Category Archives: Random Fun

5 Steps to Surviving Summer Staff Meetings

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Download the Church Staff Summer Bingo PDF

Ahhhhhh Summer… when the days grow progressively longer and church staff meetings grow regressively shorter.

Some weeks – Thanks VBS! – they do not even happen at all.

In the end, most of us agree with every idea, good or bad, just so we can leave for a “long lunch” by the pool with our family. Like an Old Testament Prophet I implore you with these words: do NOT waste another summer church staff meeting!

Instead, wake up your humidity-drenched life…
Liven up your depressingly-empty office…
Spice up your dutifully-curated social media feed… 

…and play Church Staff Summer BINGO!! 

Here are 5 steps to surviving summer staff meetings:

1. Download the Church Staff Summer Bingo PDF, making sure every staff member has a copy.

2. Decide on a really valuable prize, go ahead and pull it from the VBS budget somewhere.

3. Winner is first to phone-pic 5 of these moments across one row, column or diagonal on the card.

4. Start every staff meeting (that you manage to actually have this summer) with updates.

5. For even more fun, share your moments with all of us on instagram using #staffbingo

Posts also tagged #auxano will be eligible for random vision swag all summer long!

Go ahead, and do more than survive another Summer church staff meeting.

SummerBingoImage

Download the PDF Now!

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Filed under church growth, Church Life, pastoral leadership, Random Fun

7 of the Worst Themes Ever for a Capital Campaign

Everyone knows that fundraising success in a church capital campaign is not dependent on the theme.

A vision campaign can succeed apart from its name or visual communication. However, a bad theme will severely limit the effectiveness of visionary communication during a campaign. Any time spent reiterating or otherwise explaining a theme -beyond the initial introduction- distracts from conversations elevating discipleship and expends energy apart from accomplishing the mission.

Church vision campaign themes function best when they inspire hearts and mark a season of God-revealed possibility. The Resourcing Team at Auxano uses these three axioms to weigh the impact and effectiveness of capital campaign themes:

  1. Don’t be cute, be clear. Direct marketing should never overshadow disciple making, and campaign themes or taglines that “try too hard” end up making clarity of what you are trying to accomplish harder to understand.
  1. Speak to Impact, not Project. Project goals should never be the communicated “ends” of a Biblical season of campaigning. Whatever you are trying to raise funds for – be it a new building, debt retirement, or outreach initiative – is not the vision, but a God-directed tool used to accomplish the vision. Communicating success in terms of dollars raised breeds a culture in which the vision must be another new facility, program, or personality rather than Great-Commission engagement.
  1. Invite to Live Big, not just Give Big. We are close to the heart of Jesus when our motivation for calling people to Biblical stewardship and lives of generosity grows from a heart of what we want for them, not from them. The Biblical and eternal success of a vision campaign emerges months later through increased participation in groups, greater numbers of volunteers engaged, and congregants walking deeper in relationship with Christ… not meeting the stated financial goal.

Here are seven *completely satirical* examples of Biblical, yet wholly inappropriate, capital campaign themes for seasons of church fundraising:

This is the right idea, maybe just the wrong words…

01_PonyUp

 

Some Old Testament narrative may have unintended implications and needs be avoided…

02_WorthySacrifice

 

To really lose credibility with the millennial crowd…

03_NoRegrets

 

This one is perfect for a fast food, consumer-driven church culture…

04_UnlimitedRefills

 

There is the carrot approach to motivating people, but this takes the stick approach a bit too far…

05_UnWithered

 

Because nothings says “Jesus Loves You” like an “us vs. them” approach…

06_SafeDry

 

And sometimes, you just have to straight up threaten generosity out of folks.

07_OrElse

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Filed under church growth, Church Life, church marketing, pastoral leadership, Random Fun

The Official 2016 Church Vision Generator

It’s that time of year again.

Time to resolve and time to budget. Time to exercise and to excise. Time to engage, and especially, a time to envision.

It is this time every year, that leaders across the Church landscape will dream, plan and inspire toward God’s preferred future. A few will dig in and collaborate with their teams to develop a viral language of vision. Others will read a book that explains and guides them to craft vision, like Will Mancini’s upcoming release God Dreams.*

But unfortunately, many well-intentioned church leaders will simply imitate successful statements from other congregations. Or even worse, they will piece random visionish-type words together that sound catalytic… yet remain catatonic.

