Easter is less than a week away and we are all looking at celebrating it in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few months ago (and may still not have figured out).
Hopefully, at this time most of us have realized that God is in control and we find our comfort and hope in Him alone. If not, hunker down and spend some serious time with your Creator and Savior before you do anything else. Read a modern translation of the Psalms and immerse yourself in the cries of David who had no idea if he would live another day when an army was chasing him with the one goal of killing him. The same God who protected David is with you right now and you will get through this.
One other reality that is slowly sinking in is that this is not going to go away quickly. Things will never be how they were before, and we don’t have any idea of what the “new normal” might be.
What do we do?
I’m not going to give you a list of 5 things that have changed in the church or any such nonsense because nobody really knows at present.
We might have some hints or ideas but I’m quite tired of the online prognostications that state so assuredly what is going to happen and what direction the church will take going forward. I’ve found many major on whatever technology the person writing the piece happened to favor before the outbreak took place.
We really don’t know what technology will explode or implode. Zoom was the tool to unite us all a few days ago and now it’s the insecure boogeyman about to reveal all our secrets.
It’s most likely neither. Time will tell.
What I’m working on this week
I really don’t like to talk about myself, so I deleted that stuff.
Now let me tell you about the latest with Effective Church Communications. This is what is important and PLEASE pray I can get everything done that the Lord wants me to do on it. It is exciting!!
The Effective Church Communications Academy & the Effective Church Communications Bookstore
This is the BIG project I’ve been working on—getting the lessons I’ve learned over the years and current ones I continue to learn into a format that is affordable and accessible.
I’m almost there. Within a couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing it.
I wanted to tell you it is coming. It won’t be perfect, but it will be useful and good.
The reason it won’t be perfect
Putting together an online membership program and particularly if you want to offer lots of classes and courses is an EXTREMELY complex project.
There are all sorts of programs out there that tell you they can do it and how easy it is and that may be true if you have one class or a very simple system to offer. But if you have dozens of classes and want to offer all of them for one low price and have them organized in a way that makes sense (I trust) to church staff people, it is incredibly difficult.
Believe me, I’ve tried them all and invested thousands of dollars trying different systems over the past years. Though I’ve spent far more than I could afford, what I tried were off-the-shelf systems. When I checked into hiring programming to customize some possible solutions, well, let’s just say it was not realistic for me.
I found a useable system. Not perfect, but useable and I think I’m close to launching a project that you will enjoy and learn from.
Not perfect extends beyond the program
The not so perfect parts of the program are more than the imperfect computer set-up of the system. Operator error plays a part also.
The Effective Church Communications Academy & the Effective Church Communications Bookstore are not the product of a big ministry or organization. They are all from me—what I have learned over many decades of working in church communications and with thousands of church communicators all over the world in online interactions and from years of traveling and teaching.
I am far from perfect. I miss typos and grammatical errors. I work alone and can’t afford the staff to fix my messes. I can be narrow-minded and opinionated, and I’ve been called, a “Bible thumper” in that I’m always trying to go back to biblical foundations, motivations, and imperatives for what I do. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, that is who I am, and I do always try to base my life and teachings on God’s Word, but that view is not always appreciated.
I don’t live on social media (though I like it much more than I did) in that I have limited time to create what needs to be done and content creation always takes preference over online chatter.
But I do believe God has given me useful experience and skills. I believe I have a unique viewpoint that though I love new technology and try to keep up with new tools and pass on what is useful, I think some of my greatest strengths are to teach you strategy and skills that are timeless. I have been doing church communications for a long time and I think that perspective is useful.
I wanted to make almost every course better before I released it (though there are some I’m very happy with) and many of the ebooks I wanted to wait to share until I redid them, though some are newly updated.
But the material is all useful as it is. Not perfect, but useful. In fact, I think extremely useful.
I don’t believe you’ll find similar training or advice elsewhere online.
Most of all I believe that the Lord wants me to pass on what he has given me to all of you, what I have now though I’m working to constantly create and improve things, much of it is, as the song says, “just as I am.”
What about the ministry now, this week?
It’s Easter week, Holy Week.
What can I do now to help you prepare when much of what I have for a traditional Easter service no longer works when people aren’t meeting together in a physical space.
Right now, I have a few ideas.
I’ve been overwhelmed with working on the school and bookstore and my brain has not tackled how to redo Easter communications. I may get some done in the next few days, I’m not sure. I do have one thing and one thought.
One thing: Resurrection Cookies—these are a great recipe of meringue cookies that end up hollow inside (if your oven is working properly) and that you can use to tell the Easter story with kids. CLICK HERE to go to the article on them.
One thought: Jesus conquered death! If there was ever a Holy Week that the pall of death permeates our world, this is it. We have GOOD NEWS! Whether my weary brain can come up with additional ways to share it or not, please tell at least one other person on the phone or online or any way you safely can that Jesus is alive and wants to give that eternal life to everyone.