Archive - February, 2011

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Is anyone going to Catalyst West this week? I am. Can’t wait. First trip to Irvine EVER. Want to know why I’m really excited? Go here.
  • Rob Bell has gone rogue. Or at least that’s what his critics (read: Calvinists) want you to believe.
  • Lady Gaga becomes more intriguing to me as the days go by. She just released her video for “Born this Way” exclusively online. (Note: This is not for the faint of heart. Use extreme discretion before watching.)
  • Here’s a thought: If you speak more highly about yourself than the community who surround you does, you’re headed for a fall. Get some perspective.
  • I married a very good woman. My wife is all the things I never knew I needed: Smart, sassy, organized and fun. Here’s to you, my Sweet.
  • Des Moines was host to capitalC, led by Chris Kretzu from Gateway Church here in Des Moines. I appreciate Chris’ desire to the see the Church (hence, “capitalC”) in Des Moines come together, free from the fetters of denominationalism.
  • Just had a conversation with Tim Schraeder about a potentially game-changing project we want to bring to CFCC. It’s fun, fresh and will get you in touch with some of the brightest minds out there. Stay tuned.
  • Speaking of bright minds, I’m helping my friend, Drew Goodmanson, gather some data for how people use (or don’t use) church websites. Can you take a look? It’s a short survey and will you have you on your way in no time.
  • My car has been in the repair shop for three out of the past four weeks. It’s almost comical at this point. For those wondering, it’s a Saturn VUE. There’s a reason why they went out of business.
  • Sometimes I feel guilty for buying almond butter that costs $11 per jar. Then I eat a spoonful of Justin’s (not me) Almond Butter and the guilt vanishes. This stuff is like almond crack.
  • Get to know Sam Mahlstadt. If you don’t know his name yet, you will. Soon. In fact, he may come knocking on some of your doors soon, and very soon.
  • Watch this. Right now.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Best of the Week, v.8

I wanted to turn your attention to some of the posts, highlights, lowlights and everything in between that this week has offered. Buckle up, get ready, it’s time for another edition of “Best of the Week!”

  • Best social media post of the week: Chris Brogan tells us, as gracefully as possible, why we aren’t as successful as we think we should be. He’s right on the money, FWIW.
  • Best ministry post of the week: Rhett Smith tells pastors to stop bleeding all over the congregation. Leading ≠ barfing uncomfortable information all over your people. Nor is it “authentic”.
  • Best survey of the week: A friend of mine, Drew Goodmanson, put together this short survey to take a look at how churches use their websites. We could use your input!
  • Best new website of the week: posts tweets for you at the most optimal time, according to the click-rate of your last 200 tweets.
  • Best food court proposal of the week: This gentleman thought it was a good idea to propose in front of a Sbarro. You can guess how this one ends.
  • Best meltdown of the week: Tim Floyd loses it at a UTEP game. He used to coach for Iowa State. Go ahead, Timmy!
  • Best news of the week: Amazon Prime now includes access to Amazon Instant Videos. Free shipping and free movies. Not bad.

You Down With CFCC?

For the first time ever, the Center for Church Communication will be holding a CFCC Meetup at Catalyst West. I’ll be there. Tim Schraeder will be there (worth the price of admission alone!). CFCC founder Brad Abare will be there. TRIFECTA!

Would you consider joining us? If so, check out the details for the meetup. We’ve got a sweet location (Irish pub! I’m 2/54ths Irish!), great company and all the time in the world (well, from 5:30 until this guy shows up).

Of course, if you can’t make this one we have a plethora of other meetups that we’d like you to consider. Check out the growing list here.

Some of you may be asking, “What is the Center for Church Communication anyway?” I’m glad you asked. Here’s part of our purpose statement:

We are made up of passionate change agents, experienced comm professionals and thoughtful instigators; advocating for communicators to find their place in the church—and helping the church get through to their communities so that churches know who they are and are unashamed to tell others.

We identify, resource and celebrate the next generation of church communicators, encouraging them to focus their tenacity and talent for excellent communication, so that churches are sought out by the communities they serve.

If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will. Tim and I were recently named as co-directors of CFCC and couldn’t be more pleased to bring along as many people as possible for the ride!

Make plans to join us at Catalyst West or one of the other meetups. While you’re at it, take a look at CFCC’s online presence:

Hope to see you there!



Sometimes the very thing you are called to do will be the hardest to put into action.

You’ll hit
And Liars.

Like a shrub in the desert, you’ll need to dig your roots down deep into the arid soil until you find water. Until you find life.

The tragedy is that most of us give up when we’re less than a foot away from the very thing we need the most. The soil is too dry. Your roots aren’t moving fast enough. It’s too hot outside.


