JENNI CATRON: Creating a Thriving Team Culture That Attracts and Retains Great People
- You have extraordinary influence and the power to change & affect the lives of others.
- To do that, we have to create engaging environments to attract people.
- If leaders are thriving, our teams and our organizations will thrive, too.
- Leadership is sacred work, and we need to understand the influence we have over others.
- How we steward our influence determines its trajectory — we need to use it for good.
- Leadership isn’t about you, or for you — it’s all about others.
- The momentum from intentional culture and leadership allows you to accomplish more.
- Everyone wants to be a part of something that’s meaningful. They just need a leader to show them the way.
- Culture either draws you in, or repels you away — what kind of culture are you creating?
- “Culture is a set of living relationships working towards a shared goal.” — Daniel Coyle
- Culture is all about people.
- When we create great cultures, we’re partnering with God to help people find their place.
- Culture exists whether you create it or not. And everyone contributes to that culture.
- Culture is either growing or eroding every day — it cannot be ignored.
- Culture is what you do, not what you say.
- Values * Behavior = Culture — you’ve got to define it and then do it.
Steps to creating a good culture
- Take inventory of your values — you’ve got values whether you define them or not; then make a list of your organization’s aspirational values
- Codify your values — put memorable language around your values
Eg. if you move really fast, let people know where you’re going
- Define your behaviors — how do you act to show what you value?
- Do these steps for the organization, and then on your specific team.
- These steps create guardrails that keep us all moving forward together.
KENNY JAHNG: Top Marketing Trends Your Church Needs to Pay Attention To Now
Big Picture Strategy
- Develop an end-to-end pathway that leads a church visitor towards engagement
- Once you’ve targeted and attracted the right audience, help them connect the dots
- Most church communicators don’t have the time to think big picture strategy
- Too many churches are stuck on the old operating system; upgrade to addressing felt needs
- The job of communicators is to remove friction from visitors getting engaged
- Don’t just instruct people; equip the audience on how to take action
Connect the Dots
- Visitor-centric participation. Appropriate promotion. Connect personally.
- If we only focus on participation and promotion, we lead to one-hit wonders — to get visitors to actually come back, we have to add multiple personal touch points
- If we just have promotion and personal, it comes off as creepy — participation makes the interactions feel more natural
- If you just have participation and personal touch, it feels deflating
- Paparazzi previews — show people what it’s like to attend worship at your church
- 17 million people who are not regular church attenders visit church websites every year
- Conversation collateral — turn your attendees into a referral engine; equip them
- Invest then invite — build a culture of relationships to make it easy to invite people
- Stranger friendly — it’s hard to walk into a room full of strangers
- Environment & program — do we structure events to be welcoming and not creepy?
- Buy mystery shoppers from Task Rabbit to get an outsider’s perspective
- Guests decide if they will come back to your church in the first 6–8 minutes.
- The Power of Moments by Chip & Dan Heath
- Elevate: break the script; do something different
- Insight: cast vision; recast vision over and over again until you’re sick of it
- Pride: thanks for you; be proud of the community you’re a part of
- Connection: creating a shared experience; people can build relationships online
- Tag team — name tags are awkward because they don’t understand why we use them
- Follow up Excuses — create some reason to stay in touch with them; take selfies
- Reconnect. Retarget. Reinvite. — Eg. Guest gift bags
MICHAEL LUKASZEWSKI: Boring is Better: Why Your Church Needs Your Skills in the Most Ordinary Way
Focus on the ordinary
- We get so infatuated with the cool stuff, but we forget about the simple stuff.
- Everyday is more important than the big day.
- So much of our time and energy and money focused on some that happens once.
- We follow the special events, and the ordinary stuff gets left behind.
- If you improve anything by 5%, nine months later it will be twice as effective.
- “Your next big thing might be the little thing staring you in the face right now.” Darren Rowse
- The most popular ice cream flavor in the world is vanilla.
You don’t have to be fair
- What are the keystone ministries that we should contribute most to?
- What ministries in your church drive growth?
- What deserves an unfair advantage? Invest in what is already working well.
- Do more of what is working and less of what is not working.
- The things that matter the most deserve the most attention, time, money & volunteers.
- All churches have ministries that should just go away. There’s a reason why bulletin has the word bullet in it (because we should you it).
What you should do with ‘that’ thing
- Option 1: Leverage. Focus on the thing to make the most of it.
- Option 2: Let it go. If it doesn’t fit, you should get rid of it.
- Option 3: Leave it alone. Some things are not worth fighting over.
Make things more effective
- As communicators, it’s up to us to lead the church with a strategy.
- Don’t make things better — make it more effective. Better is an opinion. Effective is a fact.
- Tell stories of busy volunteers; it’s a boring story, but it’s a relatable one.
- Focus on fixing one thing that can make the biggest impact.
- SportsCenter only shows the highlights. They don’t show the basic plays.
- You don’t need to get better at the fun stuff. Get better at the boring stuff.
