December 6, 2008

Slogan or Story?

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We spend a great deal of time helping churches build their brand as we communicate vision visually. One part of the brand is a tagline- a short phrase that communicates the promise or strength of the church and its vision. When this is done well, it can be an important part of the church's vision, messaging and marketing.  When it is done poorly it degrades into something flimsy and ineffective.  Here is a great article on how cheesy slogans fail to deliver and how we must position our message within the construct of a meaningful story.  From the current Fast Company: Kill the Slogans Dead. This is an adaptation of the Anti-Slogan Argument in the book, Made to Stick, by Dan and Chip Heath. 

So…what's the worst church slogan you have ever heard? 
November 28, 2008

Thanksliving

I had a moment that transcended the turkey, pilgrims and pumpkin pie this thanksgiving.  It was a moment of looking my children eyeball to eyeball and sensing a mutual gratitude for gift of each other.  In the interchange, Joel, my twelve year old, shared something he had learned- that this Thanksgiving should be about "Thanks-Living." We all laughed and leaned into this clever letter switching!  The new word carries with it the idea of tranforming an event into a way of life, a moment's celebration into a daily continuation. 

No doubt this new word will find its way into our family lexicon.

Just like there are special moments- literal seconds- that seem to hold more significance, maybe a sense of the eternal in time, there are a special words that do the same. One word, out of and endless possibility of sounds, words and phrases that clutter our lives each day, may break through with special meaning and shared value. 

Thanksliving.  May it be so. 
November 26, 2008

Structure as Solution

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This last week I led a quarterly offsite meeting for Faithbridge.  Faithbridge is second home church for me as I serve as a leadership coach on the staff. Our focus of the day was the "challenge of structure." I started the day by anchoring the topic of organizational structure into a biblical-theological foundation.  I asked the staff the simple question, 'When in biblical history did God provide structure as a solution." Here is some of the things on our list:

  • Structure of marriage is a solution to man being alone
  • Organization on the ark as a solution for preserving planet life   
  • The reorganization in Exodus 18 to provide wholeness, health and sustainability to people of Israel 
  • The levitical structure to provide worship and access to God on behalf of Israel 
  • Jesus choosing the 12 and sending the 72 as a solution for proclaiming the kingdom
  • Smaller organized groups facilitating discipleship – Acts 2   
  • The selection of 7 leaders when Hellenistic Jewish widows were being overlooked in the distribution of the bread – Acts 6 

We spent half the day rethinking ministry department structures based on the 40% rule:  Every 40% of growth requires a new structure.  

As I continued to think about structure as solution, I thought of the trinitarian structure.  What problem does the trinity solve?  It is the solution to God being loving and self-sufficient at the same time. 
November 21, 2008

10 Most Unique Church Buildings

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I ran across this fascinating post.  If you were wondering how unique churches can get, wonder no more!

November 18, 2008

Where will Obama attend church?

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One of my favorite Psalms is the second as it asserts God’s supremacy over all earthly rule. I am so grateful that the church, and not the government, is the hope of the world. Having said that, this is an interesting little Time article on where Obama will attend church.