In today’s Lunch and Learn episode, Kenny Jahng brings Phil Bowdle, the Creative Arts Pastor at West Ridge Church in NW Atlanta, to discuss rethinking church communication. Phil is the author of Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church.

Kenny and Phil discuss how the practices of church communication need to change to integrate technology, realizing that engagement and interaction is completely different in today’s time than it was in the past.

Listen in to today’s episode to learn how things are changing in getting your message out as a church, and how to use best practices to integrate technology and the message you are trying to communicate.

Find the Book here:

Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church

RethinkCommunicationBook.com

Website: philbowdle.com

Kenny Jahng:              Well hey friends it’s Kenny Jahng for another session of the Church Butler Lunch and Learn today is something that is going to raise expectations for future guests. I’m telling you today is going to be the gold star, this golden standard of our Lunch and Learn. I’ve got Phil Bowdle here with us today who’s going to share some magic across church communications and just rock your world. Welcome to the show, Phil. What a buildup is that?

Phil Bowdle:                Oh, I feel like no matter what, I’m going to let you down in some way. So you’re going to be here with you.

Kenny Jahng:              Absolutely not. Anyone who knows you, Phil is that you deliver every single time. Now, let’s just tell people a little bit about who you are. You’re the creative arts pastor at West Ridge Church, one of the most creative ministers that I know in Northwest Atlanta. You also speak, you consult. That’s where we’ve met so many different types. And then you touched churches on how they can rethink communication for the churches. And I think it’s been the prompting of many people probably that surrounds you to say, “hey, you need to write a book and share your wisdom”. And so today we’re using that as an excuse to talk about your brand new book that just came out this week. It’s called Rethink Communication, a playbook for clarity and communicate everything in your church. And already it’s a number one bestseller on Amazon in the church goes category. So proud of you. And again, welcome to the conversations today.

Phil Bowdle:                Hey, thank you, man. It’s great to be here. It’s fun. Any chance I get to talk to your church communicators is a good day. So I love getting the book out there. I’m just relieved to have it hit the world instead of be on my computer screen. I’m more or less six months or so. So yes, it’s good to be here.

Kenny Jahng:              And we were talking in the pre-interview, talking to him about just how rapidly you wrote this book, but I think what it is, it’s an artifact of that you just been doing this for so long and that you are so process driven and that, so getting it out of your brain wasn’t the chore some and some writers take two, three, four, five, ten years to get this thing out. And again, I think it’s a blessing to the church that you’ve been able to get this out so quickly and onto the street. So it’s a practical tool in everybody’s hands. So let’s start from the very beginning to zoom out and just give people perspective, you know, why did you think that this book needs to be written, Rethink Communication? Why do we need to rethink communication?

Phil Bowdle:                Well, for me, I grew up in the church. I literally grew up on the front pew of the church with my dad being a pastor, mom was a children’s director. So I’ve seen the church for my whole life and I think as I’ve seen the church change, I’ve also seen a culture change. I mean, I remember when my dad got his first typewriter, I remember when he got this first computer that was in my lifetime, which makes me feel really, really old. But I think it also means a lot has changed in the last 30 years and as I’ve gotten into this space and that as my guns drawn my heart not to just you know, impact our church, but also to just come alongside and church communicators and church leaders everywhere in the conversations I have is that wall.

Phil Bowdle:                While the methods of communication has changed completely. And the practices of how people communicate in their churches has not really changed in the last 30 years. And so what the biggest thing that drew me to writing this book is that there’s a whole new reality that we have that we need to understand to be able to effectively communicate our message because we don’t have a message problem, we have the greatest message ever, so we don’t have a message problem. We have a message delivery problem. And so to fix that message delivery problem, we really need to understand the new reality for people, how people attend church, which is very different than it used to be, how they engage with the church, which is very different than it used to be and also the the attention span and all, and how the break through the noise and the clutter that everybody has. So there’s a new reality for all those things that we have to understand. And so what drew me to write the book is I wanted to try to write a playbook for how you can clear and clarify and communicate any message in your church and do that off of the new reality of communication. Because the old playbook doesn’t work anymore.

