Tag: church comms

2_07: Cory Hartman – Stop wasting words convincing people to show up

2_07: Cory Hartman – Stop wasting words convincing people to show up

Breakthrough ideas with Cory:

  • How can you use the written word to extend your reach?
  • Is there a way to leverage your weekly content to make disciples?
  • What are the best possible ways to shape and leverage your content for disciple-making outside of your Sunday service?
  • The church is a content factory every week, creating a ton of content, yet we’re not taking advantage of it outside of the sermonic moment.
  • Are you maximizing the channels to communicate the gospel?
  • The one who works longest is the one who is most devoted to the ministry of the word, right? Maybe not.
  • How do we give gospel-shaped answers to the questions that people are actually asking?
  • There seems to be a divide in the philosophy of preaching with felt need, seeker-sensitive on the one side, and expositional verse-by-verse gospel-centered on the other side. I don’t see why those are two sides.
  • The questions that people are asking, they have deeper questions in life. We’re all walking around with the more profound questions in life.
  • What does it mean to have a gospel-centered, gospel-shaped Biblical answer to the question is my boyfriend cheating on me, and how do I know?
  • When we can speak to a surface-level tension, there’s an avenue to this more significant, kind of gospel-centered question.
  • When you look at the messages that you send: your bulletin or worship guide, look at your website, look at your social media feed, and look at all the different ways that you’re communicating to other people. The call to action is to show up.
  • Show up to Sunday morning worship, show up to the small group, show up to vision night, show up to community outreach, show up to youth group, show up to whatever.
  • Did Jesus tell us, “Go ye into all the world and tell people to show up?”
  • Jesus did not say: “Guys, whatever you do, as the father has sent me, so I am sending you to get people to show up, you have to get people to show up.”
  • When the vast bulk of our content is telling people to show up, what are we communicating there?
  • Is our primary message akin to what the Lord told us that our central message was supposed to be?
  • How are we sending a “grow up” message to people in their personal and spiritual growth according to the Good News that the Lord has given us?
  • Communicate opportunities to grow up into something as much as you communicate opportunities to show up for something.
  • You don’t have to wait for Sunday or wait for the right Sunday. You don’t have to wait for that to try out the Christian life. Just try it.
  • We can talk to the skeptical person; we can speak to the secular person, we can talk to the person who’s disaffected from church and say, “Before you even come to church, try this Jesus thing. Just take this one teaching of his and put it into practice in your life this week and see what happens.”
  • People are showing up to church less, but they still maintain the same level of perceived connectedness.
  • They still call it “my church” even though versus ten years ago, attendance rates are down. And in some cases, giving is remaining the same, which is fogging the lens on what’s happening.
  • It is more biblical to say a disciple is someone who shows up. So rather than put the attendance ahead of discipleship, we need to put discipleship forward of presence.
  • How is the church going to make disciples in the networks of people’s relationships beyond the four walls?
  • Social media is one of those networks, one of those networks that our people are in, apart from the four walls of the church, that sharing the gospel should take place.
  • If we’re diligent about posting helpful enough content, maybe we are equipping our people to share with the people around them that are hurting and struggling and have questions.
  • Facebook could be the new Monday night visitation.
  • Well-designed, well-curated content shared appropriately could be that next Monday night visitation or Chick Tract with the four spiritual laws.
  • Evangelism, even if it was a little bit of a scary word, was a word in the lexicon of our church ten years ago. Not any more.
  • Not being equipped makes it difficult for people to share the gospel.
  • There’s so much baggage with the word evangelical. It’s a political party now, not a posture of believers in kind of an overflow of their life.
  • Instead of talking about how social media channels weaken our faith and weaken the connection between people and are a stumbling block, what if this could be a strength in this new evangelical age?
  • Does anybody read blog posts anymore? I think the answer is yes.
  • We’ve been sitting with the internet for a generation, still trying to figure out how to best tailor the content as the Church.
  • One of the things that the church has missed along the way is the relationship between what happens online and what happens offline.
  • The written word is valuable in part because it is so snackable and so skimmable.
  • Your first few years in ministry are primarily about growing you into the kind of branch that will produce fruit someday.
  • In God’s plan, the next long season of your life is not mainly about how he’s going to use you to help people become like Christ, but mostly about how he’s going to use people to help you become like Christ.
  • Try to relax, and don’t be afraid to relax a little that if you relax a little, you’re going to relax too much, because you’re not capable of relaxing too much.
  • Your church would be happy to keep you forever, but they deserve better than a pastor who is continually thinking about the next thing.
  • The choice that we make at that moment, whether to leap or not leap, itself has no bearing whatsoever on whether God loves us or not.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

