Skip to content

Recent Articles

21
Sep

Who We Are: “Go” – Assistant Pastor Chris Poirier 21SEP14

11
Sep

A Prayer for Our Nation: 9/11 (2014)

360_wtc_memorial_0906

As a nation we face our 13th anniversary of the terror acts upon our country.  Many lives were lost and in the following 13 years even more lives were lost on the battlefield in an attempt to make this world a safer place.

Father God, I pray this morning for all of those deeply impacted by this horrific event and the following years of turmoil.  Father, I pray for those who bravely took to the stairs in efforts to fight a fire that they may have never reached.  Father, I pray for those who ran towards those two buildings in New York instead of away in a time of need. Father I pray for those at the Pentagon and those who demonstrated how these colors do not run. And Father I pray for those souls lost aboard those aircraft.

As we lift up all impacted, we also ask to remember those in uniform that answered the call of their nation’s military to go forth and fight those who sought to destroy us.  We pray for their sacrifices, their families, and for their on-going safety as this war has not yet come to a conclusion.

Father we also pray for our leadership as a country.  Times are difficult and the enemy is banging on the door at our every turn.  Father give our leaders them wisdom, give them a heart for you, and give them peace in their decisions.  For we know you are the One True God and we worship you Father.  Thank you for your grace, your love, your mercy and your actions upon the cross that we might know you and live in eternity with you.

Father we also pray for those who also do not know you.  The darkness pushes in during these times, but your light is strong.  Father open the hearts and minds of those who seek you and those who do not know your glory. For it is In You all things are possible and the enemy destroyed! Give them peace in the Cross and in your Son Jesus.

It is in all these things we pray in your glorious Son’s name, AMEN.

10
Sep

Social Tools Do Not A Process Make: Church Communications

I’ve often commented that tools don’t make the process when talking with church organizations about social media and communications in general.  I think this issue has only been further compounded as the many options for tools have increased and continue to do so. To this end I feel like we’ve all lost track of the mission: reaching new people, keeping people informed, and interacting with both of the former. (Read=Lost people, members/attenders, and everyone in-between.) We don’t need new tools to innovate church communications, we need solid, proven ministry practices and processes.

SocialMediaManagement

Let me explain: When one is considering building a bird house most of us would probably just go to Wal-Mart and buy one. (Or which ever bird house mart you prefer.)  But, for those who like a little more adventure, they journey into their basement and/or garage to actually build it.  For these experts of the craft they follow a process something like this:  Step one: gather what you need to be successful at building your bird house (i.e., plans, materials, tools, etc.)  Ultimately, combining these things should result in a bird house.  However, most of us also know that it’s how we combine these items that measures our level of success.  For example, plans need to be for what you actually want to accomplish and simple to understand.  The materials should last and not create unneeded waste, and finally the tools should help you accomplish the task not make it more complicated. (Anyone see where this is going yet?)  The path to success is then to follow the right plans, assemble your materials in the right way, while using the appropriate tools.  Simple, right?

So how does this relate to your church’s social media and overarching communications plan:

1) Plans/Processes/Procedures: Like building a bird house, you need good plans to know where you are going and how you are going to get there.  These are much like our ministry processes.  Lacking solid, documented ministry processes, you end up building a dog house when all you wanted was a simple place for a blue bird to call home.  For the church today, this should come in the form of an all-encompassing communications plan.  This plan can cover all things from branding, marketing, website, bulletins, mass mailings, podcasts, videos, and of course social media.  It’s all related and important to keep aligned and all involved accountable to the plan.

2) Materials (Read content): should be what you need to accomplish the job and should be of good quality.  (i.e., videos, podcasts, mailings, bulletins, etc.)  We all want to ensure the work we do lasts, answers the task at hand, and ultimately glorifies God.  If we don’t, then we may end up with a great plan and/or process, but then fail in the delivery for not taking the time to ensure that our messaging/content/communications actually make sense in the context of what we are trying to accomplish.

3) Tools (Read social media platforms/content management systems/etc): Everyone wants the shiny new tool that’s on sale at Home Depot (or Lowes if you like) but do you need it?  Does it help you accomplish your goal or only look pretty, take up space, and cost a lot of money?  Does it even do the task you need it to do?  Have you ever bought a tool that claimed to do a bunch of things including the ONE thing you need it to do, just to find out it doesn’t even do the task you need it to all?  Social media and content management can absolutely be daunting in this respect.  Everything is “new” or “popular”, but before you jump into the fold you should look to your communication plan and see what you are trying to accomplish as a church.  Which tool best fits your goals?  Blanketing the market may be an option, but in the face of small or non-existent budgets some times targeting your approach will yield the best results.  Learn the tools and match their benefits and reach to your communications plan for best results and then expand as you grow.

