“Now I know just enough to be dangerous.”
It’s a common refrain from pastors served by Creative Missions. A team of creative professionals served their church for a week, empowering them to communicate the gospel to their community. These churches have now become dangerous.
It’s a collection of thoughts for beginners, written by Creative Missions participants, enough ideas and practical wisdom to get a church started on the path to better communication. While it is geared for beginners and covers the basics, there are plenty of deeper ideas as well. You may not need to know how to get started on Facebook, but maybe you’re doing too much housekeeping with your announcements. Something for everybody.
Three Weeks Ago
I want to take a minute to share how this project came to be. While it’s kind of “insider baseball,” I think it can be instructive.
On April 23 at 4:12 p.m., Creative Missions founder Cleve Persinger sent an email to myself and Chuck Scoggins, pitching “an 11th hour idea.” On previous trips they’ve given away books to the churches they served, including Less Clutter. Less Noise. and Outspoken. Practical stuff that would help these churches when they were on their own again. This year Cleve wanted to compile the helpful articles we’ve been running from Creative Missions alumni and create a book to give to the churches. For this year’s Creative Missions trip to Alaska. Which starts May 18.
Cleve wanted to publish a book in three and a half weeks.
It was all I could do not to laugh at him.
But I dutifully shared the idea with our board members at the Center for Church Communication and got the green light. Cleve, Chuck and myself got to work.
Yesterday we released the book. It took only three weeks. Twenty days.
Yes, it’s insane. It gives us a good excuse for any typos that slipped through. It helps that technically it’s more of a booklet—about 15,000 words. It also helps that three-fourths of the content was already written by some amazing contributors. It also helps that we had layout and design help ready to go.
In the end we have a powerful resource to hand over to some churches in Alaska. We also hope it’s a resource that can help your church or other churches you know. Creative Missions only goes to one city a year and can only help so many churches. We hope this booklet can make that Creative Missions experience available for churches all over the world.
So What? Three Lessons
You’re not just going to talk about yourself, are you?
I told you it was insider baseball. But rather than go on and on about ourselves, I want to share three lessons from this experience that can help your church:
1. Do It.
If your church has a big idea, you need to go for it. Don’t think of excuses. Don’t think about how crazy it is. Don’t think about failure. If you want to have a big impact, you need to dream big. Don’t dismiss that crazy ideas as impossible. Too often our churches play it safe when we should be dangerous.
2. Create Content
The reason we could throw this book together in only 20 days was because we’d already created the content. Content is king. That’s what people are looking for. They’re watching content on YouTube and listening to content on podcasts and reading content on websites, books and magazines. Your church needs to start creating content, offering something to the people who are looking. Then, when it’s time to do something big, most of the work is already done.
3. Church Ebooks
Your church could be creating ebooks. This isn’t just some fad for bloggers or novelists. It’s an opportunity for churches to package their content and share their message with people in a new format. You could be creating devotional guides or a history of your church or collections of writings about spiritual topics. The ideas are endless. You don’t need a publisher and this isn’t limited to churches with big name pastors who can get a book deal. Anyone can do it (we’re proof!). Admittedly it’s not for everyone. But there are some churches out there just sitting on the content that could create some really cool ebooks.