Why You Need A Podcast And An Oasis


Podcasting has made a comeback and it isn't going anywhere.  In fact I am going to call this now...I think Facebook will venture into the podcast world in the next couple of years, launching a platform on facebook for users to launch, host and subscribe to podcasts through their facebook apps. 
If you're in ministry and your ministry doesn't have a podcast you should seriously consider adding it. 

Here are 4 Reasons Podcasts are making a comeback and you should consider having one:

People time trade.  We are constantly trying to find ways to buy more time.  Ask the people you work with what they need most this week and most of them will tell you they need more time.  Podcasts provide the opportunity for you to place your content in the ear of the listener while they are on the treadmill or driving or painting or.... You get the idea.  People can multitask while listening to a podcast.

We commute and drive a lot.  There isn't a whole lot to do while driving.  It is a great space to pray (with your eyes open) but you can't watch videos, text or message people while you're driving.  The car is the perfect place to listen to a podcast.  With our crazy schedules and the average commute time trending up, podcasts have a great place to gain traction.

People aren't as into your videos as you think they are.  I make and distribute a ton of videos.  I love them.  They are super effective in communicating personality, painting a picture for your audience of who you are and what you are all about and they are a great tool for adding value to someone's life.  Unfortunately they are limited in their distribution because people have to have the space and time to watch them.  As of now, not a lot of people are creating a watch list or downloading videos so they can watch them later.  Videos are great but for your audience they can be hit or miss.  When they hit, they hit hard.  But they miss a lot too.  In baseball terms, videos are like your home run hitter, they crush.  Podcasts are like your lead off guy.  Not as flashy, not as dramatic but they get on base a lot.  Podcasts add the consistency your videos struggle to deliver on.

You want to create an oasis in the desert.  It is called "Omni Channel, Audience Centric Marketing". I call it creating and oasis in the middle of the desert.  The thought used to be that you should create one really good channel/platform and go all in on it.  If you do Facebook well, just do facebook.  If you connect mostly with Instagram then just do Instagram.  Sunday morning service is how you rock it then put all your eggs in that basket.  Go find the channel you can crush and crush it, forget about everything else.  But culture shifts fast and often. People want to engage with you and probably find engaging with your content valuable, but they want to be able to engage with you on their terms, and on the platform they prefer, which isn't always the platform you prefer.  So creating valuable content and distributing it over as many platforms as you can is far better than focusing on one channel/platform.  You are going to start to see less engagement on one platform.   But if you create an oasis that people can come drink from on their schedule then your overall engagement with increase and so will your influence, reach and attendance.  

What should you use to build an Oasis of value in the middle of the desert? 

Sunday Worship Gatherings (This is the center of your oasis.) 
Small Groups (These extend the center of the oasis into your communities.)
A Podcast that can downloaded on Spotify and iTunes.
A website that focuses on your audience not on your attenders.
Youtube (Vimeo is focused on content creators, Youtube is focused on the audience.)
A Blog (Not a blog where you spout off about what is most important to you, but a blog that is relevant and focused on giving value to your audience.)

Maximize those platforms by creating, capturing and pushing a variety of audience centric content.  Add value in multiple ways.  Include content like:  Live Videos, Interviews, Sermon Clips (1 minute, 5 minute and 10 minute), Full Sermon Videos, Worship Music, and "Talk to The Audience Through The Lens Videos" (these can be teaching focused or encouragement focused).  Be flexible and experiment.

Hope this helps,


Buy Attention When It Is The Cheapest

Sounds so dirty doesn’t it? It sounds like some kind of marketing ploy. It certainly doesn’t sound like a way to approach anything from a church or ministry perspective.

But, if you want to show me something, there are times when it is easier to get my attention. Don’t try to tell me something important on a Sunday morning between services. Don’t try to ask me about church when I am fly-fishing. I’m not paying attention. Don’t try to get me to buy a swimsuit in December, or a winter coat in July. There are times when it is cheapest, or easiest, to buy my attention because I am more willing to pay attention to what you are trying to show me. Those times are the times I am looking in the general vicinity of what you want to present to me. Those are the times you should invest the most effort in trying to get my attention.

