Saturday, September 28, 2013

4 Things LEADERS Should Never Do on Social Media

Social media is a terrific tool that we have access to in our generation. We can rapidly share ideas, thoughts, principles and ultimately the Gospel. I wrote a blog several months back on how use it for marketing. Today's blog is less about marketing and more about how a leader should use or not use social media. The way we use it can reveal how emotionally mature we really are. 

These 4 points are just some general guidelines to what leaders should not do on social media. 

1. Degrade other Ministries or Denominations:
•I have heard it said that the easiest way to try to look good is making others look bad. 
•We should never degrade other ministries or even denominations because we are polluting others with half-truths without the person (s) being able to defend themselves. 
•Emotional maturity is best shown when we are able to co-exist and even celebrate with others who are different. 

2. Snipe People who Hurt Them 
•Leaders should never go after people who have hurt them, especially in a passive-aggressive manner. I realize this is tough. It's very easy to vent on social media platforms. The main reason we should not do this is because it reinforces unhealthy ways to deal with conflict. We should always deal with conflict in person or possibly a call but never by writing snipe comments or aggressively going after someone who hurt you. 
•This also goes for arguing or trying to get a point across on social media. You should minimize or not respond then make time to sit with that person. Don't try to prove a point in social media interaction. 

3. Use for Personal Pity 
•Another expression of emotional immaturity is trying solicit pity. Only you can judge to see if your post is trying to get pity or you are just sharing your heart. I can't discern that for you. 
•There are some folks who, when they need attention, go for the pity "posts." Eventually people will get tired of you needing pity. 

4. Not Use it at All 
•Because of all the possible problems that come from social media there are people who just don't use it at all. Yes, you will find out things about people's lives that you did not want to know. You will have posts that anger you. But, you shouldn't retract from it as a leader. This is actually an immature response in some cases. If God leads you to get away or off, that's a different story, but don't let the drama, disappointments and just plain annoying folks keep you off. 

As a leader you have the ability to interact, have fun, share ideas and learn to be very patient with people. Instead of retracting, learn to engage and love people in it. 
*Our Connections Pastor at Thrive, Keith Rowell, wrote this informational and sarcastic blog a few years ago. Here is the link to "Different Types of Tweeps:" 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

7 Ways You Know Your Church Doesn't Value the Unchurched

I was on staff at a church one time where during the whole year we didn't see anyone accept Christ, have their life transformed or baptized. I told God that if this is ministry I want out. We hosted programs, conferences and events. We had good music and preaching but no life transformation. 

I believe we as churches have to intentionally pursue the unchurched. We have to bleed passion for those far from God. 
As I work with church planters and revitalization projects here are 7 ways (not exhaustive) that you know your church doesn't value the unchurched. 
1. You expect them to be the missionary
•We have made the unchurched the missionary in the 21st century. They are the biggest missionary group in the world. The church today expects them to take a mission trip to our church campus instead of us meeting them where they are at. 
•When a church loses the edge of pursuing those far from God this happens. There has to be a certain passion and push to go after them. 
•We have split this into two primary categories at Thrive: 
1) Missional Outreach: This is 1st Corinthians 13- love or as King Jimmy calls it, "charity." We do not expect return. We are simply engaging, giving and connecting. We do not judge the results by how many come to the campus or accept Christ.  
2) Missional Marketing: This is going after those far from God through marketing tools such as strategic postcards, Internet, invite cards, bracelets and more. We want those folks seeking and interested to connect with our family. We want them to come to a worship experience, surrender to Christ and become part of our family. 

2. You expect them to understand your church culture instead of exegiting theirs. 
•This is where you are more concerned about the style of church you have than the type of people you are going to reach. You may do strange things in your church service that people in your target community don't get. (Hint: we all do). Instead of changing the culture you keep doing it your way and wanting them to adapt. 
•Exegete your culture. What do the unchurched, dechurched and churched all have in common? What have they experienced in church before? What will they not understand about your church? What may be confusing? 
Here is a tip: If you always have to stop and explain WHY you are doing this strange practice or are getting a ton of questions- then stop to ask why this is happening. 

3. You use language that they don't understand. 
•Please bear with me. This is sensitive but it has to be done. Our church services are littered with strange words to the unchurched or offensive words to the dechurched. 
Verbiage such as:
-apostolic mandate (whatever that means)
-five fold ministry 
-corporate destiny (first time I heard this I literally had no clue what the dude was saying. I thought he was speaking to business owners. Seriously)
-Kingdom (I asked a group recently what was the Kingdom of God after a dude preached on it. They were stumped)
-God speaking (clarify to people what that is) 
-Destiny (it means fate to the unchurched) 
-tithing [which is a biblical practice] (for months after I got saved I didn't know what was happening at offering time. They taught on "tithing" each week. Still was clueless. Let them know at this time we are going to worship God by giving) 
-take the city (we don't do this alone. It takes all the churches)
-army of God (sounds like Islam) 

Help your leaders learn to say all these biblical ideas in everyday language. If you want a great commentary on this watch the film, "Jesus Camp," with the commentary on. The directors are far from God and VERY confused looking in on this camp. 

4. Signage is poor
•You expect them to know where everything is at. Over speak with signage. Make sure you have great signage pointing to entries, kids, restrooms and exits. 

5. You care more about pleasing or appeasing attendees than the unchurched. 
•"This is just who we are. We don't reach the unchurched but we have revival every week. Our people love it and would leave if we changed." That may be your best course of action. You may need some over fed, fat Christians to leave. 
•Going deep and not reaching the unchurched is a farse. If you have revival and folks are not surrendering to Christ then it's not revival. It could possibly be (not in all cases) your people flicking off the unchurched as they go "deep." Christ was crucified so people far from Him could come to know Him. 
•Stretch people to trade off so they can see those people far from God reached. 

6. You aren't prepared for them. 
•This is in two ways:
a) No guest services that make them feel like Jesus is on campus ready to greet them. From the parking lot (beginning) to the parking lot (end) they should feel overwhelmed with love. 
b) Your songs, message and whole experience is geared to the churched only. Your team needs to openly discuss  how the unchurched may perceive what they are doing. 
7. You don't pray for them corporately. 
•We pray EVERY Wednesday for people far from God in our community together. You get what you pray for. I believe if a church is praying and really prepared they wil see the unchurched come. 

Pray through these values to see if you believe you need to change a course of action to reach the unchurched.