For a teaching series on money at The Fields Church, we thought we’d generate brand awareness and excitement, also at the same time create an alertness to the issue of debt and poor personal financial choices people are making in our community by doing cash drops.

Initial Idea
In San Francisco a group of people started a Twitter account called HiddenCash, and they post clues to locations of where they have hidden cash in the city. This concept has taken off and has spread to other large cities.

What are we doing?

  • Over a two week time period we are hiding cash around our community.
  • Created a micro site called Strapped4Money.Com that will post clues to where the cash drops are and also will inform people about our new teaching series.
  •  Printed 4″x4″ cards that promote the cash drops and website, and distribute them at church and in our community during a parade and carnival.
  •  Developed email and Facebook ad campaigns that will drive traffic to website.

StrappedCards540

strapped540website

After a couple of weeks being out of town and not having a good system in place I let my email get out of control. I had over 600 read, unread, ignored emails in my inbox staring at me.

Here are three steps I took to get a hold of my email.

Create a bacn folder & rule
Bacn is email you want but just not right now. Unlike SPAM which is email you don’t want. I created a folder titled “Bacn.” Every e-newsletter or promotional email I receive from a company that I want to look but just not right I put in the Bacn folder. I setup a rule in my email that automatically moves that email from my inbox into the Bacn folder. Whenever I have down time I flip quickly through my Bacn.

Do something with every email you read
When you read an email don’t just let it sit in your inbox. Do something with it. Every email I read it goes into one of three locations.

  • Trash – I’m done with it and don’t need it anymore
  • Processed Mail – I’ve read it, but I want to keep it. I don’t do multiple folders, because it slows down the process. Instead I put it in this generic folder, since you can search for emails later.
  • Action Required – If the email has something that I need to do I’ll create a to do, and then put it in the “Action Required” folder.

Use keyboard shortcuts
Avoid using a mouse or track pad. It slows down the process. Learn shortcuts and create your own. I created a shortcut for each of the action steps that I perform on each email. (IE Move to Processed Mail, Move to Action Required, Trash)

What systems do you have in place to help you process your email?

Direction
Create a service, an environment and an event that  would encourage men to grow spiritually. Develop both a worship service an outdoor event afterwards.

Imagery Direction
Mustaches and beards are very trendy right now, so we modeled a lot of imagery from The Art of Manliness. Think late 1800s man.

Marketing
Created a series of Beard meme photos that we shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even put them up in our men’s and women’s restrooms weeks before our DadFest event.
Joey-DadFestBeard540

Created an area in our space limited lobby for event promotion and meal ticket sales.
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Day of Event

Outdoor/First Impression
Branded signage at the road for both those driving by the church and those that were attending.
Printed at GotPrint.

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Lobby

Photo booth
We did a photo booth, which I feel that everyone is doing and it is overdone. BUT it works. It creates excitement in our lobby, camaraderie with families, and increases our reach on social networks. We post these photos on Facebook, tag people, and then they comments, their friends comment, etc. Over the weekend our Post Reach increased by 105%.

To avoid having to watermark the photos with our church and event branding, we created vinyl that we put on the wall.

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Signage
We purchased phone etiquette posters from The Art Of Manliness that we put in high eye traffic areas. Such as near eye level of where people get coffee. These were humorous, went with our theme, and also provided practicals on how to be a man.
Phone Etiquette

Bathrooms
Provided free Father’s Day cards with envelopes and pens if anyone had forgot to get their dad one.
Fathers Day Cards Bathroom

Put vinyl mustaches on the mirrors so that when anyone looked into theme, it looked they had a mustache. We did this in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.
Mustaches Bathroom

Worship Service

Preservice we played the video “How To Trim A Mustache” Video link
Our band covered Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”
On stage game “Shave The Balloon” where the winner received a 1 year subscription to the Dollar Shave Club.
At the end of worship, we played a video that we created that challenged dads and also highlighted them. Our band covered Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” while the video played.

BalloonShave

 

After Service
We do a brunch after each service and then have activities for kids, dads and the whole family.
Inflatable obstacle course, inflatable bounce house, vintage fire engine, RZR Sport Side By Side, and a potato gun.
Razr PotatoGun Inflatable

Each year your children and youth ministry will have the challenge of transitioning kids/students from ministry to the next. Its an exciting time for the them and it can also be an anxious time for the parents.

