Create a Social Media team for Sunday Worship

Picture this.

The key phrases, points or verses are delivered from the pulpit. This time they really hit home. You can see it on the hearers’ faces. Some people even write it down. Some people may tweet or share it in a post on Facebook.

But we know that each person that hears it live has many lost friends or family members that would have benefited too. Some of those people are visual learners and a single line of text in a tweet or post won’t hit them where they learn best.

Enter a small group or pair or single person to your worship team; the Social Media Team.

fbm_pharaoh

The Social Media Team is tasked with making timely content to be shared immediately after the phrase, question, or moment happens. It’s a bring-your-own-device team that is ready to spread the message virally.

Conferences have been doing this for years. The problem is they only happen once a year. The ministry of the church happens 52 weeks a year. There’s a lot to share.

Capitalize on the moments that happen in worship and during special events.

Why I’m Using @SlackHQ to Kill Email for All My Teams

Start using Slack

We have all experienced it.

Information needed to be shared with the team and feedback needed to be recieved. Default tool to do this…email.

But it doesn’t always work very well. The information is given to a whole team but instead of clicking reply all you click reply back to the one person who you think needs that information right then. This creates an issue because not everybody learned the same feedback.

Information is lost in transmission.

Enter Slack (@slackhq). Slack fixes this issue for teams, providing a tool for efficient information transmission.

Slack
Here’s how it works.

Your team members are subscribed or are members of channels and inside the channels communication exist much like it would on a Facebook stream or Twitter feed. In that channel team members can post documents, questions, answers, pictures, and reactions to information. Everyone that’s a member of the channel gets to learn the information and the feedback.

So let’s look at the top three reasons @slackhq is going to kill email for my teams.

1. Communication is transparent. Transparent communication means that all the information that is submitted and feedback is given back on or reactions is visible to everyone. Channels in Slack are not a place to share personal grievances or HR problems or personal squabbles over issues. Direct messages are private.  Channels allow everybody to see all of the information for the work being done.

2. Slack keeps all information in one place. Information stays inside Slack. Team members are not having to use multiple services to upload documents to get information. Team members are not using multiple different email clients or services. Everyone is seeing the same information in the same apps across any device or platform.

3. Slack is available on any device or platform. No matter what device your team members own Slack has an app; iOS, OS X, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, or browser.
So that’s one of my goals for this year; to kill email for the teams that I’m working with.

What are your goals this year?

Have you tried Slack?

What are some of your best tips and tricks we could all learn?

Create Margin for those around you

An important step in the process of planning anything, an event, worship experience, or meeting, is to think about how each participant will interact with what you are planning. You the planner can create margin for those around you by taking into account their experience. 

What are some examples of thinking about the participant to create margin?

  1. Think about how many steps it will take to be included in your event. 
  2. Consider how much pre-knowledge a participant will need to have in order to understand what’s going on. 

If you can reduce the number of steps and the amount of pre-knowledge needed to participate in anything, you have created margin for them, reduced anxiety, and opened a door to engage them in a new way. 
Question: Where have you experienced un-necessary steps in a process?

You Can Make Changes Without Making Your Members Mad

It’s inevitable; things must change. Methods must change. Delivery changes.

Some of your members, though, would take a change less than enthusiastically. They may even take it very badly. But you can make changes without making your members mad.

How can you make changes and not die on “that” hill?

1) Go slow

Patience is not natural when change is needed.

2) Tweak, tweak, tweak

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Most of the things done in a church are for good reason. A good way to make a slow change is to tweak an existing “thing”. Minor changes or tweaks can ease members into a larger change. Refer to the number 1 above about the speed of tweaking.

3) Look for areas with “room”

Places of revered tradition may not be a good place to make a large change. There are times to make those changes, but they come up rarely. Instead, look for places with room. Room, the way I am defining it, is something with growth potential. Growth potential could be underserved areas of ministry, underutilized people, or spaces in the church.

Look for the change. Ease into the change. Lean into growth areas.

Question: What are some changes you are reticent to act on?

How to Build Margin by Giving Work Away

You are not a superhero.

You are the pastor or minister at a church with many tasks; preaching, pastoral care, announcement-giver, vision-caster, and more.

But you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Even if you are the lone staff member of a church, you need to give work away. Your family, calling and sanity need you to have margin.

1) Find people that are passionate

2) Give them authority

3) Trust them to do the job

Question: What do you give away to create margin?

Create Margin: Take Control of Your Email

I used to have an issue with notifications and email overload. The problem was I had enabled notfications for all email. In my work as a graphic designer I had multiple email adresses and all of them were able to send me an instant notification every time a message arrived. Can you see why this would be an issue? 

I was basically on-call to my clients 24-7.

Not a smart move. If you can identify with this scenario I’d like to share a couple of steps I took to curb the notification overload and how I built more margin and family time as a result.

1) Turn all notifications off on your smartphone

The modern smartphone is one of the world’s greatest inventions. Our computing capacity has shrunk to the point that powerful devices reside in our pockets and make us capable of incredible productivity. 

But when your email notifications are enabled the smartphone can become the bane of the existence of margin. The more notifications and email to read and reply, the less margin you’ll have. I turned off all notifications of email and immediately felt less guilty about not replying to emails and more margin for my family in the evenings. 

Try it. Turn off the notifications. Say yes to more margin.

2) Check email twice a day 

Concurrent to the stopping of email notifications was the decision to check email two times a day. In the mornings when sitting down to work and in the afternoon after lunch are the times I’ve set aside to read and answer emails. Making a conscious decision to keep email to the mornings and afternoon has further alleviated any “reply-guilt” and helped me to own my email time and communicate that to others. 

Try it. Tomorrow only check your email twice a day; and do it while at work. 

Question: Do you feel “reply-guilt”?

Create Margin: Yes to Family Time

One reason a pastor needs margin is because his family should be a very high priority. You know this. It’s hard to practice though when pastoral care and the work of the church pull you in every direction.

Fight the guilt of disappointing church people and love and spend time with your family.

Use any margin you can create to spend more time with your family. You won’t feel guilty about that.

How VBS can breathe life into your pastoral care schedule

Your pastoral care time is most likely taken up with hospital visits, weddings, and funerals. The average age of the recipients of your time may approach the 60’s or 70’s. Want to breath some young life into your ministry?

Be the Pastor of your church’s Vacation Bible School!

How can you be the Pastor of VBS without taking over the job of your Children’s Minister?

1) Be available and visible

VBS is the biggest event of the year for children’s ministry. Your children and preschool team will know you value what they do just by your very presence. They don’t need you to do their job, just be there as their cheerleader. 

2) Build relationships with the next gen

The kids that attend your Vacation Bible School are the ones that will (hopefully) fill the church for years to come. Building a relationship with them now will connect them to the pastor and to the church at large. So learn their names and show them you are a real person, not just the preacher up front on Sunday morning. 

Question: How do you support VBS?

Creative Meetings: End Every Meeting with Assignments

Imagine going to a new movie at your local theater. Your favorite snacks were bought before sitting down. Some of the movie previews at the start were intriguing; most were not. The movie was riveting. There was tension, laughter, and a story that took you down a path.

But then it stops with fifteen minutes to go.

There was no resolution, no mystery revealed, or happy ending. Would that be a satisfying experience to you?

Ending a creative meeting without assigning tasks can be just as dissatisfying as a movie without an ending. Here’s why you need to end creative meetings with task assignments.

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