Every year is the same. On New Year’s Eve my Facebook and Twitter feeds get flooded with memes, tweets and text updates of people bemoaning the year and hoping for a better one. And despite their best hopes, I’m confident that the next New Year’s Eve I’ll see the same memes, tweets and text updates, often by the same people. It’s a habit of defeat.
I’m familiar with the habit of defeat because I practically invented it.
It’s easy to identify if you have a habit of defeat. You have a habit of defeat if: 1) you find it difficult to recall the highlights of your year; 2) your negative experiences overshadow your positive ones; 3) you find it difficult to smile and be thankful for the little things in the monotony of life; 4) you feel like life is a treadmill; and 5) you have a victim’s mentality, always having to defend yourself.
These traits defined me for too many years. But something my wife said to me years ago while we were still dating started me on a journey from having a habit of defeat to a habit of joy. She said, “When I grow old, I want to have happy wrinkles.” What an emotionally powerful statement! And in that moment I realized that if I stayed my course, I’d have angry wrinkles. I was too accustomed to frowning and arguing and drinking from a life I thought was half empty.
Today I have a different attitude. Not that I don’t struggle. I spent twenty-seven years practicing a habit of defeat, and only seven learning to develop of habit of joy.
And here are five things I’ve learned to do to avoid a habit of defeat and make the most of my year with every passing cycle.
It’s that time of year again when most of us reflect upon where our lives have been and begin to plan for where we want to go. But truth be known, most people are not very good at that according to stats about New Years Resolutions.
For example 1 in 3 people give up on their resolutions before the end of January.
January! One month!
This is a great example of why we need to move beyond resolutions and begin to create a Life by Design.
And to help you take control of your life so that you can succeed at your dreams, get done those things you’ve wanted to do, have the best year ever, all while creating a more balanced life, I want to give you this amazing resource:
Your Life Plan 2016: Design Your Year Today!
In this ebook you’ll discover
- The areas of your life that you are strongest and weakest in
- How you’ve grown over the past 12 months
- What your priorities are in reality
- Set goals for what you want your priorities to be
- Create a strategy for growing and creating a more balanced life
- And create a weekly plan to implement your strategy
If you want to move the needle for 2016, to accomplish an ambition you’ve long dreamed of, to love your wife more and be a better parent, to find a healthier life and to deepen your faith, Design Your Year Today! is for you.
Here’s the thing: you can’t purchase this amazing resource, but you can get it for free simply by filling out the form below. That way I can send this resource directly to your email box with no hassle.
GET IT NOW!
Fill out this form to get Your Life Plan 2016: Design Your Year Today!
If you had to choose to devote your energy, your money and your ministry efforts to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but you could only choose one, which would it be?
For most people there’s no contest. Facebook is the obvious choice.
After all, Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with by far the most active users. And unlike Twitter and Instagram which use the impersonal “Follow” terminology, Facebook prefers using the term “Friend.”
And Facebook is a place for families and friends to stay connected. It’s a place where people share ideas and share their lives. The Groups, Pages and Events features help build community.
For all of those reasons, choosing Facebook is a no-brainer, right?
And so you’d think it’s the perfect platform to invest your ministry into if you want to have a far-reaching impact, right?
That’s not true anymore.
When they strike they win in a small way, and lose in an epic way. They win because for a moment – just a moment – they strike fear into the hearts of people around the world.
But they fail in an epic way because before the smoke of their cowardly actions settle the world has come together in solidarity. Their evil is a uniting force. And the terrorist is seen not as a hero of Allah – as his delusional mind imagines – but rather the toe jam, the gunk, the scabies of the earth.
Yet these parasites who define, embody and give evil a face – even though they hide behind black hoods like the cowards they are – are nonetheless, and for reasons beyond comprehension, loved by God.
Jesus said where your heart is, there your treasure will be also (Luke 12:34). And that means the reverse is also true: where you put your treasure says a lot about where your heart is.
So here are three reasons why your ministry or church should invest some of its treasure into social media.
Despite traditional barriers like tight budgets and few (if any) paid staff, small and midsize churches have greater opportunities to innovate today than ever before.
