Might Be Time To Quit Your Job


Wanna know the most surprising thing I discover when talking to people working on a church staff? The biggest source of disunity and conflict often lies between the Senior Pastor and creative team.

Creatives often find themselves feeling under-appreciated, overwhelmed and ill-equipped to do their job well. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “my pastor/boss just doesn’t get it.”

On the other hand, I hear consistently from Pastors that they feel like creatives only care about their work and not how it fits into the church as a whole. They don’t feel the support, don’t give the benefit of the doubt to leadership, and are rarely happy with what they have.

Here’s the bottom line if you’re working on a creative team (or anywhere on a church staff):
If you can’t support the Pastor and the vision and mission of your church, go find another job. Seriously.

If you’re working on a church staff, you probably find yourself in one of three situations:

Don’t support the Pastor or vision and mission of your church?

Get out. Leaving your role on a church staff because of this doesn’t make you a bad person, or a bad Christian. It just means that you take unity seriously. Scripture has a lot to say about unity as believers in the church (1 Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4, Psalm 133:1, 1 Peter 3:8)

If you find yourself in this place, don’t take away from the vision and direction that God has given the Pastor of your church. Don’t go out swinging. Quietly move on and find a place you believe in and can give 100% of your heart and efforts to. Wasting your time and energy talking about what you think the Pastor should be doing right now gets you nowhere. If God wanted you to be the Pastor, He’d put you there.

Dealing with consistent frustration?

Deal with it. There’s no perfect Pastor and no perfect church staff.

I would encourage you to fight for unity. Guard your words and thoughts, and don’t be the source of division within the staff. Make the effort to bridge the gap where there’s a disconnect with your Pastor.

So many creatives live in consistent frustration because they have in their mind that they want their Pastor to be like someone else. Support your Pastor for who they are, not who you want them to be. Learn what’s on their heart and have their back. You might just be surprised by how that opens up dialogue to help your church be more effective.

In a good situation?

Protect it. Thank God for it. And continue to fight for it each and every day. Guard the meetings after the meetings and lead the way in fighting for unity. This doesn’t mean you blindly support everything. It does mean that you build the relational equity with your Pastor and leadership to push back where necessary, give your opinion when needed, and at the end of the day support the decision that was made.

I’m incredibly blessed to work at a great church with humble, Godly leadership. It’s the healthiest staff I’ve ever been a part of.

For me in my role as a Creative Arts Pastor, the #1 thing that can create disfunction with my team and our Pastor/leaders is disunity. That’s why in hiring our team, the most important aspect I looked for was not talent, but it was assembling people that had a church-first attitude and mindset. That’s been THE KEY to the success of our team and ministry.

There’s a healthy tension that lies between the Pastor and creatives in planning services and the creative work of the church. At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is that my Pastor knows my team and I have his back and support him.

If you’re not there, and know you can’t get there, it might be time to quit your job.

Redefining Excellence


For my first five years working in creative ministry, I was obsessed with the idea and the destination of “excellence.” I always felt excellence was a value often forgotten or overlooked in the church world, and I tried to make it my mantra as a young creative to fix everything and bring it up to a level of excellence I could be proud of.

I still love and value excellence. I think it’s critical to effectively communicating the story of what God is doing in and through our churches.

However, as I look back at that first season of ministry, there was something missing. Now I realize that drive for excellence created a steady rhythm of being overwhelmed, frustrated and feeling like I never arrived anywhere.

Everywhere I would look, I would find things that need fixing, frustrated by things that I couldn’t control or speak into, and facing challenges with limited resources and staff. I was wasting sideways energy on so much that I couldn’t control, feeling like excellence was the destination that I’d never actually get to arrive at.

If I was going to survive and be effective in the call God placed on my life, a couple things needed to change. Continue Reading »

Simplicity and the Spaghetti Test

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“Simple isn’t always shallow. Complicated isn’t always deep.” -Jon Weece

Everybody loves the idea of simplicity. Few actually practice and apply it to how we communicate.

