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Author: Josh Burns

7 Steps to Peace When You’re Pulled in Too Many Directions

As a church communicator, if you ever feel like you’re being pulled in too many directions by too many people, it’s probably because you are. Unlike most of the other ministries in your church, communications is one of the few departments in a church that is tasked with serving every ministry. This includes children, marriage, men, and women’s ministry just to name a few. And when all of these converge, it makes for the perfect church communications storm. Now, I can hear your voice in my head right now, “I’m barely able to execute on all my tasks right...

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10 Ideas for Using Snapchat at Your Church

A year ago, I had friends saying that Snapchat had no place in the church. “It’s immature.” “It’s dangerous.” “The interface is unintuitive.” Those are phrases I heard on a regular basis from people inside the church who thought it wasn’t worth investing time into Snapchat. At that point one year ago, Snapchat already had more active users than Twitter, and less than 1% of Snapchat users were using it in inappropriate ways. It was also at this point that 75% of Snapchat users were under the age of 25. Fast-forward to today, Snapchat has evolved into one of...

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How to Reach Beyond Just Your Congregation with Social Media

You should have two goals for your church’s social media presence. Connect with and grow your current church members. Reach new people for your church. If your church isn’t accomplishing these two goals with social media, there’s room to grow. However, let’s face it: Connecting with current church members is the easy part. Just throw your Facebook URL on an announcement slide on Sunday and your church members will flock to it faster than you can say your favorite cheesy Christian phrase. Connecting with current church members is the easy part. But reaching people in your community – people...

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Tips for Making Awesome Website Navigation Structures

Whether you’re about to redesign your church website or you’re set with your current website, you need to have a good framework for how someone navigates your church’s website. So today I’m going to be walking through some principles for proper website navigation, while also showing what that practically looks like from some of my favorite church websites at the moment. Two Perspectives You must view your website navigation through the eyes of two different audiences: first-time visitors to your website and current members/attendees. If your church website isn’t serving both of those audiences, you might need to reevaluate....

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How Teenagers Are Using Social Media

“Kids these days.” That’s usually the sentiment I hear from adults over the age of 35 whenever social media platforms like Snapchat come up in conversation. However, it’s important for us as church communicators to ask the question, “How are teens using social media?” If we don’t know how the next generation is using social media, how are we supposed to reach them? Before I get too much further into this investigation, I just want to give you an idea of who I am. I’m a 27-year-old male living in Chicago. I still spend time with teens on a...

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December Devotion: Joy

Take a little break these days in December and re-center yourself with these devotions from the Sunday| Mag contributors. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13) A couple of years...

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3 Ways to Have Better Personality on Social Media

Personality. Let’s break that word down. At the root is the word, ‘person.’ Not to get all brainiac on you, but ‘personality’ derives its meaning from the Latin word ‘personal’, meaning the quality or act of being a person. I don’t know about you, but that fact changes the way I think about the word ‘personality.’ You see; I’m an introvert. So when I think about my personality, my mind usually goes to sitting down at my computer and writing, or watching a good movie, or drinking tea with my wife. Those things are part of me as a...

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When Systems Get in the Way

“Your systems define your results.” This is a phrase I’ve said often, and I believe it’s absolutely true. But is there a point where systems can actually hinder your church’s communications? This is a tough question for me to answer, especially since I’m the kind of person that thrives on systems. I believe they’re essential to the success of your church’s communication. You must have systems in order to plan and execute properly. The fact is, though, that systems, when held too tightly, can hinder your church’s communication. That concept may not make much sense on the surface, but...

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How to Kill Someone’s Idea

“No.” It’s the dreaded word we all hate saying in the church. Why is that the case? For me, I just want everyone to like me. Maybe you just think that if you say “no” to a fellow staff member, you’re denying them their ability to do effective ministry. The truth is, though, that you’re actually helping them do effective ministry by telling them “no.” You’re helping them by telling them that a stage announcement is not the best way to tell people about their event. Here’s why… As the communications director in your church, it’s your job to...

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Creating Anticipation

There’s no element of surprise in church services anymore. There, I said it. As Carlos Whittaker has said, “We’ve created a system of church in that there is zero anticipation for something new…We need to disturb and disrupt the career Christian for the sake of them seeing Christ’s face afresh.” In church, we have become experts at churning out the plan for a church service. Prayer, songs, greet, songs, offering, announcements, sermon, songs, prayer. Those are the usual elements of a church service, right? And we wonder why ‘going to church’ just becomes something that people do to check...

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You’ll Never Believe What this Congregant Actually Heard

Have you ever played a game called ‘Telephone’? As a kid I would sit in a circle with my friends and one person would choose a phrase. That person would then whisper it to the person sitting next to them until it reached the last person in the circle. The last person would then say the message out loud. If you’re lucky you may have a similar message or even the same one from the beginning. Often though, the message the last person heard was completely twisted from the original. It was always fun to hear how the message...

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Growing Love

“Let’s take this time to turn to the person next to you and welcome them to church this morning.” We’ve all heard these words from our pastor as we enter into that ever-awkward greeting time. For some, this might be the opportune time to take that bathroom break or covertly check your phone to avoid eye contact. But maybe you’re the pastor, or greeter, or social butterfly who just loves this time to meet and greet with others who sit near you each week. Whether you enjoy the greeting time or not, a smiling face and outstretched hand can...

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