Fulcrum Content

From Show Up to Grow Up by Cory Hartman

Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer

Younique: Designing the Life God Dreamed for You by Will Mancini

Cory Hartman is the founder and principal writer at Fulcrum Content, the company he launched to equip churches for disciple-making and help leaders extend their reach with the written word. At Fulcrum, Cory serves as a collaborative author for thought-leaders, provides editing and self-publishing assistance, writes original online pieces, adapts audio and video content into engaging articles, writes marketing copy, and crafts custom-built discipleship material. Cory served as a pastor for 13 years in churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He earned a doctor of ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a thesis on 19th-century educator, revivalist, publisher, and abolitionist Mansfield French. Cory previously earned an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell in urban ministry and a BA from Taylor University in biblical literature. Cory’s letters have appeared in such publications as the Boston Globe and the Newark Star-Ledger, the latter winning the paper’s Silver Pen Award. He is the author of From “Show Up to Grow Up”: How to Make Top Content That Makes Real Disciples and On Freedom and Destiny: How God’s Will and Yours Intersect. A native of central New York State, Cory’s family roots are in central Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife Kelly and their four children.

21: Carol Pipes – LifeWay Communications

21: Carol Pipes – LifeWay Communications

Breakthrough ideas with Carol: 

  • Church leaders need to be intentional with their communication beyond just Sunday sermons.
  • The first question to ask in excellent church communication is ”Who is the audience?”
  • Shape the message to the intended audience to maximize effective communication.
  • There are multiple channels to communicate with your church beyond sermons and emails.
  • Small groups and Sunday school classes are great communication channels.
  • Use every channel available to communicate; a repetitive and consistent message is critical in excellent church communication.
  • Until you are tired of saying it, your people have likely not yet heard it. Excellent communication requires ongoing repetition.
  • You can train your congregation to look to specific places for needed information.
  • The medium you use in communication may depend on the message you need to share. Not every message gets shared in the same way.
  • Important visionary moments need to be communicated face to face. An email can do more harm than good in times of change.
  • When you have a significant change happening, people may react strongly. Being in the room, at the moment, becomes critical when communicating change.
  • Excellent communication asks: Who is the Audience? What is their Message? Which Medium is best? In that order.
  • As a church leader, you compete for peoples attention and time. People are oversaturated with media today.
  • Attention spans are short; your message will get lost without intentional, repetitive communication.
  • The secret to communication lies in breaking through the cultural noise. Therefore repeat your message. Then repeat it. After that, repeat it once more.
  • Stories are the best vehicle for communicating important messages. Tell stories wherever you can. Testimony is the currency of transformation.
  • Stories are going to flow from your congregation when you are asking precise questions.
  • The church should be speaking into cultural topics because we can shine the light of the Gospel into dark moments.
  • Reporters are not bad people, just people trying to tell good stories, and serve their community.
  • Church leaders have a unique insight into the community and can serve as a source of information and perspective for local news outlets.
  • Build relationships with local news reporters and build trust with news agencies… trust leads to voice and opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus in times of challenge and celebration.
  • Developing a level of two-way trust with local news reporters opens the door for a pastor to speak biblical truth into current events and issues.
  • When a reporter calls, do not freak out – it’s not necessarily negative. Don’t be afraid to say no, not right now, or I don’t know… but do respond in some way.
  • Because you’ve developed a relationship of trust with local media, you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel.
  • Cultivating and being responsive in relationships, and being empathetic to reporters, opens the door to share the Gospel.
  • Be consistent with your message; do not be afraid to repeat yourself even if it feels weird.
  • Lead the narrative. If you don’t communicate what is happening, other people will tell your story for you.
  • People will fill in communication gaps. If you don’t tell the story in a crisis or challenging situation, someone else will try to do it for you.
  • When do you need to communicate face-to-face, as opposed to sending an email? In times of challenging communication, nothing beats being in the room.
  • How you communicate could build trust even in times when trust is broken.
  • Surrender to God daily. Give Him your day, every day.

Breakthrough resources in this episode:

Facts and Trends

Ministry Safe

Ministry Grid

Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg

Elements of Style by Strunk & Campbell

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Carol Pipes is the director of corporate communications at LifeWay Christian Resources and editor of Facts & Trends. Carol has worked in Christian publishing for 18 years, during which time she has written numerous magazine articles and previously served as editor of On Mission for the North American Mission Board. A Tennessee native, Carol lives in Nashville with her husband Keith, who leads the music ministry team at Friendship Community Church in Old Hickory. Carol loves writing about the mission of God carried out through His Church. Follow her on Twitter @CarolPipes.