One Thing (Part 3)

Wow!  What started as a simple question that I decided to ask (check it out here) has turned into a mini-series of questions.  I’ve really enjoyed all of your comments and insights on what you believe the church should do really well and what, if they tanked at, would cause you to leave.

My last question (well, hopefully my last) is for the many people who have shared that they’ve already left the church.  I know a surprising number of people who have decided to stop attending for one reason or another.  Many of them have really good reasons for doing so.

My question today is this: what would it take to get you back to church? More solid teaching?  Meaningful friendships?  Better worship?  An apology from your pastor?

What would it take?

OK go.

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One Thing (Part 2)

One Bad Apple

Last week I asked the question “If your church only did one thing really well, what would you want that thing to be?” (You can check out that post here.) There were some great (even passionate) responses.

Today I want to flip that question on its head.  If your church did everything great, except for one thing, and missing the mark on that one thing would actually cause you to leave your church, what would that one thing be?  Would poor worship make you leave?  Lousy hospitality?  Rotten preaching?

It must be a pretty big deal to you if everything else is done really well.  What is it?

OK go.

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One Thing?

I have a quick question for you.

If your church only did one thing really well, what would you want that thing to be?

Even if everything else really stunk, you’d still stay because this one thing was done superbly.

Would it be the worship?  How about the speaking/ministry?  What if the children’s ministry was off the hook but everything else was a turd?  What if everything was lame but they did a fantastic job of making you feel welcome?

What would be that one thing for you?  Let me know!

OK go.

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I Want More!

I want more!

I want more than surface, more than artsy, and more than self promotion wrapped in “ministry”.

I want more than book deals, recording contracts, Dove Awards, the CBA, and Jesus used to push a product.

I want more than Christian culture, trite blog posts, music recommendations, and to stop being told whats “relevant” because it’s not!

I want more than an impotent, powerless American church that measures success by numbers and name recognition.

I want more than cloning dressed up like discipleship and concerts dressed up like worship.

I want more than rock stars, more than celebri-preachers and all of those who want to be like them.

I want more than green rooms, name dropping, and reserved seating.

I want more than a slick communicator in hundred dollar jeans telling me how to live a balanced life because I don’t want to live a balanced life!

I want to be totally sold out and spent for Jesus.

I want to live in humility and servanthood.

I want to see God’s power healing the sick, saving the lost, and delivering the oppressed.

I want to see a generation on their faces, worshiping a holy God, even when there is no music, no lights, and no stage.

I want the church to be a lighthouse where the lost, abused, broken, and bound can find mercy, freedom, and forgiveness.

I want to swim in the deep end.  I want to be provoked to give more, pray more, discover more, and experience beautiful intimacy with our Savior.

I want to see our resources poured into things that will have eternal significance, to be Roaring Lambs, salt and light, and agents of change.

I want something real.

I want more!

How NOT to get me to follow you on Twitter

I have come to really like Twitter.  So much so that I have to tell myself to take a break once in a while so that I can get something done.  Twitter levels the playing field and allows anyone to share what’s on their mind or what they’re doing.  It’s a great way to extend your ministry, bless others, and create connections.

Where Facebook is about affiliation (who you know or have known) Twitter for me has become about affinity (what do we have in common?)  I really like finding others with common interests and passions and following each other.

That said, unless you’re a major public figure, you’re probably finding followers the way most people do; by searching for like-minded individuals, following them, and see if you get a follow back.  If you do, you’ve made a connection.  Good day!

So let’s say you’re trying to expand your Twitter community and you’re having trouble getting people to follow you back.  Here are some reasons why this might be happening:

1. A user name that’s difficult to understand. Zboy1509YO might mean something to you, but it doesn’t do a thing for me.  Try keeping your user name as close to your real name or organization’s name as possible.

2. No picture. The Twitter bird is cute but I don’t want to see that graphic all up and down my time line.  Use a picture of YOU.  I’m interested in connecting with other people, not their dog, car, or favorite beverage.

3. Incomplete bio. I’m going to let you in on a secret.  I like to follow people back who share my same interests and affinities.  If I see that you’ve followed me, I’m going to check your bio to see if you’re someone I’d like to follow back.  Add a link to your blog (not your sales presentation) there.  If there’s no information there, I’m going to assume we have nothing in common and not follow you back.  The key is to make me work as little as possible to find out if you’re someone I would like to follow back.

4. A protected profile. Sometimes I like to read a few of your tweets before I decide whether or not to follow you back.  You send me a follow.  I click on your name to see your Twitter profile and I see a padlock.  “Tweets are protected.”  How do I know you have anything interesting to say?  I’m not taking any chances on a protected profile.  No follow back!

5. All of your tweets include a link. If I see links on all of your tweets, chances are I won’t even read them to see if they’re interesting.  When 100% of your tweets are links to your web site, chances are you’re only interested in driving traffic or selling something.  I’m in it for interaction and community, not to read 140 character commercials every few minutes.  With that said, I do follow those links when posted by people who have other things to share too.

6. You’re building a fan club. One of the worst Twitter travesties I’ve seen is when people thin out the number of people they’re following to cause a greater gap in their followers to following ratio.  Look, if you’re a major celebrity, it’s understandable to have 100,000 followers and only be following 25.  The sad thing is that I’ve seen people in ministry drop followers to appear more popular (or something).  It’s one thing to unfollow others who aren’t following you back but come on!  Unfollowing people who are following you because you want a Twitter ego boost?  Shame!  Twitter is about connection and community, not about building up your fan base. Ministers should be especially aware of this.  So, if you unfollow me, don’t expect me to keep following you back.

The key is to represent yourself with clarity and, as I said earlier, make it as easy as possible for people to discover if you’re the kind of person they’d like to follow back.  It’s about affinity and community, a really cool thing in this day and age.  Keep building your community (not your fan club) and we’re in for a great time together.

What are some things that cause YOU not to follow back?

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