Tag: conversation

The purpose of this blog

I’ve seen an increase in readers to this blog since the fall, and I want to say two things:

1. Welcome!

2.  Here’s why I do this:

  • To be helpful. I try to offer practical, effective, and affordable ideas for small churches (and other sizes, too) that really work.  I’ve tried most of the things I tell you about, so I know they worked at least once.
  • To be encouraging. I’m a small church pastor.  Small churches have their own set of challenges, and I want to encourage small church leaders — that’s you — to hang in there.  To enjoy your ministry.  To know that God put you where you are.  To rejoice in small victories, and keep on keeping on.
  • To be positive. I try to keep things positive here.  The blogosphere has plenty of criticism, negativity, personal attacks, and general nastiness — it doesn’t need anymore.  Sometimes I’ve forgotten my own rule, and when I do, I apologize, take down the post, and start over.
  • To be informative. I try to post ideas, information, and inspiration here that you won’t find anywhere else, especially about small churches.  I read books, scan blogs, review news sites each day, all with the goal of bringing fresh thinking to this page.
  • To bring people together. Too often ministry is competitive.  It shouldn’t be.  I am not diminished by another pastor’s success, and I want to rejoice with him or her when they do succeed.  I also want to weep with those who weep, to encourage the discouraged, and to provide a safe place where comments are respected, and participation welcome.

I probably have some other reasons I write this blog.  I enjoy it. I like to start a conversation. I like to get to know other folks in other small churches.  But, mainly, I write to help.  I hope I do, and I thank you for dropping by from time to time.  Invite some others and let’s keep the conversation going for a long time.

For the latest church news and ideas from around the web, visit SmallChurchPROF.com and NewChurchReport.com.

Church is a conversation

The buzzword in marketing now is “conversation.”  The Cluetrain Manifesto popularized that idea with its statement that “markets are conversations.”  The authors describe a dialogue between marketer and consumer, not just the old one-way deal — we make it, you buy it, that settles it.

Now consumers want to interact with their brands.  If you want proof of this among 20-somethings, read Ruby Pseudo Wants a Word, a blog by a young woman who interviews young people in the UK about fashion and brands.  Or read threebillion, a blog by a guy who is tracking the under-25 culture.

Which brings me to church.  If people are passionate about something as mundane as shoes, and become “fans” on Facebook of their favorite brand, wear them, talk them up, Twitter about them, text their friends about their shoes, and generally go crazy over a brand, shouldn’t churches learn something?

Like what, you ask? Like let’s create conversations where we might learn something.  Rather than trying to figure out how to get people to do what we want them to do — attend, give, care, serve, study, and so on — why don’t we talk to people about what they need from God?  What they expect from a community of faith?  What they hope their faith will enable them to be?

Which, of course, brings me to Jesus.   He actually did all of that.  Not that he needed to learn, but he used those conversations to engage the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, blind Bartimaeus, his own disciples, his friends, his family, and his followers.  How did we lose the simple idea of one person talking to another about things that matter?  How can we move the community of faith back into conversations with each other and the world?  That’s the challenge we face.  That’s the future of church.