Kenny Jahng:              Yes, I think you made that point very early on the book and I think it’s very insightful that it’s a very small thing that lot of people gloss over to casually and it’s not that the message of the church is bad or that you haven’t wrong. But this message delivery issue, what I mean, what do you think led to that much? How did the, how did we stall as communicators, is it, and the function of a church communicator, church marketer is relatively new and most many churches. And then again, the whole business of the churches, you are, even from a passenger’s point of view, you are a herald of the book. You are a communicator of the scriptures. Communication is the core of what the church does. And yet how did the church, why don’t you think that is?

Phil Bowdle:                Well, I don’t know about what your experience has been, but I haven’t found many churches that like, and enjoy change. And most people don’t. And so I think the reality is for a long time, the playbook didn’t have to change and for how people communicated, the message worked. You could assume that when you communicated because Sunday was sacred for the most part and the church was often the center of the community for families and for a lot of people. You could make a lot of assumptions and keep the same playbook for a long time and get your message across as culture has changed, as everything’s really changed around us. I think what churches are realizing is what they learned in seminary. You know, the, the playbook that was passed down to them all of a sudden isn’t working.

Phil Bowdle:                And so what you see is people with a great message that are just frustrated trying to figure out, what do I need to do differently? Do I need to speak louder or do I need to get you know, do I need to just start blitzing people with more? And more and more. When I think what happens is sometimes the actually creates a divide between the church and everybody else because we’re actually putting up barriers instead of removing them in the process. So it’s a scary thing, but I think, well, it’s, I mean many pastors I’ve talked to that are like, you know, our attendance is going down, you know, we’re a little bit worried or giving’s going down and people are engaging differently and we don’t know what to do. And usually what I tried to do is talk people off the ledge to say, “okay, the reality that we have is, things are changing, but our mission is still the same.”

Phil Bowdle:                Our why is still the same. We still get to do the job that God called us to do and that’s to go and make disciples, go and proclaim the Gospel. And the cool thing is the old playbook doesn’t work, but we have all brand new opportunities in greatest opportunities we’ve ever had in communicating the Gospel. And now we get to get hungry about how do we communicate that in a new and fresh way. I didn’t say it was going to be easy because it’s really hard to break through the noise harder than ever before, but I mean at the click of a button, you have the chance to do ministry, you know, in your own home, you know, by vocational pastor can do ministry on Facebook, you know, and have a chance to build relationships and connect with people in ways that the disciples would have dreamed of back in the day. And so yeah, I think there’s no reason to freak out, but there is a reason to re-calibrate and say, “hey, we need to take a fresh look at how we can communicate the greatest message we ever have because it’s not the message is the delivery. And so it’s time for us to change that”.

Kenny Jahng:              So practically speaking, can we talk about the structure of the book? Because I do think it’s a little bit of a unicorn of a book because it’s not just workbook practical tools, you know, an instruction manual tutorial, but have at the same time you still have, it’s not just the you give the overview, you give the why you give the big picture, but it’s not that only either and you break the book into a couple different sections, right? So can we just walk through that so you give a 10,000 foot overview of what you’re trying to do those. So you know, this introduction to this section called New Reality. Tell us a little bit about that. Why is that important to go through and talk through that first before the rest of the book? Sure.

Phil Bowdle:                So in the first section, what I tried to do is lay a foundation of breaking the assumptions that most churches have. And hat you can’t do it the way that you used to do it because there’s a new reality for how people attend, engage, with the church and there’s a new reality for their attention span and how we can grab attention.

Kenny Jahng:              Right? Those are the three things, right? The other attendance is different. The way we engage is different, the way we get the attention of the church today.

Phil Bowdle:                So what I tried to do in each of those sections as trying to build a bridge for the pastor, for the communications leader, for the ministry leader to just make sure we’re on the same foundation of knowing here’s the new reality. So for example, one of the first things I talk about is the area of attendance. If you’re involved in church world at all, I think you’ve probably seen the attendance looks different now than it did probably even five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago. It’s most of the time it’s not going as often going down. But what’s interesting is it doesn’t mean that people are leaving your church. It just means that they’re attending less frequently and so your church could be growing in number of people that call your church home, but the reality may be that your weekly attendance numbers going down and so this concept really challenged me as a leader of thinking through as we were identifying for our own church.