The same is true of the audience you are trying to reach. Sometimes they are more open to the idea you want to present to them. If you are a church, two of those times are December leading up to Christmas and March leading up to Easter. Christmas and Easter, two times people are more willing to try a new church or show up for the first time. These are the times of year to encourage people to take a chance and show up. These are the times you want to invest the most energy and resource into showing people who you are and what you are all about as a ministry.

When you invite people, don’t forget these three keys.

  1. Always add value before you invite them.

  2. Answer the questions they haven’t thought to ask.

  3. Give a clear picture of what they can expect if they show up.


Merry Christmas! SAVE $100 on the Leverage Course, A Simple Social Media And Online Strategy To Grow Your Church. Use code CHRISTMAS100 at checkout. Click here!

Everything Has Changed And You Can Leverage It To Reach New People

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I don't want to sound dramatic.  No one likes drama.  Especially leaders.  But, how we communicate and interact with each other has shifted.  Everything has changed.  If your church isn't growing with new people it is probably because people outside of your church just aren't paying attention to you.

You aren't necessarily broken.  You aren't doing anything wrong.  The problem isn't necessarily you, or your leadership, or your church.  So, before you go out and hire a consultant, or worse start comparing yourself to the guy down in North Carolina with the church of 16,000 or the guy down the street with the church of 1000, just consider that maybe the issue is a simple communication issue that can be fixed with a simple strategy. 

You can reach lost people with a simple shift in approach. You don't have to go door to door to reach people.  You also don't have to wait until they stumble into your sanctuary after just being clobbered by life.  You can reach them right now, through their smartphones and social news feeds. It isn't complex.  It doesn't cost a lot.  It is simple. 

And,  the return on investment is lives changed and souls saved.  Not to mention, your church will grow and so will your finances which will mean more resources to reach more people to see more lives changed. 

I have a course to help you learn and implement the simple strategy we have use to reach new people in our community.  We have experiences exponential growth from implementing this strategy.

The course is called Leverage and it is an online course you can walk your whole team through and use to onboard new team members and volunteers.  It is a great tool to use as training as part of your leadership meetings or to walk through individually.

If you aren't ready to take that step, these articles are so important and will get you started today!
5 Social Media Tips That Will Actually Grow Your Church
How To Grow Your Audience When No One Is Paying Attention

This stuff matters but you don't have to take my word for it...

Cedrick Brown is not only extremely gifted in leadership but he has one of the best pastoral hearts I have ever seen. Pastor Cedrick Brown is the Lead Pastor of Commitment Community Church.  Commitment Community Church is rapidly multiplying in their region. They have amazing leadership and they have been implementing this strategy since last February.  They are so good at implementing, when I have a phone call with their team at some point in the conversation I am the one who ends up taking notes.  

This is what Pastor Cedrick says about leverage, 

“Social Media and Online usage is not going anywhere in our lifetime. This is why I would recommend the 'Leverage Social Media and Online Strategy' by Josh Ott. It is amazingly simple, effective and sacred in its approach to reaching the lost and unchurched with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”- Cedrick BrownLead Pastor, Commitment Church

Get the course right here and start today. 

Course Tips:
Sign up for one account and use it for your whole team!
It also makes a great tool to onboard new volunteers and team members. 
Use the Coupon Code (available for a limited time) EDAMOVE at checkout to save your church budget $$$!

Introducing - Leverage To Grow Your Church

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I am very excited to announce that the Leverage Course is nearing completion and I expect it to launch early in October. This course is about leveraging social media and a simple online strategy to grow your church. I developed this strategy and implemented it at my own church and the results have been incredible. God has used these tools to grow our church in every way. My hope is that this content helps you reach people in your community as well. I hope you find this content helpful as you think through what it means to pastor, to reach people and to communicate in a fast world that lives in a social online context.

Knowing your audience is huge. You cannot communicate effectively until you know who your audience is. Deep dive into your target audience and spend some time thinking through their fears, their frustrations, their dreams. What are they hung up on? What hurdles are they facing? What are they worried about this week? Get to it (after you watch this video from leverage.)

