A Peach of a Post

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It would seem to me the main differences between communicating via twitter, facebook, blog, printed collateral, video, or sermon are the immediacy of the thought and the longevity of the message. 

We often have fleeting thoughts that we would like to share with others.  This morning I had a peach so juicy I had to eat it over the sink.  That represents those moments we like to share with others immediately.  This Scripture, thought, event is so dripping with depth, happiness, excitement that I must share it now.  We don’t expect these moments to last forever.  We send them out via twitter or facebook, knowing that they will move ever lower on our friends’ newsfeed and finally disappear into “older posts” to quietly die. 

Our blogs, we hope, will be a bit deeper and last a bit longer.  Sometimes we resuscitate older posts and remind people that what we said had some timelessness to it.  One of mine that seems to get some new life every once in a while is “On Minions and Semantic Noises,” perhaps because of the odd title, but hopefully because there is some lasting truth in it.

The videos and printed materials we create in our churches often call for an immediate response and can be shared similarly to a status update.  Often, however, video and print last longer than tweets and posts.  They aren’t a peach that needs to be consumed immediately.  They have a longer shelf life.  The amount of thought that goes into this form of communication should be equal to the length of time you forsee using the collateral and the long-term impact you hope it will make.

How long do you expect your sermon to last?  Will it be downloaded from the internet years from now?  Will the notes be tucked into someone’s Bible and referenced in another place and time?  Does it even transcend time and translate into someone’s eternity?

How much time goes into your communications?  Do you devote more or less time to various modes depending on their shelf life?

  

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Fill in the Blank

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In 2001, on a support staff application for Crossroads Community Church, there was this question:  List the position(s) for which you feel most qualified: ________________.
I entered “Senior Pastor.”

As an HR manager at the time, I just wondered if anyone ever read applications at the church and wrote that as a joke.  The senior pastor was Kevin Myers.  CCC became 12Stone 6 years later, now the largest church in our denomination and one of the fastest growing churches in America for several years (according to Outreach Magazine).

I was on staff at 12Stone (aka Crossroads) those six years, during which time I was called to vocational ministry, obtained my MMin, and was licensed (and later ordained).  Who knew that joke would turn into a prophesy (not that PK is in danger of losing his job to me, but prophetic as to pastoring)?

We should be writing down the position we want in the future.  We should figure out what steps it will take to get there, and we should assess our progress.

But even more than that, we should be writing those names down of individuals whom we would choose to replace us.  For example, I know one District Superintendent who has a dozen names written down of people who could replace him.  Until he retires, those names get put into the hat for roles that will develop those individuals so that they will be ready when the DS role is available, even if not in their own district.

What are you writing in the blank of your future role, and who are you developing to fill your current role?  What expectations are you communicating to those people through how you fulfill your role and how you talk about your role?  (Would anyone want your job in the future based on how you communicate it now?)  Finding and developing the person who will take your place requires creative communication.  Remembering that communication includes listening, how are you listening for passions, skills, and availability?  For example, when someone is excited about something that you get to do in your current role, do you make a note about that person’s passion?  

What role are you writing in the blank “List the position(s) for which you feel most qualified: ________________,” and who is writing your role in their blank?


(This posting was inspired by Shawn Hipps’ resignation from Mars Hill Bible Church after taking Rob Bell’s place earlier this year, which I first read about on David Drury’s blog here, and after writing this, I read Paul Tillman’s blog about it here.)