The Future of CFCC

The ‘heart and soul’ series continues. Last week, Kevin shared some of the accomplishments we’ve realized over the last several years through the Center for Church Communication, especially in light of Church Marketing Sucks and the overwhelmingly amount of people who are benefiting from its mission to frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate, with uncompromising clarity, the truth of Jesus Christ. A couple weeks ago I shared about our history. This week I get to share about our future…

Big Dreams
I love dreaming big dreams. I’m sure it stems from the entrepreneur blood rampant inside of me, but there is something about the process of thinking big thoughts, wild ideas and unimaginable scenarios that keep me up at night and lost in thought during those few alone times each day, like in the shower and during the morning commute. I know many can relate.

When I think about the future of the Center for Church Communication, it is difficult not to get too far ahead of ourselves! As we continue in our attempts to recruit a team of people to help steward this vision, we will keep moving ahead with the many ideas we’ve been tooling with and talking about. The only real hurdle to any of these being accomplished is–no surprise here–is help. More about that later, but for now, won’t you dream with me?

Step Into the Labs
The labs are how we organize the Center for Church Communication and all that we do and plan to do. It’s our simple way of saying that we don’t know it all, but we do think we have enough of the elements to create something that might work. So put on your lab coat and come mix it up with us. Here’s some of the stuff we’re experimenting with. Not every idea is set in stone with a specific plan of action, nor is this list exhaustive. It is merely a taste to tickle your fancy and give an inside look of our process. It is in that spirit of transparency that we present…

Directory of Companies Who Can Help
We originally had a list of companies available to work with churches that we put on the Church Marketing Sucks site under a section called “Don’t Suck.” We quickly learned that our own list sucked, and that we needed to re-think our approach. Our plan is to roll out a more comprehensive un-biased directory of companies that can help. It will be your “go to” guide for church marketing and communication help. This directory will most likely be published online under one of the CFCC labs. In addition, we will also have a hit list on Church Marketing Sucks that are some of our favorite picks that will obviously be a little more biased. We anticipate rolling out a new list of favorite picks a couple times per year.

Graphics, Photos, Video and Files
The great mash-up. Think of this as eBay meets Flickr meets Vimeo meets stock photography meets church marketing. This idea is so huge it could be a business, but we think there is a way to bring together all of the great stuff out there from individuals and organizations under one roof in one big community that is shared. Imagine being able to get your hands on images and graphics that you could instantly download, tweak and use this weekend. Or imagine uploading stuff you’ve done and letting a church across the country or around the world use it to do the same. A one-stop shop. Wow!

Awards and Recognition
This is one of the ideas we’ve had from the beginning because it is quite easy to do. Our issue has always been doing something that is meaningful and honoring to the best of the best. The idea is to create an annual call for entry to submit the best our there in church communication and marketing. We’ll assemble an expert panel of judges (maybe even open up the vote to the community?) and make a big deal out of who is leading the way in excellence. We’ve already started conversations with some of the significant events that many in the CFCC audience already attend so that we could piggy-back an awards show or ceremony and honor people live.

How-To Guides
The idea is to create PDF booklets (perhaps also made available in print) for how-to guides on more in depth subjects like developing a brand, using direct mail, understanding demographics, how to build a communications team and a host of other helpful guides that are meatier than a blog entry.

Q&A Knowledge Base/Wiki Thing
Imagine a place where you could post a question about church marketing/communication, and the place for an answer is open to everyone, and can always be updated at anytime by the community. Think of a wiki that meets a blog that meets Google Answers. Searchable, sortable, sensational.

Job Board
Our intent is not to compete with all of the other great job sites out there, but to provide a very concentrated approach to connecting the right people with the right organization in the context of church marketing and communication.

Association of Church Communicators
Think of this as a place to belong for church communicators–your official connection to a community of people and resources to help you and your ministry. The idea is to connect a cadre of leaders who want to connect, not just another association with an annual membership and gala.

Research & Polls
We’re thankful for pollsters like George Barna to represent the Christian community, but we think there is room for more stories to be told with the data that exists among churches. Over the years, we’ve dabbled a bit with polls, but nothing scientific. We’d like to up the ante and commission official polls that capture the realities of church communication and marketing.

Piggy Back Events
We’re pretty certain we don’t want to be putting on big events. We think there are plenty of other great organizations that do this stuff well. We do, however, think there might be a way to piggy back on some existing events (say a day before or after) to connect with the community. Perhaps a dinner or brunch with a few agenda items (like the get together at MinistryCom). Hey, who said all the fun has to happen virtually?

As our resources for technology and tech-savvy people increase, a lot of the above ideas can take on additional forms that are really quite amazing. Imagine a directory that becomes intuitive by sorting and sifting through companies that can help based on your input preferences. Imagine how-to guides that are intuitive and take you through a process like a “choose your own adventure” book. Imagine using your cell phone to hear or see the latest in church marketing and communication. This is starting to get fun.

Still Dreaming…
This is just a taste of what’s been mixing in the labs. I hope you get the idea that we’re dreaming big and bold, and running to God for his help. After all, this whole thing is God’s fault anyway.

Thanks for being a part of this journey!

Up Next…
Another guest blogger jumps into the fray to offer their perspective. Stay tuned to find out who it is.