Archives For Communication

Hear from players during Super Bowl 47 Media Day – how they use the Bible App and what connecting with God’s Word means to them.

Special thanks to 1615.tv.

YouVersion is a free Bible for your phone and computer. The Bible App has been installed on over 78 million mobile devices around the world.

When the Bible is always nearby, you can use any moment to read God’s Word.

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It’s free. It’s easy to use. It’s right where you are.

On your computer: http:/www.bible.com

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Social MediaLet’s go back a few years to when you first started noticing the potential social media could have (circa 2006) . . . back to the days when the idea of creating a community of friends in a digital world excited you. Remember the days you actually had to ask if a person was on Facebook?

Social media not only connected us with old high school friends and new acquaintances, but also with people around the world who shared our same interests. Sites like Facebook Causes drew people together, enabling us to bond over something greater than ourselves. It was a new collaborative technology to help us impact the world. And it was awesome.

Since then, there’s been a shift in the fundamental thinking about social media. As more people join the movement, it becomes less about social interaction and more about persona building. If we’re honest, the chance to become a social media rock star has captivated our focus and intentions. It’s more about the “me” than about the “we.” Unfortunately, the Church community is not immune.

The problem is that we’ve created a whole new standard for social behavior that is…

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Effective CommunicationCommunication can make or break an organization. Effective communication can help organizations solve problems and accomplish their goals. Poor communication can cripple organizations, creating even more problems and preventing them from focusing on the goals they’ve set.

There are several factors that make communicating difficult. From my conversations with leaders both young and old, the primary reason communication seems to break down in organizations today is the generational divide. Young people and older people communicate in very different ways from very different perspectives.

A few days ago, I discovered this thought by Jessamyn West:

“There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.”

Thankfully, these difficulties aren’t insurmountable! I found two resources that can help.

A resource for younger leaders:

Whether you’re a Millennial struggling to connect with the Baby Boomers on your team or a leader from Generation Y struggling to communicate with your Gen X cohort, communication is key. This presentation outlines the communication preferences of the different generations and…

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A History of Social Media

By Brandon Cox

Beth Hayden and Rafal Tomal, with Copyblogger, have put together an insightful infographic detailing the history of social media. They rightly say that it goes all the way back to the first email (since email is social) and they also rightly conclude that “at some point very soon, we will all stop talking about ‘social media’ and put the focus where it belongs – the global media network that connects us all.”

history_of_social_media

Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

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Most of the world seems to be on Facebook. I’ll be somewhere really remote, drawing people following a church service, and as I hand the finished product to the (ahem) victim, will say, “Now, this is your new Facebook picture.”

No one has ever said, “I’m not on Facebook” or especially “What’s that?” Usually they say, “Good idea” or “You’ve got it!”

Now, I recognize that being a Southern Baptist preacher, most of my FB friends are like-minded with me about the Lord and church and the Bible–you know, spiritual things. It’s the nature of these things. So, on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, the “posts” from many of my buddies all seem to say similar things….

–”Join us for church at Shiloh this morning at 9:30 am. You’ll receive a blessing.”

–”Today I’m preaching on Hezekiah’s tunnel.  We’ll see if we can find the light at the end of that thing.”

–”My little granddaughter is singing today at Cornerstone. You won’t get good stuff like this on American Idol.”

–”Have you ever wondered what happened to the Jebusites? Be at Riverside Church this morning and…

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Ministry Process Design

The most successful churches are the ones who build a ministry process for their people to follow. As they grow, community members easily transition from one stage of their faith to another.

Successful churches also understand the importance of their website to this ministry process. They see it as an asset helping to broaden their reach, deepen engagement in community members, and disciple their communities–all online.

That’s why we’re pleased to release our newest free resource, “The Ultimate Guide to Ministry Process Design“.

What You’ll Find Inside

In this free ebook, you’ll find:

1. The highest-trafficked pages for The Village ChurchMariners Church, and The Woodlands United Methodist Church.

2. How each church creates ministry movement on their website.

3. What missional purpose the top pages of each website accomplish.

4. An opportunity for a free consultation from our team here at MonkDev.

Each of these churches have learned how to create movement on their website. We’ve given you some of the best examples, all for free.

Download from Monk Development’s Blog

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Get Rid of Email Overload Once and for All

It’s Monday morning and you already have 75 unread emails in your inbox. It’s not the best way to start the week, but it’s pretty normal for many professionals. We’ve all been there, and we all know the overwhelming feeling that little red circle brings when it appears on our screen.

While I’m still trying to find the best system for handling my own email overflow, here are a few tips I’ve followed to avoid allowing email to take over my day:

1. Prioritize

Michael Hyatt has some great advice on organizing and prioritizing your email in this post. In reality, not all emails are created equal. Some need to be read and responded to right away. Others should be archived or deleted in bulk. Keep that in mind whenever you receive an email. If it needs to be addressed immediately, respond. If not, set it aside in a folder or use your best friend, the delete button.