5 Reasons Why Comedians Are Generally Better Communicators Than Pastors

Lots of public speakers and business leaders look to stand-up comedians for lessons on how to communicate.  Recently I spent some time with some incredibly high level entrepreneurs as a part of a business retreat my leadership coach invited me to attend.  Eventually the discussion turned to public speaking and audience engagement.  One of the business leaders asked me if I ever listened to stand-up comedians to improve my public speaking.

The answer is yes.  I listen to a lot of stand-up comedy and I don't necessarily listen for the funny content.  (Warning! There is a lot of terrible content in the stand-up world.  This is not an endorsement of that unhealthy content.)   You can learn a lot about public speaking from listening to how a stand up comedian delivers their content and from paying attention to how the audience is reacting.  

While obviously our content is life giving many preachers struggle in the delivery of their content, sometimes with little self-awareness.  Too often preachers feel like they are "good enough" communicators and stop trying to get better.  The good often think they are good enough.  The great are always looking for ways to get better.  Everyone can improve and there are some great communication lessons pastors can learn from comedians.

Here are 5 reasons why stand-up comedians are generally better communicators than pastors and some takeaways to help pastors grow as communicators. 

1.  Their future depends on it.  Stand-up comedians are absolutely dependent upon audience connection and engagement.  If they fail to connect with their audience, their financial and professional future as a stand-up comedian is in serious jeopardy. They have to connect.  They have to be good.  They have to engage their audience or they are out of a job and can't put food on their table.

Takeaway - Your financial and professional future may not be as dependent on your ability to engage your audience, but make no mistake:  If you want to have a future as a communicator in the church you will have to continue to grow and learn how to engage an ever changing audience in a ever changing culture.  People are still searching.  Don't let poor communication be a stumbling block for a searching audience.

2.  Their audience isn't very forgiving.  Stand-up comedians have to engage an audience that is at a show to be entertained.  This audience has paid for tickets, and those tickets come with an expectation to have an amazing evening of laughter.  Those expectations better not meet disappointment.   When laughter isn't the result of their investment the audience typically isn't very forgiving.  Heckling is a common experience for comedians.  The feedback they get from their audience is honest and even unfiltered by social etiquette.   Great comedians know how to leverage this feedback to get better.

Takeaway - Search for honest feedback.  This is a lot harder for pastors because the church audience is very forgiving and very gracious.  Let's face it you could deliver the best sermon of your life one week and follow it up with the worst sermon the next week and you will still have a line of people telling you the same thing after each of those sermons.  "Great sermon today preacher, really appreciate you bringing the word."  Search for people who will give you honest and constructive feedback.    Don't ask them for encouragement.  Ask them for help.

3.  They can immediately tell if they are bombing.  Instant and honest feedback comes from reading and engaging their audience during the delivery of their content.  A stand-up comedian can tell when he is connecting and when he is losing his audience.  They learn how to pivot to keep or build engagement.  

Takeaway - Pay attention to your audience during the delivery of your sermon.  To do this you have to break away from your notes.  Once you break away from your notes you can really engage and read your audience.  Are they locked in?  Are they drifting?  Have you lost them?  If so learn how to pivot or adjust to draw them back in.

4.  They spend a ton of time with other stand-up comedians working on their jokes and delivery.  Stand-up comedians hang out with other comedians.  They refine their craft over coffee after the club closes.  Often the jokes they are preparing are delivered first to their peers.  They don't just talk about the content of their set, they talk about the nuances of their delivery.  Most importantly comedians appreciate other comedians.  They root for each other and learn from each other and value the unique aspects of their peers approach to a craft they love.

Takeaway - Spend time with preachers who are really good communicators and talk about what works and what doesn't work.  Be engaged with other high level communicators and learn from each other.  Talk about content but also talk about delivery and the nuances to building engagement with a congregation during a message. Be humble enough to ask for help and care enough about others to offer help to others.

5.  They absolutely love making people laugh.  The audience is a comedian's focus and a laugh is their goal.  Content and delivery drives audience engagement but ask a stand-up comedian what their favorite part of being a stand-up comedian is and they won't tell you that it's their jokes.  What drives a comedian is laughter.  They are driven by their audiences's reaction to their content. 

