Archives For November 2014

Some of the most popular blog posts in the last 3 years have been these series on things we should stop saying. If you missed the previous ones here are the links.

http://leadsu.org/?s=five+things+

http://leadsu.org/2013/10/21/five-more-things-i-wish-people-would-stop-saying-from-the-pulpit/

http://leadsu.org/2013/12/15/five-even-more-things-i-wish-we-would-stop-saying-from-the-pulpit/

http://leadsu.org/2014/02/16/five-more-things-we-should-stop-saying-from-the-pulpit-part-iv/

Here five more (and a bonus):

  1. “Let’s tell the people we are starting at 7:00pm, so we can start at 7:30pm.”

This is Spanish church problem. I’m pretty sure other cultures respect people’s time and start on time. Here is my concern. We use this foolproof strategy thinking we can fool people into getting to church at the time we want them to. Only one problem. People are not dumb. If you do this every week, don’t you think people will pick up on it and arrive even later? How about this: Say 7pm. Start at 7pm.

  1. “Do you eat the image or the beast?”

This is a joke about whether you are vegetarian or not. It was funny like 30 years ago. Now the only people that laugh are the ones telling it and the ones that always laugh no matter the level of corniness of any joke. This usually happens at potlucks and Sabbath dinners. Next time that happens I’m going to respond with: “Neither one, but where should I put the pork ribs I brought today” with a straight face. What? Not funny? Neither is the “image of the beast” joke.

  1. “Let’s wait until people get here.”

One question: Why? Also, see #1.

  1. “How many of you had a hard week this week? I know I did.”

Really? You seem fine to me. How many bad weeks can you have dude? It seems like every week in church I hear this or a variation of it from someone. I just wonder what visitors are thinking. Here is good advice:

Get up.

Smile.

Sing.

Sit.

Please no long speeches that are unrelated to anything else. No venting or priming the pump. Its interesting to note that I seldom see people saying the opposite. Once in a while I would like someone to get up and say: “how many of you had an awesome week like I did? I sold my car, got a new boyfriend that doesn’t look like he just woke up, got a $1,000 check in the mail and passed my classes and to top it off I have a deeper understanding of the assurance of salvation”. Now that’s something to get excited about!

  1. “Are you a vegetarian? Do you eat fish, then?”

Here is a simple formula for you meat eaters: Unless the fish is made out of broccoli, no I don’t eat fish. In case you need further assistance, here is some basic information you may find useful:

Vegetarian-we eat nothing that’s an animal. Dead or alive.

Vegan- we are the ones with the 20 questions.

Raw- if you see one, take a picture. They have super human strength.

Bonus:

  1. “You know, I don’t eat __________________________.”

Some people feel the need to tell you what they don’t eat. No one asks them, but they feel compelled to share. A good way to respond would be: “So, do you eat fish then?”

 

Hopefully this made you smile. Have a great week and remember to stay active, healthy and holy.

 

 

The hardest, trickiest and most important word you will say today is…

No!

It’s a simple word. But oh how hard to say! Leaders want to help people. We acquire a deep sense of satisfaction in seeing others grow, heal and prosper. Hence, it’s really hard to say no when the need is real and the help (us) is available.

After 22 years in ministry I have noticed some patterns in myself and others. What I share today is the product of personal observation and experience. While it may not be the same for everyone, it is common enough to warrant a blog. Here are three things to consider:

  1. Margin-less leadership produces heart shrinkage.

Leadership has no finish line and if you are not careful and build intentional buffers in your calendar you will start resenting the same people you are supposed to be helping.

This is what I have learned to do:

  1. I schedule times for relaxation, reflection and family. An empty calendar is an invitation for someone else to fill it. It’s easier to say no when you know why.
  2. I remind myself that true friends are able to respect my no’s.
  3. I specifically schedule downtimes right after major events. Muscles need recovery time after strenuous exercise, as do your emotional muscles.

