Creative LeadershipEngaging Culture

Pastors: Your Message Should Be a Budget Line Item

I’ve been focusing my work more and more lately on “Influence.”  In fact, I’ve been doing a ton of research on it and it’s the subject of my book “Maximize Your Influence.” The question is – how can my clients get their message out there in a way that reaches more people, and second, make sure the message actually impacts the culture in some significant way.

One of the things I’ve realized is that most pastors and leaders need to consider their vision and message as a “budget level” item.  In other words, stop being  embarrassed about asking for more money and resources from your company, organization, or church to help get your message heard. For pastors in particular, your message and vision platforms should have a line item budget just like the children’s department, small groups, or the missions budget.

As thousands of pastors discovered during the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s a serious outreach of the church.

One pastor I know takes the summer off to work on his messages and/or a new book.  Another completely shuts down from Thursday to Sunday every week to prepare his message. On the secular side, one CEO spends as little time in the office as possible, and more time away planning his company’s future.  If you can afford it, it might take a second home to get the privacy you need.  Billy Graham had his cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.  A pastor friend in Los Angeles has a 2nd home in a little Dutch community about 2 hours outside town, and that’s where he gets away and writes his sermons and books.

You can cut corners in a lot of places, but what could be more important than crafting a powerful message, and then creating and developing a platform for its wider distribution?

The truth is, everyone at your organization probably loves and respects you – but do you really have an “advocate?”   Someone who goes to bat for you to make sure your new book is moving along well, you’re taking enough time off to re-charge, or pushing you to do better?

Plus, today you have to reach people on multiple levels – TV, books, iPhone apps, social media strategy, direct mail, live events, etc…..   The world has forever changed.

Sorry to rant, but chances are, your message is more significant that you’ve allowed for in the past.  You may be a humble person, but in today’s world of hyper-competing messages, we have to step up and fight to be heard.

Remember that one of the best ways to get on the radar is to become a prolific content creator. It’s more than a sermon a week, or the occasional business report, or a single movie script.  It’s books, a blog, media programming, speaking at events, online content, and more – all to get your message out there in new and innovative ways.

Now – get with it.

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  1. I’ve found that an accountability program put out by integrity online which allows an accountability partner to veiw the websites you’ve visited from their home computer, can be a powerful media device that far out performs the 5 o’clock news when in the right hands.

  2. Hey Phil,

    Renee Cobb asked me to send you a link to my book Desperate Highway…which is banned by many schools, libraries, jails and prisons…

    “If you ever want to put Desperate Highway on the big screen (as I’ve been encouraging you to do for years!) you need to check out Phil. That’s a name I’ve given you before, but something about his latest FB posting made me think of you again.” Renee Cobb

    Here’s a blurb on the new book, Man of Faith.

    Press Release…June 21, 2010
    Jeff Andrews from Desperate Highway, Inc. and Desperate Highway Ministries, Inc. announced today that a Special Faith Edition titled “Man of Faith” will be available January 2011.

    Trish Hart, Jesse Stretch and I are writing the faith version of Desperate Highway, which is called just that “Man of Faith”. It is much more than a rehash of the craziness that filled the pages of the secular version of Desperate Highway that was published in April of 2009. Many Christians were offended by what they read in the secular version and rightly so because it was written for the hardened criminals standing in the yards of hardcore prisons like Angola or San Quentin who would never enter a church or pick-up a Bible. Thank God that Jesus wasn’t offended by us when He came to die on the cross. My intention was to bait the spiritually bankrupt with what they love most, sin! I wanted to pull them in, get their attention and then deliver the cure, the truth; through my personal testimony that no one is so far gone that HE can’t save them. Desperate Highway is now in nearly every prison in the U.S. and in many throughout the World since the Chinese bootlegged it in 2009.

    The book will start with what I now refer to as a wakeup call from God while I was in bed for the month of January 2007, recuperating from a heart catheterization and cancer surgery following my grim diagnosis of a serious heart disease and an incurable – leiomyosarcoma cancer in October 2006. I will never forget how I felt thinking that I was going to die, then Jesus spoke so clearly to me, ”Time is Short, Write The Book”. He not only completely healed me, but He also wrote the book through me and Jesse which still boggles my mind.

    Last week I was invited to speak at the Regional Jail East in, New Kent by Robin Wade, Sheriff Wade’s sister, who also runs the recovery program there. She was contacted by John Wood, an ex inmate who came to Jesus as a result of reading the DH book while incarcerated there. I arrived early for my 1 PM meeting on June 9th and was taken into a big day room where at least 150 inmates were sitting. After 45 minutes of my reading the Bible and telling them that Jesus has chosen them to be first; we closed our eyes and I asked the men who felt like they weren’t going to Heaven when they die to raise their hands. I asked four times; 12 hands raised at my first request, 60 raised at my second request, then there were 80, and then more than 100 had their hands raised. They all recited the Sinners prayer after me and were saved! That is how Jesus does miracles today; in prison, in jail, in businesses, in schools and in Church.


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