We operate under the banner of Auxano which means “to cause to grow.”  Hardie Morgan is going through our Vision Pathway right now at Grace Presbyterian in Houston. He wrote me an e-mail that said, “I think you and Patrick Lencioni must have been related in a prior life.

Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

An organization simply cannot be healthy if the people who are chartered with running it are not behaviorally cohesive in five fundamental ways. In any kind of organization, from a corporation to a department within that corporation, from a small, entrepreneurial company to a church or a school, dysfunction and lack of cohesion at the top inevitably lead to a lack of health throughout.

Discipline 2: Create Clarity

In addition to being behaviorally cohesive, the leadership team of a healthy organization must be intellectually aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple but critical questions. There can be no daylight between leaders around these fundamental issues.  (In Church Unique, the clarity model is built on five, not six, questions.

Discipline 3: Overcommunicate Clarity

Once a leadership team has established behavioral cohesion and created clarity around the answers to those questions, it must then communicate those answers to employees clearly, repeatedly, enthusiastically, and repeatedly (that’s no typo). When it comes to reinforcing clarity, there is no such thing as too much communication.

Discipline 4: Reinforce Clarity

Finally, in order for an organization to remain healthy over time, its leaders must establish a few critical, non-bureaucratic systems to reinforce clarity in every process that involves people. Every policy, every program, every activity should be designed to remind your team what is really most important.

I hope today’s post and the previous two have enticed you to get The Advantage. The book certainly stands alone, but there is also a great deal of web content available on organizational health.

What are you waiting on?

The health of your ministry [clarity] is at stake!

Related posts:

  1. 3 Leadership Biases Holding Your Church Back Today
  2. Are You a Smart or Healthy Church Leader?
  3. 4 Big Roadblocks to Leading in Transition

from Will Mancini http://www.willmancini.com/2012/05/four-disciplines-for-leading-with-clarity.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClarityEvangelist+%28will+mancini%2C+clarity+evangelist%29

Just read this: Embracing Change: The Unbiblical Pursuit of “The Good Old Days”

from TonyMorganLive.com http://tonymorganlive.com/2012/05/29/embracing-change-the-unbiblical-pursuit-of-the-good-old-days/

This isn’t about your church, though it may be about your church. This isn’t about your leadership, though it may be about your leadership. This isn’t about your spiritual journey, though it may be about your spiritual journey.

This is a story about me. I like comfortable. I like life the way I like life. What’s crazy is that God doesn’t want me to be comfortable.

“Don’t long for ‘the good old days.’ This is not wise.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10, NLT)

When it comes down to it, none of us really like change. Our natural tendency is to drift to that which is comfortable. That’s why we tend to get bent out of shape when someone challenges our current thinking. Our personal preferences are sacred.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

I like certain songs sung at a certain volume with a certain amount of lighting. I like certain ministries with certain activities that meet on a certain day of the week. I like certain teachings around certain passages that address the sins of certain people…that aren’t me.

“Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!” (Psalm 96:1, NLT)

New things make me uncomfortable. New things require me to give up control. New things make me change. New things force me to become a new person in way.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22, NLT)

As a leader, sometimes I have to pursue new methods when I know it’s going to disrupt people. It’s going to make them uncomfortable. They might not like that. They may not like me. It’s just easier to keep things the way they are. I like comfortable, because I want people to like me.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)

I want to have new influence without giving up my old ways. I want to reach new people without giving up my old methods. I want to become a new person without giving up my old life.

It feels more sacred and more holy to hold onto the way things were. Is it sacred or is it familiar? Is it holy or is it comfortable?

Sometimes I have to embrace change because God wants to change me.

  • Ignite ChRM

from TonyMorganLive.com http://tonymorganlive.com/2012/05/29/embracing-change-the-unbiblical-pursuit-of-the-good-old-days/

Just read this: Chris Mavity outlines 5 steps to improve volunteer leader retention

from Church Community Matters | Steve Caton http://www.churchcommunitymatters.com/chris-mavity-outlines-5-steps-to-improve-volunteer-leader-retention/

Guest Post: Chris Mavity is the director of the North Coast Training Network at North Coast Church. He is also a Church Community Builder strategic partner and personal friend. I’ve asked him to share his thoughts about retaining volunteer leaders. This seems to be a topic many pastors and church leadership teams grapple with as they set their sights on achieving the Great Commission. As you’ll see, Chris has some very clear ideas on the subject matter. I know you’ll enjoy reading a summary of his wisdom which comes from his experience over two decades of leadership in local church ministry.

The truth is churches—on a whole—struggle to retain volunteer leaders. The consequences of high turnover, whatever the cause, have a devastating effect on all involved: the church, the volunteer, the ministry leader, and ultimately the Kingdom.

When you consider that online companies like Google, Facebook, etc. likely know more about the volunteer leaders in our ministry than we do–something has to change. In this age of algorithmic segmentation, customized marketing appeals, and instant information, how much more sustainable would our ministry efforts become if we adjusted our ministry approach and focused on retaining the leaders we depend upon?

Implemented properly, these five steps will significantly increase volunteer leader retention in ministry and will give you the single most important advantage in advancing the Kingdom—longevity!

  1. Know them.
    This is where everything has to start. There are three things we should pay attention to: personality, preferences, and prickle points. Thanks to companies like Google and Facebook, knowing our people has never been at the premium it is today. The better we are at this, the more likely we are to have a happy, healthy, and a reproducing leader.
  2. Position them.
    Once you know them, you need to position them in their area of strength. What are they superb at naturally? Set them free to lead in their area of giftedness, not your desire to check all the boxes and cover your bases.
  3. Platform them.
    Once positioned, you should build a platform unique to their gifts and abilities. When you know someone and have positioned them well, success will follow. With their success, give them more and more opportunity to multiply and grow new leaders; which adds leverage to your ministry.
  4. Pay them.
    Monetary compensation is one of the most over-rated types of pay. The simplest and most universal is appreciation, that is a personalized “thank you.” My wife still has a personal note from a pastor from more than twenty years ago thanking her specifically for what she did and the impact it had. The note means the world to her. Appreciation dinners are predictable and impersonal. Find ways to pay your volunteer leaders, or you could find yourself with a negative relational bank account very quickly.
  5. Promote them.
    I’m not talking about a new title and a big corner office. I’m talking about the type of promotion where you praise your leaders in public to others. Tell others both inside the church and outside the church about the great work a leader is doing for you. Compliments always seem to find their way back to the volunteer leader and comes back to you in the form of commitment, creativity, and loyalty.

The good news is this process is completely scalable whether you have five, fifteen, or five thousand volunteer leaders. If you will invest in this process, your church would only lose volunteer leaders when God truly calls them away (which is a Kingdom win) rather than the typical migration due to frustration, stagnation, or lack of attention.

It’s our job to discover and develop volunteer leaders so our ministries can continue to expand, advance, or enhance the Kingdom. We, as pastors and church leaders, have been given that responsibility, not anyone else. No formulas or short cuts here. Just the hard work of engaging with people and doing life together.

What steps are you taking to ensure you’re retaining the very best God is directing to your church to build the Kingdom and multiply your ministry capacity?

from Church Community Matters | Steve Caton http://www.churchcommunitymatters.com/chris-mavity-outlines-5-steps-to-improve-volunteer-leader-retention/