This week we continued our ‘heart and soul’ series with some kind words from DJ Chuang. Last week I shared some of the dreams that have been twirling in our heads and hearts, and where we see things going with the Center for Church Communication. Now we want to bring it back to earth a bit and talk about some of the practical realities of making a non-profit work.
First, let me give you a snapshot of what we’re working with. There are a handful of people working behind the scenes to keep the labs going. The primary caretaker for the labs, including Church Marketing Sucks, is Kevin D. Hendricks. He works way more hours than we compensate him for, alongside his day job of freelance writing. We also have a number of volunteers who have stepped up to moderate the Church Marketing Lab, run the Events Lab and help out in other ways. So far, we’ve been funded by yours truly, which is running about $1,000 a month just to keep things going. We’ve received a handful of donations including a small grant from a foundation. Our overhead is low because most of what we do is virtual, which is nice.
Building something great is never easy. It takes time, people, patience, money, talent, persistence and so much more. While I have always had a healthy respect for the potential that the Center for Church Communication could realize, I have also made a commitment from the beginning that we are not going to rush or ramrod the process of allowing it to evolve. This whole deal is bigger than my puny ideas anyway. To be honest, if it’s going to succeed in its mission to help the church matter, it’s going to take lots of us, not some of us. How can you help? I thought you would never ask.
Time: The 20/20 Plan
Your contribution to the conversation is what makes this whole thing work. We’re not a publishing company or a marketing company or an event. This is not a one-way conversation. We’re a community of communicators that have wisdom to give and wisdom to get. We all have experience, information and knowledge that others could really benefit from. How are you spreading the love?
The 20/20 challenge: Spend 20 minutes a month in some or all of the CFCC Labs, soaking up anything you can that will help you and your ministry. Spend another 20 minutes per month giving back. Comment on an entry in Church Marketing Sucks. Give some constructive critique in the Church Marketing Lab. E-mail a friend with a link to an article or idea that might help them. Pray that God will be honored and more people will be drawn unto him when we attempt to communicate his name and fame.
Treasure: Re-direct Some Dollars
This is not a plea for donations. It is a petition to encourage investment into helping churches communicate. Sure, your tax-deductible donation to CFCC would be appreciated and it will be put to good use. But don’t stop there. How about carving out some budget to attend one of the events put on by so many great organizations. You can find a list on our events calendar. Or how about sponsoring someone from a church who can’t afford to go? Or how about finding some creative ways to increase your budget so you can spend a little more on R&D. Buy some books to help, audit a marketing class at a local college, or take a road trip to a few churches you always wanted to experience.
The $100 Challenge: Perhaps you’re already doing all of this–that’s great! We could still use some help too! Would you commit to giving $100 to the Center for Church Communication? We’re looking for 500 churches, organizations or people to give a one-time donation of $100 to help CFCC continue fulfilling the mission. Nope, we’re not going to spend it on office space or overhead. We’re putting every dime into building the community itself. You saw the dreams–we’ll need a little cash to start pulling them off. You can donate using a credit card or checking account online. Can’t do $100? Want to give more? We’ll use it well, I promise.
We are also moving forward with plans to accept advertising. We have resisted this idea for the last couple years because we wanted to be very clear that we were not about money or building some big empire. As we have matured, I think we’re ready to tap into some of those ad dollars which will help us invest more in the future of CFCC (we’re still not out to build a big empire or doing this for the money!). If you know of anyone interested in advertising, drop us a line at ads [at] cfcclabs.org. We should have a media kit and more info online in the next couple months.
Talent: Yes, You Have It
There is a reason you’re reading this. Chances are pretty good you have an affinity or appreciation for excellence in church communication and marketing. You’re passionate about telling the greatest story every told, better. And chances are pretty good you’re serious about honing your skills, regardless of where you are on the journey. Bravo. It’s in this context that the community thrives.
The Volunteer Challenge: Last month we put the call out for volunteers who might want to help in building this vision. The response was very encouraging and we’re in the midst of harnessing those resources. In the meantime, we could always use more talented people. Maybe you have some hours you can commit to each month, or perhaps just sharing your ideas so someone else can water them? Either way, your talents are needed.
What a thrill it has been to see this community grow. I’m amazed every time I read the stories of churches that have been helped, leaders that have been encouraged, and people’s lives that have been changed through God allowing a little idea to help churches grow into something that only He knows where it will go.
Thanks for journeying with us. Thanks for praying for us. Thanks for giving back.
By the way, if you’re not on our elist, please take a moment to sign up. It’s a great way for us to stay connected about this stuff.
Next week… we get to hear from one final guest blogger as we wrap up our ‘heart and soul’ series.