The Power of Creative, Thoughtful Design

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Steve Jobs said it very well: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” If you’ve ever doubted the ability of great design to change things, then watch this interview with Nike designer Tobie Hatfield about how a new shoe idea solved a problem. After viewing, you’ll realize that creative design may not change the world, but it can change someone’s world:

Should Churches Produce TV Programs?

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It’s pretty popular these days to bash local churches producing broadcast TV programs. Even megachurches with adequate budgets for media don’t escape the criticism. After all, the history of Christian television shows us that a significant number of programs through the years were downright embarrassing, and if anything, drove people away from the faith, rather than toward it. But in spite of the mistakes, poor quality, and questionable results of some church efforts, here’s 5 reasons I still encourage churches to consider a broadcast ministry:

How Taylor Swift Beat Apple

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To launch it’s new Apple Music streaming service, Apple recently offered a three-month trial to the public. Great idea. But Apple (who incidentially is worth about $729 billion) planned to not pay the artists for their music during the trial period, which means that Apple would essentially be having the artists themselves underwrite the promotion.  As many of you already know, Taylor Swift was the most vocal artist objecting to the idea, and her criticism was the strongest reason Apple finally backed down. How she did it is a great lesson in protesting anything you consider an injustice. Here’s what we can learn:

Noah: Has Anyone Changed Their Mind About the Movie?

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Remember the movie “Noah?” When it came out 16 months ago, I wrote a blog post about the fact that even though it wasn’t the Biblical story, Christians should see it. After all, hundreds of thousands of others would see it, and why not invite a non-believer to the movie, and then take them out for coffee and share the real story? I’d been on the set and met the filmmakers, then wrote the post.  But more than 1,000 responses later (on the blog and my social media sites), I realized

Why TV Is Still The Most Effective Advertising Medium

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With the flood of articles and information about the move online, it’s easy to forget the power that television still holds when it comes to influence. Steve Newton from Newton Media tipped me off to a new study released recently in Adweek magazine confirming that when it comes to advertising, TV is still the king. From my perspective, this information also applies to nonprofits and religious organizations. Even though TV can be an expensive medium, it still packs a powerful punch when it comes to advertising. Here’s a few key findings of the study:

Do You Talk Too Much? Here’s How to Tell.

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Most people talk too much. That’s a given. People love the sound of their own voice, and truthfully it happens for a number of reasons. As Mark Goulston says in the Harvard Business Review:  “First, is the very simple reason that all human beings have a hunger to be listened to. But second, because the process of talking about ourselves releases dopamine, the pleasure hormone. One of the reasons gabby people keep gabbing is because they become addicted to that pleasure.”  But overly chatty people drive everyone else crazy. So how can you tell you’re talking too much?

How To Deal With Online Church Trolls

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I’ve consulted with hundreds of churches over the years, and sadly, there’s one common enemy some of the most effective churches in America share – online trolls.  In these cases, at least one disgruntled ex-church member has decided to launch a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and in some cases a blog with the express purpose of criticizing the church. There are many reasons: some were offended by the pastor, others don’t like the church’s teaching, a few feel they were taken advantage of, and still others are convinced they’ve uncovered secret

Why Creativity Isn’t Always Sweetness and Light

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One of my favorite lines in film is when Orson Welles improvised a scene while playing Harry Lime in “The Third Man” in 1949: “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.”  As creatives, we work hard trying to