Anchor and Ministry

Anchor and Ministry

Over the last two months, I have fallen in love with Anchor.fm. Imagine easy to create podcasts mashed up with Instagram stories. Anchor provides an amazing user experience, the ability to easily create up to 5 minutes blocks of audio content, the quickest publish to iTunes and Google Play that I have ever seen AND an amazing user community interacting with each other’s content. I think anchor and ministry together makes absolute sense.

I believe in the medium of podcasting right now. I think we are going to see audio content reach an unheard of level of engagement. And I think Anchor might be poised to become one of the major players in the field. If you have ever wanted to dip your toe into podcasting, I quickly recommend them to people constantly for the best beginner platform. You can use your phone or upload previously recorded and produced audio content to Anchor. And you can get the content on all the major podcasting platforms. Plus, and this is a big one, Anchor plays embedded clips on both Twitter and Facebook natively.

But before we talk about Anchor and ministry, we need to talk about social media and ministry…

I need to say something about using any social media platform for ministry. Social media is inherently…well, it’s supposed to be social. Before we investigate, utilize, strategize or anything else, we need to be users. I’d encourage you to sign up for Anchor first, start listening, engaging and creating content and then think about how you might apply it to ministry. We have to think about the end user, and if we don’t actually use the service…our marketing is going to appear false and disingenuous. Folks will smell that out quick.  And Anchor is all about the social side of it. Trust me, it’s like an all-day audio party.

So we will now get onto why you clicked this link in the first place.

Anchor and Ministry

Here are the potential use cases I see for Anchor. You need to approach it not from the perspective of a Facebook page. Think about it like an Instagram story that can be shared and publically interacted with. Jumping into any of these 4 will be for a great ministry design using Anchor.

Daily Reflections.
My channel is called Rev. Chad’s Real Life. I talk about ministry some, but I also talk about drinking beer in my neighbor’s driveway, ranting about bad traffic, and what the difference is between a good day and a bad day. I try to create at least 1, if not more, daily reflections on life.

If you’ve ever lived in an area where a church has a 2-minute radio spot, this is the 21st-century version. And folks listen and engage pretty well. I think most of them aren’t Christian and I’m the only pastor they have ever had a relationship with. So I work from that angle and try to be approachable.

Daily Devotion.
You can get a lot of devotional talk done in the 5 minutes (more if you upload external audio, it just breaks them into 5-minute chunks). It isn’t odd for me to pop on in the morning and connect the various pieces of scripture I read together that morning. My church has created 5-minute devotions on our normal podcast feed before, and we would get around 4x the downloads we would normally get in a week.

I could write several more blog posts about what this 5-minute devotion could do, especially in regard to continuing sermon content.

Leadership Notes
Think about how you might use Anchor to share information, tell stories and cast vision for your leadership. All from your cell phone. This is a delivery strategy that could make fantastic use of the iTunes/Podcast feature Anchor offers. As long as your leadership subscribes to the feed, they get the content. And they don’t even have to use the app!

Break Sermons Apart
If you have ever wanted to create a behind the sermon/after the sermon feature, this would be easy. Again, this could be shared via the podcast or with anyone who uses the app. Plus, the embed feature on social media sites makes it easy to get it out to folks who choose not to download an app or subscribe to an RSS feed.

Tell Stories of Church Life
If you are willing to do a little audio production, you could create killer 5-minute mini-docs about your church. Think NPR or American Public Media. This is really taking advantage of the highly social and 24-hour content cycle of Anchor.

So go be social. Engage with folks, create amazing content and dream about how you can use the audio revolution in your ministry content.

Previous Posts About Anchor

Keeping Up With Content Creation

Experimenting with Anchor

Crashing Isn’t The Same As Resting | Productive Pastor 85

Crashing Isn’t The Same As Resting | Productive Pastor 85

Since the beginning, I’ve wanted the Productive Pastor to not just be about tips and tricks, but to also foster conversations about the spiritual dimensions of productive ministry. This past Sunday, I preached a message on Rest for an entire series on margin. We did a pretty thick survey of the congregation (around 60% of the adults in worship) and developed the series around the fears and emotions we have about feeling stretched.

I wanted to share it with the community because these are all lessons I am learning as well right now (I go into that a little more in the episode).

If you need a new volunteer training solution, make sure to check out the great folks at TrainedUp.Church. They are sponsoring the podcast this quarter. I even have an episode with their founder and CEO.

Back Matter

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Creating a Staff Onboarding System | Productive Pastor 84

Creating a Staff Onboarding System | Productive Pastor 84

Have you ever struggled to get new staff started? Has it caused you anxiety? It certainly did to me. This episode I want to share our new staff on-boarding system with you.

Front Matter

This episode is sponsored by the great folks at TrainedUp.church. If you are looking to build a fantastic servant culture at your church, you will need to train well. TrainedUp helps you in our busy world to make that a reality.

The List

God Dreams by Will Mancini – I’ve been re-reading this book over the last week. It is fantastic. If you struggle with the idea of vision, want to be more visionary, are teaching on vision, or need anything to do with vision…go grab this book. It’s been rocking my world recently.

How I Use My Journal To Create My Future and Achieve My Goals by Benjamin P. Hardy – I’ve been all over this article several times over the last week or so. As big of a fan of notation and notebooks, it’s my jam. Plus, the author has some fantastic insights into the practice of future-casting.

Creating a Staff Onboarding System

I realized this summer I needed to be super intentional about how we brought folks on our team. I wanted them to have a great experience and to thrive as staff members. I, alongside my friend Jack, sat down and pounded this system out and we’ve started using in at my church. We started with the preferred future and then worked towards enacting that preferred future. You can grab a template for this system on trello, right here.

