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Leadership
John Rinaldo has some great thoughts on successful pastors.  And I heartily agree with him. OK… don’t fly off the handle at me for using the word ‘successful’ and ‘pastor’ in the same sentence. Because I know I have a target on my head for saying that. Don’t read too much into it.  And don’t let it ruin your day. To some pastors… to be successful means to ‘preach the word’. Don’t get me wrong… preaching the word is great.  Awesome, actually.  But while preaching the word is one way (and a very important one) to being faithful (and might I say… successful); it is not the only thing that a pastor needs to be doing to make sure that the church is healthy and moving forward. So… if you’re of the ‘preach the word’ only mindset… please read the following with an open mind.  (Please?) keep reading
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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. Yet oftentimes, churches have a difficult time communicating this message because they don’t understand the basics of church marketing and communications. 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? Does your website accurately communicate the uniqueness of your church? Have you evaluated and observed what guests experience on a Sunday morning? Does your community even know you exist? These things may not seem significant, but they are critical. In fact, they are essential. The folks at Sayge have spent years researching and identifying the 12 Essentials to Church Communications and have developed a resource that equips Church Communications leaders to master them. The 12 Essentials Church Marketing and Communications are: Vision Identification Vision Identification is clarifying who you are, what you do, why you do it and where you are going. Guest Experience Your first-time guest experience is critical to guests returning to your church, and possibly to any church. The great part is you can improve any experience and we will give you the ultimate experience evaluation checklist to make improvements. 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. The key to social media is interacting with your audience through great content and conversations. Brand Standards Brand Standards are the compilation of documents where you 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. The development of a communication strategy is critical. 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. 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. 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. Sayge is offering a new resource to help you. Each month you will receive a coaching video, comprehensive eBook, and hands-on application tools to help you master the 12 Essentials of Church Communications; and all at a price that won’t break or even stretch your budget. Check out Sayge here…
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Jim Tomberlin writes:  The multisite model, one church in multiple locations, has become an established strategy for outreach and for growing churches.
Leadership Network reports there are now over 5,000 expressions of multisite church across North America. Even though over one third of the 1,600 megachurches in North America have multiple campuses, the multisite movement is growing at a faster pace than megachurches. The multisite strategy has proven to be an effective vehicle for outreach, volunteer mobilization, leadership development and regional impact. During 2013 we’ll continue to see an increase in multisite church mergers, Internet online campuses, international expansion of campuses and more. In fact here are 14 different developments I am observing in multisite church world:

1. Movements.

The new hot word is Movement. Leading churches in North America today aren’t just multisiting and church-planting, they are focusing on creating networks of reproducing churches that become Movements.

2. Name Changing.

Denominations, para-church organizations and churches are changing their names for all the same reasons—their name has cultural baggage and/or is geographically limiting. In the past churches identified themselves to attract their own kind and were too geographically specific for a multi-campus strategy. There is a lot of name-changing going on and more on the way!

3. The Merger Urge.

The multisite movement is driving the increase in mission-driven “we can be better together than separate” church mergers at a dramatic pace. This is the Next Big Thing on the church landscape with far greater implications beyond the multisite movement (I recently co-authored a book about healthy church mergers called Better Together, see www.outreachmagazine.com/merger for sample chapter).

4. Student Ministry Shift.

Sunday morning based student ministry is moving off of Sunday morning to an alternative evening. This allows students to attend church and/or serve together as a family which also unchains student’s families from the sending campus when going multisite.

5. Adult Sunday School Is Leaving the Building.

As churches multisite to other locations they are finding it too costly to offer on-going Adult Sunday school classrooms at new, rented or renovated facilities. Neighborhood home groups are becoming the complement to local multisite campuses. // Read more here from Jim…
Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube
   
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How can your church help other churches be more effective in reaching people? Here’s a testimony from PastorMentor.com that may help you get started in the new year: New Song started helping other churches almost by accident. Three years after we launched the church, I had to lay off our entire staff. We were transitioning from the “portable church” stage into a 24/7 lease situation, and it was obvious that we weren’t going to have enough to pay our staff and our lease. So we wrote pink slips which said, “We may not be able to pay your full salary for the next few months, but we’ve always lived by faith and we hope you’ll stay on. We believe God will provide for you until we grow into our increased budget.” Each of our guys agreed to pray and see what would happen. The next day, my Associate Pastor, Scott Evans, got a call from a church, asking if they could pay him to produce a mailer similar to the ones we had been sending to our neighbors. Another church called the following week. Scott began offering his services to more churches, and eventually Outreach, Inc. was born. Seventeen years later, Outreach has served over 90,000 churches with mailers and other marketing tools because of a pink slip and a nudge from the Lord. How to Get Started

1. Find out what God is up to…

The week before churches began to call, Scott and I had read Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God. Henry’s chief tenant is Find out what God is up to and join him in his work. God is always at work around you. What is he doing in you or through you or around you that might benefit other churches?

2. Figure out what you do well.

One clue to how you might help is by figuring out what you do better than other churches. We’re all good at something. What’s your strength?