Phil Bowdle:                What’s the weekly , what’s the average attendance for the, for the average attender. And what we were learning is about, you know, five years ago, the average person came every two to three weeks. Well now it’s more like the average person comes every four to six weeks and so, you know, there’s a couple of reactions you could have to that one. It’s a little bit, it is sad, but that’s the reality. That’s the new reality for that person. That doesn’t mean we’re going to get stuck there, but that means that that’s where we’re working from. And so what haunted me as a leader was thinking, okay, we can’t make the assumption that when we communicate on a Sunday that we’re communicating to everybody. The reality is we have 8 to 10 opportunities. We have eight to 10 opportunities a year to talk to somebody in person.

Phil Bowdle:                And so that means that we can’t plan our services the same way. That means that we really need to make sure we’re being intentional about how we communicate, not just for the week, for the month. We have to think about how we’re engaging that communication and in different ways and just building a new playbook for how that works. So I try to leave that out a little bit there and then, you know, quickly through the others talking about engagement. I think the old playbook would say you build your ministry strategy around how, what you do when people come inside the walls of your church. And I think the new reality for what we’re all seeing is people are checking you out online, well before they ever stepped to the front doors of your church. They’re checking you out on Facebook, they’re talking to you on there.

Phil Bowdle:                They’re seeing if you’re answering the comments. Just like we all deal with restaurants. Like, I don’t, I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant without checking it out online, seeing reviews, I want the picture before I go in there and waste my time or waste my money. So I think it’s no different for the church that we have to take the old playbook of just thinking about, okay, when they come to us, we’ll be able to, um, engage with them in ministry. And the reality is we have to think physical and digital. That’s the new reality for us as church leaders. And so, that means that there’s some things that we need to rethink for our staff, you know, or for our leadership for how we communicate and how we engage the digital space because they work closely together, better, more than ever before. And they can both work to fulfill your mission.

Kenny Jahng:              I think you’re, there’s so many things that you just brought up that we as communicators in the church really needs to tackle or it’s like stop treating them as the elephant in the room and let’s be practical. I love the fact that you bring surfacing all these issues so that we can talk about them as a team internally as a ministry, etc. There’s a section in the middle of the book before you get to the real heavy duty practical tactical stuff is called The Message and The Microphone. I personally love that section. It’s like a jewel that you just packaged in the middle of the book. It’s actually relatively earlier than that because the back half is so thick with practical juiciness. So you share your concern for how communication is like far more like a service department than an actual ministry. From your perspective, like quickly, what do you think needs to change at this point?

Phil Bowdle:                Well, I think it is a little sidetrack that I enlisted. That was the last section that I really wrote in the book because as I was reading that it just didn’t feel right to not have that in the middle. That’s why it was just kind of crammed in there. But I think it’s already just from feedback, I think that’s been probably the most important section in the book.

Kenny Jahng:              It’s almost like, I think if you had a sitcom and the sitcom would spin off another show, that’s the part that you can unpack and has so much depth and character to that you could really dive into this. It’s so rich. And so I love the fact that you saying, yes, this was something you did not want to leave the book and just send it to the printer and making sure they put it in there, about the different perspective.

Phil Bowdle:                So outlined the book. I laid that foundation for the new reality for how people attend, engage the church and their attention span. And then I get into the playbook for how to communicate it. But the challenge is if communication leaders, the people that God has gifted with a passion, with talent, with resources, with a heart to reach people with the gospel through physical and digital ways, and they have the creativity to do that. If we don’t empower those people to be able to use their gifts as a ministry, and we’ll start looking them not just as button pushers and bulletin stuffers and service department, if we can’t move them away from a services department and rethink them as a ministry, then we’re never going to actually be able to rethink communication in a way that we can further the Gospel in today’s culture.

Phil Bowdle:                And so that’s what I tried to lay out there, is that we’ve somehow be stuffed these gifted, talented people that are using tools like social media and design and art and song and all these things. We’ve primmed them into this small little box to say, “hey, we were going to hand this to you at the very end of the process. So we’ve already done our thing over here, but just make it look pretty, you know, just go over there and he just announced it to everybody real quick. Just make sure everybody knows about it”. And they’re the bad guys when things go go wrong there, they never get the credit when things go right. And that’s not where the credit isn’t what it is about, it’s mission. And so I think in today’s culture we are, we have to equip and empower the incredible gifted, talented artists to be able to use the tools that God’s given them to be able to partner with ministry leaders, to partner with pastors because the reality is the pastor of the ministry leader, they may have the message that needs to be conveyed.

