Extending Digital Media Webinar

I was recently asked to present a webinar for churches and non-profits on how to extend digital media. In it, I covered trends and stats and offered my recommendations for churches that were not new to social media or strategic communications, but also ensured those still ramping up their digital media efforts would not be left behind in the conversation. The very kind and talented folks at Limelight Networks hosted the webinar. Theresa Bui, their Director of Content and Product Marketing, interviewed me and also ran real-time polls and Q&A during the webinar. I’m happy to share the recorded webinar, including both the slides I shared and the full audio, here on my blog. This is 1 hour, 1 minute worth your church leaders’ time to help them understand the need to think and communicate using digital channels – and specifically via mobile, which is a large portion of the content I share. I hope your church benefits from this recording. Please share it with your pastor friends! A BrightTALK Channel...

Facebook Home, Churches & Less Noise

“We don’t need more technology. We need less noise in our technology.” Today, Facebook announced Facebook Home (see story by Mashable), currently available for Android only (interesting to me). Facebook Home is a collection of apps you can install to automagically turn an Android phone into a Facebook phone. It is an always-on, Facebook-focused graphical interface that makes Facebook’s news feed, notifications and chat a part of using the phone – even when you’re using another app. As if we needed an ever-present distraction that doesn’t even require us to sign in to Facebook to be inundated with more noise. I’ve come to believe that for the average person, filtering your “friends” list in Facebook and organizing who you follow on Twitter into practical Lists is a necessity to keep the signal-to-noise ratio down to something that is not only manageable, but useful. While this could, in theory, still be achieved organizationally via Facebook Home, the ever-present cover feed would introduce more distraction than is viably useful. As an aside, I also wonder if their video and website showcasing Facebook Home hints at their targeted demographic: teens and early 20-somethings, a market that is beginning to leave Facebook. My recommendations are still the same: use the right tools to manage your inputs and execute a strategy to make technology work for you and not the other way around. QUESTION: How is your church managing the noise to find what’s valuable in social media?...

Twitter’s Most Powerful Feature

“Twitter’s most powerful feature is the ability to mobilize people to give, serve and share.” Since 2007, I’ve been finding new ways to leverage the power of Twitter. From reaching large groups of not only people I know, but the people they know, Twitter has been a great tool. But, like any technology, there are plenty of uses of it that are – at least to me – time-wasters. I think a good number of pastors view Twitter with a skeptical eye. But that doesn’t make Twitter any less useful; people behaving badly is nothing new. In 2009 I published my first ebook, “The Reason Your Church Must Twitter”. In it, I outlined the practical benefits of the mass text-like messaging medium, but what I never saw coming was that its most powerful feature is the ability to mobilize people. From Janis Krums “miracle on the Hudson” picture aboard a ferry used to rescue stranded passengers of the US Air jet that landed in the Hudson River, to the staggering success of the Obama campaign (“organizing for action”) to rally young voters to contribute (80% of the $639 million dollars Obama raised came from donations that were 20 dollars or less), Twitter is a powerful tool that churches should be strategically using to engage and mobilize their attendees and community. QUESTION: What’s working – and what’s not been working – with how your church uses Twitter?...

Good, Fast & Cheap for Churches

“Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two, because all three at once doesn’t exist.” I certainly didn’t invent this concept, but I came to appreciate it – as us Texans say – right quick. On face value, it’s obviously true, yet I am still amazed at how often all three are expected in oh-so-many churches I’ve worked with over the years. Look, it’s possible to buy good technology, get it fast and install it cheap with volunteer labor; but that’s not the meaning of this paradigm. This reality is about outcomes, not process. When someone wants something good, fast and cheap (that’s their desired outcome), they’ll inevitably find that there are always – always – trade-offs. Where I think many people get caught is in the definition of cheap. Cheap doesn’t always mean inexpensive. Cheap can be an attribute of quality, whether in craftsmanship, durability or lasting value. If cheap is the highest priority, then the lowest priority will always be good. QUESTION: Where has your church been hurt by missing this simple but profound principle? Comment below. Need help explaining this to your leadership? Connect with Anthony on a 1-on-1 Google Hangout coaching session. Name(required) Email(required) Church Name(required) I need:(required) $99 - 1-on-1 coaching session On-site consulting Just information - for now Anything I need to know? Submit...

Less is More

“Less is not only more; it is, more importantly, less.” I’ve been taken with the idea of “less is more” for some time now. Simplicity can be elegant. Of course, like anything taken to extremes, less can drift into minimalism and risks becoming more of a statement than a practical solution. The idea that I want to convey is that less isn’t the absence of something, but the appropriate use of only what is necessary. From how often we communicate, what we choose to say (and not to say) in our communications and selecting the proper channel to reach the right audience, less is best. QUESTION: How could your church or ministry benefit from “less”? ...

Volunteer Teams: Define Outcomes, Not Steps

“The best volunteer teams excel when the expectations are set by defining the right outcomes, not the right steps.” No one likes being in the hot seat. Setting volunteers up for failure is a sure-fire way to both kill volunteer involvement and decimate volunteer morale. With this in mind, church leaders often do their best to set up volunteers for success. The only problem is that the good intentions of protecting volunteers often leads to defining exacting steps and rigid procedures. For some volunteers, this kind of structure is safe and easy. Yet the best volunteer teams are those which are empowered to step outside of the lines and respond to personal ministry opportunities not outlined in a training manual. Your best volunteers need a framework to operate within and the freedom to make decisions that are people-focused. Guidelines are just that: guides. Define the right outcomes and you’ll find your best volunteers making the right steps to high engagement. That’s a win-win-win scenario. QUESTION: What areas of volunteer ministry need to shift away from rules and focus more on relationships?...