So here are 3 huge ways small or midsize churches can innovate:
1. Live video-based Bible Studies
With Google+ Hangout you can lead a small group of up to 10 people in a video-based study from the comfort of your office or home. They can ask questions, be engaged and it creates a fun learning environment. You can even email them pdf worksheets that you designed.
In addition to this you can live stream the study to Facebook, YouTube and your website simultaneously if you want to widen your influence.
And you can do all of this for free thank’s to social media.
A few weeks ago I went to dinner with a friend (who is also a pastor). I hadn’t seen him in years but we have one of those friendships where the moment you see each other you pick up exactly where you left off. In catching up I told him that I help ministry leaders use social media in their ministry, and guess what he said to me?
Not a very encouraging reaction.
He went on to explain that in ten years there are going to be so many social media platforms that it’ll be impossible to keep up. Essentially I’ll be out of work because nobody will be able to meet the demand.
And if this is the case then what does that mean for ministry leaders and churches? Are you destined to be left to fend for yourself amidst the crowded, ever-changing social media landscape?
If that’s the case, who can really keep up? The vast majority of people don’t have the time or resources to study and research how to use even their preferred social network. So should you even both trying?
I’ll never forget the quick response I received on Twitter one day when I asked the question, “What are some things churches can share on Twitter?” Someone tweeted back, “Nothing.” I thought, uh oh! If the church has nothing to say on social media then we’re in big trouble!
The truth is the church has a lot to say! All you might need is something to stimulate a little creativity. So today I’m going to give you 21 status update ideas for your church or ministry.
But I’m not even going to mention the big boring updates that most churches do such as using social media as a digital bulletin board (bad idea) or as a place to constantly invite people to your events or services (really bad idea!). Instead I’m going to give you status ideas that will offer real value to people so that when you do (on occasion) invite people to your church, you’ll have a greater response because you’ve offered so much value first and invited less.
So here are 21 Awesome Status Ideas for Your Church
1. Create an Infograph
Infographics are awesome because they are usually fun to look up, filled with interesting facts and thus educational. You can create your own infograph with a free tool called infogr.am.
2. Ask a Questions
Asking a question in a social status is a great way to increase your engagement and visibility. For example, “Hey, we’re curious to know…?” “Yes or no, is this a good idea…?” “What do you guys thing of this…?”)
3. Statistics and Data
Offering interesting statistics and data that is relevant to your message is sure to get more engagement and spark conversations among the Fans of your church’s Facebook Page or Twitter feed.
4. Candid Behind-The-Scene Pictures
Take a picture of the worship team praying just before getting up on the platform. Post a picture of the kitchen staff preparing the after service fellowship brunch. Snap a random photo of your pastor in his study. People love behind-the-scenes pictures. It makes them feel a part of the action, plus they appreciate the effort that goes into a service or event all that much more.
Last week I spoke at the Going Digital For His Kingdom conference in San Diego California. On the whole I had a great time, met some fantastic people and made some new friendships and connections. In this post I’d like to share a few highlights from the conference.
Before I get into the specifics let me just say this: I loved the people I shared the platform with. I got to know many of them really well (as well as one can in a two or three-day span) and look forward to future collaboration with some of them.
The conference took place in the beautiful chapel of San Diego Christian College and the caterers were fantastic, as was the food.
Throughout the event there were a number of speakers and I can’t talk about them all or about everything of the event. But I do want to highlight some great points.
Yay! Today I’m celebrating more than just Canada Day (I am Canadian, eh!), I’m actually celebrating the one year anniversary since launching this website. So in this article I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve learned this year with helping Christians use social media. And if you read to the very end I have a special announcement I’ll be making (you can just skip down if you are so inclined).
There are a lot of people out there helping businesses learn to use social media. But let’s be honest, most small to mid-size churches can’t be treated the same way. For one thing, unlike a business most churches can’t afford to hire social media guru’s. So social media training for churches is quite different. The pastors are super busy, not just leading a church but also leading a team of volunteers. For another thing churches have a different aim. Their goal is not to build wealth, but to build the Kingdom of God by reaching lost souls and by strengthening the community of faith.
So while the basic principles of what I write and teach are similar to what you’d find in any business, the approach and unique emphasis is very different by necessity.
On that note, here are 5 things I’ve learned after one year of blogging on this website.