Phil Bowdle:                And the cool thing about the communication leaders and and creative leaders is they love the message and there’s usually continuity with the message, that’s not the issue, but the challenges. If we can get the people with the message to partner with the people, with the megaphone, with the ability to actually say, “hey, I know how to use social media so I know how to get your message out to more people. But it may take us rethinking a little, a few little things to partner together on this. If we can get those two people to work together like dangerous things can happen. Incredible things can happen. And so that’s why I think it’s so critical for a pastor to read that part and say, you know what, I’ve probably missed what the ministry role of communication is and so I want to figure out how I can better tap into that. But I also think it’s really critical for the communication leader to not just to read that section and know that their role is not just to stuff bulletins and be a service department. if they can rethink their role as ministry leader, it changes everything. It changes your why and it changes the impact that you can have an end to really fulfill what God has given you.

Kenny Jahng:              So I think you’re going to spark a lot of conversations on teams with that type of wisdom and thoughtfulness. I love it. I really like highlighting things that are going to go back and go back and go back to. The other flip side, I just want to jump ahead because you go through an actual playbook, you go through things like literally the proper way to brainstorm and cultivates a safe environment for your team so that you pull out the creativity. Because I think one of the things that we know you for is your creativity. It’s not your systems processes, the nerdiness of the job. I think most people look at you for inspiration and the creativity. And I love that you’re pulling back the curtain a little bit and say this is how we do it. And a lot of it is, I think you have a great quote from Stephen Brewster and they’re talking about how creativity is a muscle, right?

Kenny Jahng:              And that it is something that you need to look at it almost as if you’re going to the gym or something on a routine basis. It’s not something that just always is, a shower thought and then it’s like, well, alright, let’s cut. So I appreciate that practical nature of it. There’s one area that I love that you talk about mall kiosks, rethinking the mall kiosks. And so maybe, you know, and there’s a bunch of other things in there that I think are a little bit, they’re fun, surprising, but also critical when you look at it and how you’re thinking about it. How does Phil really thinking about this? Can you just share with us about the mall kiosks and what you’re talking about?

Kenny Jahng:              In the last section of the book, it’s called Rethink and Rework. And it really is. This is where the rethink idea really came to be because I think for us to communicate well there are some things that we need to rethink about how we think and how we approach communication. And so what I try to do by that is talk about a recent trip for me to the mall of and literally opened the doors, walk around the corner and I’m there just for one thing. I have one thing that I need to get. So I’m on a mission. I’m a fast walker too, you should see. And, so I’m on a mission readily go turn around the corner and I just get swarmed by mall walkers. And so that’s where the story started. But then on my way to just figure out where I need to go, I need to get a map to know where to go.

Phil Bowdle:                And just within one section of the mall, I’m just bombarded by people that want to spray cologne on me that want me to change my wireless carrier that want me to do. They’re just trying to, they want so many things from me in this moment. And my approach is like, “I just want to get my one thing, like I’m just here for that. I’m not here for the cologne. I’m sorry. I’m sure it smells great, but it’s not why I’m here.” And so what I tried to do is to, through that, try to contrast what the experience was that I’ve had in churches before too. And the experience doesn’t look too different. Unfortunately. The reality was I would go through this doors at a church and what I really wanted to do with having experience and encounter with God and would I get what my true experience was I get bombarded with bulletins and stage announcements literally like 10 minutes plus of announcements and all these different encounters of things that people the church wants from me. And really what what I want from the posture of the church is I want them to be leading that church in a way for what God wants for me, not what the church wants from me. And so that’s what I try to help people rethink in that way is that if we can change our posture as the church, if we can change our posture and how we communicate away from what we want for from people and more towards what we want for people. It changes everything. Like it changes how we say things, changes from, hey, we want you to be in a group because our goal is to get this many more people in a group.

Phil Bowdle:                So we think it’s really important. Make sure you sign up or you know, we need more people in the nursery. The nursery is overrun, so make sure that we need. We need 10 people here to step up and be nursery workers. Like that’s what we want from people. But flip that same message and say, you know, do you know God wired you to serve? Do you know that God wired you with a heart to serve others? So what we want to provide as a church, as opportunities to serve in an area of your passion, where you can make a difference. So what we want to encourage you to do is every single person here has an opportunity to serve. We have needs in the nursery, in student ministry, and you know, in our worship environment, all these things. So there’s a place for you, same exact message, but different communication tactic. So that’s what I want people to be able to walk away from that little section is just to change their posture and rethink their posture from what we want from people instead of, move towards what we want for people.