  1. The Preferred Future-what emotions would be present and how would the person interact with their work at the church?
  2. Turn emotions into task-specific actions
  3. What is the timeline we would like to work off of?
  4. Begin building these task-specific actions into a schedule

 

The kicker, is you have to run the system to make it effective. Remember, strategy is our most valuable resource and it doesn’t cost us anything.

Back Matter

Resources Mentioned:

HBR on Teams 

Episode 44: Why You Should Keep a Notebook 

Episode 72: The Benefit of Backwards

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

 

Pastoring During a Disaster | Productive Pastor 82

Pastoring During a Disaster | Productive Pastor 82

Over the last week, folks all over the country have had their eyes on the Texas and Louisiana coast as Hurricane Harvey made landfall. In the last year, I’ve lived through a 500 year flood and been part of two other disasters. Living through a disaster in tough. Leading through a disaster seems impossible. So I sit down with my friend Rev. Donnie Wilkinson, one of the pastors at Broadmoor United Methodist in Baton Rouge, La. Donnie prayed for me while I was pastoring during a disaster. Little did I know, in just a few months, Donnie would be leading recovery efforts while his church was affected by the flooding in Baton Rouge of 2016.

Pastoring During a Disaster

This is bigger than you can handle. Trust us. During this season, you will need to do a leadership and church triage. Afterwards, you need to take a break and long term sabbath.

Stresses During a Disaster

  • It’s tough to see your people hurting.
  • We find financial and giving stress.
  • Disaster takes a toil on our bodies and they show the stress
  • We have to begin asking ourselves the questions “What’s the best use of my time?”

Self-care During a Disaster

  • Have a bedtime.
  • Don’t neglect prayer and scripture
  • Your productivity will be the product of your prayer life.

Leadership During a Disaster

  • There are more resources at your church than you know.
  • Your job is to identify and release people for their best purpose.
  • Have a process to dialogue and allow others to make decisions

Leveraging Influence During a Disaster

  • No one knew when this was happening? We weren’t in the news cycle.
  • Have can you tell great stories?
  • What does it mean to connect people to places of impact?

 

Back Matter

Are you listening to my daily podcasts on Anchor? It’s a fantastic new medium.

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

The Preferred Future | Productive Pastor 79

The Preferred Future | Productive Pastor 79

Have you ever thought about the future you would love to have for you or your ministry? Many times we can wander about individually or organizationally. This episode, I want to talk about the idea of a preferred future. This is an amazing tool that can help you strategically plan at every level.

Front Matter

The Productivity Project with Chris Bell | Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income

Stress is the Enemy of Creativity | by Christian Miller 

Chaos Killers Episode 77 

Avoiding and Attacking Procrastination Episode 52

The War of Art | Steven Pressfield 

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers | Adam Grant

The Preferred Future

Why do we have many of the problems in personal leadership AND in the direction of our churches/ministries?

We don’t know what the future holds, how we are playing a part in it, and have lost this idea of promise.

The greatest purpose comes hand in hand with the greatest preparation and process.

This immediately makes us think pretty seriously about call. What is the mission we’ve been given, how does it interplay with our giftedness and ability, and what if we are being asked to do something specific? It is a theological exercise, immediately drawing folks out of themselves.

The Preferred Future is an exercise and tactic to work through towards what you believe is your mission. In scripture, the entire journey from Abraham to Joshua is about preferred future. The sweet spot lies when leaders and churches can prayerfully work through the hard vision process to understand their God-given preferred future. In any strategic planning, understanding and discovering the preferred future is a must. It gives you a baseline to work back from.

The second, and potentially toughest, part of the preferred future is understanding your current reality. Many folks never get past this point. When we don’t have any accurate picture of where we are now and how we got there, we can never move forwards towards the future. Many churches stay stuck in the past because they don’t even see their current place. Often times, a clear picture of our current reality allows us to discover our squeeze points. It helps us to find the lids we need to lift in our selves and organizations to get to the preferred future. It’s the hard work and sweat equity we put in our own improvements.

Back Matter

In the last few months, I have experimented with a few new forms of new media and content delivery.

I’ve loved spending time learning what it takes to create content for youtube. While I don’t think it will be a regular thing, I enjoy getting back into the rhythm of video content.

 

This last week I’ve been spending time in Anchor.fm. It is a fantastic new podcasting service that works completely on your phone and reminds me of an audio version of Instagram stories. I’m getting addicted to it.

 

Have you checked out the Productive Pastor Community? It’s an awesome place for ministry leaders to have productivity and time management resources. It’s absolutely free and connects you on Facebook to other folks in the community.

Make sure to subscribe to the Productive Pastor Insider.

Remember to Review and Rate in iTunes. You can do it right here.

Experimenting with Anchor.FM

Experimenting with Anchor.FM

I’m always wanting to explore how people are using new media. Earlier this summer, I started (very mildly) vlogging with Youtube. I’ve enjoyed it, but it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of time. I still enjoy it, but it takes too much time up to really get into the platform. This week, I’m experimenting with Anchor.fm

As much as I love video, I still think we are moving into an economy of audio. Most of our cars have bluetooth and/or aux jacks. With smartphones, we can play audio pretty much wherever we are. It’s no secret how much I believe in podcasting. Between Productive Pastor, The Threshing Floor, FOUNDRYcast and other experiments, I think podcasting is a fantastic way for ministry leaders to reach and influence folks.

Anchor.fm is a new audio delivery service with some fantastic ideas. You can create content right on your phone, stream music and many other things. I love the call in feature as well. So I’m experimenting in and with Anchor. I’m thinking of shorter bits of content with some music thrown in. Really light and super real life focused.

Check it out here: