Sunday, February 22, 2009

Join Us For Essentials

This week we will be presenting "The Essentials for Starting a Missional Church." The date is Thursday - Friday, Feb. 26-27. This will be the first presentation of our NEW 2009 VERSION. If you are interested in joining us or sending someone else to join us, please email me at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Leverage Social Media Marketing

Many of the church planters I'm working with are beginning to use the social media in very effective ways. Facebook is becoming a powerful tool for networking and advertising. The good thing about advertising like Facebook ads and Search Engine ads is that they are "pay per click." You can set your budget and know that every dollar you spent had some kind of impression. One of the planters I'm coaching had 8 first time visitors from Facebook last month.

Some of my clients are beginning to use a national company called Reach Local. It's a little more expensive than say Google ads, but it offers more capabilities.

Another tool that is growing in popularity is Twitter. The booklet "The Reason Your Church Must Twitter" by Anthony D. Coppedge is a great resource. Many have been using blogs but now with Facebook and Twitter the bloggers are going to a new level. And don't forget about YouTube - a powerful tool that is being way under-utilized!

In my business I like Linked In and Ning. These are excellent professional networking tools that have many applications for churches as well as businesses. groups are also proving to be very effective in networking and outreach.

For those church planters who have relied primarily on marketing strategies like direct mail and print ads, this new strategy may seem quite unconventional. However, for the planters that have been leveraging "relationship marketing" like we teach in our "Essentials" training, these new online tools can take you to a whole new level. Plus they are very inexpensive. Whoever you are, you need to leverage the new social media opportunities that are available now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Valentine

It was Valentines Day, 35 years ago (senior year in high school), that I sent my first valentine to a girl whom I fell in love with on our first date (9 months prior), though I first met her in 7th grade (another story), who later became my wife (33 years ago). She has been, and will always be, the love of my life. I love her smile, I love her voice, I love her touch, I love her embrace, I love everything about her. She has always gone the extra mile for me and with me. Every song Chicago sings makes me think about her. As I look back over the years, I can't imagine what life would have been like without her. She has been and will always be the greatest treasure of my heart. For me, Valentines Day is the day that I feel the most blessed.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What Is The Gospel?

My thinking has been greatly influenced by Tim Keller. He has helped me come to appreciate the Gospel in much deeper ways. I think the key to really understanding and appreciating the Gospel is to understand how pervasive sin is in the human condition. Sin is not just a behavior, but it effects my identity, my relationships, my purpose, my work, my motives & ambitions, my longings, my thoughts, and my behavior. Until we understand how deeply sin has effected us we will not deeply appreciate the power of the Gospel.

When I look in my heart and my life I realize that I am far worse than I ever imagined. I am hopelessly and utterly sinful. But it's at exactly that point that I discover God's grace is far greater than I can even comprehend. The new identity, capacity, and potential that He gives me in Christ is amazing.

For a simple introduction, I highly recommend Tim's book Prodigal God. For a more indepth study I encourage you to visit his church website and find more of his articles and resources. I also recommend an old resource by Larry Crabb entitled Inside Out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I am a fanatic about systems. However, not all pastors are! Some feel like systems stifle creativity or the movement of the Spirit. Some think systems are almost anti-spiritual. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The truth is that you have a system for almost everything you do, though you may not know it. God created using systems; just consider the solar system, the ecosystem, the family system, not to mention the human body which is a conglomerate of highly sophisticated systems (nervous system, respiratory system, etc.)

If you are planting a church you must think about the systems you are creating. Remember, you cannot NOT create systems. You will either create good systems that produce health and effectiveness or bad systems that make your ministry ineffective, inefficient, and stagnate. Begin by identifying and evaluating the systems you have. Every missional church must have four major systems. You must have:
  1. An Assimilation System
  2. A Spiritual Formation System
  3. A Leadership Development System
  4. An Administrative System

Remember this, good systems:
Energy, and

Take a look at your systems! They are the key to ongoing effectiveness.