So, maybe social media isn’t quite like building a bird house, however often times I feel we are losing sight of our task, our target audience, and the intended end state by being blinded by the shiny new tool on the shelf that promises to do everything including slice my fresh bread before a meal.  Knowing the task and how you are going to accomplish it is most important today along with delivering good and relevant content to those you hope to reach.  Social media and content management tools are supposed to help accomplish the tasks and support the process, not BE the process, etc.  It’s time we focus on getting things done and producing results by way of using the correct tools for the job.  Social media/web2.0/shiny web objects of choice are just that, tools: Some are good for accomplishing what your church needs and others are just new fancy tools that do too much for their own good.  Focus on your ministry’s mission, the audience, and your organizational goals and allow the appropriate tools fall into place to make the overall experience better.  Don’t fall for what every pitchman has for you or what’s on sale at the front of the mega shopping center store this holiday season, or what ever some megachurch is using with great success.  Bottom line: Tools, no matter how shiny and awesome they are, should never be the solution, they are only the means to accomplishing your goals.  Make a plan, do your research and watch your ministry grow through good content and audience engagement.

 

9
Sep

The Importance of Having a Biblical Mentor

mentor

 

A good friend, and professor of mine, Dr. Chuck Lawless has been an incredible influence in my life since starting at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary over a year ago.  One of the largest impacts provided was his outlook on mentorship and how how it should engage my life as a Christian.  Now certainly plenty of people in secular society, but also in our churches, have uttered the words that, “everyone needs a mentor,: and that is all fine, well, and good.  However, what many don’t usually say is what this mentor looks like, what the relationship truly looks like, and honestly how you go about finding one.  These types of questions can be the things of nightmares for introverts and extroverts alike.

That said, I wanted to share a simple blog post from Dr. Lawless from today’s ThomRainer.com blog entitled: “Why Everybody Needs a Mentor and How to Find One.”  See it’s not that scary after all, in fact the solution is provided in under 1000 words.  (Okay, to be fair it is more complicated than that, but this is as good a launching pad into the topic as any.)

Specifically, I just wanted to take a moment to focus on some of the primary principles from Dr. Lawless on the “Why” question as it truly impacted my life:

  • It’s biblical – Take a moment and think to yourself of the number of examples we have from scripture that point to a relationship where two individuals are living and learning together.  The concept is not of our own making, but rather that the examples are right before us in God’s revelation.  We’ve all heard that mentorship is important, but let’s take a moment as believers and focus on why it truly is important.
  • We’re created to be in relationship with others – I have constantly been reminded in my life that God has not created us with the intention that we fold into ourselves when faced with life, but in fact quite the opposite is true.  Though there will always be a time for introspection, living the Christian life is a team sport and that requires other Christians to share and grow in the experience.  Sure every business would have you believe that success or money is the motivation, but truth is we were made this way and for a reason.
  • Experience is a great teacher – How many times did you have to do something growing up to learn whether or not to do it again?  (Granted, some experiences may vary..)  The point here is that we learn from doing, from living, and when in relationship with others we can also learn from one another’s experiences.
  • People are God’s gift to us – Central to Dr. Lawless’ concept is the simple reality of people living life together.  As it states in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  This “life-on-life” mentorship/discipleship is how Jesus brought along those who followed Him and what better example could we have than that?  People matter and it is the ability to learn from one another that can make us stronger.

I don’t want to steal all of the thunder from Dr. Lawless, but take a moment and check out his blog today and also pick up a copy of his study: Mentor: How Along the Way Discipleship Will Change Your Life .  This study and focus on biblical mentorship/discipleship has changed my outlook on how to approach the topic and provides a very practical foundation for just about any believer, no matter where they currently are in their walk.

 

9
Sep

Starting Afresh

download (1)

Over a year ago I entered full-time ministry/study in order to obtain my Master of Divinity. I went from working full-time for the Federal Government 60 hours a week to working 60+ hours a week for God. In this transition much has happened and many blessings have occurred. God is Good!

However, during this time I let a lot of things slide to the side and grew out of touch with the many people and areas of my life that are still large portions of who I am today. To this end, I have updated and will continue to use this website as a way to stay in touch, continue to pontificate on random things of interest (SMEM, CHSOCM, Church Tech, Technology, Sermons, Podcasts, etc.)

Stay tuned or catch up on some of my musings or just reach out to say hello.