Archive for March, 2009

New Find

March 31, 2009

I found a new site that you might like:

Christian Audio Seed

On this website, you will find Len Sweet’s new book So Beautiful.

Why do you want to read this book?  We had this discussion on twitter tonight:

lensweet A Gutenberg world thrived on the economics of scarcity. A Google world presents an economy of unending abundance . if we can make transition”

kimmartinez @lensweet have you put anymore thought into what the transition to a ‘google world’ needs to look like?

lensweet @kimmartinez That’s the theme of my book So Beautiful, just out.

That is why I want to read the book.  That is why every church leader will want to read the book.  Leonard Sweet is the guy who wrote The Gospel According to Starbucks among others.

In addition, Christian Audio Seed also gives away a free audio book each month (check out the upper right corner).  Tonight I downloaded Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney.

What did you say?

March 30, 2009

Dad: “I need you to do the dishes, we are out of spoons”
Child: “Why do we need spoons?”

This little exchange has been the source of much amusement for me the last few days. As many of you know, according to the book, men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti.

My dear husband stayed in his waffle square, getting the dishes done (I was sick in bed, he was being Mr. Wonderful). His response was something like “would you like to have your computer for the rest of the day?”

My daughter was being a female. She wanted to know why having spoons was important. She was off on a spaghetti trail. She may sass me – everyone sasses me from time to time, but she would NEVER talk back to her dad. She was just curious about the spoons – and had every intention on doing the dishes.

When we hear from our own perspective instead of the speaker’s perspective, we often miss-hear things. When we speak without thinking about our audience, we are often misunderstood.

Missing the Details – More thoughts on Church Marketing

March 30, 2009

I was watching a show the other day and saw all the highlights of New York.  I saw Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.   It occurred to me that  there is a whole lot of living that goes on between the landmarks.

I looked it up, there are over 8 million people who live in the city of New York.

Wes and I were talking yesterday.  The automobile is such a basic thing, yet every once in a while it occurs to us that every one of those vehicles during rush hour represents one or two people – a home – a life.  There’s a whole lot of living going on right here in Seattle.

When we are thinking through our plans for reaching the masses, do we think of them kind of like rush hour traffic?  Rush hour traffic is something that you need to get knowledgeable of so that you can master it.

Real people have real lives.  They get rocks in their shoes.  Their brothers get cancer.  Their cars go in the shop.  They like coffee, tea, water.  Their kids get awards and tardy slips.  Real people live real lives.

As we go into Easter, many of our churches will be looking for ways to get the neighbors to come into the church.  I think that sometimes we’ve approached these marketing campaigns like controlling traffic.  Putting up roadblocks and trying to funnel people into the church.

Instead, let’s consider the living that’s going on in those homes.  God meets people in transition.  What transitions are they going through?  How can we meet them at their point of need and help move them to the next step?  How can we be of service to them where they are at?

What if, instead of asking them to come to us, we sent something to them?  Gave them a web address that would give them a real resource that would meet a real need?  Maybe a teaching on finances or time management?

What if we had the people in our church looking for ways to serve instead of ways to invite?  What if our resources were online so that they could serve and offer an invite by showing someone a website?  I’m not talking about watering down the gospel at all.  I’m talking about meeting people where they live and talking their language first, helping them realize their need.  After all, they aren’t cars or buildings or neon lights.  They are people, whose lives are very loud, and they spend hours each day in traffic.

Marketing for Pastors

March 26, 2009

I’ve been reading “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” by Steven K. Scott.  Scott is a world-class marketer.  He knows marketing.  With that background, he has approached the life of Jesus and showed us how to live effective lives that will reach people and make a real difference.

Jesus led in such a way that people listened.  People followed.  People were changed.  He got inside their heads, and communicated in a way that they could understand.

That’s what this book is about.

Today I read that someone hijacked Robert Schuller’s name and made a whole twitter account on it. http://tinyurl.com/cylqm4.
The interesting thing I found reading the article was the mention of Schuller using marketing concepts to grow his church.  What is marketing?  Marketing is the study of developing a message in such a way that the communication loop is completed.

