Where Religious Media Should Be…

“I simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan that they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and in Greek; …at the kind of place where cynics talk smut and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where he died. And that is what he died about. And that is where churchmen ought to be, and what churchmen should be about.”  — George MacLeod

Digital Media is About Influence, Not Income


Media influence has shifted, and we need to respond to the shift.  We’re already seeing it in the giving patterns of traditional religious organizations, non-profits, and media ministries.  While most would respond that they don’t have hard data to back up this assertion, I can tell you from personal experience there’s real sweating going on in

Take Out Your Bluetooth Earpiece!

Pet Peeve Alert: Everyone has a Bluetooth earpiece now.  I have a Jawbone and love it.  It’s a great convenience – especially when I’m running through airports.  I’ve always been a headset lover, because I like to walk around during phone conversations.  But recently I’ve encountered more and more people who won’t take them out of their ear – ever.   I’ve seen them worn in restaurants, in meetings, and even in church.  I pitched a screenplay to an agent one time and to this day I don’t know if he was actually talking to me or someone else on his &^%$ headset.  

Monasteries Versus Crusades

Around the year 1,200AD, for a variety of reasons, the Christian community decided to focus on two different paths.  One group felt the call to withdraw from the world.  They felt that our highest goal was complete devotion to God, and our quickest and surest way to find God was focused prayer, meditation, and withdrawal from the non-believing world.  So they built monasteries with high walls, and many never again mingled with the outside world.  The second group was far more aggressive.  

The AIG Bonus Mess: Where’s the Visionary Leadership? (On either side)

For a week now, newspapers have been filled with stories about insurance giant AIG wanting to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses to their top performing executives.  Everyone’s upset – and rightly so – since taxpayers have bailed out the company and kept it alive.  But what’s the answer?  After all, bonuses are a good thing.  It never hurts to give your best performers incentives for doing well – and the unit that got AIG in trouble was a relatively small division.  The vast majority of their managers and employees appear to have done an good job.  But on the other hand, it goes against the grain to award millions of dollars in bonuses to leadership that couldn’t keep the company alive without a gigantic taxpayer funded bailout.

The Media Shift

Here’s a few factoids from writer Sharon Waxman about where the media is going today:  The amount of video content created by YouTube users, for free, for six months is more than broadcast producers created in more than 60 years of professional, paid programming.  YouTube uploads around 9,232 hours of new video each day.  Think about that a bit.  At the same time, traditional broadcast TV viewership declined 8% last year – which is significant because since the 80’s the decline has only been about 1-2% each year.

Even Leadership Experts Get Arrested: John Maxwell Goes to Jail

My friend and leadership guru John Maxwell was arrested Thursday at Palm Beach International Airport for trying to board a plane with a concealed weapon.  Yep – arrested, handcuffed, led-away, and booked. Here’s the story from his blog.  A great lesson that thanks to faulty memory, we’re all just a bonehead move away from doing something stupid without thinking.

“Frost/Nixon” and Phil

On March 18, I’ll be on an after-the-play panel to discuss the play “Frost/Nixon” featuring Stacy Keach.  It will feature members of the cast as well as Raul Espinoza, Geoff Shepard, and myself. Geoff Shepard was a member of the Nixon administration, Nixon’s legal defense team and author of the recently published book The Secret Plot to Make Ted Kennedy President, Inside the Real Watergate Scandal.  It’s a production of the Ahmanson Theater Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.