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Archive for the ‘multimedia’ Category

Discovering More Clarity with My Calling

In business, you set up and maintain a business identity.

It speaks to who you are and what you do. It becomes your brand. And it is how others come to know your business.

Ministry is similar, but there is a subtle difference between the two.

Firstly, the ministry calling is based on God giving you your marching orders. He usually pricks the heart of the believer for a cause or concern that invokes compassion or conviction, causing the believer to follow the leading of the Lord and His Spirit in that given direction.

Secondly, the ministry calling evolves over time. After one’s initial calling, God reveals more along the way. Greater clarity on the big picture is provided along the way during the journey.

My journey started around 2005 with an idea that would eventually take the form of Life Path Ministries & Services in 2008. It include Bible Stories & Beyond (Bible lessons and activities), All Men Edified Now (A.M.E.N.) (a monthly small group Bible study), and Operation Reach Out (evangelism and outreach). I added a weekly newsletter, self-published books of poetry and ministry guidance, and Bible study activities for A.M.E.N. over the course of several years.

I was content with what I was doing for God. I was confident that I was in the right place and on the right track.

Comfort Zones Cloud Clarity

Comfort zones can become dangerous places for anyone with a calling from God. That’s a particular place where business and ministry are truly similar. The amount of overlap is difficult to determine by degrees, but they at the least run parallel to one another once you get into the danger of comfort zones.

I knew what was doing in both ministry and business. I was struggling with completing my degree between Organizational Leadership at Chapman and Business Administration at Azusa Pacific. I knew how to do the work. I knew that the work was both important and critical. I even knew that the Lord had more in store for both myself and the ministry.

I was in a strange place. I was in an unknown zone. People applauded my work and what I was doing in the name of the Lord, but I felt an uneasy tension or frustration of the unknown lying ahead. I was engaged in what Keith Haney points out as motivating others like Jesus, but I had no name for it.

The evidence of the work was visible with tangible results, but I struggled with pinpointing what exactly it was that I was doing. Let me clarify that to say I struggled with what to call it. I was stumped with how to categorize it. I didn’t know what box to check when describing it.

Was it a ministry like Prison Fellowship, Salvation Army or YMCA? Was it a para-church ministry like Focus on the Family or 700 Club? What was this thing that I was doing?

I could not articulate it with clarity or with confidence if asked.

It took me over 12 years to realize . . .

I am in the inspiration business.

I am a preacher, rooted in a steep biblical basis of study and interpretation. I am a teacher and facilitator, focused on making tangible life connections for those with whom I study and lead. I am an evangelist, fired up with a passion for both those who the Lord calls “the least of these” and “sheep without a shepherd” similar to other street ministry efforts across the country.

I am in the inspiration business.

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time-for-change-sign-with-led-light-2277784

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels

 

 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

– Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

 

Today’s church is in a peculiar position.  It can be remembered as a masterful center of activity.  Or, it can be seen a near-dead dormant place of apathy with little to no action or activity.

For the church to harness the power of being interactive, its leadership has to see  the church as a beacon within the congregation and community that offers: CONNECTIVITY, COMMITMENT, & CONSISTENCY.

CONNECTIVITY

The experience on the customer end is all about ease of usage.  How simple is it to get connected with your church online? Is it just a Facebook LIve post at 11 AM EST every week? If so, then as a member who follows your church on Facebook, I should see it pop up on my Facebook alerts when you go live.  If I have to log into an online portal with username and password or jump through some other technological hoop, you got me doing way too much.

Make it simple for people.  One click access.  Embed your videos on your website’s home page.  Simplify access for people to connect with your church.

COMMITMENT

Any ministry effort requires dedicated folks.  Yet, during this season of uncertainty, commitment does not look different but it certainly feels different.  No matter if you have a full team of folks helping to create and coordinate the distribution`of your online content or something far more simplified than that.

Who’s managing the chat? Who is checking the mobile watcher experience?

A handful of committed folks from right within your congregation or community.  Your best sermons will never reach their potential.  The commitment of your tech and sound crew makes a huge difference in your broadcast.

CONSISTENCY

No one will watch if there is no schedule or announcement.  It helps your team with planning and preparing, but it helps your audience to know what to expect and when to expect it.

When you fail to be consistent, we k=leave room for all sorts of assumptions.  In times like these, it seems risky to assume that people will tune in without directives or any announcement.

Push out your schedule of broadcasts and meetings ASAP.  Give viewers and others some lead time.  Think days, not hours.  Announce what you plan to cover and when, then re-share it via social media or email.

To harness the power of the interactive church, you must keep these 3 in mind.  These are the cornerstones of an effective church interacting online.

 

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Today marked another day in my personal journey on a week of works.   I am humbled by what I learn from Psalm 119 time and time again.  I was inspired to take initiative to take things further, especially with Black Friday approaching and our week of works is taking a totally different spin.

LifePath_hoody

Check back on Friday for Life Path Multimedia’s Black Friday Freebie.   I will schedule a post for 8 AM EST on Friday to go live with a link to some new and fresh content that is totally free.  That means that you can access more of what Life Path Multimedia has to offer without having to use leftover cash from the early bird specials and sales.

I feel compelled and convicted to share openly and freely on this Black Friday.  There are a lot of ways that we can get caught up in the widespread consumerism of the holiday shopping season, but I want to shed light on going about things differently.  Just look at last year’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales stats to see where most people have accepted this type of spending as the norm.

Do not be mistaken, Life Path Multimedia makes money from our online stores for publications and downloads.  Even our Life Path Gear is a money-maker per se.  However, it is all with open and honest intent.  Our money fuels our ministry work.

This is not about raising enough money to “keep the lights on” or providing believers with an opportunity to “keep from robbing God.” It’s strictly about supporting the ministry of Life Path Mobile Ministries.  We want to do more.  We need to do more.  With your support, we can truly do more.


Leadership

With Life Path Multimedia pushing for  Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday, the least we could do is give you a freebie on a Friday. just because.

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Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything  like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?

Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
– Joel 1:2-3

When things happen- whether they be good or bad- we tend to talk them up with others. We broadcast the news. We share the latest happenings. We make a lot of noise about what we have going on.

Pass on the Good News. Let other generations to come hear about it
Let them read about it. Let our poetry, songs and other writings speak about it.

Publish it among all of the people so that it will continue to speak generation after generation.

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WizzleyI write all sorts of content as a freelance writer.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.I have no real niche.  I write poetry and fiction.  I write about religion as much as I write about sports and community activities and events.  I blog, journal, present, teach, and edit online as a freelancer.

 I write e-zine articles and post to multiple blogs.  I write for a wide variety of audiences.

You can join me on my freelance journey at iWriter, too.

I have published articles on Squidoo and HubPages, too.  My articles include content related to writing grants and freelance writing opportunities.  I also publish my own books of inspirational poetry on Lulu.

Get a copy of one of the Bible studies offered by Life Path Ministries & Services.  Subscribe to get inspiration from one of my other blogs either Rev Bruce or Life Path.

Bruce Jackson, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

I have spent a few days mulling over publishing another book while still preparing for a 2013 full of events and activities that will fill my schedule and almost wear me down.  I have spent some time writing some articles online and feel that it is time to share with some of my blogging audience this side of both myself and Life Path.

My latest article has been posted on Wizzley about MLK.  It is one of those new ventures that I havebeen working on since I started freelancing online in 2011.  Post comments online and share your sentiments.

Wizzley
See more articles that I have posted online:

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Expertscolumn.com 

Most of us have dreams of having our names in lights.  We dream of seeing our names plastered on some billboard near the Hollywood sign or in pixelated images overlooking the Strip in Las Vegas.  Stardom has a certain appeal that keeps our heads in the clouds.

Beyond dreaming is doing.  You have to do certain things to get to the point where you earn that type of name recognition.  You might not be able to point out James Patterson in a shopping mall or the grocery store, but you most probably know him for his best-selling Alex Cross novels.  That’s name recognition.

How do people recognize your name?
What do people attribute to or associate with your name?
Is there more that you can do to build a better brand out of your name?

Make a name for yourself in your industry.  Become a recognized expert in your field within your city or region.  Do not let opportunities to share and show your expertise pass you by simply because they all do not pay in per diem or client fees.  Some of your biggest dividends may be the fact that people begin to recognize your name, even if it isn’t in lights.

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Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! – Proverbs 23:4 (NKJV)

The Word is clear.  We can be blessed with riches at birth or through some hard work.  Nevertheless, we should not work ourselves to the point of exhaustion for a few more dollars here and there.  Imagine what would happen if we just did what we were required to do and nothing else.  Imagine using your gifts and talents to the maximum capability for yourself and you family.

My profile on Shout Life reads like my other online professional profiles.  As a poet, author  and consultant, I am juggling my time, doing my best at balancing  online content and updates.  I use Lulu.com for my print-on-demand and e-books.  Most of what I have written and published so far has been faith-based and inspirational poetry.  Words from the Underground was my most secular works of poetry that was influenced by my work in street ministry in San Diego.    Additionally, I have an online storefront for my accessories and gear at http://www.zazzle.com/lifepath08 .   Join the network of support through Life Path Consulting Services.    Subscribe to Prayer Pages our weekly newsletter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I am working hard.  There’s a pair of new books due out next month, both poetry with different themes.  I am launching another aspect of the business consulting services component and expanding Life Path Publishing’s offerings beyond poetry and guidebooks.  I am busy with work, but I refuse to overwork myself in any pursuit to become rich.

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2002 sales of books and products through all channels: just under $4.2 billion, up from $4 billion in 2000.
$2.4 billion sold through Christian retail outlets; $1.1 billion through general retail; and $725 million through direct-to-consumer ministry channels.

First 6 months of 2003: CBA member store sales were down 2%.

Books increased 8%, Bibles increased 2% but music and gifts decreased 9%.

–Christian Booksellers Association reported in Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2003

http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

(Cited from http://parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm)
 
In addition to studying book-buying habits, the project also explored what types of material people read. The results showed that evangelical adults (86%) and evangelical teens (97%) were the groups most likely to read Christian literature. Other segments with deep penetration by Christian publications included teens and adults who attend a Christian church regularly (65% and 71%, respectively).

(Cited from http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/114-half-of-all-americans-read-christian-books-and-one-third-buy-them)

Look at the statistics.  Christian literature, whether for study or otherwise, sells at enormous rates to a large following.  That makes sense.
 
What would really make sense would be for you to get yourself busy writing something for the Christian literary market.
 
Think on it.  Take some time and think it through.  You can make a real impression with some simple strategies for breaking into the Christian information market.
 
Christian Article Sites
Write on your business, ministry or industry.  Write about what you know and use your professional experience to help guide others with your lessons learned and best practices.  Use sites like Bukisa or Gather to publish online articles.

Blog
Make some noise in the blogosphere by posting pointers or mini articles on a variety of topics.  Look into WordPress and Blogger.  Beyond this blog, I also post to Rev Bruce’s Blog on WordPress that contains more inspirational Christian postings.

E-Books 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.If you have enough content on a particular subject matter, consider writing an e-book on it.  Self-publish your own e-book and place it on an online storefront and your website as well as your blog.  Make it available for download in multiple marketplaces.  Use Lulu or CreateSpace.  My e-book of inspirational poetry entitled Broken Pieces is available on iTunes through Lulu.  Self-publishing allows you to publish and promote your material, then profit from it as well. 

7276414-17971825Merchandise Your Material
Use some of the top online merchandise sites to sell customized products related to your writing.  These span from t-shirts to coffee mugs and iPad cases.  If you are going to build it, you better brand it, too.  Think about WWJD, Purpose Driven, and Jabez’s Prayer.  These all swept through the Christian marketplace with loads of merchandise like keychains and Bible covers to follow behind the success of the books.  Look into CafePress, Zazzle and Spreadshirt to launch your own merchandising craze.
I Love My Neighbor!! Button

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We all have heard it before, but it needs to be said again.  It requires repeating.  It must be reiterated.

In the words of Rachel Blom,”Make your point and get out.” It’s just about that simple.  Get your audience’s attention and keep hold of it like a precious jewel.

Whether you preach or present, you want to grab your audience’s attention from the beginning. No matter who you are speaking before, you need to speak with such a command and confidence that you win the audience over with your opening. You will need more than the bells and whistles of PowerPoint slides and audio-visual gadgets to get their attention. They need to hear from you in order to listen to what you have to say to them.

Look at Classic Literature.  Opening lines stick to our memories like glue.  I love Charles Dickens’ poetic phrasings that begin his classic story A Tale of Two Cities, stating: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Or, perhaps, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was more to your liking with what Wikipedia calls “one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature”: “Call me Ismael.”

Think Comedy.  Some of the greatest stand-up comics can take the stage and win the crowd over with a whirlwind of comedic routines from impersonations to improvisation.  They do so by reading the crowd.  I used to watch “A Night at the Improv”  back in the early ’90s.  The best comedians got a feel for the crowd and worked the crowd with a constant barrage of comedic flair.

Make a Connection.  Know who you are standing before as a speaker or presenter.  Make a connection with them.  I recall a television evangelist speaking of a blunder he made when speaking to a group of prison inmates by stating that he wanted to start by thanking them for being there.  Make a connection by having some idea of who is in audience and why they might be there.

Use a Conceptual Approach.  Incorporate concepts like engineering or gardening.  These convey mental images that can help the audience wrap their brains around the conceptual theme of your sermon or presentation.  Use a conceptual approach and work in imagery through clip art and photographs that can reinforce the theme of your speech.

Offer a Challenge.  Challenge your audience to pay attention to what you have to say.  Offer a challenge for the audience to open their minds to new concepts and ideas.  Allow the audience to rethink the status quo and challenge its validity.  That will start them to thinking and keep them thinking throughout the time that you speak and present.

Use these to grab your audience’s attention and win them over throughout your speaking.  They may also be incorporated in teaching and training.  Take them on one by one.  Try them out and make them work for you.

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