Using Gimmicks: Be Careful When Communicating a Message

The dictionary defines “gimmick” as: an ingenious or novel device, scheme or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.  This may sound strange, but one of the biggest reasons I work in media ministry today is that growing up, I thought pastors were so embarrassing.  Being a preacher’s kid in the South during the 50s and 60s was tough. Pastors were always doing wacky stuff to attract attention. I remember one pastor who sat perched on a chair atop a three-story-high pole until Sunday attendance hit a certain number. Another one locked himself in the steeple, praying for revival. You may remember pastors who shaved their head if the youth program brought enough visitors. Witnessing to a friend at school was much more difficult when his big question was,

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Why You Should Read the Book “The Last TV Evangelist”

It’s been out a few years now, but my book “The Last TV Evangelist: Why the Next Generation Couldn’t Care Less About Religious Media (And Why it Matters)” keeps popping up. Maybe it was prophetic, but it’s proving more and more accurate about the changes happening in our culture today. If you’ve ever wondered why so many Christian television programs and movies make you feel embarrassed, or why Christian media isn’t having more impact in the culture today, then

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A Filmmaker’s Experience in Cuba

Now that the news media is slowing down their coverage of the life and death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, I thought I might post a few thoughts after filming in the country in early 2016. While most of the world seems to agree that he was a brutal dictator (according to CBS News, nearly 20% of the entire population of Cuba has fled the country since the revolution), it was surprising to see how laudatory many world leaders have been about his decades of rule. Some acted as if they were eulogizing a saint. So having traveling to Cuba to film earlier this year, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about what I encountered in the country.

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The Election’s Over. How Should Christians Respond?

Few times in American history has there been so much turmoil, rancor, and potential corruption in a presidential election. Confidence in both candidates has been at an all time low, and for the first time, one of the candidates has actually been under a federal investigation.  But now the election is over. You may or may not like our new president, but the question becomes:

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The Next Generation’s Perception of Church

I had the opportunity this year to speak at a leadership event at Ivy Church in Manchester, England. The pastor is Anthony Delaney, who’s done a brilliant job building a multi-site church in a city that’s experiencing enormous growth in business, media, and education. As a result, Ivy has a great number of Millennial members and it’s making an enormous impact. Keep in mind this is during a time when many established churches are shrinking – so much so that many denominations such as the Methodists and Church of England are looking for ways to partner and sometimes even

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Has Religion Really Caused More Violence Throughout History?

If you’ve ever shared your faith with a non-believer, chances are you’ve been hit with the line: “But religion has caused more violence and killed more people throughout history than anything else.” Is it true? It’s certainly been regularly touted in books by the “New Atheists” of late. The daily email devotional The Park Forum highlighted a short piece from Karen Armstrong’s 2015 book “Fields of Blood” that answers that statement very well. It may give you some context in your conversations with non-Christians – especially atheists:

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