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Author: Scott McClellan

How to Plan Far Ahead

I talk a lot about the tyranny of the urgent: our tendency to let today’s pseudo-emergencies keep us from looking ahead and thinking strategically about what we can and should accomplish in the days to come. I think we all try to avoid the tyranny of the urgent, but maybe the truth is that sometimes we don’t mind getting bogged down in putting out fires. After all, staying busy in the moment means we don’t have to worry about the future yet. If we’re consumed by today’s to-do’s, we can pretend tomorrow’s don’t exist. And why is the future...

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Social Media: Free and Costly

I’ve written about this misconception before, but I think it bears repeating. The fact that it doesn’t cost money to create a Twitter or Facebook profile can lead us to believe that social media are free. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you don’t have to pay to signup doesn’t mean social media aren’t costly. If you follow sports or entertainment, you’ve seen public figures post something and then take heat for it. Bonehead tweets result in lost fans, lost endorsements, and suspensions. For normal people like you and me, reckless use of social media gets...

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A Whole New Way To Publish Content On The Web

My friend Tim Schraeder tweeted yesterday that he is working with The Grid to “help robots build websites.” What does he mean by that? This: As you can see, The Grid is a whole new way to publish content on the web: “AI websites that design themselves.” There are a lot of platforms that help developers and civilians alike publish on the web — WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, SquareSpace, etc. — but what makes The Grid so interesting is the words used in its pitch: “artificial intelligence,” “automatically,” “custom,” “evolves,” “adapting,” and “magically.” The Grid seems more like a partner than a...

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Is Immediacy the Future of Social Media?

I can’t stop thinking about this video I saw last week: I think the title — “Snapchat Murders Facebook” — is overstating things a bit, but I like how the video highlights the different content approaches of Snapchat and Facebook. The argument is that the future of social media isn’t about perfection, and it sure as heck isn’t about what happened yesterday. The future, as they say, is now. If Casey Niestat is really onto something here, the clock is ticking on Facebook’s way of doing business. But it doesn’t stop there — the clock is also ticking on...

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I’m Not Creative: An Excerpt from “Spiritual Innovation”

The following is an excerpt from Cole NeSmith’s new book, Spiritual Innovation. Enjoy: I often hear people declare themselves, “not creative.” In saying so, they mean, “I don’t paint” or “I can’t sing” or “don’t ask me to get in front of people and talk.” So, let’s come to a more broad, working understanding of creativity. We often talk about God as Creator. There’s a recognition that one of the characteristics of God and the image He’s placed in us is His identity as Creator. It seems to me this is one of those concepts we only recognize as a...

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There Is No Everyone: The U2/iTunes Thing

Last week Tim Cook announced three important new developments: iPhones the size of dinner plates, a watch that your parents will not understand, and a free U2 album for every iTunes user. Personally, I was surprised to see the new U2 album generate as much online chatter as the other unveilings, and I want to make one point about it: When it comes to music (and a lot of other things), there is no everyone.  Beware when you hear someone using the word “everyone” — Everyone hates this, everyone loves that, everyone likes U2. No, they don’t. There is...

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Why We Should Never Take Our Leadership Cues from the NFL

If you haven’t followed the Ray Rice/NFL story, you can see why it’s a big deal here.  Here’s what I think this terrible story ought to tell us: Anyone can do the right thing when an outraged public demands they do the right thing. That’s not leadership, it’s reactionary survivalism. It’s cowardly moralism. It’s throwing a villain under the bus to satisfy the thirst of an angry crowd and distance your reputation from his. Leadership means doing the right thing at the right time, even when it’s difficult. Even when it might cost you something.  Just because you’re in charge doesn’t...

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Social Media and How Everything Has Changed

One way to evaluate a new innovation or technology is to ask, “What does this make possible?” The automobile, for instance, made it possible to live miles away from one’s day job. The combination of highways and automobiles make it possible for a ton of my fellow Dallas residents to live 20+ miles from their jobs. That’s just one aspect of what cars make possible, but it shows us how technology can impact society. As we know, cars have impacted our economy, the environment, our health, our relationships, our personal finances, the location and size of our homes, our...

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A Life-Changing Campaign In Five Steps

One of my favorite organizations is charity: water, founded by Scott Harrison. First and foremost, the organization changes lives by bringing clean water to people who desperately need it. Underneath that, I’ve always admired charity: water for the way they use excellent communication to spread a world-changing cause.  It’s at this time every year that the charity: water team launches a new September Campaign, a targeted effort to accomplish something significant in a specific region of the world. In honor of the launch of this year’s campaign, let’s take a very basic look at some of the communication strategy employed...

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A New App Offers Insight Into Your Soul

Pastor, author, and speaker John Ortberg is part of the team behind SoulPulse, a new app that aims to help you better understand your spiritual life. Ortberg, as you may know, recently published an incredibly helpful book called Soul Keeping, so he knows his stuff. Plus, most of the people working on this project have the letters “PhD” after their names, so users are in good hands.  Why is this important? As people who work and serve the church, there’s nothing more important for us than practicing self-care. We have to guard and invest in our spiritual health. Okay,...

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Does Your Logo Have A Story?

NewSpring Church (who I’ve blogged about before) launched a new website and visual identity over the weekend, and I love it. Best of all, right there on the home page, NewSpring offers site visitors a chance to learn the story behind the new look.  “Our story begins with the empty tomb,” the site declares. Later, a short video says, “Everything we do is because of what Jesus did for us.” So just as the empty tomb is central to the Christian story and central to the identify of NewSpring Church, it’s central to the new logo.  Think of all...

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Two New Podcasts Made Just For You

Are you a podcast junkie like me? Either way, there are two new podcasts that are perfect for creative church leaders. In other words, you should absolutely be listening to these: The Liturgists — This is a brand new podcast hosted by Michael Gungor and a couple friends. The first episode features an extended conversation about creativity from the vantage points of science, art, and faith, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Subscribe via iTunes or the Liturgists site. (And by the way, if you’re not familiar with the work of the Liturgists, dig in.) The Church Marketing Podcast — This one is...

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