Takeaway - Your content is so important, but sometime you can't filter it by what you like or want to say.  You have to stay absolutely focused on your audience and what God is wanting to show them.  Don't fall in love with your jokes, or your delivery.  Fall in love with watching God use you and your gifts to change lives. 

Navigating the stand-up world is not for the easily offended or the faint of heart.  But when you find a comedian with quality and healthy content, the lessons you can learn from their delivery are priceless and you can use those lessons to improve your communication when you preach.

How do you improve your preaching or speaking?  

Your voice matters.



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The Brain And How You Preach (Better)

As pastors we communicate a lot of information.  Teaching is something we do, and if we aren't teaching about Jesus we are probably teaching about biblical leadership.

We teach, but sometimes it can feel like no one is listening.  

We dream of making a big difference for the kingdom in our communities, but wonder if there is life change in our sanctuaries.  

We dream of seeing lives changed. 

We dream of seeing families transformed.

We dream of seeing people step out of the darkness and into the light. 

We dream, but we wonder if any of the information we are communicating is ever getting past the head and to the heart of our audience. 

I'm grateful that the Holy Spirit is the one who does the life change work in people's lives.  Knowing that takes the pressure off, but it doesn't release us from working hard at bettering ourselves as communicators and engaging our culture and audience through how we communicate.

A few weeks ago I sat with my good friend and coach, Wayne Herring, talking about church, life, leadership and the courses I am creating to help pastors and church leaders (the speaking course is available right now).  As we talked, Wayne shared an incredible diagram of the human brain he had created. The diagram is a a tool Wayne created to help CEOs, Business Owners and Entrepreneurs understand how to speak to clients in a way that helps them make a decision, not just process information.   Wayne Herring (herringcoach.com) is a coach for all kinds of highly successful business entrepreneurs, and somehow I snuck into that group!  Wayne also graciously allowed me to share his diagram with all of you (thanks Wayne)!


Download the full size image here.

On the Line Of Logic diagram the left side of the brain is designated as the Logic Side with the subtitle - How We Process Information.  When you talk about money, technical information, logistics and rational you are speaking to the logical side of the brain.  The logic side of the brain then starts processing the information provided.  This is great if you really want your subject to learn material and be able to understand how something works.  The problem is speaking to the left side of the brain doesn't help someone make a decision.  Speaking to the right side of the brain helps someone make a decision.  On Wayne's diagram the right side of the brain is called the Limbic Side with the subtitle - How We Make Decisions.  When you talk about goals, dreams, why, emotion and depth you are talking to the right side of the brain and you are helping your audience make a decision about the information provided.   Instead of defaulting to the left side of the brain when selling a product or recruiting an investor, business owners should help their clients make decisions by speaking to the right side of the brain.  

As Wayne and I talked about the diagram (honestly I have been processing it ever since) I felt it had strong implications to how we communicate in church. 

When we teach the technical parts of a passage we help our listeners process the rich and life giving information found in scripture.  

When we speak about the why of the passage, when we speak about the depth of the passage, when we speak about the emotion that goes into the passage, we engage the listener's right side of the brain, sinking right past it to the heart and we help our listener make a decision in response to the truth found in the passage.

It's good to process information about following Christ.  It's better to make a decision to follow Christ. 

It's good to process scripture.  It's better to make a decision in response to scripture.

Here are 5 simple and quick adjustments you can make while preaching to help your audience make a decision about the truth they hear in your message.

1.  Talk about the why.  Always.  Why this passage?  Why is this important?  Why does it matter?  Why now?  Why are you speaking about this?  Why did Jesus do that?  Why did Paul say that?  This is so simple to weave in and out of your sermon.  Keep your audience engaged.  Lead them to a decision.  Show them the "Why."

