In many church communication blog articles and Facebook groups, I’ve seen a common recommendation: “Use Unsplash photos for your church social media and website”. I’ve done it myself and will again in the future. But there are some very good reasons why your church shouldn’t use Unsplash. And, the more I see Unsplash photos being used, the more true they become.
Could you live without your smartphone, Facebook or Netflix? This question had been asked by many writers recently but Cal Newport’s latest book asks a far more pertinent question. Are these technologies helping you support your values and could something else support them better? This question is central to the technological philosophy he presents in digital minimalism. I believe this question is very important for Christians and churches.
Do you struggle to start a new habit? Many people want to start something new at the beginning of the new year, but even with great apps to help, most fail. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear lays out why you should focus on your habits and how to start a new habit.
It’s an old business truthism that you can improve what you can measure, but it’s equally dangerous to measure the wrong thing. If you are measuring the wrong metrics then you will focus on the wrong things. Unfortunately, this is easy for churches to do.
Imagine a story which ends with the hero failing. Okay, personally I actually quite like this brave storytelling decision nowadays. At the same time, I can’t imagine Star Wars Episode VI Ending with the empire winning rather than the rebels . It wouldn’t be the story we all love.
Likewise, in the Story Brand framework “Ending in success” is an important step. Showing the change from before the character met your guide (customer met your brand, the person joined your church) shows that success.
In this chapter, we start to get into helping the character take action. That’s important as having a clear message is good, but we can then put people off with a confusing message on how to implement those ideas.
The plan provides evidence that you can deliver and how someone can take action. If these are clearly expressed, then you can provide evidence that you will help someone and the reader will know exactly what they need to do.