Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Game over, man. Game over." (Aliens)

For those that know what I do, and my core skill set:

Do I stand next to the network printer, swiping the staff's printouts, proofreading and editing them before they even see them? No.

Do I read emails grammatically first and then correct the sender in proper usage of their, there, and they're? Yes.

Do I spend three hours proofreading video content, song lyrics, scripture references, ensuring that our core value of excellence is obtained? No. 5-10 minutes top.

If I did any of these tasks, would I be helping the ministry, making sure every piece of communication is of the highest caliber? Or would I be draining resources by having rework upon rework for the slightest errors? I proofread certain emails and documents simply on spelling and basic grammar because the content and message can be more powerful if the reader recognizes the author and knows it isn't a processed and slimmed package; devoid of emotion, honesty, and power.

We all make mistakes. I've made many, and some even while I write this. But that doesn't mean that the message is confusing (well, maybe with my rambling writing) or completely incomprehensible. My philosophy is our message needs to be just as polished and refined as every other idea out there fighting for space in a person's day. I'm thinking this is a goal to obtain in everything we do.

You only get one First Impression. Better make it count.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"K-Mart sucks." (Rain Man)

Strategy. Strategery. Forward thinking. Long-term planning.

In corporate America, these terms are important to create a long lasting, and profitable, business. Studying business in America you will come across the traditional viewpoint that businesses in America have traditionally been short-sighted. That's the excuse why foreign companies have been able to come in and take over markets. Google the meaning of the "long tail" and you'll understand.

However, I was thinking today that the Church might have a dual mode when dealing with short-term and long-term positioning; or strategy. It must establish practices that can keep the organization sound- meaning adapt to growth, change directions when needed, all the while not losing the big picture.

The flip side is that the Church needs to remain culturally relevant in delivering content. Which is to say, keep up with the times. No easy task considering nothing "new" has been written regarding God & Jesus (that is readily accepted by the majority of theology scholars. But let's not open that box).

So what does a church do? Re-invent itself every 5-10 years? Hire a pastor with a goatee, or whatever fashionable look is in? Capitalize on new technology and abandon the "old school" way of doing church?

Or does it keep a majority of systems in place, only updating the area viewed by the public? Meaning services, children's ministry, worship, etc.

Today's information wave is faster than ever, and that is something that has to be included in today's strategy. What worked before won't work again with the same result. What's the strategy?

Friday, April 18, 2008

"That is correct" (Billy Madison)

Yes, I love those new MSN commercials. You know, the ones that end with:

No one wants to look dumb! (Okay, so I added the exclamation point)

My favorite (of the two I've seen) is the First Date, with the voiceover announcer mentioning such small-talk discussion topics as sub-prime interest rates or the origin of the word "sassafrass."

Related; will this campaign result in higher MSN.com brand awareness. No. "Hey Bob, Google 'no one wants to look dumb' video. They're hilarious!"

Maybe Google should do a spoof: "Don't call your customers dumb!"

Game. Set. Match.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"And we're moving..." (Any spoof comedy)

Things to see at Mitosis 2008:

1) TRC Art Gallery. And yes, feel free to throw down some Benjamins for artwork.
2) LifeSavers Children's Ministry Classrooms. If you don't have kids, or they're already grown, check it out.
3) GRID 29:11. Let your 6th grade-College child hang out there on Friday nights. Or you can "chaperone". Wink wink. Nudge nudge.
4) Worship Center. See what is used to make everything come together.

And feel free to ask questions. We'll try to answer questions to the best of our ability. Whatever item strikes your fancy to get involved with, we now have a ConnectionGenius team to help.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"You shouldn't throw anything, Ed. Not with your back." (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Marketing. A term that has many definitions. In recruiting, "marketing" equals "sales." In business management, "marketing" is promotion, distribution, advertising, and sales. Note that all these words are not synonyms. Marketing is the whole kit & kaboodle (I don't even know what that means).

In a product's life, there is basically two umbrellas. Production and marketing. Unfortunately, if production results in a common good, more marketing is needed. Look at laundry detergent. A basic good market, yet there is millions of dollars of advertising spent to differentiate the products.

Contrast that with, say, Ferrari advertisements. In my life, I can't remember any sort of commercial or print advertisement for Ferraris- "Now get 2.9% financing on all 2007 599's." I just haven't seen it. True, Ferrari may target higher income mediums like Robb Report, or Cigar Aficanadio (yeah, I'm not even going to spell check that one), but its product is so upper-class that they don't need to advertise.

All-temperature Cheer, however, needs to All the help they can get, in order to Gain market share, turning the Tide for the Seventh Generation owners.

Yeah, I know that was a stretch. I just wanted to explore the word "marketing" as an overused term just on one point. I may revisit this, but for now I've said enough.

Monday, April 7, 2008

"I'm not invited to the thunket?" (America's Sweethearts)

Big test tomorrow for the #70. Over the last few days the crew have been putting in a lot of effort to prepare the car for this coming season. Saturday we spent all day cleaning the car, trailer, and pit equipment for Sunday's big release party (smashing success).

Today Pastor Jeff and I threw our baseline setup in the car, scaled it, and got it ready for practice. We have a lot going on this week- not just race cars, but (cue the Oprah voice) MITOSIS 2008 is here (end Oprah voice).

Mitosis just isn't a little bitty conference. It's HUGE. There's this little conference down in Dallas that happens every year. 5000+ church leaders go and learn and get ideas on how to reach seekers and non-believers.

If 5000 people go to that one, 10,000-20,000 should be coming to Mitosis (but luckily for our facility, there won't be 10,000 people. We'd need a lot more bathrooms!). It's an opportunity to see behind the scenes. It's about how a Sunday morning is done. Everyone has different ideas on how to pull off a "perfect" Sunday. And it's on a scale the majority of churches in America can grasp. Most who visit C3 in Dallas get overwhelmed and intimidated. They don't know where to start.

Mitosis 2008: Start Where You Are. We've been down that road of seeing something so unbelievable, we (Rock Church leaders)have spent the last 10-12 years building and learning and creating. Here is the opportunity to learn from a rural church that's made a tremendous impact in the surrounding region.

For our volunteers, it's an opportunity for everyone to see how every part, every passion, every person's effort, goes into making life change happen each and every Sunday.

If you haven't signed up for Mitosis, do so at MitosisConference.com. Call in sick Friday if you have to. I would.