Christian Living

What Posture Do You Take?

Posture impacts perspective
My posture sure impacts your perspective, doesn’t it? How big is this fish?

Beginning Again After Reflection

Having just taken a 2-week break from my daily blogging routine, I’m coming back at the task fresh from some time of reflection.

Ultimately, my reasons for writing this blog haven’t changed from when I started it in 2004. Back then I said I was starting this blog, “Mostly as a way to share with myself, just what is going on.”

Historically, my blog is at it’s best when I’m writing about my journey. And, speaking just for myself, I feel worst about it when I try to use it for some other purpose.

Christian Living


Photo by cmiked via Flickr (Creative Commons)

This is it.

Today is the day.

I don’t have time for could, woulda, or shoulda. I only have time for results.

I know the stats. I know the strategies. I know what it takes to get it done… it’s time to get it done.

[Insert whatever analogy you need to fire yourself up]

I’m a youth worker. It’s in my blood. It is who I’m called to be and it is who I am. And all youth workers are hard-wired to plan stuff out in August. August is our January. We plan vacations, mission trips, concerts, retreats, camps, and everything else. If it is going to happen in 2010-2011… now is when we lay it out.

In August, we lay out our dreams for the school year in August.

August is our ebenezer.

So that is what I’m doing this August. I’m laying down my dreams. I’m laying down my hopes. And I’m putting aside my excuses.

I’m tired of waiting for next year.

I don’t have time to build another year.

I am getting too old to sit around and wait for something good to happen. Or the right kid to show up. Or the wrong kid to “get it.

I don’t want to just hang out with kids anymore without a purpose. We’ve played enough video games, eaten enough pizza, and I’ve been to enough high school games.

This. is. it.

This year.

This day.

This moment.

Now is the only time that matters.

I’ve got no patience for coulda, woulda, or shoulda.

This is my ebenezer.

Church Leadership management Marketing

Leading to the edges

ruler-edgeEntrepreneurs get this. Start-up businesses get this. New franchises get this. Church planters get this. But no one in an older business, church, franchise, or industry can comprehend this.

You have grown your audience as much within what you are doing today as you will ever grow it. You primary demographic already knows about you and has decided whether to be a customer or not. They have decided whether to become a student in your college or not. They have decided whether or not your to attend your church.

People largely make decisions on your project, widget, consumable, or institution in an instant. Five seconds or less. (Test it yourself, watch TV commercials. How soon until you decide if you are buying that product? I thought so.) Spending more money to advertise the same thing over and over again is just a waste of money. This is why Super Bowl commercials can be deal makers or deal breakers for companies you’ve never heard of.

This is why marketers dump millions of dollars onto the airwaves and see little return on their investment. This is why church marketing sucks. Once you can identify who your audience is… your best possibility for growth then shifts to customer service and care. Can I keep the customers I have? Can I provide them such an amazing service that they tell their friends that they have to go there, be there, or be your customer?

Growth comes as you lead your organization towards the edges. When you help your church or college find a new demographic, there is growth. When you design a new product that changes the game for an old industry, there is growth. When you serve a need that everyone wants but no one offers, there is growth.

What’s the first step in determining how to find my edge?

Spend time and discover where you are failing. Spend time finding out where everyone in your industry fails. Spend time finding out what churches in your area aren’t doing.

Hint: Studying successful companies, institutions, churches, or whatever will only lead you away from growth and into their market. Learn from their best practices, for sure, but don’t study them to copy them. Their edge won’t ever be your edge.