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Occasionally on Tuesdays I give you my thoughts, unfiltered and off the top of my head. Here’s what I’m thinking about today… I read this post by Steven Furtick this morning before paying my bills for the week. I hate paying bills, but it is good to think of the blessings behind them. For example, it stinks having to pay the house payment…but it sure is a blessing to have a roof over my head. Paying the car insurance bill: not fun. But having a car to get around town in sure is nice. Often times it is a matter of perspective, right? Speaking of perspective, it has been an interesting few weeks for the Scoggins household since I lost my job at Calvary Church (read about it here). However, it has been absolutely amazing to see God work though the process. Projects have been springing up from the most unexpected places to help pay the bills. I’ve been able to do some things that I’ve been wanting to do like writing posts for MediaSalt and doing some work at the Center for Church Communication. I’ve been freed up to do some things that I haven’t been able to do before, such as go on my kids school field trips and attend their Halloween parties at school. God is so good! As I’ve been considering “what’s next” for me, I feel a calling to partner up with churches, non-profits, and small businesses that might need help with communications, media, or technology. If that is you, we should definitely talk! Shoot me an email or give me a call! I’m thinking about writing an eBook on the topic of relationship-driven communications in churches. It would have some philosophy, some strategy, and some practical tips for implementing a relationship-based model. Would that be something that interests you? Let me know…if there is enough interest, I’ll take the next steps. That’s all from me…what’s on your mind today?
Occasionally on Tuesdays I give you my thoughts, unfiltered and off the top of my head. Here’s what I’m thinking about today… Job Status Three weeks ago I was “laid off” from my church job due to the tough economy and tough finances at the church. It has been three weeks of uncertainty about the future…but has been a great time of introspection, soul searching, and thinking about how God promises to provide for our needs. I am more confident than ever of my calling and of His faithfulness. I’m still looking for a “day job,” but have had some amazing conversations and opportunities pop up during this “down time.” Ironically, this month would’ve been my 11th anniversary working at Calvary. It has been (and continues to be) an amazing privilege to serve the local church! House Work In the mean time, we’ve been working hard to get our house ready to put on the market. I want to say a big thanks to everyone who has come over and helped us out, especially my small group. It’s true what they say…life is done best in community! Or, as Andy Stanley says, “circles are better than rows.” Media Salt & Church Marketing Sucks Speaking of opportunities: I’ve been asked to do some blogging on other blogs around the internet. Here is a post on MediaSalt about relationship-based church communication (note: I wrote that post before I knew I no longer had a job at Calvary…not that it changes anything, but just wanted to throw it out there to avoid confusion). I also have some posts coming up on Church Marketing Sucks about the Church Marketing Lab. Stealing? The other day I was driving down the road and saw a church that had “borrowed” a slogan/mission statement from a church across town. My first reaction was, “they’ve got some nerve stealing that other church’s slogan.” Then I thought, “well, the other church probably got theirs from somewhere else too.” And then it hit me: What if all the churches in an area could come together and figure out the best slogan, mission statement, graphics, etc. and all use the same stuff? After all, aren’t we all on the same team? While I know that practically this is probably impossible – and maybe not even desirable considering different churches place value on different things – it does make me wonder why we don’t “share” more. If a church does a message series and sinks lots of resources into branding graphics and support for that series (think banners, support videos, etc), why not hand those off to a church with fewer resources to use as well? Do you know of anyone doing this effectively? I’d love to hear about it! Worship Environments There is an incredible opportunity being offered by Stephen Proctor on creating worship environments. Check out the details here. That’s what I have on my mind…what about you?
