Archives For community

One of the most common questions that I get, is–“How do I get more traffic and followers of my blog and content?”

One of the first suggestions is: go guest-blog for others, like crazy! –AND make sure it is your best content.

That response is usually, immediately followed by puzzled looks and defensive arguments, with the inquisitors trying to guide my recommendations for things to do on THEIR sites, rather than on others’. …But they’ve got it all wrong.

I’ve always looked for other voices, to share on one of my blogs. It’s boring, if you keep hearing from the same voice, day-in and day-out. Variety is the spice of life! And you can really learn things from a diversity of perspectives.

But when the idea of guest-blog posting–for my blog, or another’s–comes up, sometimes people don’t “get it.” They think that there’s no “WIIFM (What’s In It For Me),” for them. Once you try to explain the benefits, 50% of them will “get it” (as you see the light bulb go on, above their heads).

For the other 50%–don’t take it just from me! Here’s a sample of posts that make the case for why you should be guest-blogging. And I’d invite you to do it here on this site, as the “first, next step!” 😉

More Reasons Why You Should Consider Guest Blogging For Me:

  1. Guest Posts Can Help Grow Your Blog
  2. 5 Benefits of Having Guest Writers on Your Blog
  3. Build Your Social Network
  4. Discover Business Opportunities
  5. The Indirect SEO Benefits of Guest Posting
  6. Get Quality Traffic
  7. Identifying Quality Content
  8. Develop Rapport and Credibility

In 10 days, we’ll arrive at the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. I don’t think many people have thought about it much yet. Here in NJ, we just got through a mini-earthquake, Hurricane Irene and still struggling without power or flooded main streets.

But it’s been 10 years. Yup 10. Many of us are still living like it happened just recently.

While the Gospel is not patriotic to our red white and blue stripes, there is a call to attend to the healing that is still going on. And it’s not just “our people” in the pews every week. This is one event, may I say especially in the northeast, if not NYC Tri-State Area, where 9/11 touched almost every family personally or via someone they know.

September 11 Memorial Services in New Jersey

Most communities and churches are planning to do something on that date in this country. The question is just who are you trying to remember, and re-unite? This seems to be one of the rare opportunities where the church has the chance to be in a position of leadership within the public square — isn’t this when we can reveal the beacon of light on a hill that we have found in our faith?

Liquid Church is trying to embrace the widest definition of that word “community” and trying to reach out to anyone that wants to walk in the door that Sunday morning, planning six different memorial services for 9/11 in three NJ cities, geographically located in three different counties. The intention is to provide a meaningful way for people to gather and bring loved ones with them to hear a message that, perhaps, only the church can share: hope is something we have to hold onto, even in the darkest hours of our time together here.

I think many churches tend to limit themselves in thinking that by default, they don’t have a chance to the attract *everyone* in a given community to their programs and outreach events. But if we start with such a self-defeating posture, what chance do we really have for a really big win?

This doesn’t mean you have to hype it up and be all splashy in order to gain the the broadest reach, of course. Here’s one creative way that this might be expressed. . .

Since so much of our generation is almost surgically tied to our iPods, and iPhones, music has become a powerful and meaningful way of expression and common experience. American Idol has shown us a little bit of this.

One example of trying to reach outside the normal boundaries that church signals reach is a project that was hatched this past year. Here’s a video that was created to accompany a new song titled, “There is Hope” by Dave Pettigrew. (You can download it for yourself here.)

With music, it seems that there might be less friction for word of mouth to happen. In addition, the spread-factor takes an entirely different route as well. Here’s the song being shared right now:

As you can tell, this message of hope is also something that comes across well via songwriting medium. Hopefully it is one additional means to reach someone that may not normally be in proximity to or responsive to typical communications messaging from churches, but really needs to hear it. Do you see how in this one instance, trying to reach someone on their own terms and inviting them into the fold this way is at the same time — expanding the boundaries of what we might envision the total potential *community* we can engage with?

Is this the message that your church is prepared to send out during this time of need and gathering? If not, where are you going with your 9/11 Sunday message this year?

My friend Joe just hit me up with an interesting factoid and corresponding question.

Now the answer to the question really depends on the posture of your ministry, in my humble opinion. . .

But first, the factoid, and then the question:

Did you know if one spends $100 on small business, that local community gets $68 back?

That factoid makes a compelling argument to spend your money in the local mom and pop shops around town.

So, here’s the big question for our church and ministry leaders:

If one gives to the church $100, how much would go back to your local community? (Feel free to define “local community” as it applies to the church)

What a challenge to ministry leaders to think in this kind of ROI context!  Some of the tough questions that serve as a reality check immediately pop into my mind:

  • What type of impact are you having within the local community?
  • Are you actually engaged with more than just your regular attenders and members?
  • Have you reached out to your civic leaders?  Schools?  Community-wide events?
  • What percentage of your ministry budget is directed toward your building? Or your staff?  Now, how much is spent on local outreach?  Are you at the right balance?
  • While you might be proud of your missionary support activities, how are you doing with the mission field in your zip code?

What IF you could claim a noteworthy ROI for the church?  What would it do in terms of getting people notice your ministry and how you are going about loving your neighbors?

Did you know if one spends $100 on small business, that local community gets $68 back?

So, if one gives to the church $100, how much would go back to the church’s local community? (Feel free to define “local community” as it applies to the church)

Just wondering…

It is amazing how divisive the topic of using social media in the church setting can be these days.

It’s being treated like a completely wild animal on the loose by some.  Some pastors’ take is to ban all social media and prohibit church staff and lay leaders from using Facebook and other social media — people in this camp position it as Satan’s work.

But what happens when social media becomes more than a fad?  But a new mode of communication like the telephone, or fax, or email, or . . .is it proper to ban it altogether vs. find some other creative approaches to address the concerns at hand?

I’m guessing the fundamental position on social media in the church is largely determined by how one perceives how and where the social web fits into the picture today and in the future.

Here’s one take that makes the bare bones basic appeal for the church to use social media.   On one hand, I’m surprised that such arguments have to be articulated out loud.  On the other hand, I guess the web 2.0 world has evolved so fast relative to other emergent technological innovations in communication that it can’t be addressed enough.

Check out this short video segment of a presentation on social media any why the church should embrace it. . . Continue Reading…

Today, we hear from guest blogger Pastor Ryan of Central Baptist Church in Ohio. He chimes in on how we all have a choice in building assets or liabilities for the Church.

Last week, I saw on the local news and then read about a church around Columbus, OH, who is involved in an ongoing battle of protesting with a strip club.  The short version: this church has been protesting outside the strip club for several years now, even to the extent of photographing club goers and their license plates and posting online.  Now, the dancers from that club are protesting outside of the church on Sunday mornings.  It appears that both parties are stubborn and are not going to stop anytime soon.

Recently, the big news was about the church in Florida who was going to burn a Quran on 9/11 in protest of Islam.  This absurd situation is drawing negative attention even from military leaders and our Secretary of State.

I look at these situations involving two local churches and I can’t help but wonder what their real motivation is in acting this way.  Because they certainly aren’t acting like the church as Jesus intended. Continue Reading…