The harsh reality of simplicity is that you have to fight for it. It never comes naturally. Complexity has a sneaky method of finding its way into our lives, our organizations, and what we communicate.

Here’s the harsh reality: if we don’t fight for simplicity in how we communicate, we will simply not be effective in helping people take their next step and experience life change. Our audience is getting bombarded each day by advertisements, messages, images, videos and agendas that are all fighting for the valuable commodity of their sole attention. If we don’t fight to find the clarity and simplicity in the chaos, our message will get lost in the clutter. Continue Reading »

A 5 Day Experiment on the Power of Social Media


A few weeks ago at West Ridge Church, we conducted a social media experiment. I’m a big believer in the power of social media, but to be honest, the results shocked me.

On Tuesday, January 7th during our Lead Team meeting, we were talking about Terence Lester, one of our church planters who created an innovative ministry called Love Beyond Walls. His focus is giving a voice to the homeless of Atlanta and building relationships with them to help change their lives. Terence put together a campaign called 6,000+, where they were looking for donations of socks, gloves and hats to give to the 6,000+ homeless in Atlanta that go to sleep without a home. The deadline to submit donations was in 5 days, and they were 2,000 short of their donation goals at that point. We wanted to be a part of taking care of this need and mobilize our church to play a part. Continue Reading »

The Most Overlooked Side of Branding


What do you think of when you think branding? Logos? A set of colors? A product or a tagline?  All of these can play a key role in the development of the branding of an organization or church. They each play a role in connecting with the head of your audience.

However, I believe there is one aspect of branding that too many organizations, especially churches, are overlooking. Logos and tag lines can all communicate to the head, but what about the heart? How are people connecting emotionally with your brand? Most likely, when someone thinks of your church or organization, they are not thinking about your logo. They are thinking about how you make them feel. Great branding connects the heart of the audience with the heart of your organization.

Nothing puts this concept on display more than Super Bowl commercials. It’s the one time during the year that I’ll use my DVR to go BACK to a commercial instead of using it to quickly fast-forward through commercials. But on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s different. This is a time when the brands of our country are on display to get noticed and create a lasting impression.

Here are a few recent commercials that stand out to me as brilliant in how they connect their brand with the head and heart of their audience. When you watch these, see how they’re able to tell a story you can connect with, and bridge that with how it connects to their brand.

Continue Reading »

Playbook: Ministry Communications Audit


Are you a Communications leader in your church or organization? Is it your role to help your church and its ministries communicate effectively? If so, there’s a meeting that I want to get on your radar. It’s what I call a Communications Audit.

A Communications Audit is a meeting to touch base with a ministry area, evaluate how things are going with their communications, plan for the season ahead, and update them on key communications information. Here’s what the meetings look like for me: Continue Reading »

Top 5 Posts of 2013


On February 6, 2013, I began my journey as a hesitant blogger. Through this last year, I have learned a lot and have had a blast connecting with many of you! I’ve been blown away by the emails and stories from church communicators, pastors and more all over the country that are looking to communicate more effectively. I’ve got some big plans and resources that I can’t wait to share with you in 2014! So if you haven’t already, you can subscribe by emailRSS, or connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Looking back at 2013, here are the top 5 posts:

  1. Series Planning Process
  2. A Year Later: The Legacy of Andrew Pray
  3. Developing A Communications Plan
  4. 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting A Stage Announcement
  5. Social Media Strategy In 3 Words


Communicating To An Audience With A Goldfish Attention Span


Check out this sneak peak at a guest post I did for SundayMag.tv, and see the full post here:

The average attention span of a goldfish? 9 seconds.
The average attention span of people in 2012? 8 seconds.

In today’s culture, there are more things fighting for our attention than ever before. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded by advertisements, messages, images, videos and agendas that are all fighting for the valuable commodity of your sole attention.

How are we responding? We’re fighting back. Our attention span is at all all-time low, making it more challenging than ever to be communicated to. We don’t want to be marketed to or manipulated by another company or organization that has its own agenda. We want something real. Something personal. Something authentic. Continue Reading »