The Two Things I Wish I Knew Early in My Career

If there are two things I wish I understood earlier in my creative career, they would be the process of Thrasing and Fine Tuning vs Tinkering.


If your work grows, you will inevitably have a new set of problems that arise with growth. With the growth comes more voices and more ideas. There is nothing wrong with new ideas, however with all the new ideas it can become increasingly hard to vet the ideas before they get to far down the track.

This is where thrashing comes in. Thrashing is the process of exploring whether or not the idea really even worth doing. The trick is to do this early and often. By thrashing a idea early you save yourself the headache of spending countless hours on something that won’t come to fruition (and yes, I am guilty of this). By thrashing often, you can create a culture where you instinctively do this when the opportunity rises.

“Can I tell you if your baby is ugly?”

That is the phrase we use when we are in the thrashing process. It might get a laugh, but I say it for reason. We’re trying to point out that we know that ideas are like babies and everyone thinks theirs is special and unique. Well they’re not and that is why we thrash them. Thrashing is not easy. In fact, it can be painful and often is, but not thrashing is even more painful.

Fine-Tuning vs Tinkering

Apple fine tunes products. Just take a look at the new iPhone. They spent hours figuring out which glass to encase the phone in. The user interface icons were painstakingly chosen and refined. Everything is fine tuned and you can feel it. This fine tuning is possible due the fact that Apple just focuses it efforts on a few projects and sets it’s own internal deadline for releasing a product (in other words only they know the release date).

Microsoft tinkers with products. Just look at the amount of money they spend on R&D ($9.5 billion). Why do they get so little return on that money? Because more than likely they have hundreds if not thousands of projects going on at the same time. At that rate you really can’t fine tune anything, especially when you announce products almost a year in advance. This of course throws a public deadline around your neck, which has Microsoft rushing to get it out the door. Too many products, with a lot of tinkering and public deadlines is a complete mess.

Tinkering is okay in the creative process. Sometimes by tinkering with something you can make a new discovery. However, tinkering doesn’t need to take place when you are trying to get something out the door.

Fine tuning though, is a must towards the end of a project. Fine tuning provides the user the feeling that what they are experiencing has depth and was carefully thought through. Fine tuning is what separates the amateurs from the professionals.

So tinker all you want on the front end, just make sure you fine tune on the back end.

7 Rules When Hiring for Your Communications Team

Hiring for your communications team can be a fun process. Especially when you have a lot of interest in the job you are hiring out for. To me, the diversity of the applicants reminds me how much fun this work can be, and how difficult it is to find the right person.

7 Rules When Hiring for Your Communications Team

Here are some things that I look for when hiring, granted this may be an odd list, but let’s face it, communications teams can an odd bunch. (more…)

An Exclusive Invite to Join the Church Communications Facebook Group

I think one the hardest parts about running communications for a church is that a lot us have to do it on our own or at least we feel alone. This is where a community comes in. Community can help you find new ideas and resources to help you and your church grow.

An Exclusive Invite to Join the Church Communications Facebook Group

So how do you find community? That’s something I’m constantly asking myself. Well have no fear, because the amazing Katie Allred and I have created the Church Communications Facebook Group and today is your day to join.

We’ve already have over 400 people join this community in the first four days! We have people from all over the country sharing ideas, discussing topics like communication tools, social media, and how you actually get the work done.

Are you ready to join? Click here to begin interacting with some of best minds in Church Communications.

What We’ve Learned From Our Online Campus Experiment

I believe the future of the web will focus around video and our ability to interact with video. With the rise of Periscope and Meerkat, we’re seeing more platforms appear with the idea of delivering you video at a moment’s notice. It’s a whole new world and it’s affecting the church as well.

What We’ve Learned From Our Online Campus Experiment

That’s why it’s important for churches to start investigating these platforms and determine how they can use them to grow God’s Kingdom. For a moment, I want to focus on one aspect of these new video platforms, the online campus.

I’ve written a lot about online campuses. I’ve talked about their flaws, their challenges, and what you need to think through before starting one. Today, I want to share what we’re learning from our online campus. (more…)

9 Things I’ve Learned This Year About Digital Strategy and the Church

About a month ago I conducted a mid-year review of my blog, podcast and digital footprint. I did this with the thought that I need to see if was on target with my goals for 2015 and to get an idea of what 2016 was shaping up to look like.  What I walked away with was sense of how 2015 continues to be a big year for churches and the digital world.

9 Things I've Learned This Year About Digital Strategy and the Church

Of course, like anything in life, I walked in 2015 with one set of expectations and instead ended up with a different experience. Unlike in previous years it seems the digital world around me and the church is moving at a faster pace. While 2015 isn’t over, there are a lot things I’ve already learned and I’m still unpacking. Here’s a quick list: (more…)

Four Things to Consider Before Starting an Online Campus

I have mixed thoughts on the idea of an online church campus. On one hand, I see the inevitable future that is online streaming and worship. On the other hand, I have concerns about what that future will look like and how the church should respond.

Four Things to Consider Before Starting an Online Campus

However, after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to dip our toes into the online campus world. Our choice of platform was the Church Online Platform from I have to say overall, I’m rather impressed with the platform.

Of course, now that I’ve spent a few weeks in the platform, there are few things that I’ve learned. While I believe we did a thorough pre-launch checklist before we went live, there are some things that we should have considered. If you’re thinking about starting an online campus you should consider these things as well. (more…)

The Two Most Important Essentials of a Digital Strategy

When I first started working my for my church, I was given a pretty big head start. Before I even showed up on campus, our communications minister, Steve Smith, had already written a digital strategy. It was a solid strategy with plans for social media and online resources. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

The Two Most Important Essentials of a Digital Strategy

At first, I assessed our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. I drew up a content calendar and begin to get content flowing. However, despite some immediate success, I knew that we were missing something big.

Then it hit me… (more…)


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