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Earl Marshall

Month: March 2016

Lessons Learned from Taco Bell

It has been a long time since I ate at a Taco Bell. There was a day when it was my late night stop of choice but not anymore. But clearly it is still the choice of many and mostly because of its recent willingness to try new things. I don’t have a high need for change. I work with others that do have a high need for change. Even though that can create moments of tension we do share in a clear commitment and understanding that change is necessary as we pursue the mission that God has called us on to plant churches around the world.

Taco Bell has a similar perspective. Niccol the head of marketing at Taco Bell says, “If you have the belief that there’s still work to be done, then you’ll figure out how to break a little glass.” What I see at Taco Bell is a company that is trying new things and seeing if it works. Whether it is the creation of Beefy Frito Burritos or Dorito Locos Tacos, Taco Bell is looking for ways to break a little glass. Pastors need to learn how to break a little glass but not like a bull in a china shop.

As is the case at Taco Bell so should be the case in our churches. Innovation doesn’t rest with one person. The architecture of a culture of innovation may be a primary leader’s responsibility but innovation is a team thing. “From an innovation perspective, I’d love it if we had one person who just comes up with great ideas. But it doesn’t work that way,” says Matthews of Taco Bell. “The strategy is getting different people together, having food around, and having conversations.”

Sounds like a great idea!

Lessons Learned From BuzzFeed

I love to learn and some of my best learning over the years has come from what I would call my non-traditional resource base. My traditional resource base is church people writing about church things. As one of my prof’s used to say, “sometimes you just have to go to the symphony to solve a problem.” So when I was in the San Antonio airport this past weekend and saw that Fast Company just released it’s list of “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies,” I just had to have it. Learning 101, look for ideas everywhere that you can.

Church planting is about connecting with people and in our world that means having a strategy where you can be found. Social media is a big part of that. BuzzFeed changed their social media strategy in 2014. “Instead of trying to lure eyeballs to its own website, the way most publishers do, BuzzFeed would publish original text, images, and video directly to where its audience already spent its time, some 30 different global platforms . . . Rather than write one definitive article and publish it on every platform (the de facto standard in the media business), BuzzFeed would tailor content specifically for the network and audience where it’s being viewed.”

Organizations that need to be found should take notice. Pastors take notice. Don’t create a strategy that is always trying to get your prospective audience to come to you but go to your prospective audience with a tailored message.

Planting Churches that Plant Churches

@harvestbiblefellowship we are devoted to establishing, growing and multiplying churches that plant churches. Multiplication is what we are about. In my conversations with church leaders I am finding that there is a strong desire among many to experience multiplication. For all multiplication is a worthy goal and yet one that seems so far beyond the reach of the day to day reality that many leaders of new and established churches are experiencing.

This weekend I was in Texas assisting @harvestsa train and install their elders. This was such a great weekend but the story of Harvest Bible Chapel San Antonio is really the story of Harvest Bible Chapel Austin.

IMG_2231When you consider what it means to multiply as a church think of the definition of a church planting church as, “one that either sends out a group of people to start a new church in a community or sends out a man to be the Senior Pastor of a new church in a community.” This has to be built into your DNA from the beginning of your church or in the case of a transitioning church, become a value that is promoted and celebrated time and time again.

Bryan Payne even while his church was small numerically and young in age released Joshua de Koning from Harvest Austin to plant Harvest San Antonio. There is no rational reason for this to have happened the way that it did but when planting churches is in your DNA you look for the God given opportunity. We celebrate along with Harvest Austin and Harvest San Antonio the multiplication of churches for the glory of God in Texas and around the world.

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