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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