For those in the later category looking for a bit of help, once again this year, with tongue firmly-in-cheek…

Here is your Official 2016 Church Vision Generator:

Vision Generator 16

Click to Enlarge

*God Dreams, is the anticipated follow-up to Will’s first book on crafting vibrant vision: Church Unique. God Dreams releases January 1, from Amazon and other retailers. Download a preview PDF of Chapter 1 here

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Filed under Campus Pastor, church growth, Church Life, church marketing, Multi Site Church, MultiSite Church, pastoral leadership, Random Fun, Uncategorized

10 Reasons It’s Better To Be Unclear As A Pastor

Let’s face it, there are much easier things to do than be a leader in the local church.

Especially easier than being a pastor leading toward a clear vision.

Pastors who are committed to pursuing God’s unique Great Commission call for their church face more than their share of obstacles. Last week, I had some time with three ministers from different parts of the country and varying denominational backgrounds who have all spent the last year in the complex work of leading with the simple clarity of a Vision Frame. These leaders related stories of transitioning staff members in conflict with the vision, and having hard conversations with high-capacity donors, and even watching core families leave the church over personal preferences that fell outside of the church’s defined strategy for making disciples.

However, even during difficult days, each pastor could see the value of clarity despite the high cost of leadership.

There are much easier things to do in the local church than to lead toward a clear vision. Come to think about it, it’s really much easier to not lead with clarity at all.

Here are 10 reasons it’s better to be unclear as a pastor:

1. Hard decisions never have to be made, because every idea is a good idea.
2. Staff meetings are more fun when you can laugh and talk about stuff, without the burden of execution.
3. You can always tell an anecdotal feel good story to refute any criticism, because who can argue with a salvation from 2003?
4. Doing everything and complaining about being busy, obviously makes you important and irreplaceable.
5. Besides, it takes too much work to grow and develop leaders, it’s much more simple to just do it yourself.
6. It keeps you from “getting too far ahead” of God… as if that’s even possible.
7. It keeps you dependent on the Holy Spirit, who evidently avoids spreadsheets and thoughtful planning.
8. It keeps you giving all the glory to Jesus when things go well, and confused on who to blame when they don’t.
9. Because the church is no place for business principles like direction, motivation and success measurements.
10. Finally, because there is always another church you can pastor, and you have at least 3 years of good message material.

If any of these reasons make you laugh just a bit uncomfortably, maybe it’s time for a leadership gut check. Are you willing to do what it takes, even when it’s not easy, to lead toward God’s vision for your church?

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Top 7 Launch Clarity Posts of 2014

calimageAs 2014 comes to a close, I wanted to take an introspective look at the top posts from the Launch Clarity blog this year, and share a bit of unfiltered insight on why I wrote each one. As another year dawns, I am thankful that the Lord has allowed me to pursue my passion for serving His Bride, leverage the CreativEthos that He has implanted in my DNA, and inspire leaders across the spectrum of church-life toward break-thru clarity.

Have a Happy New year… I am looking forward to connecting with you in 2015.

– Bryan

 

1. Official 2014 Church Vision Statement Generator

http://wp.me/pvOIO-bj

Why I wrote this: Was skimming Facebook and seeing all of the “name” generator posts, while at the same time thinking about all of the Pastors preparing for their New Year’s “first sermons” by looking around at what others said last year. Most church Vision Statements have about as much impact on church life, or as much relevance, as one generated this randomly. As a side note… much of this was written in the shower, yelling ideas over the curtain at my wife, who is infinitely more funny than I am.

2. Which Celebrity Pastor Are You? 

http://wp.me/pvOIO-bW

Why I wrote this: The “safe” response is that I was snowed-in, bored, and on Facebook again. The real response is that I was trying to capture the magic of the Church Vision Statement Generator again… which was a very high bar to set on Day 1 of 2014. Needless to say, I think I was just trying too hard.

3. Values of V-Necks? 3 Ways to Hire for a Cultural Fit

http://wp.me/pvOIO-bT

Why I wrote this: Every week I see church leaders that know a good hire when they see one, but often cannot systematize or share what a good hire looks like… making them hard to actually see. This post was simply a way to apply one side of Auxano’s Vision Frame, in a very practical way, to an ongoing need in every local church. Also, I like picking on worship ministers… try and lead one, and you will see why.