Occasionally on Tuesdays (or Thursdays) I’ll give you my thoughts – random and off the top of my head. Well, here goes… I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a completely new paradigm for communications in the church. It deals with doing away with a lot of the tools or venues that we’ve traditionally used and communicating all of the church’s vision, events, and ministry info and instead moving toward a relationship-based system. I think today’s marketing is much more about personal networking and less about publications and traditional marketing methods. I’ll be blogging in detail more (probably over at MediaSalt) about this as I work it out in my mind…but I think it’s going to rock my world. I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard a lot of people lately implying that using a piece of technology (particluarly a laptop, iPhone, or iPad) in a meeting means someone isn’t fully present. Is it not possible that we have evolved to the point of being able to listen and take notes or research the topic or (yes, i’ll say it) check Facebook / Twitter while still remaining fully present? Am I completely off my rocker, here? Give me your thoughts in the comments. Also, a couple of people tried to make me feel guilty for keeping in touch with “home base” (checking some email, etc.) on vacation. I once read somewhere that you should check in as much as you need to in order to enjoy your vacation. I think I agree with that line of thinking. Of course, I’m completely open to the idea that I’m wrong on this one, so push back at me in the comments. We’re getting up for our big David Crowder*Band concert this weekend at Calvary. I’m running the video show for it and am pretty excited about the opportunity. I’ll try to post some pics from the setup, the rehearsals, and the show if I can. Last weekend I had the opportunity to hang out in the woods with two of my friends and giants in the church communications world: Cleve Persinger and Phil Bowdle. We had a good time talking Creative Missions and just church communications in general. Love those guys! Tomorrow is my 11th anniversary with Amy. Just wanted to throw a quick shout to say how much I love my wife. I couldn’t do much of what I do without her! What about you? What’s going on in your world?
Occasionally on Tuesdays I give you my thoughts, unfiltered and off the top of my head. Here’s what I’m thinking about today… Mark Meyer’s Blog I was cruising around Mark Meyer’s blog the other day and a few things caught my eye…
- He posted some notes from Phil Cooke‘s new book, Jolt, that were good food for thought, such as:
-Everything communicates. Everything. -You can’t brand a lie. -More content is created in 48 hours today than was created from the beginning of time to 2000. -We’re bombarded with approximately 5,000 messages per day. It’s creating clutter in our minds.
- In another post, he talks about “focus and flow” saying, “Studies show 80% of our email is irrelevant, of the 20% that’s remaining, only 50% of those emails are relevant 24 hours later.” I think I’m going to start checking my email every other day.
- adding relevant content
- engaging when social interaction is the goal, and
- measuring metrics that really matter (as opposed to metrics that make us feel warm and fuzzy)
Occasionally on Tuesdays, I write a post with my thoughts – random and off the top of my mind. Here’s what I’m thinking about today:
- I ran across a couple of great Communications articles in the past few days. These should be required reading for every church leadership team or senior pastor: Is Communication PR or DNA and Which Would You Rather See.
- I’ve been offered some amazing opportunities in the last month. Cleve asked me to be on the Creative Missions Leadership Team. Danielle invited me to be a part of the leadership group for the CFCC Marketing Lab. And, Lindenwood University has asked me to develop an additional graduate level course and to teach an additional course (that would make 3 courses that I’d be teaching). I’m not sure how any of these opportunities will work out, but I’m pretty humbled to be asked!
- We’ve been busy in the Calvary Communications department. One of our recent projects that I’m excited about is the installation of The Prayer Engine on our website.
- We announced yesterday that the David Crowder Band is coming to Calvary in September. We’re pretty excited to be a stop on their farewell tour! You can find info about the concert here.
