The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

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Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

Make A Splash With Your Facebook Page

Most churches are ministries have ventured into Facebook, and have created a Facebook Fan Page. But the question is, are you leveraging the full power of your Facebook page? I want to show you how to create one feature that will allow your Facebook page to stand out from the rest.

Catholic Church And Social Media

A shameless plug.  I was quoted for a recent Orlando Sentinel article on the Catholic Church and Social Media. You can read the article online HERE.  Read the whole article, but make sure to go to page 2 to see my quotes.

Who Said That?

If you are retooling your church to fit the Starbucks model, try reading Ephesians instead. Surely we can do better than faux community and the illusion of social superiority.
-Kevin DeYoung, read the whole post here

Make Your Sermon Count

Ever feel as if your congregation doesn't remember on Monday what you preached about on Sunday?

It is important for those of us who hear the preaching of the Word, to meditate on it and apply it into our lives.  And if the church can provide tools and resources to further that goal, we should make every effort to do so.

That is why I like what College Park Church is providing.  They are making available on their website a 'Sunday Package'. In the package is the sermon to listen to again, a manuscript of the sermon, a study guide, as well as the weekly church bulletin and news and opportunities.

I think this is an awesome idea, and as far as I can see, it isn't very difficult to implement.

10 Insane But True Facts About Porn

In Tim Chester's forthcoming book, Captured By a Better Vision: Living Pom-Free, he describes the spread of pornography as an epidemic. Here are some statistics that back up his claim …
  • Every second, 28,258 Internet users are viewing pomography and $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography
  • The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix and EarthLink
  • There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, which is 12% of all the websites on the internet
  • Every day there are 68 million (25% of the total) search engine requests for pornographic terms
  • 42.7% of internet users view pom
  • The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old and 80% of 15-17 year olds have had multiple hard-core exposure
  • The 35-49 age group is the largest consumer of internet pornography
  • 47% of Christians say that pornography is a major problem in the home
  • 17% of women struggle with pornography addiction and 70% of women keep their cyber activities secret
  • The USA produces 89% of all pornographic web pages (Germany are the next biggest producer, producing 4% of all pomographic web pages)
The fact that pornography is an enormous problem probably comes at no surprise to you. But this isn't just a problem that is merely out there, outside of the church - it's prevalent inside the church as well. Christians struggle! Pastors struggle!

Therefore it's a surprise to how relatively silent the church is about this issue.  Perhaps we've developed a "don't ask...don't tell" mindset, I won't challenge and ask you about this issue, just as long as you won't ask me.

But as ministry leaders, we must,with grace and truth, be addressing this with our youth, our men and yes, even our women.  We cannot any longer be passive and timid about this issue - we must be as aggressive toward pornography, as pornography has been aggressive in coming into our homes and putting people into bondage.

Does your church publicly address pornography with it's members?  If so, how?  Please share in the comments section.

Also check into a helpful resource that will provide you Internet Accountability - Covenant Eyes - sign up today and receive 30 days for FREE!

The ONE Rule To Create WOW Presentations!

Guy Kawasaki, in one of his classic posts, put together a set of guidelines for using PowerPoint within presentations. His rule, if followed, would keep presentations focused, interesting and make them effective.

Here is Guy’s rule:
A PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.
Here is Guy's rule unpacked from his original post....

Ten slides. Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting

Twenty minutes. You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes. Sure, you have an hour time slot, but you’re using a Windows laptop, so it will take forty minutes to make it work with the projector. Even if setup goes perfectly, people will arrive late and have to leave early. In a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes, and you have forty minutes left for discussion.

Thirty-point font. The majority of the presentations that I see have text in a ten point font. As much text as possible is jammed into the slide, and then the presenter reads it. However, as soon as the audience figures out that you’re reading the text, it reads ahead of you because it can read faster than you can speak. The result is that you and the audience are out of synch.

The reason people use a small font is twofold: first, that they don’t know their material well enough; second, they think that more text is more convincing. Total bozosity. Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well. If “thirty points,” is too dogmatic, the I offer you an algorithm: find out the age of the oldest person in your audience and divide it by two. That’s your optimal font size.

Read the rest of Guy's 10/20/30 rule here

Run Your Meetings Like Google

Say the word "meeting" and most people break out in hives.
When it comes to boring and unproductive meetings, churches and ministry are often the worst offenders.

Certainly every organization must have meetings in order to plan, strategize and communicate. So the question is how does the world's most productive and innovative companies tackle the problem of badly managed meetings? Or in other words, let's ask the question, "What Would Google Do?"

Google’s Marissa Mayer was recently interviewed by Business Week. In the interview, she described her own methodology for dealing with the 70+ meetings she needs to attend each week.

Here are Mayer’s six key principles for running productive meetings:

1.  Set a firm agenda. Mayer believes agendas provide focus and help participants find routes towards achieving a particular goal.

2.  Assign a note-taker. Mayer’s meetings tend to use multiple displays to project presentation slides, a live transcript of the meeting and a ticking stopwatch! Each element provide focus, and crucially a record, enabling non-attendees to stay informed.

3. Carve out micro-meetings. Mayer routinely divides larger meetings into smaller 5-10 minute blocks to highlight particular subject areas. This enables agendas to remain flexible, but disciplined, and also allows wide-ranging discussions to occur.

4. Hold office hours. Each day, for 90 minutes at 4PM, Mayer holds court with colleagues in her own office. Coworkers can choose a slot on a first-come-first-serve basis. Incredibly, she’s able to get through up to fifteen meetings in these periods.

5.  Discourage politics, use data. To avoid showing favoritism and to minimise office politics, Mayer insists all decisions are driven by performance-based metrics and analytics. (This approach has caused some controversies, as related by former design director Douglas Bowman.)

6.  Stick to the clock. The “ticking clock” mentioned earlier might sound draconian, but is apparently a source of levity at meetings, exerting a subtle motivation, but also underlining a precious commodity in a busy organization.

What are some of your tips and best practices for leading meetings?

(ht: WebWorkerDaily)

200 Million Non-Churched In America

There are about 200 million non-churched people in America, making America one of the four largest ‘unchurched’ nations in the world.
-John Piper, in a January 31 sermon, “I will build My Church”

(ht: Justin)