3. When you solve a problem, share the solution.

If your church has a problem, chances are that others have that same problem. When you develop a solution, share it!

4. Don’t be afraid to share.

Church leaders are sometimes tempted to think they’re in competition with other churches. Not so. Other churches are our teammates. They want to win others to Christ as fervently as we do. via How to Help Other Churches Reach People for Christ – PastorMentor.com. How has your church been a blessing and help to other local churches?
Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube

 

 

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Have you thought much about what you will be concentrating on in your church in 2013? Joe Buchanan gives some practical advice on how to plan our your preaching calendar for the year.  See if this is helpful: 1. Spend time fasting, praying and preparing yourself spiritually to hear from God The amount of time and the way you do this will depend on the individual.  There is no substitute, however, for getting yourself spiritually prepared to hear from God. 2.  Identify the key issues and needs facing your congregation I like to take an afternoon to simply pray through our church directory, asking God to call to mind the needs of individual needs of my congregation.  As the Lord calls various issues to my mind, I make a list of issues and needs.  Once I have prayed through every name in the directory, I then go back and categorize the needs and identify the most pressing issues facing our church.   3. Outline your preaching strategy One of the key factors for effective preaching is to have variety in your styles and approaches… You will have to adjust the plan to meet your needs but I try to include the following in my yearly plan:
  • Preach through two books of the Bible
  • An expository topical series on the family
  • A theological expository series on a major doctrine of the Bible
  • Individual holiday sermons or short series
  • Standalone messages dealing with specific issues in the community
What do YOU have planned for 2013? How far do you normally plan ahead? And what are you MOST excited about for the new year? Read more here…
Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube
   
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Director/Pastor of Children’s Ministry Peoria, AZ

We are looking for a Pastor/Director of Children’s Ministry that can: Articulate a vision for dynamic, life-changing ministry to children; Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and volunteer staff; Oversee the children’s ministry from birth through 6th grade; Administrate the budget for the children’s ministry; Implement a strategy for recruitment and training of volunteers to minister to children; Consult closely with pastoral staff to coordinate the vision  and programsof the children’s ministry with the mission of Horizons Community Church; Research and provide the resources and materials to be used in the children’s ministry; Develop a strategy to communicate consistently with parents the vision of the children’s ministry and provide resources to support and encourage parents in their God-given mission to disciple their children; Provide supervision and encouragement to part-time paid staff in  the children’s ministry.  You can send your resumes to tonybrittin@yahoo.com. Does YOUR church have a job opening?  I’ll post it here for free to help you spread the word! Todd
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Leadership
Over the years, I’ve noticed what can only be described as a flaw among Christian leaders. Maybe you’ve noticed it too? For some reason they are driven to prove something. They want you to think they have it all figured out. Nobody’s better at posturing and dropping names than they are. I get books in the mail from people like this all the time. After the package is opened, the cover proudly affirms how they’re an expert in some area or another. While they give you the impression that they have everything to offer, there’s usually not much there. There is a simple biblical principle that I think they need to learn. I believe that it is one that will serve you and I as well. The precept is this: “You can’t give what you don’t have.” In a great moment of crisis and need, the Apostle Peter affirmed the following, “Silver and gold have I not, but such as I have I give unto you” (Acts 3:6). You see, he didn’t offer something that was outside his scope of experience. He offered something he knew very well – the power of the Lord. I think there’s a lot to learn from Peter. If we would only follow his example, there might be a lot less posturing and presumption. Maybe we would come to realize that first-hand experience is essential in matters of leadership and ministry. Thoughts? About the Author:  J.D. King is a speaker, church consultant and author. He serves as International Director of World Revival Network, an organization providing resource and leadership development to Spirit-led ministries. You can follow him @worldrevival
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Technology
Check out this infographic… by 2020, there will be 24 BILLION (with a B) connect devices. What’s your church’s strategy to capitalize on something that will grow EXPONENTIALLY in the next 9 years? Is it even important to have a strategy for your church here… or should we just go with the flow? What are your thoughts? Todd SOURCE
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Trends
According to Experian Simmons, 98% is one eye-opening statistic for any reader, but that’s how many adults aged eighteen to twenty-four in the United States are reportedly using social media in a typical month. The study, conducted by consumer insight service Experian Simmons, estimates that roughly 129 million people — that’s 41.37% of the total US population of 311.8 million — are using social media to stay in touch with both friends and family. More statistics: 46% of all online adults use social media to communicate with friends, up from 32% in 2009. 27% say they use social media to stay in touch with their siblings, up from 15% in 2009. 18% use social media to stay in touch with their children, up from just 6% of online adults in 2009 14% of adult children use social media to communicate with their parents, up from 5% in 2009. via 98% of online US adults aged 18-24 use social media. WOW… 98% of 18-24 year olds are using social media in a month (primarily Twitter and Facebook, I would imagine).  That would tend to tell me that if your church is anywhere close to reaching 18-24 year olds, that you would have a well-thought out social media strategy in place to attract or at least to engage them. Does YOUR church? Why or why not? Todd  
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