4. Why Most Church Vision is About as Good as Church Coffee

http://wp.me/pvOIO-cd

Why I wrote this: Two of my passions colliding… that is the best way to explain this post. I love coffee and seeing church leaders “get it” when it comes to vision. The opportunity to communicate that coffee and vision both take time and effort, if they are to be worth anything, was too good to pass up.

5. Four Guest Experience Practices for March Madness

http://wp.me/pvOIO-cl

Why I wrote this: Even a church in steep decline has Guests visit…  yet most churches, even healthy ones, are rarely aware of what their Guests actually experience on any given Sunday. But everyone is Guest-ready at Easter, or should be.

6. We Can Do Better: 5 Church Signs to Makeover

http://wp.me/pvOIO-cF

Why I wrote this: Honestly, because Auxano’s founder, Will Mancini, wrote a similar post that struck me as an opportunity to have some fun with church signs. Will’s post was helpful, I was just shooting for humorous.

7. How to Fail at Direct Mail: Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Postcards

http://wp.me/pvOIO-du

Why I wrote this: Frankly, I am a little ashamed of my tone in this post, I don’t like coming off as an angry elf or church-troll. Yet, the absurdity of this direct mail piece, from a large church that should have the resources to do better, inspired my ire. Probably because I imagined my unchurched neighbors around the cul-de-sac just scratching their heads and writing off another opportunity to connect with the Gospel. Like I said, only a little ashamed at the tone.

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Filed under Campus Pastor, church growth, Church Life, church marketing, Church Planting, Guest Perspective, MultiSite Church, pastoral leadership, Random Fun

I Once Was Lost…

TravelMugs

The modern church experience may be defined by what is left behind, more than what is found.

I can remember fishing my Bible out of the church lost and found at least once a quarter. Now that it is on my phone, the chances of leaving it behind are slim to none. However, I can totally identify with this picture… travel mugs are the new lost Bibles in the church.

So, next time you wonder where your favorite “Go Cup” went, you might check at church.

Especially if their coffee is no good.

What random objects have turned up in your church lost and found?

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We Can Do Better – 5 Church Signs to Makeover

NoSignSeth Godin recently posted a brilliant blog (shocker!) entitled “They’re your words, choose them”

In it, he simply and directly reminds us:

There’s no legal requirement that signs have to make you sound like a harsh jerk in order to carry weight or to inform the public.

Here is the full post from Seth. And here is a post from Auxano founder Will Mancini.

Following their lead, lets makeover some typical church signs – turning a potential negative message into an opportunity to cast vision and communicate your church’s personality. Of course, if negative signs do reflect your church’s true personality… there may be bigger problems to deal with.

1) No Food or Drinks in the Worship Center… could become

  • Accidents happen, thanks for keeping your food and drinks in the lobby.
  • Coffee is better in the cup than on the carpet. Please drink yours out here to avoid spilling it in there.
  • Food Allowed in Worship Center: Loaves & Fishes, Wine & Crackers – All Else Should Remain Out Here

2) Do Not Enter After Service Starts… could become

  • This door = BIG ‘OLE ENTRANCE…  Other door = UNDER THE RADAR…  Your Call
  • A Bunch of People Are About to Turn and Look at You. Or You Can View in Our Cafe
  • After Service Starts, Entry Reserved for the Holy Spirit Only

3) No Skateboarding… could become

  • The Baptist church down the street has killer rails… Just Saying.
  • You may be RAD, but our insurance STINKS… Please Skate Somewhere Else
  • All Skaters Will Be Hugged, Repeatedly

4) No Parking… could become

  • Please park here to volunteer in Preschool every Sunday at 8am
  • It’s Not You… It’s Me. No Wait… It’s the Fire Marshall. Please Park Elsewhere
  • We won’t tow your car if you park here, but we will shoe polish your tithe on the windshield.

5) Visitor Parking Only… could become

  • Our Guests Get The Best Parking Spot… Right?
  • The Last shall be First and the Closest shall be First Time Guests, Please.
  • ESPECIALLY if it’s raining, Guests get these Spots

Share your own version for one of the above… or add a new sign in the comments below.

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