1. What does a win look like?
Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine the path and action steps you need to take.
What is the overall goal that we are wanting to accomplish with the incoming kids/student?
What does a win look like? (IE 80% retention rate)

2. How will we measure the win?
When will we measure it? (IE August? September?)

3. What is the best way to get incoming kids/students to stick within the first two months?

4. How can we win the hearts of the incoming kids/students so that we can gain their trust?

5. In regards to transition, what has worked in the past? What has failed in the past?

6. What Steps Are We Wanting Them To Take?
Student Ministry Example
Step 1 : Attend age specific transitional event
Step 2 : Attend youth ministry service
Step 3 : Get involved in a serving team

With temperatures reaching close to 0 degree with a windchill of -10 and dropping rapidly, Travis semi-jokingly posted this on Facebook.
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I saw the post. Grabbed my Mizzou jersey and headed outside.
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Over the next hour we saw the status feed blow up with comments, photos, taunts and challenges. To get those that were reluctant to do the challenge, money was put on the line in the form of missions donations to OneHope to coerce them. The results were over $100 donated to OneHope, lots of engagements, community built, a little frostbite and some great photos.

PolarPicMontage

 

 

Yesterday #snowmageddon hit Mattoon and a majority of the churches in our area canceled services. We decided to cancel services 18 hours before Sunday services. So we decided to put together a short devotional video that we would share via email/social networks to still challenge our church on Sunday morning. We posted on the video at 8am on Sunday. Towards the end of the video we put an “Easter Egg”, an intentional joke at the end of the video where we encouraged viewers to comment on Facebook, Twitter, Etc, with the phrase “Purple Snow Tastes Good” to show that they watched the entire video.

All day we saw people randomly posting online “Purple Snow Tastes Good.”

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This winter due to weather you church may have to make the decision to cancel services. Due to the nature of canceling because of weather, you usually don’t have a lot of time to communicate these cancelations to your church attenders and community.

4 Ways To Effectively Communicate Your Church Is Canceling Service

  1. Email – Send out emails to all of your email lists to communicate your cancelation.
  2. Social Networks – Create Facebook Posts and Tweets that can be easily shared and retweeted. You may need to do a couple of these or even “sponsor” your post to maximize exposure.
  3. Phone – Call or text your key ministry leaders letting them know of the cancelation and that they in return need to get contact their volunteers. Or use a texting solution like Remind101 to create a text message database.
  4. Radio / Newspaper – Most radio stations and newspapers have a “Cancelation & Closures” page. Shoot an email to all of your local news/radio outlets. This will help reach those individuals that aren’t on social networks or don’t have email.

What are some ways you’ve effectively communicate with others when canceling a service?

Christmas Staging 2013

December 21, 2013 — Leave a comment

For this Christmas our series is called, “Christmas At The Movies.” We wanted our staging to not be overly Christmas or movie theater feel, but a subtle blend of both.

We feel like we were able to accomplish this with our design. We an inspiration for Church Stage Design Ideas, we came up with the idea of converting our 30′ screen into a 16:9 center screen with a light curtain on the sides and below it. And then to give it the “Christmas” feel, we then added a couple a couple white Christmas trees.

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Supplies
Clear Globe Lights from Target
Tile Edging from Home Depot
White Christmas Trees

Yesterday I posted the Christmas At The Movies sermon series trailer we created. You can watch it here if you missed it. 

It was the Saturday night before our Sunday morning kick off of our Christmas teachings series and I had just launched Apple Motion to begin work on our series trailer. After 90 minutes of editing I was ready to render the project. I clicked render and immediately Motion told me it’d take 9 hours to render, 15 minutes later it said it’d take 12 hours. I didn’t have 12 hours to wait. I didn’t have six hours to wait.

So I punted.

I opened iMovie. Selected a trailer theme. Dropped video clips. Added text.
Five minutes later I was rending and the video was done.

There are over 20 Apple Trailer Themes that you can take advantage of, that include easy drop zones for your video clips, photos and text.

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