2.  Engage your audience emotionally.  Why are we so afraid of genuine emotion in the church. Fake or exaggerated emotion is just cheesy, don't be that guy or girl, but that doesn't mean you have to excommunicate emotion from your message.  Instead talk about what the characters in the story would have likely felt.  Talk about the emotion communicated in the passage.  Talk about the emotions your audience wrestles with and how this passage speaks to them.  Talk about your emotions in response to the passage.

3.  Lead with the goal of the passage and the goal of the talk.  What do you hope to communicate?  What is the one thing the author of the passage was communicating to the audience.  What do you want your audience to take away from the message?  What would you like to see them do in response to the message.   Set the goal and clearly communicate it.

4.  Speak to the dreams your audience has for their life.  If you don't know what your audience's dreams, desires, frustrations and fears are you better spend some time getting to know them. A lot of pastors think they understand their audience but can't . list their weekly desires, dreams, fears and frustrations.  This is a great exercise to do with your team:  List them out and then speak to them.

5.  Show the depth of meaning found in the passage you are teaching.  What does this mean for life?  For your audience? For our future?  Scripture is so deep.  Instead of rushing through your outline and covering a lot of ground, show the depth off.  Deep is good.  Go deep.

Hope this helps.

Your voice matters, 


6 Tips For Dealing With Your Public Speaking Nerves


When getting ready to deliver a talk even the best speakers deal with a flurry of excitement or anxiety. It is perfectly normal to experience these kinds of emotions. The key to dealing with them effectively and translating them into excitement that will fuel your talk is practicing some strategies that will set you up for success. Here are 6 mental tips that will help you maximize the delivery of your message.

1. Preparation. Preparation equals confidence. The more you have prepared the better you will feel and the better you will deliver.

2. Rehearsing. Don’t minimize rehearsing to standing on a stage and delivering your talk to an empty room. You can rehearse anywhere...shower, car, office, restroom, etc.

3. Dump The Presentation. I know some of you love your presentations, but if you are struggling with nerves or anxiousness, your presentations are killing you. Drop the clicker, set yourself free. Never, ever has anyone complained about my lack of PowerPoint slides.

4. Make It About Your Audience. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more you focus on the audience the less they will scare you. Take your focus off of yourself and place it onto them.

5. Visualize The Stage. Don’t make this weird. There is nothing hokey or new age about closing your eyes for a minute and picturing yourself walking up onto a stage without falling all over yourself. Visualizing simple is a way to rehearse with your mouth and eyes closed. Don’t do it while driving.

6. Practice The One Minute Out Routine. One minute out is when you will forget your talk or sermon. One minute out is also when you will forget your main point or where in the world the book of Joshua is found. Don’t panic it is just your anxiety flipping to excitement. Embrace the moment. Take a breath and practice the simple One Minute Out Routine. (The one minute out routine is a part of www.thespeakingcourse.com.  For more information on The One Minute Out Routine or The Speaking Course For Pastors, Speakers and Church Leaders email me at thejoshott@gmail.com of type one minute in the comments.

Your Voice Matters.



5 Social Media Tips That Will Actually Grow Your Church

Our church is growing rapidly because we figured out how to leverage social media to reach people.

As soon as people learn about how our church more than doubled in size in less than 12 months largely through the use of social media, they immediately want to talk about the content we create and use.  What they fail to understand is that content is just one piece of the puzzle. 

It is true that if your content is terrible, social media does more harm for your ministry than it does good. 

It is also true that even if you have high quality, professional content the results from your social media efforts will be extremely limited if you aren't thinking about some other really important aspects to leveraging social media to reach people

The five areas below are absolutely essential to think through with your team before you ever do anything with social media as a ministry or church.

5 Social Media Tips That Will Actually Grow Your Church

The Strategy - Content is great, but strategy is greater.  If you really want to reach your community through the tool of social media you have to think about and develop a strategy. Ask yourself (or your team) "What are we trying to say?" and "How are we trying to say it?".  Clear and simple answers to those questions will help you develop and fuel your online social media strategy.

The Filter - Once your strategy is developed you will need to filter everything you do on social media through that strategy.  No more pot luck dinner announcements.  No more clutter.  If it doesn't fit with what you are trying to say and who you are trying to say it to, don't post it.  Spend some time deleting old content that doesn't fit the strategy you developed.  Filter all future content through your strategy.