Kenny Jahng:              As we move to close this conversation, I feel like I could talk to you for hours or days on this stuff. Some of the pushback we get from a lot of the resources and the conferences and the products out there is that the average church is small. It’s not a mega church. It’s not 1000 people. It’s not even 500 people or more. What would you say to the person in the hundred person church, 200 person church, even a 300 person church, which is large by our standards today in North America? Can you share some, I guess in part some encouragements or just, you know, some hope or some practical, because I think they feel overwhelmed. At least that’s the, that’s the feedback I’m getting at and even looking at your book, which I think is a great, it really is a gift to the church because you’re giving them this practical outlines and step by step and you’re showing and revealing the grids and the calendars you’re using personally. It’s still overwhelming for a lot of people. Sure. What would you say to that person that says, “this is great, you’ve got a huge church and team and you’re a whipper snapper. You’ve been doing it. This is all intuitive too, but I’m not like I mean there’s a solo pastor or assistance or on part time or I don’t have 15 volunteers. How am I going to get this all done?” What would you say to that person?

Phil Bowdle:                Well first I would say I wrote this book for you. I didn’t write this for big churches. I hope it’s practical for big churches, but I wrote it for a church like my dad lead, which was a small church with not a big staff. And because I think there’s a, if we’re not careful as for those leading in smaller churches, we’re not careful, we’ll say, “hey, when we get to this point and then we’ll tackle this when we get to 600 people or 500 people and then we’ll make that higher”. And I think there’s an assumption that we’re making when we do that, that we need to break is we make the assumption that communication is somebody else’s job. The reality is communication is everybody’s job now. That may not have been that way before. But the reality is we all have a role to play in communication.

Phil Bowdle:                  So it’s not something you can outsource completely. There’s tools that you provide that other people have ride that are great, that will help come alongside you. But the reality is, is if we want to fulfill our mission, Jesus gave us the why but they didn’t give us the how. And I think in today’s culture it doesn’t mean that we have to let the area of communication be the driver of all of our time. But if we aren’t carving out some time to get better at this and the, the reality is, is we may be not fulfilling the mission at the greatest capacity that we could if we aren’t helping. Really rethink, rethink how we are doing communication. And so what I tried to do in the book, I’ve talked to the same people and I know what I don’t hear is that people are sitting around saying, “hey, I’ve got like 20 extra hours a week. Tell me what I can fill that time with.” Nobody’s saying that. But what they are saying is, “hey, if you can help me shape my thinking about something and help me see something I’m not currently seeing and come alongside me and give me a tool that I can tweak and customize and use for my own church that I’m in.” And so that’s really what I tried to do there is to give you templates and to say, “hey, here’s a way that you can, here’s the starting point and here’s a way to do this. This isn’t a playbook for the big church. This is the playbook for the church to help them rethink.” And hopefully and honestly, I think some of these things for a pastor, this will help them hopefully rethink a little bit of how they communicate their message and their sermons. You know, if you’re a ministry leader, it may help you be more targeted and specific about how you’re leading your student ministry and understanding the barriers so that target audience has know these things. So communication really is that the foundation of everything we are already doing, was supposed to get better at it.

Kenny Jahng:              So, where can everybody to pick up your book? Can you share the URL or where you know where they need to go?

Phil Bowdle:                And you can go to rethinkcommunicationbook.com and on there you can get all the links to go everywhere you can search Rethink Communication, Phil Bowdle. If you just go on amazon, you can find it there, if you’re a team leader or a pastor and you want to get this for your team, you have to go to rethinkcommunicationbook.com there. And you can get, we specifically laid out some pre-order, some order bonuses right now, but also a discount for staff reads so that hopefully this isn’t something that one person is reading on your staff, but our hope is that a couple of people can read together and help sharpen their thinking together.

Kenny Jahng:              And then, plans on audio book, is audio book coming out or?

Phil Bowdle:                So I would tell you that is the number one question I’ve gotten in. It’s been a surprise to me. I’m not a pro author yet. This is my first go round. So I’m learning a lot through this process and a lot of people are, are asking that same question. So I’ve already had some conversations with the publisher around that same for me.

Phil Bowdle:                Somebody did just tweet me last night saying, “hey, I am driving. Is there a chance that you can give me a call and finish up? Because they were right on that chapter, on the Message and the Microphone” and they’re like, “I don’t want to miss this part. Can you give me a call?” So, we’ll be keeping you posted there on the,

Kenny Jahng:              It is quite interesting in the habits that people are looking at audio first as a preferred method now in today’s culture. Yeah. But I will call out and we had this big discussion before this interview. I love the physical book, the layout, the visual engagement that you’ve provided. This is not, I guarantee you, your money back if you disagree with me that this book visually is a great book to, it’s almost like Gary Vee’s book jab, jab, jab, right hook. You can’t get the whole picture unless you get the hard copy of the book and so whether you get the audio now or later, I think you definitely need to pick up the physical book because it definitely is practical and so visual, again, you’re seeing the charts, you’re seeing all the processes, he’s showing you literal filled out snippets to show examples.So much visual and then the pullout quotes and then the inspiration. I think you guys have done a great job in packaging and the form factor that you’ve actually provided. So,

Phil Bowdle:                Well, here’s what I can promise you is that if we don’t get the audio of that going fast enough here in the next couple of weeks, just reach out to Kenny and I promise you money back, he will read the book for you.

Kenny Jahng:              Maybe. Maybe that’s like a higher. Have a campfire and read a little bit every day. We should, we actually should have a book club going on. Maybe that’s what we’ll do here at Church Butler. You know, in fact, I will do that c,all out if you’re interested in doing a book club read where every week we do a small chapter or a piece of the book over the next several weeks, reach out to me or a ping us in the Facebook and we’ve got the social media for churches Facebook group and I’ll put up a post and we’ll put up a poll and if we get enough people, I think that’s what we’ll do. We all by the book we’ll have a schedule and we’ll read it together and then maybe we can twist his arm to come in and actually join us for one session or two.

Kenny Jahng:              And I think that would be a cool thing. I do think this is one of those things that when you read together, discuss, reflect and share experiences, you’ll get more out of this and more. It’s not a knowledge transfer. It’s being empowered to think differently and approach your ministry differently. And, for many of you it might be the first time where you able to take a leadership role in your team and your ministry and your community. And this is something that I’ve seen this happen before in coaching. I’m sure Phil, you do that when you coach people, when people get empowered in the communications role, they’d become a voice where people are respecting and trusting things completely changed. Right?

Phil Bowdle:                Well, just to speak to that, I know there’s probably some church communication leaders out there that don’t feel like leaders. I know most of the people I talked to them, they don’t feel like leaders. And I get that and I really want you to know I didn’t write this book for you and this isn’t to sell more books. it can even be the first to tell you you don’t make money on books. that’s not why I’m doing this. What I wanted to do is actually write something that would be a bridge for you and that pastor and also to write it in a way for a pastor that it does, it feels relevant to them. And that’s why there’s so much intentionality behind this for the pastor so that they could lean into that conversation with you. And so I hope that that can be a bridge for you, that you can start that conversation with other people on your team or hand that to a pastor and hopefully there’ll be able to start conversations with you as well.

Kenny Jahng:              Awesome. Well Phil, thank you so much for spending some time. I know this week in partIcular is extra busy for you. You got to get off to the next interview, but before you go, some people here are going to be really interested in the topic. They probably have preordered it by now. You should have a pre ordered it or ordered it on Amazon right now as you’ve been listening, what is the best way if someone wants to reach out and get in, touch you to directly either to ask you a question, give you some feedback, encouragement, or even look up and see how they might even get engaged with your coaching for the team or themselves. What’s the best way to do? Can you share some of your dIgits with everybody?

Phil Bowdle:                Well, if you get the book, I actually do leave my digits in there. I leave my phone number, so if you get the book you can reach out to me that way, but also just email me, [email protected] B-O-W-D-L-E, so philbowdle.com. You can go to my website and contact me that way. Facebook, Twitter. The good thing about my name is nobody else has that I know of, so it pretty much any username and you can just search, Phil Bowdle and they’re all be, but probably fastest way is to email me or text me.

Kenny Jahng:              Thank you much for being accessible to us, but also to the people here that are listening in. So they very excited that you have this resource out. I’m going to pester you for that audio book. Exactly. Our community sorely needs to evangelize and get this out further, but again, this is a gift to the Kingdom and thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us today here to.

Phil Bowdle:                  Really appreciate it, Kenny. Thanks so much.

Kenny Jahng:              Everybody else, thank you so much for chatting. And it’s another wrap for the Lunch and Learn. As you guys know, this is the place of that we’re doing this for you, not for me. Let us know who you want on the Lunch and Learn what other topics you want to dive into. I know this one is going to be smashed it just from the feedback we’ve gotten from others. We want to continue this role, so let us know who else do you want to hear from award topics. Remember, this is something that I think what we want to do, start to shape a community of peer to peer support for each other and the resources that we’re trying to build in Church Butler are aiming to do that. You can find the transcript, the video of this interview, more information on the podcast at www.butler.church. I’m kenny Jahng till next time and remember, be blessed and be a blessing.

HIGHLIGHTS:

03:51 While the methods of communication has changed completely. And the practices of how people communicate in their churches has not really changed in the last 30 years. And so what the biggest thing that drew me to writing this book is that there’s a whole new reality that we have that we need to understand to be able to effectively communicate our message because we don’t have a message problem, we have the greatest message ever, so we don’t have a message problem. We have a message delivery problem.

04:42 And so what drew me to write the book is I wanted to try to write a playbook for how you can clear and clarify and communicate any message in your church and do that off of the new reality of communication. Because the old playbook doesn’t work anymore.

11:33 And so that means that we can’t plan our services the same way. That means that we really need to make sure we’re being intentional about how we communicate, not just for the week, for the month. We have to think about how we’re engaging that communication and in different ways and just building a new playbook for how that works.

14:52 So outlined the book. I laid that foundation for the new reality for how people attend, engage the church and their attention span. And then I get into the playbook for how to communicate it. But the challenge is if communication leaders, the people that God has gifted with a passion, with talent, with resources, with a heart to reach people with the gospel through physical and digital ways, and they have the creativity to do that. If we don’t empower those people to be able to use their gifts as a ministry, and we’ll start looking them not just as button pushers and bulletin stuffers and service department, if we can’t move them away from a services department and rethink them as a ministry, then we’re never going to actually be able to rethink communication in a way that we can further the Gospel in today’s culture.

16:46 the communication leaders and and creative leaders is they love the message and there’s usually continuity with the message, that’s not the issue, but the challenges. If we can get the people with the message to partner with the people, with the megaphone, with the ability to actually say, “hey, I know how to use social media so I know how to get your message out to more people. But it may take us rethinking a little, a few little things to partner together on this. If we can get those two people to work together like dangerous things can happen. Incredible things can happen. And so that’s why I think it’s so critical for a pastor to read that part and say, you know what, I’ve probably missed what the ministry role of communication is and so I want to figure out how I can better tap into that. But I also think it’s really critical for the communication leader to not just to read that section and know that their role is not just to stuff bulletins and be a service department. if they can rethink their role as ministry leader, it changes everything. It changes your why and it changes the impact that you can have an end to really fulfill what God has given you.

19:22 In the last section of the book, it’s called Rethink and Rework. And it really is. This is where the rethink idea really came to be because I think for us to communicate well there are some things that we need to rethink about how we think and how we approach communication. And so what I try to do by that is talk about a recent trip for me to the mall of and literally opened the doors, walk around the corner and I’m there just for one thing. I have one thing that I need to get. So I’m on a mission. I’m a fast walker too, you should see. And, so I’m on a mission readily go turn around the corner and I just get swarmed by mall walkers. And so that’s where the story started. But then on my way to just figure out where I need to go, I need to get a map to know where to go.

25:27 And so what I tried to do in the book, I’ve talked to the same people and I know what I don’t hear is that people are sitting around saying, “hey, I’ve got like 20 extra hours a week. Tell me what I can fill that time with.” Nobody’s saying that. But what they are saying is, “hey, if you can help me shape my thinking about something and help me see something I’m not currently seeing and come alongside me and give me a tool that I can tweak and customize and use for my own church that I’m in.” And so that’s really what I tried to do there is to give you templates and to say, “hey, here’s a way that you can, here’s the starting point and here’s a way to do this. This isn’t a playbook for the big church. This is the playbook for the church to help them rethink.”

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