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:

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

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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

The Robert Tilton Farting Video and Christian Cultural Influence

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You probably remember the (what else can I call it?) legendary farting video edited from clips from Robert Tilton’s former TV program. It was made a long time ago (who created it I have no idea), and while there are a multitude of variations now, at least one has racked up more than two million views. I bring it up because that notorious video popped up in a surprising place recently. The Hollywood Reporter featured a roundtable discussion with the producers of

Online Communion: Is It Cutting Edge or Heretical?

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The Wall Street Journal did a fascinating story this weekend on the challenge Central United Methodist Church in Concord (northeast of Charlotte) experienced when they launched an online campus that included streaming worship services, webcam Bible studies, counseling via live chat and a dedicated online pastor. Things were going fine until

Should Donors Be Upset About The New Crystal Cathedral Owners Removing Their Names?

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Now that Pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an

Pope Benedict’s Retirement: Are Church and Nonprofit Leaders Watching?

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I was so impressed by the retirement announcement from Pope Benedict, that for a minute or two, I almost became a Catholic. His courage in facing the reality of declining health, potentially poor decision making, and the toll on his psyche was admirable. In spite of the pressure (no Pope has retired in 600 years) he had the integrity to make the right decision. Now contrast that with many pastors, ministry, and nonprofit leaders. With media ministries, they stay on the air way past their ability to not embarrass themselves. They fumble around, say inappropriate things, and generally make the Church look foolish to the world. Long time pastors aren’t much different. They

Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

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I write a lot on this blog about freelancers, creatives, and vendors who work for large organizations.  But on this post I want to deal with organizations themselves.  One large organization needed to hire an advertising agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another agency he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,

Why Some Pioneering Christian Media Ministries Survived

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So in the wake of my last post on why so many pioneering Christian media ministries collapsed, why did some others survive? What did they have that others didn’t? Did God just bless them more, or are there identifiable traits that we could focus on and learn for the future. I think the latter’s true, and here’s a few thoughts why some pioneering media ministries have not just survived, but thrived:

Direct Response: The 90 Day Plan

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I’ve had numerous conversations with direct marketer and donor development expert Mary Hutchison about what happens right after a person sends your church, ministry, or non-profit organization their first donation.  Like most things in life, first steps matter.  Mary responded with what she calls “The First 90 Days” – it’s an interesting look at how important your follow up really is.  If you have a humanitarian or non-profit organization, pass this around to your team and discuss.  Here’s Mary’s thoughts: