I have enjoyed Seth Godin’s wisdom in his email/blogs, as he tends to coach tech company leaders as well as leaders in general with some pretty sharp observations. As a supplier of software solutions for our ministry clients, we (and they) are bombarded with the “latest and greatest,” which over time often amount to nothing. This week Seth said:
“Beware the zeitgeister. He only cares about what’s trending now. The only worthy examples are this week’s examples, or even better, tomorrow’s examples. The zeitgeister will interrupt a long-term strategy discussion to talk urgently about today’s micro-trend instead. The zeitgeister has little or no knowledge of the foundations of his industry, merely an out-of-context understanding of today’s state of the art. He’s encouraged by the media, of course, because the media are in the zeitgeist business. It’s easier. The challenge, of course, is that the momentary zeitgeist always changes. That’s why it’s so appealing to those that surf it, because by the time it’s clear that you were wrong, it’s changed and now you can talk about the new thing instead.” – Seth Godin on July 8, 2014
Of the many examples we have seen over the years, one in particular was the claim that email would replace the mail in communication with partners. That never happened, as the web’s “power” is limited to how long someone will sit at their screen or look at their phone. We need to have strategy for everything… going where our team “lives,” which is often more than one place!
Text giving was all the rage after the Red Cross used it to raise $30 million for Haiti after the earthquake. What they never shared was that half of the gift went to the phone companies. Local ministries might use text giving to start relationships with young givers through local radio/tv programming, but in general online/mobile and recurring giving paces alongside checks in the mail/events as primary funding methods for local ministries.
Another “gotta have” was web relationship tools (CRM’s and relation builder software), which came at a price and still amounted to little without a strategy. Strategies rule software… not the other way around. Small to medium ministry can make great use from simple Kingdom-centric online/mobile and recurring tools, a good emailing tool like Mail Chimp/Constant Contact, and a quality website and Facebook page. Couple these with a good strategy, and these tools get it done.
We are all tired of the web. It is a love/hate thing, and when we get bombarded by a favorite ministry that got some new “connection” tools… we turn them off. Keep it simple and occasional… and rich in ministry and testimony to God’s greatness… and tiny in asking for help. You might get read.