2. Set a time limit

If you’re not careful, you can start answering emails at 8 a.m. and the…

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Brandon PreachingThere are certain elements that must be included in every single sermon that we ever preach. They are non-negotiable. To put it another way, every sermon you preach has three key components…

The God Component

The “God component” is what sets preaching apart from other kinds of public speaking. We are God’s spokespeople. We preach His word, not ours. And as we consider the role of God in the sermon, we have to ask some pretty pertinent questions:

  • Have I recognized that God is the ultimate authority on the meaning of His word?
  • Have I consulted with the Author of the word in prayer?
  • Have I trusted the results of my preaching to the Spirit who moves among his people?
  • Have I made Jesus the central character of the sermon?

The Communicator Component

The component has to do with me, the preacher. I need to ask certain important questions about my own role in the preaching experience:

  • Have I live and embodied the word in my life? That is to say, have I been the incarnation of the message I hope to convey on Sunday morning?
  • Can I honestly say I’ve spent adequate time in preparation, so that…

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As the incoming pastor, I asked the church committee not to terminate Manley, a staff member whose chief failing was that he was ineffective. The committee was willing to cut him loose before I arrived to save me the trouble.

“Give me a chance to work with him,” I said quickly and perhaps a little naively.

A year later, after finding him lazy and incapable of doing the work his position required and with no other spot on the church staff suitable for him, I released him.

He was so angry at me.

That evening, I was complaining to my wife about the unfairness of his criticism. Hadn’t I saved his job for a full year? Hadn’t we given him ample warning and opportunities to improve? Weren’t we providing generous severance?

Margaret said, “Joe, be realistic.  You want to fire a man and have him like it.”

I guess I did. (His anger made me feel that I had failed him in some way, even though the personnel committee met with Manley that very evening to assure him the decision was unanimous. That helped me a little, but not much. Manley moved…

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Top Church BlogsKent Shaffer always provides an interesting list of influential blogs. You can find the list at his ChurchRelevance.com site.

Here are some quick observations from the list:

1. Calvinists rule the blogosphere. Seven of the top ten are decidedly Calvinistic, most aggressively so, (Interestingly, Michael Hyatt is Eastern Orthodox (Antiochian See) which is fascinating. Scot McKnight is hard to categorize, but not Reformed. I do not know Father Z at all.

On a personal note: I am glad to be a contributor to The Resurgence and congratulate them on their #10 placement. (Like many of the bigger blogs, they are more of an aggregator than a personal blog– same as the Gospel Coalition, where I also occasionally contribute.) I noticed that the other places that run my blogs, ChurchLeaders.com and Pastors.com, were also on the list. Thanks for using my content.

2. The Emergent Church has mostly left the building if blogs are any indication. I have a blog series about that coming soon, but it was not that long ago when emerging church blogs dominated the blogosphere and publishing.

3. Where…

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It seems like small groups are everywhere.  And churches that have a recognized small group ministry are becoming more the standard than the exception.  Why is that?  What’s going on?

As director of smallgroups.com, I had a lot of contact with churches that were neck deep in the small group movement.  My job revolved around helping pastors and small group leaders keep their small groups active and healthy.  So I got a lot of feedback about what’s driving the rise of small group ministry.

There are definitely many dynamics involved in the small group movement, but I’ve noticed a common thread.  And that is the strong desire people have to experience genuine community.  People are seeing the need for a kind of community that’s really missing in our information age culture.  There are a lot of broken lives and a lot of dysfunction in traditional relationships and the family so the whole idea of bringing the New Testament community back into the church is something people see and feel they need.

I witnessed this phenomenon first hand in my own church.  As the church grew to a point where it was impossible to…

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By Whitney Jones

With social media sites like Twitter, pastors can easily connect with their church members or fellow preachers just by typing out a message and hitting “send.”

But navigating the constant stream of Twitter and other social networks from the standpoint of a pastor can be challenging since those websites are targeted toward more casual content. However, many pastors throughout the country are using Twitter as a tool to encourage and further teach the Gospel.

Micah Fries, lead pastor at Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., said he tweets to share further thoughts on his sermons, so church members can continue to contemplate each week’s message.

“I guess for me Twitter — and Facebook to a similar degree — is much like an extension of the pulpit,” he said. “So I try to use it regularly during the week as a means of extending the sermon throughout the week.”

But Fries does more than tweet Scripture references or sermon points. His Twitter feed includes day-to-day observations and comments on his family’s activities. He said showing people both his professional and personal life is important because both aspects…

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