Occasionally on Tuesdays, I write a post with my thoughts – random and off the top of my mind. This week’s edition comes to you from Albany, NY where I’m serving with Creative Missions. Here’s what I’m thinking about today: We’re two days in on Creative Missions and the experiment is going great! It’s been amazing to watch the countenance of the people we’re helping lift as we do projects for them. The fun thing is that the tasks we’re doing seem all and second nature to us but relieve a huge burden for them. It’s also been great to make some new friends and get lots of new ideas from the fellow creative missionaries. As I predicted, I’m getting as much out of the trip as the people we’re serving. I’ve been thinking about compiling a massive list of church resources (places to find good website hosting, wordpress themes, podcasting resources, print resources, etc). Do you think that would be helpful? Leave me your thoughts in the comments. I was looking at some photos of the tornado devastation in Joplin, MO last night. It also got me to thinking about the damage in Birmingham too. My heart hurts so badly for these people who have lost everything. Compassion isn’t usually one of my stronger gifts, but for some reason I’m feeling a closeness to these people who I don’t even know. If you can help bring clothes or supplies to the church (Calvary Church) by Wednesday night or if you can donate to the Red Cross, please do so! Let’s be the church to these people. Prayers are great, but let’s be a people of prayer-filled action on this one! Those are a few things I’m thinking about. What’s on your mind these days?
Occasionally on Tuesdays I’ll give you my thoughts – random and off the top of my head. Well, here goes…
- Next week I get to join some of the top communication minds in the church to participate in one of the most unique opportunities I’ve ever heard of: Creative Missions. It’s really an honor to serve with these folks.
- I’ve found a new RSS reader for my iPhone and iPad that I absolutely love. It’s called Byline and it links to a Google Reader account and saves posts so you can read them offline. Handy when I’m on an airplane without Wi-Fi.
- Every couple of months at Calvary, we switch out our normal weekend service handout with a little “serving opportunities” booklet. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out (which I can say without bragging because Kyle designed it, not me). Here’s a PDF of it if you’d like to take a look.
- We (at Calvary) have been trying to figure out a way to share stories of what God is doing amongst our staff…as well as keep each other updated on what is happening in our ministry areas (so we’re not so silo-ed). We’re starting a Staff Blog where staff members can submit stories and prayer requests. It feeds out an email digest once a week for those on staff who aren’t accustomed to reading blogs. I’ll keep you updated on whether or not it’s successful, and maybe, post on the process of how we set it up (using feedburner for the emails, etc). I’d love to hear how your staff stays connected in the comments.
- I’ve been thinking a lot about how to add capacity (capacity to be more productive, to get more people involved in Communications, to make room to do some things I’ve always wanted to do, etc). I’m wondering if “adding capacity” is even possible? It seems that there is a finite amount of space in our lives and no matter how productive we become, how much we can outsource, and how much we develop as leaders, there is a limit. At the very least, I think you have to have margin and capacity to add capacity. Agree or disagree?
Occasionally on Tuesdays Thursdays I’ll give you my thoughts – random and off the top of my head. Well, here goes…
- A couple of weeks ago we video recorded our Christmas drama(s) to send to our extension campuses. It was a long weekend, but really fun and effective. I’ll probably do a post on the entire process later, but if you want to see some of the results of it, check out our “Arrival” website.
- Kem Meyer has done it again…changed the way I think about how I do my job (and how I live my life for that matter). She posted her notes from her breakout at the AND10 Conference. One line really caught my attention: “Think progressive dinner rather than potluck.” Blog post in the works on this topic.
- Two giants in the church communications and church media worlds have announced that they are leaving their church to pursue other God-adventures. I know that Park Church is going to miss Jason Widney & Tim Schraeder. I, for one, am really excited to see what God is going to do next in their lives.
- I recently gave up my iPad at work for a MacBook Air. While I love the iPad and think it’s a great consumption device (and will probably get another one at some point), I thought that my buddy Aaron Latina could get more use out if it. I needed a machine that allowed me to work better in meetings and had a little more umph than the iPad. So far, it’s working out really well.
- I’ve been a long-time Remember The Milk user for task lists. However, after the recommendation of several trusted friends, I’m evaluating Producteev. So far, I like how it allows me to have multiple workspaces and how it allows me to delegate from right in the app. I do still have some reservations though…primarily because I’ve spent so much time getting invested and familiarizing myself with Remember The Milk. We’ll see how it works itself out in the long run.