The communication loop is complete when the picture inside my head is the exact same picture inside your head.  When I say potato, do you have the same potato inside your head?  Not unless it is cut up, cooked, with creamy sauce and wonderfully melted cheese on top, steam rising and just a touch of parsley on top.  Not unless your mouth is watering like mine is.

When we say love, does anyone know what we mean?  I guarantee someone who doesn’t know Jesus doesn’t know what we mean.  I know that most of the people inside the church don’t even know what we mean.  The hard part is that when we start to be understood by one group, we often misunderstood by another.

We need to find ways to improve our means of communication by better understanding the people we are trying to reach.  This is marketing.  This is also outreach.  This is pastoring and shepherding.  We also need to have better control of how we present our message.  This is leadership.  This is why I like this book.

Anyway, you can get this book here:  at Random House.com.

The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived

March 26, 2009

blogSo, I’m going to be 50…someday – to emulate Meg Ryan.

And Steven Scott tells me that on that day, I will have lived 2600 of my (on average) 3,952 weeks.  Does that bother you?  It bothers me… and I am actually closer to 40 than 50 (wrinkles not withstanding).

Wes and I were talking the other night about talents.  What talents has God given you?  Have you developed them?  When you show up to heaven, is God going to say ‘good job, here are some more’, or are you going to have a whole long list of reasons why you didn’t develop the talents that you have?  Is your eternity going to be off to a great start with the joy of learning, growing, developing because you were diligent with what He gave you to start out with?

What about the rest of this life?  Do you want to know that the world is different because you were here?

Steven Scott is an ordinary guy who has succeeded in extraordinary ways because he has used the principles that he learned by following Jesus.  With a fair amount of learning from Solomon and Thomas Edison thrown in.

He started his career with eight failures and became a multi-millionaire.  In this book, he shows you how to succeed at being the best YOU you can be by being like Jesus.  This book is “How to win friends and influence people” plus every book that John Maxwell ever wrote, all in one.  You can save yourself a ton of time and money if you buy, read, highlight, study and apply the principles of this book.

Rarely do I find a book that I am convinced every one of my kids needs to read.  Right now I’m plotting how to get this book in formats that they will all assimilate.  (This one’s audio (audio book), this one’s visual, what if I read it aloud at bedtime…) I believe we are all called to greatness.  You are called to greatness.  God put you on earth for a purpose.  You can fulfill it.  This book is a great tool.

You can buy it here:  at the Random House Web Site.

I also have two copies to give away.  Since this blog is also viewed on Facebook, better hurry if you want to be the first to ask for it, because Katie already got one of the copies.  Congrats to Katie.  You can email me by going to my “About Me” page on the top right corner of the blog and clicking on my email.  Good luck, and happy reading!

Simplicity

March 21, 2009

dandilion2In a choir, when everything is perfect, there is an overtone – a note that you can hear that no one is actually singing.

Sometimes, when you listen, you can hear an overtone among the chorus of God’s messengers.

Today, that word is “Simplicity”.

Within the next few weeks, there are three books coming out on this theme.

The interesting part is that all three are about completely different parts of the Kingdom.

  • Kem works for Granger Community Church, and is passionate about making church communication simple (anyway that’s what I’ve been getting from her blog over the last two years).
  • Jeffress’ book is directed at the individual.  “When did the Christian life become so complicated?”
  • Browning’s book is about making the church simple.

I am attempting to get on the blog tour for all three books.   We will be looking at Jeffress’ book the week of March 30.

In a world where excess has led us down a path of mayhem, simplicity is the obvious but difficult response. One of the spiritual disciplines is simplicity.

Where does the thought of simplicity lead you today?

Don’t Let Me Go

March 18, 2009

image001Don’t Let Me Go is a book about hills and valleys, relationships and life.  If you are looking for a good, easy read, this is a great book.

David Pierce, the husband of Chonda Pierce (the comedienne), wrote this coming of age-style book about his relationship with his daughter, and in parts, about his relationship with his self.

Here’s one of the many great passages:

“The mountaintops we call great.  They’re high.  And we can see forever – but it’s always tiny stuff, far away.  Our hearts pound and we feel happy.  With the exception of the Snickers bars and the sausages, there’s not a lot of detail on the mountaintop. But in the valleys, we remember details: the flood-warning signs, rain, mud, cold, clogged sinuses, lumpy bedding, cold noodles, twisted ankles, switchbacks that don’t seem to end,… But up here – it’s truly “great” and the details from below are suddenly tiny, small and even insignificant.”

You can buy this book here on amazon.com.

Also, I have one book to give away, so if you are the first to email me, it’s yours.

Awesome Things

March 13, 2009

Okay, it’s Friday –

I found some great sites that are really interesting:

Jott.com – voice to text right from your phone and (I think) it will read to you as well.

Unifyer.com – these guys specialize in non-profit communication overload solutions.  Also, their front page is so cool, it’s worth going there just to look at it.

The Idea Camp – great minds, sharing – what a concept.

The Idea Camp on Vimeo – evidence of great minds sharing freely – what a gift!  Thanks guys!

Free Conference.

I missed Unleash ’09 due to needing to be a family member,

but Unleash ’08 main sessions are free here.

 

Blogs I’ve enjoyed:

Great post:  On Bathroom Signage

I just love reading this blog:  The Future is Red

I’m learning a lot from these guys:

Dave Gibbons

Eric Bryant

Scott Hodge

Blessings on your weekend.

As the Head is, so Goes the Rest

March 12, 2009

I was talking to a pastor of a neighboring church the other day. I asked him what about his church’s involvement in the local community. He didn’t really understand my question. We had already discussed how they take care of the needs of the poor, so my question caught him off guard. So I rephrased my question.

“What does the community think about this church?”  He had no idea.

I tried again. “If a leader in the community had someone with a need, would they bring them to you?” I asked.

His eyes lit up. “We have a good relationship with the mayor’s office, and we are in their parade every year.”  He thought that was a great response.

My reaction was OUCH!  The manager of Safeway was the leader I was thinking of – he was more likely to know people with needs.

This isn’t a 50 person church in a great big city.  This is a church of over 2,000 in a city of 40,000.  Yet the city is ‘them’ and the church is ‘us’.  What do you think those 2,000 people think about the people living on their block who don’t have Judeo Christian values?  Do you think they have any idea how to help their neighbor become ‘us’?

As the corporation goes, so the parts within it.

I first started learning this concept as I listened to Rick Enloe talk about a local businessman he and the pastor staff at our church had befriended while he was pastor.  Up to this point in my life, pastors had been white ivory tower dudes who prayed a lot, spoke from the pulpit, and were generally not really human.  Rick was different.  His whole staff was different.  They were real people who loved people.  Not because they were good church people.  They loved the vegetable stand guy because he was there.  They loved the mocha stand guy because he was there…and he made great mochas.  They did their best to bless the whole neighborhood in the name of Jesus.  Because that’s what being Christ’s body meant – being His presence in a location and making a difference.

Do you want your church members to be suspicious of their neighbors or inviting?  Do you want them to be community builders on their culdesacs or do you want them to stay isolated?  This last one is a big question because it demands that we change our programming accordingly.  But here’s the kicker – they won’t be inviting towards their neighbors if you don’t know the business leaders of your church neighborhood and have lunch with them from time to time.  They won’t be community builders if they haven’t first learned it from you.

As the head is, so goes the rest.

The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture

March 11, 2009

blog16There is one conversation I’ve been having more than any other in the last two years:  how can we be in the world and not of it?

As a mom with kids, as a pastor whose focus is outreach, connection, being a person… this conversation comes up more than any other.

My kids have been the best conversationalists.  Everyone over… well 20, hasn’t given anything but the good old church lines.  (Except for a select few, and I bought their books promptly.)

I read today on Kary Oberbrunner’s blog, that he’d written a new book and he was looking for people to review it.

I review books.  This is something I really wanted to do.  Finally, tonight, I found a sample chapter.

What I am hoping, is that I can get a few of you to buy the book with me, and have a conversation.

The rest of you should buy this book too, because we need to rewrite our paradigm for Christ and Culture.  I’ve been working Christ in Culture, Christ with Culture (not remembering them exactly right) and you always make someone mad… from the church!

I love this book, as much as I’ve read.  I’m wanting to buy it, who’s with me?

Here’s the link to amazon.