BRADY SHEARER: How To Navigate The Biggest Communication Shift In 500 Years
- Case study of six churches for three weeks & screen shotted all social posts
- #1: 1-in-5 Rule: promotional content should make up less than 1-in-5 posts; social media is the TV and promotional posts are the commercials.
- #2: Ditch the polish: every post don’t have to be perfect — people like more authentic content; Snapchat conditioned us to lower video quality.
- Social media tears down the polished “pastor persona” — it’s every day, not just Sunday.
- #3: The Promo Hybrid: a promotional post can still add value.
- The Algorithm Gods are constantly judging the value of your social posts.
- #4: Let Others Promote You: social proof is a powerful mental trigger and motivator.
- #5 Provoke Spiritual Practice: what would your church post online if you didn’t have Sunday worship services?
- Don’t depend on Sunday worship to fulfill its mission — it can be done online.
- Social media should be a platform that helps people realize our church mission statement.
- 60% of Millennials who used to attend church, have dropped out.
- #6: Visual Branding Doesn’t Matter: attention is what matters, not your brand
- Attention is the most valuable commodity your church can possess on person or online.
- High visual variance, no consistency and random screenshots gets most engagement.
- Post something that makes people stop scrolling through their feed.
- #7: The Troll Shield: Pair a sermon quote or excerpt with a passage of scripture
- #8: No Fancy Gear: you don’t need expensive cameras to capture sermon video
- Your mobile phone can shoot HD video, so there are no excuses.
- Content value matters more than production value.
- It doesn’t matter how great your content is if they don’t hear it.
- #9: Stop the Scroll: how can you grab people’s attention?
- Repeat = defeat; if you do predictable things, people will start to ignore you.
- Choose three of these takeaways and put them into practice.
TAQUINDA MARIE: Displaying Your Church’s Culture Online & Offline
Identifying your culture
- Runs the social media account for Eastern Michigan University, and church volunteer.
- Culture is a set of shared attributed, values, goals, and practices.
- The culture supports an organization’s vision.
- The best way to describe culture is: this is how we do things here.
- Identify your church’s culture — what makes up your church’s DNA?
Bridging the gap
- As church communicators, it’s our job to understand and display the culture.
- You’ve got to be intentional with how you display your church’s culture online.
- Bridge the gap between your church and culture — what affects one affects the other.
- Opportunities for dialogue with your community are vital.
- The church and community aren’t two different things — God wants them to be the same.
- People are looking for an answer — the church has the chance to give one to it.
Know the people around you
- Bring the church to your people instead of trying to bring them to the church.
- “Don’t be afraid to be the woke church.” Know what’s going on around you.
- We can’t assume that anyone knows (or cares) how our church operates.
- Culture changes. Jesus doesn’t.
- We may be the only part of Jesus someone sees in their daily life.
How to do it
- Know your audience: realize who you’re catering to; build an audience persona.
- Tell stories that count: church should be an experience, not just church.
- Think like an outsider: we can’t assume that they know what we know.
- All about the big C church — want to be a part of the bigger body of God.
- Xennials: generation mix of Generation X and Millennials.
- Posted profiles of church members on social media to bring personality.
STEPHEN POSEY: Help Your Pastor Preach Better Sermons with Resources You Already Have
A content pastor is a real thing
- Church on the Move transitioned from the founding pastor to his son.
- Senior pastor should not preach a message on his own, in a vacuum.
- His title is the Content Pastor — helps crafts the message for the preacher.
Why do better sermons matter?
- Communication is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome for a pastor.
- With every sermon, there is a sender; there also needs to be a receiver.
- It doesn’t matter how good a sermon is if it doesn’t connect with people.
- There are forces that are trying to keep people disconnected from Jesus’ message, and a preacher has to work against those forces to reach people.
- Why sermons? A lecture seems like the worst way to communicate a message.
We’re digitally distracted
- Our world is disenchanted. We are more distracted than ever before.
- 2007 was the inauguration of the digital age; technology has moved us away from wonder.
- You have to be older to remember a time with boredom.
- We more connected, and also lonelier than ever before.
- “I want my inner life to be bigger than my outer life.” Eugene Peterson, via C.S. Lewis
- The gospel has the power to re-enchant the world.
- Fiction takes the shortest paths to our deepest longings. No man can do what Jesus can.
What can you do about it?
- The sending of the good news must be aligned with the recievers.
- Gather evocative resources. Acknowledge our emotions and move us towards truth.
- What things awaken you from distractions? What things move you emotionally?
- Give a robust perspective. The best preacher still only has one perspective.
What’s my personal approach?
- Plan series and seasons in phases. Assess what’s happening & what’s coming.
- Present sermons that are tone-checked, fact-checked, and heart-checked.
- Recruit trusted volunteers. People love to contribute by reacting to content.
- Make yourself available. Show people you’re on their team.
- Pray for your pastor. Every pastor needs more prayer.