Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Coaching Network Learnings

As some of you know I have been a part of Tony's coaching network at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC. for about 4 months now. There is a picture and some more details about the guys in an earlier blog post here. Here are a few of my takeaway quotes from last week. This month's topic was Communications and Sermon Planning.
  1. When people don't show up to your stuff - it's usually not a marketing issue, it's a ministry issue. The easy thing is to announce it louder and more often, but that doesn't address the root problem that your ministry event is not very good.
  2. In most churches the pain of change is higher than the pain of ineffectiveness, so they refuse to change and continue to be ineffective. (from Simple Church)
  3. Leaders must avoid the two extremes of micromanagement and neglect –one way to walk this line is to continually cast vision. (also from Simple Church)


Danny Lucas said...

Two thoughts on Point One:

1. I once went to a service. It BEGAN with a collection and a dollar was requested as the amount. The minister noted that everyone sits in the same seats all the time, so folks in one part of the church do not know the others. (True!)

He suggested they get to know folks better, and requested everyone stand up and walk around until they meet a person they do not know.
(Everyone walked around, then stood by a stranger to them).

Next, he said that two obstacles prevent people from knowing each other.
They don't have time and they don't have money to go out together.

He pointed to the ushers with fists of about $600 in one dollar bills. He said: "I got the money".

Everyone here is to come to the ushers and take a dollar each. Do it with the stranger next to you.

The rest of the service is cancelled. This will give you the time you need to scoot out for a cup of coffee with your stranger and get to know them.

Take your money and leave.
Have a nice night getting to know each other.

Now this seemed a novel marketing tool and ministry to me, and I enjoyed the company of the gal I never knew. We gabbed an hour easily.

Curiously, I noted that everyone each week.....
continued to sit precisely where they always sat anyway.
What's a pastor to do?

2. Is it nature or nurture?
We all hear that question about why we are, the way we are.

Is it marketing or ministry? We hear this less often and it is befuddling, since ministry seems to be a church mission of choice.

But let's take a local example. I heard at Erie Blogs, a composium of Bloggers having anything to do with Erie, about a ministry called Meta-Cafe.

[Note: since that was posted a year ago, a new competitor to Erie Blogs has surfaced called Erie PA Today, so there is a plethora of sources via blogworld to find out anything being marketed anywhere in the Tri-State area and beyond].
(someday, I will give a review on which outlet is better).

I never heard of a Meta Cafe. It scrolled on Erie Blogs alone (since Erie PA Today was not yet born).
I believe I commented on it maybe a full year ago.
(I think it was on helping the needy in our community, but don't bet a buck on my memory there).

Folks showed up at the event and did something.

Then, Meta Cafe was as silent as an echo at the Grand Canyon, the day after a good shout.

Where did it go?
What did it do?
Were oldsters encouraged to come and be trained by millenials at doing the laptop dance? (They don't know how to QWERTY, and shy away----train 'em with the kiddos of enthusiasm and skill.
You will be old one day and God will send a kiddo to you, because He recalls what you did for an oldie).

Is it a social event only?
Or does it have a mission?
Were the needs of the needy met? Ascertained?

Maybe a half year went by, maybe more. A gal and I were emailing on an unrelated topic and Meta Cafe came up in discussion.

Soon, it was relaunched like a local store that is always having a Grand Opening.
I do not know what happened.

I do know there was a Meta Cafe on December 5 again. I read it for the first time on December 7.

The internet is the communication tool of our lives. It must be incorporated in ministry.

Shut-ins can see or hear a sermon. (I hate Ipods because I cannot hear, so text some sermons no matter what, as more folks will be deafer like me shortly).

Small Groups are easily formed online.

Blog posts open avenues of discussion on Bible, ministry, needs, heavenly view, miracles we know, and an eclectic array of other choices.
(Christian Job Search Venue anybody?)

Pictures and video take everyone to every event "live".

The youngsters can text a cell, in each pocket, at once, while talking on a Blue Tooth, and a friend nearby,....ALL at the same time. These are your best ministers now; they know this stuff.

Meta Cafe appears to be a marvelous ministry, but as the Blogger notes.....
Church Marketing S---s.
(Forgive me. I hate the Blog title and prefer better vocabulary to communicate, but you know the blog. Maybe they could market a better title).

Too large a church makes it impossible to know people in an authentic way.
So small groups are born.

In Erie, PA, church doors are being shut all over town.
Do some missions work.
Right here.
Make some small groups within the shuttered churches all over this town and get those places filled again.

The buildings are already there.

The need in Erie to know God has never been more acute.

Consider a revamp of Meta Cafe, and consider casting some seeds of Grace, within the empty buildings on every street in town.

Unity, trumps marketing and ministry.

Danielle said...

those are awesome