How to Make Leadership Succession Work

A Personal View

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Back in my college days, I lived across the hall from Larry Stockstill, who would eventually become pastor of Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Back in the day, he led worship on campus, but he was also one of the stars on our intramural football and basketball teams! Needless to say, he’s always been a fascinating leader. But one of his greatest accomplishments is

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Guest Blog: A Message to Church Communication and Media Directors

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I asked Dan Wathen, our Executive Producer at Cooke Pictures to write a post about church and ministry communication directors.  Before Dan worked with us, he directed a national Christian television program, and then was in charge of communications and media at a large church in South Texas. When I found him, he had come to Hollywood where he was working in feature film distribution. So he’s worked both sides of the media fence. That’s why for everyone who feels “stuck” as a church communications or media director, this post may just be for you:

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Your Most Important Lesson in Church Communication

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I’ve worked with hundreds of churches over the years, helping them communicate more effectively with their community, and many times on an even bigger scale. Today, there are small churches who impact people within a few blocks of their location, medium sized churches who can impact a city, and large churches with a global impact. But whatever your

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How to Help Your Pastor or Ministry Leader Catch a Vision for the Media

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Whenever I visit local churches, most of the time I’m faced with a frustrated local media producer who’s at his or her wits end. They’re usually good producers, often with extensive experience, plus a real calling to use media to take the gospel to the culture. But in nearly every case, he or she is either burned out, upset, or ready to quit.  Ninety percent of the time, I get the same response – “The pastor just doesn’t have a vision for media – especially television.” It also comes in numerous other laments, such as “Every time I try something new, the pastor hates it.” Or the tried and true:

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Christian Leaders Continue to Lose Influence In The Culture

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When it comes to Christian leaders, in my own lifetime, I’ve seen a staggering loss of influence. My father was a pastor, and back in the 50’s and 60’s it seemed like everyone in Charlotte, North Carolina respected my dad. Even people who would never darken the door of a church would come to him for advice – particular when it came to major life decisions. But today, not so much. We’ve all seen it creep down, but Pew Research just released new data that indicates only

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Why Leaders Are Often The Last To Know

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When I consult with churches, ministries, or nonprofits, I’m often surprised – even shocked – how often the leader is the last to know what’s going on in the organization. Theoretically, vision trickles down from the top, but in reality, a great deal comes from the bottom up, and when that happens, a leader who isn’t in touch with the team, becomes the least influential person in the organization.  I recently read a quote from the late Andy Grove, former CEO of computer microchip maker Intel. He mentioned his surprising encounter with another company and the fact that the president of that company was the last to know about an important issue:

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Want More Online Viewers? Make It Shorter

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I’ve been teaching for a long time that too many churches and religious organizations are making a huge mistake by only posting full length sermons and teachings on either their website or podcasts.  Certainly it’s fine (and a good idea) to archive your live stream, media programming, and other content in full online.  However, when it comes to people actually viewing it, it’s an

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