The Focus - Social media really works well when you have a razor sharp focus on your target audience.  Clearly define the audience you are trying to reach.  Who are they? What are their fears or frustrations?  What are their dreams or desires?  What obstacles are they facing?  Use your focus on and understanding of your audience to drive your content creation.  

The Content - There is no excuse to put poor content on the internet.  We started leveraging social media with zero budget allotted for marketing and using free tools.  When you put out poor content you turn people off to your message.  Images should be modern and attractive without a lot of clutter.  Videos should be clear and steady.  Find someone in your church who is into photography.  Ask them to take pictures for you.  Get free stock photos at places like pexels.com.  Use free editing software apps like Canva.  There are a ton of tools available for you to up your content game.  Get on google and start searching.  Problem solve to improve the quality of your content.

The Health - If your church is unhealthy, if it does not have a healthy culture, if it has leadership problems, if it isn't focused on loving and reaching the unchurched, please don't use social media to try to grow your church.  Be honest and courageous enough to take a good hard look at the health of your church.  Take a good hard look at your health as a leader.  Don't make excuses, just work on the health and culture of the church.   If you use social media effectively and people show up to an unwelcoming, unhealthy church you actually cause more harm than good.   Your church won't grow.  You will create another barrier between people and Jesus making it harder for all of us to win influence and have a voice with lost people.   Please get healthy before you ever think about using social media to reach people.  Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. 

Hope you found this helpful.

Praying for you.

Your voice matters. 




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7 Ways To Start Changing An Unchangeable Church

There are churches that feel unchangeable, but any church can experience change and become a healthy, growing, even multiplying church.

Before we get into how to change an unchangeable church we need to admit something together: If churches don't change, they die.  This is a reality we may try to avoid or ignore but it is very much true.  I know this because I was the lead pastor of a dying church.  Can I just paint a picture for you that too many pastors find all too familiar?  The church I was pastoring was stuck, out of date and resistant to change.  The people who attended this church had great hearts, loved God and loved people but somewhere along the way this community stopped changing, plateaued and shifted into decline.  People told me it would never change.  The average age of the church was 60 and it was located in one of the toughest rural counties (a place I love) in the country.  The church was dying but it didn't die.  Now, a few years later this church is still located in that county, the average age is 35, it is bursting with life, experiencing rapid growth and charting a course to multiply this next year.  The journey has been amazing, fun, frustrating at times and beautiful.  As I look back on the journey I am amazed at what God will do when we are willing to courageously follow him.  

A place that once seemed unchangeable is now a place that welcomes change and values flexibility.  To get there it took an intentional cultural shift that is reproducible in any context and I want to share how we made that shift with you.  

Most pastors feel limited in what they are able to accomplish in a stuck church.  It is easy to get lost in survival mode and be uncertain of how or where to start.  But, in any church, in any setting the place to start can be simple and clear.

Start with creating, defining, and communicating a healthy organizational culture.  

Lets set a goal.  The goal is to become a church that values flexibility.   Flexible churches adapt and adjust and do so with little or no tearing.  Flexible churches are amazing to pastor.  Flexible churches and free to grow and reach more people in an ever changing context.   Flexible churches make your job exciting.  To become a church that values flexibility first focus on creating a culture that accepts change.  Once you have a culture that accepts change you can start to cultivate a culture that invites change.  Once you have a culture that invites change it is easy to transition that into a culture that values flexibility.

Did I lose you?  I'll make it simple.  Move your organization along the stages below toward flexibility.  

Accepts Change - Invites Change - Values Flexibility

Where on this cultural journey is your church?

Listen, if we did it, you can too.  Start to develop a culture that accepts change with the list below, but warning, you will have to lead with courage.  If you can't lead with courage in the face of opposition you probably shouldn't be leading anyway.  If you are worn out maybe it is time to sit in support of someone with the energy to lead the charge.  (Here is how a pastor of 35 years managed that transition ushering in new growth to his church and revitalizing his ministry.)   

Still here?  Good. Let's start to create a culture of change.  If you want to turn a dying church into a healthy growing church this is the place to start.  

