Facing the Canon with J John

My long time friend J John is one of the most powerful, compelling, and hilarious speakers I know.  Based in the United Kingdom, he has an amazing ministry with a global reach. Recently he broadcast a one-hour television episode we did together for his “Facing the Canon” TV series.  (J John is a Canon in the Church of England, so sorry to disappoint, but I wasn’t shot out of anything.) He’s a terrific interviewer, and if you watch the program, you’ll discover just about everything I know about media, working behind the scenes with churches and ministries, and how to engage today’s culture.  We had a terrific time and I think you’ll enjoy it:

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Viewer Fatigue: Getting Your Audience to Respond

If your advertising or media programming hasn’t been getting a response lately, the first place you should look is viewer fatigue.  In other words, is the audience simply tired of seeing what you’re presenting?  Too often, programmers and advertisers (and speakers and pastors) get into a rut.  Our spots and videos look alike, we use the same voice over artist, show the same graphic style, or tend to write the same way – over and over again.  Viewer fatigue means that

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Ten Ways to Cultivate Donors For Your Nonprofit Organization

A few years ago while speaking at the African Christian Broadcasting Conference in South Africa, I asked Mary Hutchinson who founded a donor development firm to submit a guest post on a topic that would make a difference for our readers.  After reading my post on How to be a Better Communications or Media Director, she began to consider how ministry staff on the “donor side” of communications could be more effective. It’s great to have a brilliant and effective program, podcast, and website, but what can you do to keep those people engaged and supporting your cause?  Sadly, Mary passed away since that time, but her advice is still worth hearing.  Here’s Mary’s top ten suggestions for cultivating donors for your nonprofit or ministry:

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The Power of a Local Church’s TV Broadcast

We see many churches on national television these days, and for pastors who feel they have a message beyond their own communities, I’m all for reaching out through TV. In a media driven culture, I’m interested in exploring any media platform that engages today’s culture with the message of the gospel. However, many pastors only think about a national program and never consider how much a local television broadcast can

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Pastors: Why You Shouldn’t Be Like Joel Osteen

I met Joel Osteen many years ago when he asked me to direct a series of TV specials featuring his father, Pastor John Osteen. We became friends, and when his dad passed away and Joel became pastor of Lakewood Church, I once again helped him create the television program you see every week today featuring Joel’s messages. Since that time, I’ve had an enormous number of pastors ask me questions like:

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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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The Hillsong Channel: The Next Step in Christian Television?

A Look at the One Year Anniversary

As you may know, the former “Church Channel” that was launched by Trinity Broadcasting years ago has been rebranded into “The Hillsong Channel.” That means the creative approach you’ve seen with Hillsong churches, music, social media, and more has now been focused on a 24 hour TV channel. As we approach the one year anniversary of the channel’s launch, I asked Ben Field, who’s overseeing the Hillsong TV team globally to give us some insights on how it’s going, what’s coming up, and what it could mean for the future of Christian media:

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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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