 

  1. Ask yourself why:

Always check your motivation. Feeling needed is sometimes more about ego food than it is about helping people. You should say no if you sense these elements as primary motivation:

Pressure- it’s hard to say no to people won’t take no for an answer, but the more you do it the better at it you become.

Guilt- if you do it because you feel guilty, you will experience “heart shrinkage”. Not all guilt is from God.

Convenience- especially say a big NO if it sacrifices one of the big three (family, faith, fitness) but will help you politically or strategically.

Avoidance- by saying no you will have criticism and confrontation, so you say yes to avoid that. Bad idea.

 

  1. Say no to things others can do.

The temptation of a leader is to take over and do what must be done because it’s easier, faster and it gets done right the first time. Don’t fall into that trap. Followers will allow you to do what you chose to do. The words “here, let me do that for you” are seldom spoken. You will have at least a 5 to 1 ratio of people giving you ideas vs helping you with tasks. The older you get, the more you should be doing what you are really good at and less of what others are good at.

Hopefully you will learn as I did, that NO is not a bad word. It can actually be freeing. Just say no.

I was invited to speak at a church. The day before my appointment I was looking online for information on the congregation, more specifically a way to contact the pastor. I was unable to. That and many similar experiences with our church online presence led me to wonder what seekers think when they see our websites.

In case you haven’t heard, the technological age is here. If your church has a non-existent presence on the internet you might be missing opportunities to connect with new or potential members. Furthermore if your church website is outdated, difficult to navigate and lacks important information (more on that in a bit) you might be saying to a whole demographic: “Please don’t come here, we’re good”.

Here are three recommendations:

  1. Make the main thing the main thing.

If I am Joe Unchurched, Mary Seeker or Peter Lookingforachurch the main questions I need answered in your website’s FIRST page are the following:

Where are you?

What are your service times?

How can I contact you?

Having me navigate through several options to try and find information that could be on the first page is madness and a turnoff. Nice pictures, a welcome, or the history of the SDA church are nice but not at the expense of the main thing. Every extra click, it’s a reason to click away.

Here is a church that does that right: http://collegedrivechurch.com

 

  1. Make your 2014 church website look different than a 1994 one.

1994 called. They want their templates back. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!) In the website world, like in real estate, the key is template, template, template. I did an internet search for churches in Lawrenceville, GA where I live. If someone just moved into the area, there is a high probability they would look online for a church. I found information that was not very helpful or non-existent. The websites looked dated and provided little helpful information about the church itself. We can do better, and it’s not that complicated!

Another point where I see churches dropping the ball is having church newsletters on your website that are from 2012 or earlier. That’s just wrong. If it’s dated, you’re dated. No Bueno.

 

  1. Make your church website simple.

The more tabs you have, the more information you will need and the more time consuming it will become. Since most people can’t afford a full time webmaster, the cleaner and simpler the website the better and the less outdated content you will risk having. Look how clean and simple (yet well done) this website is: http://saddleback.com/. That’s a 25,000-member church. Now compare with any of our churches websites. Not the same, I know. But you get my point.

 

On upcoming weeks I will talk about branding, logos and mission statements. Meanwhile, here are some for you to look at: http://churchrelevance.com/resources/top-church-logos/

  1. Giveaway I am offering a 1-hour church media consultation for FREE for two winners. If you read this blog, or have a church in the Southern Union, you are eligible. Just put your name in the comment section, email me at rhernandez@southernunion.com or DM me on twitter @leadsu and I will draw one name before next week’s blog. This giveaway is courtesy of http://skamediaproductions.com, an extremely effective Adventist media team that can take care of all your needs. They get it. So should all of us.

This what the giveaway includes:

$185 Value – one M|3 Mini Session (Mentoring|Media|Ministry)

Length – 1-Hour (via phone, Skype, Hangout)

 

Includes:

  • pre-session assessment of your church’s existing online presence
  • unvarnished feedback on strengths & growth areas
  • coaching conversation to help you articulate your media goals
  • starter action plan to guide you toward a more effective online presence

If you aren’t a winner and still want to take advantage of skaMEDIA’s services, they are also offering a session discount to my readers within the Southern Union. Contact info@skaMEDIAproductions.com with the code LEADSU+M|3 to be eligible for the discount.

 

Me invitaron a predicar en una iglesia. El día antes de mi cita estaba buscando en el internet  información sobre la congregación, más específicamente una forma de ponerme en contacto con el pastor. No pude. Esa y muchas experiencias similares con nuestra presencia en línea me llevaron a preguntarme qué piensan los no-adventistas cuando ven nuestras páginas web.

En caso de que usted no lo sepa, la era tecnológica ya llego. Si su iglesia tiene una presencia inexistente en el Internet podría estar perdiendo oportunidades para conectar con miembros nuevos o potenciales. Por otra parte, si su sitio web ha quedado obsoleto, difícil de navegar y tiene falta de información importante (más sobre esto en un momento) le está prácticamente diciendo a todo un grupo demográfico: “Por favor, no vengas aquí, estamos bien”.
Aquí hay tres recomendaciones:

1. Asegúrese de que lo principal sea lo principal. Si yo soy Joe sin iglesia, María Perdida o Pedro Buscandounaiglesia las principales preguntas que tengo deben ser contestadas en la primera página de su sitio web. Estas son:

¿Dónde estás localizado?

¿Cuáles son sus horas de culto?

¿Cómo puedo ponerme en contacto con usted?

Tener que navegar a través de varias opciones para tratar de encontrar la información que podría estar en la primera página es una locura. Bonitas fotos, una bienvenida, o la historia de la iglesia adventista del séptimo día están bien, pero no a expensas de lo principal. Cada clic adicional, es una razón para hacer clic en otra página y perder un miembro en potencia.

2. Haga su sitio web de 2014 no del 1994. En el mundo web la clave es diseño, diseño, diseño. Hice una búsqueda en internet buscando iglesias en Lawrenceville, GA donde vivo. Si alguien se acaba de mudar a la zona, existe una alta probabilidad de que buscaría en el internet una iglesia. Encontré información que no era muy útil o inexistente. Los sitios web parecían anticuados y proporcionaron poca información útil acerca de la iglesia. Podemos hacerlo mejor, y no es tan complicado. Otro punto en el que veo iglesias dejar caer el balón es cuando tienen boletines de la iglesia en su página web que son del 2012 o antes. Eso está mal. Si está anticuado, estarás olvidado.

3. Haga su página sencilla. Cuantas más opciones e información hay más difícil va a ser mantenerla al día. Como la mayoría de la gente no tiene dinero para pagar a un webmaster a tiempo completo, mientras más limpio y sencillo el sitio web, mejor es.

Estoy ofreciendo una consulta para iglesias que quieran mejorar su presencia en el internet. Una hora gratis para dos ganadores. Si usted lee este blog, y tiene una iglesia en la unión del sur es elegible. Sólo tienes que poner tu nombre en la sección de comentarios, mandarme un correo electrónico y sacaré un nombre antes del blog de la semana que viene.

Este servicio es cortesía de http://skamediaproductions.com que es un servicio Adventista extremadamente eficaz que puede hacerse cargo de todas sus necesidades.

Esto es lo queincluye: Valor $185- 3M| Sesión(Media|Ministerio|Mentoring)

Longitud -1hora (a través del teléfono, Skype, Hangout)

Incluye:

•evaluación previa a la sesión de la actual presencia en línea de su iglesia

•retroalimentación sin adornos en los puntos fuertes y áreas de crecimiento

•conversación de coaching para ayudar a articular sus objetivos de medios de comunicación

• Plan de acción de arranque para guiarle hacia una presencia en línea más eficaz