Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What I've learned this month

Lots of neat ideas crossed my radar screen this month - here are some things that really caught my attention...

Some words of wisdom from our Family Ministries Coordinator, Amy Anthony, when asked about how much detail to include in an email -- "One thing I am learning is that it takes a lot of time to get people to understand things (both what we are doing and why we are doing it) and instead of overcommunicating in an email or written form it is better to give them motivation to come and then pray that they come to an understanding once they're there."

An interesting discussion by Mark Howell at Small Group Resources asking "Do Healthy Small Groups Grow and Birth?", "What about Birthing Groups?" and "What is the Most Effective Method for Launching Small Groups? ". The focus of the second article is more 'how can we encourage an environment where birthing is more likely to occur?" rather than trying to force or coerce multiplication of groups.

Chris Forbes at Ministry Marketing Coach answers a number of questions on Church Assimilation. What I particularly liked about this post was the list of questions that Saddleback considered in their strategic planning process which led to their popular CLASS system. I'm very familiar with the outcome of that, but it was very interesting to see the questions that guided the development of the system. (Speaking of assimilation, here's some thoughts on "Sticky Church")

Some innovative uses of technology for ministry. Bill Reichart at Ministry Best Practices pointed out a service called Issuu which allows you to publish a document online in a way that's very flexible and allows readers to interact. You can even embed such a 'magazine' on a blog or web-site. Tim Stevens describes a 90-second video approach to the tricky issue of making announcements in service that they use at Granger, called "The Feed ." The Pyromarketing blog had some ideas on using technology to help people connect in social organizations (well, clubs, actually but draw any inferences from that!)

Speaking of innovation, just today I saw that Granger is making videos of their talks at Innovate 2008 available to watch!

Tim Stevens also summarizes some very key points on "Why People Serve" - in a nutshell:
People choose to serve because...
  1. They see a real need
  2. They have confidence they can do it
  3. There's not someone already doing it
And because of that, we must do three things:
  1. Make the vision clear
  2. Help people determine their strengths and gifts
  3. Always have open roles for people to serve in

Bob Hyatt pointed out an excellent resource on "Preaching in a Postmodern World". It's actually a set of lectures available on iTunes (for free), by Tim Keller. I listened to a few of them in podcast format, and he made some excellent points both on the need for Christ-centered preaching as well as some specific thoughts on how to engage a postmodern audience.

James Higginbotham at Agile Ministry posted his notes from a recent conference by John Maxwell called “How To Be A Real Success” - "Defining Success" and "Real Success". I love the definition given right at the top of the talk:  "Success is knowing my purpose in life."  The other post by James that I really liked was "Church Coordinators are Marketers".

Ed Stetzer had some thought-provoking posts - one was a discussion of "Coaching, Mentoring, and Life-Change", and another (somewhat heavier) was "The Emergent/Emerging Church: A Missiological Perspective".

What did you learn this month?


James Higginbotham said...

Thanks for mentioning my recent posts on Agile Ministry. The John Maxwell conference was only a half day, but it was packed full of information (as you noticed). I'm glad you learned a lot, as I did.

Larry Baxter said...

My pleasure James - you've had a great mix of topics in your blog this month, always a useful read! :) If by some chance you're going to be at Catalyst next week, I hope I run into you. -- Larry