Occasionally on Tuesdays I’ll give you my thoughts – random and off the top of my head. Well, here goes…
- We’re gearing up for our big Christmas video shoot this weekend. We’ll be doing load-in and set-up on Wednesday (we bring in extra lights, special cameras, monitoring systems, etc), rehearsing on Thursday, and shooting on Friday and Saturday. It makes for a long week…but it’s a long week of fun. I love working at a place where I get to do special projects like this with an incredible team like we have.
- This year, our Christmas production is called “Arrival.” It takes place in an airport. It is a 4-week (first three weeks in Dec, plus Christmas Eve) drama that takes place in our services. Why in our services instead of an individual event? Check out this video that I recorded as a contributor to PlanningChristmas.info that explains why. I’d love to hear about why you have going on for Christmas.
- Today is election day. I know that the selection of our leaders is really important…and I believe in freedom of speech, 100%. But seriously, these political ads the last few weeks have been killing me. Thank goodness it’s almost over. And, yes, I voted.
- Along with our Christmas video shoot this weekend, we’re working on the branding of our new message series that begins in January. It’s all about relationships. We don’t have a title for it yet but we are pretty sure it’s going to make a big difference in relationships!
My friend Tim Schraeder does a blog post occasionally on Mondays called the “Monday Morning Mind Dump.” I’m totally copying his idea here (with his blessing). Occasionally on Tuesdays I’ll give you my thoughts – random and off the top of my head. Well, here goes…
- We (the Creative Team at Calvary) are working on two pretty exciting upcoming series of worship gatherings. One is called “Bucket List” where we’ll be discussing the “one another” passages in the Bible. The other thing we’re working on is our Christmas series. Yes, we’re working on Christmas in August (we actually began in June). It’s going to be a pretty cool series of worship experiences. Stay tuned right here for the inside scoop on those two topics.
- A lot (no, really…nearly every one of my colleagues) just got back from a conference in TX called Echo. I didn’t get to go, but following several notes on Twitter and blog posts, it sounds like a really great conference. I’m really bummed that I missed it, but I am pretty excited about going next year. I’m really glad that many of my good friends who are doing really important work in church communications and media got a chance to be equipped and refreshed.
- Since I missed Echo, I was really excited about going to a conference coming up in Sept called Story. It’s at Park Church (a beautiful building in a really great location) in Chicago. Then, I realized that it will be the same dates as our scheduled family vacation to Disney World. I’m really bummed again that I will miss a great opportunity to connect with all of my church comm friends. I am, however, looking forward to our Disney get-away. All that to say, if you are in any field where storytelling is important (and when is it not?), you should check out Story (if it’s not sold out by now)[edited:Story is now sold out, so you'll have to go with me next year].
- There is a new book that is scheduled to hit in the Fall that I think is going to change the face of church communications. It is called OUTSPOKEN and it is being written by an all-star list of contributors. I’m super-excited (almost freakishly excited about it…if you didn’t know better, you’d think it was my book). Be sure to follow OUTSPOKEN on Twitter, like it on Facebook, and watch Tim’s blog to keep up with the latest news about the book.
- I’m about 5 weeks in to teaching this quarter’s Design & Media course at Lindenwood University. Each new session presents a new set of surprises, challenges, etc. It’s fun to teach others what I’ve learned and to continually learn from others. I seriously learn something new each week – even though I’m supposed to be teaching. I have an awesome group of great people as students this time. I’m going to try to post some of their best projects in the next few weeks.
- Finally, this past weekend was consumed with Mark & Rae’s wedding. The Michalski’s are close friends of our family (they’re really more like family) and Rae is like the daughter I never had. Amy (my wife) coordinated the wedding and Trip & Quinn (my children) were the ring bearers (or, as they say it, ring barrels). I was honored to do the welcome and opening prayer in the ceremony and it was a fantastic week of two young people expressing their love and commitment. As all weddings are, it was a great reminder of my love and commitment for my awesome wife, and Christ’s amazing covenant love with us, his bride. It was an exhausting weekend…but it was a lot of fun!