Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting the look

It's hard to be a relevant, missional servant-leader. Your efforts are rarely acknowledged and your creative attempts at lifting worship to a higher plane so often go unnoticed.
I was in my luxury suite at a hotel in Miami last week, and looking over my Twitter feed and realizing that no one, NO ONE, seemed to know I was not working away at my home church.

This is a common problem. Things that seem obvious to us just pass by other people. We start a new sermon series and no one says a thing. We move into a larger office and nothing is said. We arrange a large, multi-regional pastor's conference and it's all, Ho-hum.

If we change our clothes or appearance, we are lucky if anyone says a thing. We might as well be invisible.

But it's all okay, because God notices when we use a new, state-of-the-art headset. If he has the hairs on our heads numbered, he also has our headsets numbered. He notices when we've lost five pounds at our new home gym. He enjoys our new Ipad and likes our clever Facebook status message, even when no one else does. He takes notice when we've rubbed shoulders with our new friend, the hot Christian celebrity. Or when we've clinched the book deal. He knows. And that's really all that matters.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

6 Ways to Drive Readers to Your Si -- -uh -- The Kingdom

We are commanded to make fishers of men, to go into the world and make disciples. It's hard to do that if we are invisible to the world, so being visible is important. The best way to become visible is to have an active and thriving web site. And making lists is the best way to have an active site. So, by making lists we become fishers of men. It's THAT EASY!

1. You can list things that should be totally obvious to anyone who has reached the third grade. No matter how simple and face-palm obvious. It will still drive traffic to your site because people like to nod their heads in agreement with simplistic lists.
2. You can list bits of standard advice that make you sound knowledgable. Simply by using a slightly different approach or unusual metaphor, you can take the banal and dress it up as genius, and people will come to your site for tidbits of vast wisdom.
3. You can list entries filled with quotation-marked vocab words. This has a dual effect. First, it shows that you know how to use quotation marks, a skill "churched" people are not quite sophisticated enough to "handle." Second, it shows that you are nuanced enough to look with condescension on "inferior" concepts. It also allows you to list something without being totally "committed" to it. Does he really think the concepts are "inferior" or is he just joshing? No telling.
4. Whenever possible, leave God out of the list. It's just ever so much more efficient that way. You don't get all garbled up with the theological stuff and you can cut right to the heart of the matter: making lists!
4. Try to tie your lists to cultural icons. You can draw fish in for the kill simply by tapping into current memes or popular topics. If there is no real spiritual dimension or application, that's okay. The thing is to be in all relevant and cool venues because that's where the unchurched targets are.
5. If you want to have an edge, you can make your list audiovisual, but then your target, the fish, would have to be willing to wait around for the bait to load and play. Many fish are too busy feeding to swim in one place long enough to watch the whole thing. Still, it's an option.
6. Dress up your lists with quality graphics. It's not enough to just lay out a block of text. To keep the fish circling, you must make the site attractive so they will stay long enough to nibble on the message.

There you go. See how simple it is to invest in the Kingdom? The thing to remember is to have a controlling image you return to time and time again and to mix your metaphors as much as possible to keep the fish off guard. Pretty soon they will all be belly up, floating at the top of the aquarium, and that's right where you want them because the pickings are easier.