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.

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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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Invite the entire family
Don’t just invite the volunteer but recognize everyone in their family from their spouse to their kids. Their kids have to sacrifice time with their mom and dad while they serve in ministry, show appreciation to them for letting their mommy and daddy serve.

Don’t forget their spouse. A lot of time the spouse of the volunteer is overlooked. If you don’t have the spouse’s blessing you won’t have your volunteer for very long. The spouse is part of the deal, because they are usually the ones pulling extra parent duty while their spouse serves.

Personally connect with each leader
Make sure that you communicate personally to each volunteer your appreciation for them. Words are powerful. You should do this both privately and/or publicly at the event. A lot of times communicating this public shows greater appreciation then privately.

Give gifts
Every volunteer should walk away with a gift. It can be something as small as a $5 Starbucks gift card, to a branded coffee cup or a piece of clothing with your ministry name on it. Bless them. Remember their family and spouses on this also.

Create or select a fun environment
Find an off site location that you have a blast together at. Rent out a skating rink, bowling alley or indoor playground.

Play together
A lot of times when we are together we are serving and have to have our game faces on. Let your party be one where they can play together. Create experiences where they can laugh as a team.

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For our Christmas series at The Fields Church part of our branding and marketing strategy was to develop a microsite. All of our direct mailing, social, and eNewsletters have pushed our traffic to Christmas At The Movies.

Five Reasons We Created A Microsite

1) Provide General Information About The Series
Times, dates, location, maps, directions via Google Maps and general information about The Fields Church.

2) Help Attenders and First Time Guests Know What To Expect
We wanted to answer as many questions as possible, so that there were no surprises for the 1st time guest.
We provide what to wear, what their kids do, length of services, etc.

3) Let Them Know What We Are Talking About
We layout out each week’s topic so they know what to anticipate. You never know what will perk who’s interest.

4) Simple Ticketing
For our special Candlelight Service we have limited tickets available, so we offered an easy solution for them to reserve free tickets.

5) Easy To Share With Others
We’ve provided three easy ways (Twitter, Facebook and Email Invites) for them to share with others about Christmas at the Movies.

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Want a website or branding similar to this. Hire me.

 

Christmas In Asia Website

November 22, 2013 — 1 Comment

Yesterday I launched my most recent website project that I partnered with OneHope.

OneHope is an international ministry that is changing lives by sharing Scripture with children and youth around the world.

This month OneHope is distributing one million books in Thailand through local church leaders. But they didn’t want their influence to stop there, so we partnered together to develop a website that would continue the conversation and resource the recipient of the books.

The site we developed is bilingual (English and Thai) that includes:

  • eBooks
  • Movie Player
  • Integrated Survey
  • And much more

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Christmas In Asia Website

As if you needed another reason to get involved on Twitter.

I discovered the service Church Inviter that setups up evites for websites. I thought it’d be a great resource for other churches that are preparing their branding / marketing plans for Christmas. So I tweeted the resource including Church Inviter’s username @ChurchInviter.

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Church Inviter then replied to me and here is our following conversation.

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Boom. Just like that we got a code for five years of service!