The One Thing You Should Never Do in a PR Crisis


Every organization – particularly nonprofits and religious organizations – should be ready for a public relations crisis, but sadly, very few actually are ready when it happens.  In today’s digital world, there are many more opportunities for mistakes, moral compromises, and financial wrongdoing.  This earlier post is a great conversation about what to do during a organizational crisis, but if – and when – something disastrous happens at your church, ministry, or nonprofit, there’s absolutely one thing you should never do:

There Is No Formula For Success, But….


Whenever a book, seminar, or speaker pitches you on a “success formula,” walk away. There is no proven formula for success, because if there was, everyone would be following it. Success happens in different ways to different people and it’s nearly impossible to forecast. But you can have the elements in place to make success worth betting on. Remember – life isn’t fair, and there’s no guarantee about anything. But if you can get these 5 elements in place, then you open the door to the possibility of the miraculous:

The Reason I’m Never Cynical

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A lot of people ask me why I’m not cynical when it comes to the Church and Christian media. After all, I’ve seen a lot of wacky stuff out there. Over the years, Christian leaders have committed adultery, embezzled money, misused donors, and lived like kings. Christian media professionals have created really ridiculous TV programs and movies. And yet, here I am, still committed to

Your Boss Won’t Listen? Then Quietly Make Changes On Your Own


I met someone recently who heard me speak at an international conference a few years ago. She was managing the local office for a major American media ministry in that country. She told me that after hearing me speak at the original conference, she was excited to go back and start using the ideas I shared, but when she talked to her boss, he

Why Can’t Churches and Other Christian Organizations Work Together?

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I’m in South Africa speaking at the African Christian Media Conference, and one of the biggest questions leaders in this country face is how to partner to make a greater impact in the culture. Getting churches, ministries, nonprofits and similar organizations to join together to launch a nationwide campaign – particularly in the media – is a challenge everywhere. But that challenge isn’t new. The Bible charts the story of leaders like Moses, David, Paul, and even Jesus struggling to unite the people of their time. After all, one of the last

What Kind of Media Director Does Your Church or Ministry Need?

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Most pastors, evangelists, and ministry leaders have a vision for media, but aren’t sure how to make that vision happen. The key to success is hiring the right person to create, shape, and lead your media outreach. In most cases where an organization is floundering, it’s because they’ve hired the wrong leader, who’s incapable of building an outreach to match the leader’s vision. To keep that from happening in your ministry, use this simple guide to help you find the right person at the right experience and salary level to make your media ministry a success:

Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First


At times, we all get frustrated or just plain tired of the way we do things.  Maybe it’s repetition, maybe it’s competition, or maybe the culture or markets have changed.  But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a re-brand, or if you just need a vacation:

The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand


One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” – and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:

How To Reach Younger Donors


I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:

The Most Misunderstood Role in Ministry: The Executive Pastor

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After decades working with churches around the world, I’ve discovered one of the most difficult challenges pastors face is finding the right “Executive Pastor.”  Smaller churches don’t usually need one, but as churches grow, a leader in that role becomes more and more important.  But in a significant number of cases, local pastors don’t really understand the job. In my opinion, one of the best XP’s in the country is Mike Buster, Executive Pastor at Prestonwood Church in Plano, Texas. He’s worked with Pastor Jack Graham for 28 years, and they’ve become a remarkable team. In fact, in my opinion,