Archives For April 2009

Today, an the following email came across my desk from my MBA alumni network:

From: marketing-bounces@__.edu On Behalf Of ________
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:44 PM
To: marketing@___.edu
Subject: [Marketing] Youth / Vice Marketing – Job Search (Posting for a Friend)

Fellow Columbians,

Attached is Scott’s resume for those who are looking to hire a marketer with deep experience in youth / vice marketing (alcohol, tobacco and video games).  I highly recommend Scott.  During his current job search, he has consulted for my company and I have been extremely impressed with his knowledge / contribution.

Best,
xxxxxxx
EMBA ’04

Did you realize that in today’s world, companies are literally paying for “deep experience” to specifically targeting “vices” to youth?

Does that sit right with you?

Is there any more reason for the Church to engage today’s youth culture in order to offer alternatives if not just to counter balance the onslaught of marketing dollars explicitly working to make the journey through adolescence just that much harder to get through?

Does anyone agree with me that the world needs more Godvertisers out there?!?!  Anybody with me?

This weekend is a notable one.

April 26, 2009 is a day when ministry websites all over the world are working together to further the digital gospel.

If you have a church or ministry website, it’s worth the click to jump over to the Internet Evangelism Day website and grab some free tools for your own site.

internet-evangelism-day1

Tonight, our family sat down and watched some of the videos on YouTube together with awestruck eyes and ears.

This is because we’re living in an age where “it is happening” RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes it’s hard to notice it when you’re in the middle of things.  But we got a chance to step back tonight and get a glimpse of what is happening in our world today from a very macro perspective.  Even my 7 year old took notice.

It was all the more encouraging for some of the latest projects I’ve been working on in ministry today.

What was so remarkable and why? Continue Reading…

I recently watched a short  interview of Dr. Harold Attridge, dean of the Yale Divinity School and professor emeritus David Bartlett who focused on the Book of John’s telling of two specific miracle stories: the feeding of the crowd from just a few fish and pieces of bread as well as the story of Jesus walking on water.  It was refreshing to ponder about what John was trying to accomplish in the fourth gospel.

Early Christians used stories like these by taking the miracles and evidence of Jesus’ command over nature in a way that confirms the deity of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, the discussion between the two scholars identified John’s reluctance in using these types of miracle stories as mere proof points for Christ’s divine nature, but rather that the gospel writer utilized them as a “sign” pointing to material worthy of much deeper consideration.

bible-magnifyingglassFor example, one way to take texts beyond a common superficial reading is to see a connection between God providing the manna to eat in the wilderness and the bread produced in the feeding of the thousands. Significant meaning may derived when Jesus declares “I AM the bread of life” –making a Eucharist understanding of this gospel writer’s offering.

If this is the reading received from the text, the gospel message which John is “pushing” breaks from common expectations held at that time, one of which that saw Jesus Christ as fulfilling a royal or military leadership — certainly hoped for by many. We do see in the first half of John within the “Book of Signs,” other examples of this type of misunderstanding of Jesus’ true role and identity.

This discussion between Attridge and Bartlett is a great reminder for enabling a richer relationship with God’s Word. We always have the option to take it at the most perceptible level, which by itself may not be invalid. But our Scriptures give us the ability to connect with deeper meaning within almost every discourse.

I loved the discussion’s metaphor of simply “chewing the bread” vs. “chomping at it” in order to get at the “really chewy parts” as if you’re working on a “big hoagie” – Continue Reading…

godvertiser-quote

The essence of the Gospel & Great Commission is not to be a church marketer, but rather a call to become a Godvertiser!  The end goal is not church, it is God!

The above line was my recent response to two different people.

One said they are not into church marketing because they don’t believe in advertising, gimmicks, and using marketplace tactics to draw attention to their church.

Another talked about how their aim was to increase their church marketing activities so that if they were successfull, *everyone* in their town would know exactly where their church was located, who was the lead pastor and what types of programs they offered to the community.

I personally believe churches need to look at and increase competency in church marketing tactics.  This includes knowing how and when to use them effectively.   I also believe that the intention and mission of a church will determine how you view and use “church marketing” to further ministry goals, not just attract people like you would to a grand opening or a super-duper clearance sale.

In a way, Godvertising is taking church marketing and using it to produce a specific idea virus – one about supernatural healing and shines a light on the ultimate healer.

The constantly nagging question for the Church is where should it focus and what are the measures for success?

The old model has clearly been the ABC model for doing Church: How large is your attendance?  Are you building out the physical plant of your church? Are you drawing people into your buildings?  Are you creating ministries and programs that reinforce your church as the fundamental epicenter?  How are you attracting people to your church? And are people giving out of their wallets? Tithing? Sacrificing for the offering plates?

The big trap is when the Church- literally – is the focus, purpose and intention of the ministry.

Let’s make sure we’re packing the pews the more people!  Is this program or that program supporting our objective to position the church (its vibrant programs and ministries!) as the center of attention and focal point of the community?  Are we successfully teaching people to empty their wallets into the offering plate so that we can plan more programs?

But some are arguing for a new old model.  Leonard Sweet’s latest text, frames what the body of Christ was called to do within a simple, yet beautiful M-R-I model.

leonard-sweet-mri-model

The intro chapter of So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church gives a taste of Sweet’s message. . . Continue Reading…

Easter 2009 was significant for the Church in more ways than one.

Are you keeping your eyes open?  It’s happening right in front of our eyes.  The Church (with a capital “C”) is engaging culture in the most proactive way.

If you’re taking note about what’s happening in our culture today, you’ll see the frenzy for connecting with each other online.

Twitter, Facebook and all the developments in social media is really changing how we relate to each other and live.  Heck, even Oprah has hopped on the bandwagon with thousands of official Twitter followers — even before she sent out her first tweet.  On Friday morning, before the Oprah show broadcast where she’ll tweet for the first time, all live, she literally had almost 100,000 official followers.  Some Twitterati have over 1 million syndicated followers -  just hungry for 140-character messages from the soon-to-be digital-culture leaders just like Oprah has done in other media arenas.

Celebrities aren’t alone in using the latest tech social structures to wield their influence.  Continue Reading…

How many don’t realize what they hear or even say themselves when it is proclaimed: He IS Risen!

If you don’t believe in prayer, there are a bunch of studies showing the immediate effects of prayer across thousands of people which you may just change your mind.

Even the most powerful man on this planet talks about the power of prayer.  Actually, it’s part of his job since the National Day of Prayer is an officially earmarked day by the US Congress since 1952 – President Harry Truman’s times.

But in the end, prayer is a matter of faith.  And this event is one way to further expose the secular culture to our faith publically.  Continue Reading…

Today, Trinity Church in NYC produced and put on the passion play on Good Friday…on Twitter.

For 3 hours, betwen Noon and 3pm characters used www.grouptweet.com to put on the play.  Over 1,500 people followed the group tweet account which allowed them to receive the sporadic messages that were part of the 3-hour passion play. . . Continue Reading…