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Monday, July 14, 2008

Do's and Don'ts

Tony Morgan has a way of sneaking up next to you, smiling, smacking you up-side the head, and then getting you to thank him for it. The boy is good.

Check out his "9 Do's and Don'ts for Ministry Growth":
  1. You don’t need a logo. A new logo isn’t the key to successful ministry. Life change is the key to successful ministry. Only Jesus can change lives. Yes, there are times when you’ll need to update your branding; however, it’s not going to make or break your ministry.
  2. Your fancy flyers won’t help. 80% of the people who show up to a weekend service come with a friend who invites them. That same principle applies to your ministry as well. If people aren’t inviting their friends, that’s likely a ministry problem and not a promotions problem. (Pat's comment: I could not agree more. At best, flyers and whatnot just get you a very little name recognition. Now, if you are passing out flyers or door hangars in a neighborhood, it would be less about the flyers and more about the potential personal invite that might happen as a result).
  3. Put people first. Life change happens most often within the context of relationships. If your ministry isn’t helping people engage in relational connections (inside and outside of the church), then your ministry will not grow.
  4. Lead your ministry. You should focus on that. You aren’t gifted at promotions (even though you think you are). You should let communications professionals focus on that, and stop fighting against the people who are trying to help you. Spend more time doing ministry and less time trying to promote your ministry.
  5. Remember: print is dead. (this coming from someone who writes books). It’s highly likely that whatever you’re printing for your audience will just end up in a trash can. Any business in America relying on print media is dying a slow death. You should always think Web first with an emphasis on interactivity and building relationships. (Pat's comment: I recently broke Rule #2 and made a flyer but did not include a map. An "older" friend couldn't believe I would make a flyer without a map. I tried - unsuccessfully - to explain that today when people want to know where something is they use Google Maps).
  6. Don’t wait on the church to establish online community. That’s your responsibility. Most people you’re trying to reach won’t visit your church’s website, but they will engage with your Web presence on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, your blog, etc.
  7. You probably need to cut programs and events. Less is more. If you have fewer events and less programs, more people will connect with your ministry. Stop confusing them and help them focus on the next appropriate step. (Check this out.)
  8. Grow through volunteers. As much as possible, let staff support ministry and encourage volunteers to be responsible for face-to-face connections with the people you are trying to reach or help. When you take those roles out of the hands of volunteers, you’ve essentially limited the growth of your ministry… and taken away their responsibility to make disciples. (Pat's comment: This is the ethos we are trying to maintain at NewCov).
  9. You are not competing against other ministries. As soon as you sense “your ministry” is competing with another ministry in your church for money, volunteers, space, calendar time, platform promotions, etc., you should resign. You are not a leader. You are, at best, a manager of resources and, at worst, the one holding the entire ministry back from growth and unity.
HT: TonyMorganLive.com via biggiefries


Blogger Flying with Enoch (Jesse) said...

There is some awesome stuff in there. I wonder how much of print/online stuff works in low-tech Fresno at this point. I think we might be on the edge where everyone else was 2 years ago.

July 14, 2008 2:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

re #8: Grow Through Volunteers and your assertion of New Cov's "volunteer ethos."
I want to be careful about how I word this because we left New Cov quietly with the purpose of not causing any dissension. Unfortunately I think you have a false impression of how well the "ethos of volunteerism" is really working there. We were... less than impressed with how volunteers were treated there. As long as we served and kept our opinions to ourselves our helping hands were welcome. But we were not treated as "members of the team." We were not the only ones treated like this before or since-- I could name quite a few that I've talked with. Yes, New Cov does a good job at getting people involved but once I as a volunteer try to takes ownership it can be a very dicey situation as to whether I'm really needed. I could point out at least five situations in which New Cov did not grow through volunteerism, but instead lost Godly, hard-working servants.

July 14, 2008 5:00 PM

Anonymous paul said...

This isn't my blog, but as a lead pastor I can say with authority that it'd sure be nice if "Anonymous" would put a name to this response AFTER having gone to the leadership. Don't hide behind the veil of anonymous. Speak out loud with you name attached to your words.

July 15, 2008 6:20 AM

Blogger Charles said...

Happy Patrick Callahan Day

You are now on my MUST read list

Thanks Tony Morgan

July 15, 2008 6:59 AM

Blogger Pat Callahan said...


Thank you very much for your comment. I think the point that Tony (and I) are making is that growth through volunteers is the goal. And I can say that without a doubt that is very much our goal at NewCov.

Are we implementing that well? In your experience - and the experiences of some of those that you know - apparently not that well.

However, that does not change the target we are shooting for. And, truth be told, we are going to miss that target with regularity because the church is made up of people. And we - staff and volunteers - bring our own set of baggage, hang-ups, and personalities to the table when we serve God together.

I am truly very sorry for your experience at NewCov and I hope that before you left you took the opportunity to share with someone in leadership why you were leaving so that we might be able to have the opportunity to reconcile the relationship and so that we might have the opportunity to fix a potentially systemic issue that we might be blind to.

Thanks again for your comments, Anonymous.

July 15, 2008 9:40 AM

Blogger Carolina Mama said...

Neato! We have two blondes as well. :) God Bless!

July 15, 2008 12:53 PM

Anonymous Rich Kirkpatrick said...

I agree with Tony in that you need a day. You are THE man dude.

July 15, 2008 7:25 PM

Anonymous Andrew Beltz said...

Anonymous revealed

Here I am shed of my "anonymous" moniker. I know what it means to get swipes from someone and not be able to defend yourself. I'm sorry I did that, Pat.

I said we left quietly, not without a word, so... The list of leadership we talked with before we left New Covenant? Jan van Oosten, Kurt Willems, Pat Callahan, & Patrick Roberts. We really didn't discuss it with anyone else ("average" church membership) other than to say that we had philosophical differences, and because we didn't feel it was our place to be an influence for dissension.

Again, just to point it up that the relationship with volunteers is less-than-great there. I would like to see that change because other people I care about have been the victims of it. I hope revealing my identity and the fact that we went to church there for over six years gives this a little more credibility.

July 15, 2008 7:58 PM

Blogger Pat Callahan said...

For the record, Andrew and his family left the "right" way. They talked to the people they needed to talk to and left w/o creating a scene.

Thanks, Andrew, for becoming "un"-anonymous. You guys are sorely missed at NewCov, but I understand the reasons why you left. And you are right... we have work to do in some areas.

Thanks again for your vulnerability, my friend.

July 15, 2008 11:18 PM


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