7 Ways To Start To Change An Unchangeable Church

1.  Make small changes often.  Ok, you probably can't make the big drastic change to your constitution even though your constitution was written in 13 BC, but you can make a bunch of small changes often.  Small changes are easier for your organization to digest.  Make a bunch of them.  Spread them out and implement them often.  Examples: Tweak the bulletin, change the lighting, adjust the seating, make changes on the website, make small changes on a Sunday morning, during worship, to the music, make small changes in how you communicate.

2.  Stop asking for permission. There are a lot of changes you can make without getting permission from a stuck board or a resistant congregation. Use wisdom and act in love but also be courageous enough to know that as the leader of the organization, you don't need permission for every decision you make.  If you are teaching and want to ditch the podium, ditch the podium.  Your announcement guy will figure it out.  Or better yet ditch announcements.  You don't need permission to buy a drum set and add it to the front of your sanctuary.  If you stop and think about it there are plenty of changes you can start to make without asking for permission.  

3.  Start with the things you can control.  You may not be able to control the power players in your church but you can control you.  Be intentional about what you communicate and how you communicate it.  In fact, be intentional about everything you do and have a strategy for communicating toward a healthy future.  Examples: Change how you preach, change up the sermon series more frequently, run meetings differently,  have more individual meetings with staff and make those meeting shorter, create a strategy and start to implement it before you even tell anyone about it.  

4.  Don't say or listen to statements that include "old way" thinking.  There are statements thrown around church that you should be ignoring and never, ever saying.  Such as: "This is how we've always done it."  "Trust me you don't want to change ________." "We never did it like that before."  "This isn't who we are."  "We don't really do things like that around here."  Have an example to add?

5.  Challenge team members to problem solve by thinking outside of the box. - Don't settle or look for easy answers or old answers or methods.  Get your team to come up with and think through multiple solutions to challenges you face.  Challenge "old way" thinking by asking good questions.  Such as: "What are new options or approaches we could take to address this challenge?"  "What can we do differently to get a different result?" "If we were to change how we did this, what would we change?"  "What is missing or confusing about what we are doing or planning to do?" 

6.  Stay Consistent -  Does that sound ironic in an article about change?  Consistently change things.  Don't allow yourself to settle in and get comfortable.  To change culture you have to be consistent for a long period of time.  Keep changing things.  Don't stop, instead learn how to pivot.

7.  Cast Vision Like a Fly Fisherman -  Have you ever watched a fly-fisherman cast?  It is art in motion.  The heavy fly line creates a loop back and forth casting the fly out just above the water time and time again before finally finishing the cast, landing the fly at the most opportune time and place to move a fish.  Cast vision like a fly fisherman.  Keep throwing the vision out there, over and over again.  Constantly search for opportune times to plant a vision in the best places to move your organization and your people forward toward health.


What are your thoughts and experiences?

Be courageous.  God's got this, you just have to follow.

Your voice matters, 




10 Things To Remember When You Feel Like You Bombed A Sermon

At some point, if you speak/preach enough you will step off of a stage and feel like you just bombed a sermon.  Everyone has been there and here are ten things to remember so you don't stay there.

10 Things To Remember When You Feel Like You Bombed A Sermon.

  1. God does the heavy lifting, not you. (Philippians 1:6)
  2. His word never goes out and returns empty.  (Isaiah 55:11)
  3. You aren't a good judge of how you speak (good or bad.)
  4. No one remembers the stuff you are afraid they will remember.
  5. You are harder on yourself than anyone else will ever be.
  6. On your worst day you are better than you think you are.
  7. The Holy Spirit isn't hampered by a poor delivery.
  8. Live in the ocean of God's grace, not in the puddle of your own good or not so good work.
  9. Humility is important, embrace the opportunity to live in it.
  10. It is a beautiful thing to watch God use our mess to change lives.  You might not see it, but this is what He does.

Here is one actionable tip to practice when you feel like it didn't go as well as you had hoped:  Just let it go. It's done. God is going to use it.  Learn from it and move forward.

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Your voice matters,