Monday, October 28, 2019

Book 11 of 2019 -- Speaking Church

The title of this intrigued me.  So did the subtitle A New Vision for the Sub/Urban Congregation.  Serving in a congregation that is mainly urbanized with some still strong rural roots and links I wondered what Ross had to say.

It was a good read.  The major part of one chapter is a series of case studies/reflections using the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation. And that has me seriously pondering a sermon series on those letters, because I suspect all 7 have something to say to most churches.

I also liked where Ross challenged/counselled sub/urban churches both to look at what the needs of the community actually are and what other groups in the community are doing. Both of these are, I think the way to do good contextual ministry and avoid the "well when we did this it worked (30 or 40 years ago) trap. It also helps us remember that the church can work with other agencies and groups rather than only go it alone.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Book 10 of 2019 -- This I Know

At first glance a book about marketing seems an odd thing for a minister to read for continuing education but really...

Terry O'Reilly is a CBC Radio One personality. I first listened to his show Age of Persuasion and now listen each season for Under the Influence. With the result that there were a number of times in the book that I started reading a story , recognized/remembered it from the show and could "hear" Terry telling it as I read.

I chose this book for two reasons.  First off was because I really enjoy the radio show. The other was that I in fact think a marketing book is a very good thing to read for work in the church. Because, to be blunt, the church often sucks at marketing. Possibly in part because we don't think we should be worrying about marketing.

So as I read and enjoyed the book I was constantly asking myself "how does this translate to the church?". ANd there were a number of places. There were things I should consider in sermon prep, things to consider in Council visioning discussions, thing to think about in what advertising we do (which is very little).  I think the place to start is the basics.  What is our brand? What is our key purpose? Our Elevator pitch?

I need to give more thought. I need to find a way to share the thoughts with others, because marketing the church is not (just) my job.

Good book. entertaining but also thought provoking.