Primarily, you owe it to your Creator to dig as deep as it takes before you make it. Then, you owe it to yourself. Finally, you owe it to the people who are rooting against you—the vultures—because sometimes it just feels good to prove them wrong.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • What a jam-packed weekend! I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Farrell’s corporate training event here in Des Moines. We talked social media: 101 & 301 to be exact.
  • Saturday afternoon, a long time challenge was fulfilled! Mr. Carlos Whittaker finally visited the DeMo, and we could not have been happier to have him. It was the first time I’ve been able to meet Carlos in person, which made being here in Des Moines even sweeter.
  • Speaking of Los, he’s completely legit and has the social media street cred I can only hope for! I swear he tweets from his brain. BrainTweet. “Prolific” is an understatement! It was fun to hang with the man behind the meatloaf. Hearing the story of his 10,000th tweet was, in a word, exquisite.
  • Saturday night my lovely wife and I got to celebrate Valentine’s Day (better late than never) by going to a new Mexican joint and hitting up “Just Go With It”. Mexican food is fast becoming a fave. The movie was cute, fun and only slightly inappropriate.
  • I’ll be heading out to sunny Irvine, CA for Catalyst West. Is anyone here going? If so, you need to come to the CFCC meetup that Timmy Schraeder and I are hosting at Muldoon’s on Wednesday night. Be there. HOLLA!
  • Here in Des Moines, I am officially known as “Iowa Girl Eats’ brother!” And I’m okay with that.
  • If someone could figure out how to market a set of scalable, repeatable social media classes (101, 201, 301, etc.) that presented basic information yet treated people with dignity and respect, they’d make a lot of money.
  • Exponential is coming up fast and furious. But before the conference, I’m going to be a part of the precon alongside Tim Schraeder and Kem Meyer. We’d love to have you there. Join us!
  • Sam DuRegger is moving closer to Des Moines. This is a good thing. Very good.
  • Kevin Hendricks is one of the most talented, under-the-radar editors this side of the ol’ Miss. If you have a project you’re needing a keen editing eye on, hit Kevin up. Trust me, your project will be instantly better.
  • I’m heading to KC in a month or so to check out possible locations for the Social Media Summit. Can’t wait. Matt and Darrell, here’s looking at you!
  • Speaking of Summits, we have the digital ministry intensive coming up in a few short weeks. Have you registered yet?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Stealing From Jesus His Beautiful Bride

We live in a country supposedly pharoahless
But all over town and in churches abide
Powerful weaklings who practice their politics
Stealing from Jesus his beautiful bride

Jason Upton, Freedom.

Open Thread: What Churches Have Great Facebook Pages?

I’m borrowing a page from Lifehacker here: Tell me who has an engaging church or ministry Facebook page.

I want examples that you’ve personally built, interacted with or seen. Leave the URL in the comments section below and maybe a note about why you liked it, what you liked about it, etc.

2011 is expected to the year that organizations begin to get a strong and standardized feel for social media ROI. I want to do some anecdotal research of my own with your help!

An example I’ll share is Soul City Church. I had the chance to talk with Soul staffer Kurt Duggleby earlier this week and he pointed me to their page. It’s interactive, informative—heck, it even got a mention from Smashing Mag! Well done guys!

So tell me…. Who is doing Facebook well? Ready? GO!

Lessons Learned From Not Wearing My Seatbelt

I got pulled over yesterday. By the cops.

It was the first time in nearly six years that I’d be lassoed by the po-po. Those blue lights started flashing and I panicked. “What in the world could he possibly be pulling me over for?” I thought.

Under the speed limit? Check.
Used turn signals at all appropriate intersections? Check.
Dead body stuffed under the spare tire? Check. (Kidding).

I pulled over and the policeman walked deliberately up to my window. “Sir, I’m pulling you over today for failure to wear your seatbelt.”

SEATBELT! Gah! How could I have made such a rookie mistake? I was about to get nailed for not strapping myself into the 2,000 lb. bullet also known as “my car.”



Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Greetings one and all. I feel like it’s been forever since I blogged. Sorry for the inconsistency! New week, new perspective.
  • I had the chance to be a part of M2 LIVE here in Des Moines on Saturday. There is nothing better as a teacher than a hungry-to-learn crowd. Thank you! If you want to see my slides from the event, here’s session 1, session 2 and session 3.
  • Tim Schraeder announced the Exponential Pre-Conference Communications Bootcamp this morning. I’m very pleased to be taking part alongside Tim and Kem Meyer. Will you be at Exponential?
  • It’s been pushing the 50-degree mark here in Des Moines the last few days. For whatever reason, this bothers me. I’m a huge cold weather fan.
  • We’re starting to promote the Digital Ministry Intensive here in Des Moines on March 26. If you like social media statistics, strategy and intense learning environments, you need to be there.
  • Gmail is taking over my world. I recently ditched Apple Mail in favor of the web-based Gmail interface. So far, the change is nice. Although, the mobile version has some catching up to do, i.e. no aliases.
  • Watch as this man takes a bite of his first Twinkie ever.
  • Did anyone watch the Grammys last night? Mark my words, Twitter integration with television will be the new norm for watching TV.
  • Howard Stern live-tweeted during a viewing of his movie “Private Parts” on HBO. He gave “behind the scenes” info as the movie unfolded. He gets it. That’s how you combine the old with the new.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Using the Social Web to “Rub Elbows” with Real People

I’ve been blogging recently on social media and ministry and how to get results. I believe in the power of the social web, and I believe that churches should utilize these new media to further the Kingdom of God.

That being said, sometimes results are hard to come by. Just what are we measuring anyway?

  • Are we measuring “souls saved”? (And how does one quantify that, exactly?)
  • Are we measuring offering dollars in the plate? (Seems like something worthwhile to track, but ultimately shallow.)
  • Are we measuring butts in the seats? (Again, important to measure, but increased attendance does not a faithful church make.)

One of the primary factors of success in social web ministry, in my opinion, is relationship building. Simply put, do your social media ministry efforts enable you to build more relationships with real, live, flesh-and-blood people?


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