All Nations Church is a ministry of from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada beginning to explore multi-campus ministry. In this session of the Pro Church Podcast: Coaching Edition, Brady walks the trio from All Nations Church through ways of keeping vision and branding consistent across multiple campuses and languages.
Meet The Church Being Coached
- Church Name: All Nations Church
- Church Location: Ottawa, Ontario
- Church Age: 15 years
- Church Size: 300
- On the coaching call: Caleb – Campus Leader, Greg – Administrator/Communications, Sam – Media Volunteer
Show Notes & Resources Mentioned
- All Nations Church Website
- All Nations Church on Facebook
- All Nations Church on Instagram
- All Nations Church on Twitter
- New Spring Church Website
3 Instant Takeaways
- Avoid having individual social media channels for each of your campuses. Instead use your social media for telling stories that apply to your church as a whole and build campus specific email lists to share campus specific events and details.
- Follow the same sermon series across all of your campuses. This doesn’t mean that the sermon given at each campus must be identical, but by following a similar theme you instantly create common ground and common branding among the campuses.
- When it comes to volunteers – pair autonomy with responsibility. Volunteers are in the unique position where they are not being compensated for their work so the only thing motivating them is their own goodwill. You can feed into this and help inspire your volunteers by placing them in charge of individual tasks with the understanding that it relies solely on them
The Full Transcript
Brady Shearer: Well hey there, and welcome to the Pro Church Podcast Coaching Edition. You’re not part of a small group of pioneering churches doing everything we can to seize the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services. Why? Because we’re living through the biggest communication shift in the last 500 years, and what got us here won’t get us there. I’m Brady, your host, and right now you’re going to sit in with me as I coach and consult with a church in real time. It’s raw, it’s unedited, and we’re solving real church problems, so let’s dive right in.
[00:00:30] Well hey there Pro Church Nation. Welcome to another session of the Pro Church Podcast Coaching Edition. In this podcast I’m going to be speaking live with a church. You’ll get to sit on our coaching session together. Nothing’s off limits, and everything is recorded. I’m talking with a trio of dudes today. I want to welcome them into the show. What’s up guys?
Caleb Grinoig: How you doing?
Greg Serves: How’s it going?
Brady Shearer: Well first off, let me ask whom am I speaking with?
Caleb Grinoig: Well you’ve got me. I’m Caleb [Grinoig 00:00:57]. I’m one of the leaders here at All Nations Church.
Greg Serves: [00:01:00] And I’m Greg [Serves 00:01:02], I’m the administrator responsible for communications and kind of the day to day behind the scenes stuff.
Samrasoo: And I’m [Samrasoo 00:01:10]. I’m a media volunteer in the church.
Brady Shearer: Beautiful beautiful. Okay, so we’re going to jump into this coaching session in just a second guys. But first we’ve got five rapid fire questions, the lightning round that I want to walk you through, just to kind of provide context for everyone listening. Super simple. So let’s start with question number one. What’s the name of your church?
Caleb Grinoig: [00:01:30] All Nations Church.
Brady Shearer: Where is your church located?
Caleb Grinoig: In Ottawa.
Brady Shearer: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. How many Americans listening don’t know … When they heard the world Ottawa did not know that not only is that a city in Canada, but it’s also the capital of the entire country.
Greg Serves: It is.
Brady Shearer: How old is your church?
Caleb Grinoig: At least … Around 15 years I’d say.
Brady Shearer: Okay. How big is your church?
Caleb Grinoig: Probably [00:02:00] just over 300 people.
Brady Shearer: Okay, perfect. And we already walked through whom is on the call. Looks like a communications team of the trio of you three. So that’s kind of the context for those listening. We’ve got All Nations Church in Ottawa, 15 years old, 300 people-ish. Where do you want to take the coaching call guys? Where do we want to center our conversation on for the next 45 minutes or so?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. I think we’re just in a journey now in multiplying out from the original [00:02:30] church. We got to a place where we got too big, to where we were meeting downtown in a school. And so we decided to branch out and start multiple sites. And so we’ve got multiple sites around the city. We’ve got three right now with another one starting in 2018 in Quebec, and a lot of what we would like to get from you is just how you communicate effectively within multiple sites. How you communicate effectively from those [00:03:00] sites to the city, because we’re all in one city still. So we’ve planted not only to … Or not to different towns, we’ve kind of started new sites within the city limits. So one in the East, one in the West, one central, and then one in the North which will be Quebec.
So a lot of what we want to get insight on is … Yeah. Internally how we communicate effectively now that we’ve multiplied out, and how [00:03:30] we carry the vision throughout all the different sites, and how we keep it consistent, whilst also realizing that some of those sites will have their own flare. Especially that one in Quebec which will be French first. And then also to the city itself. How we communicate effectively that we’re one church, but we’ve got multiple sites effectively.
Brady Shearer: The city of Ottawa is basically on the border of Ontario and Quebec, right?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. That’s right. A [00:04:00] river separates it.
Brady Shearer: Perfect. So when you say that the other campus is in Quebec, that’s still just … Is it any farther away than the other campuses?
Caleb Grinoig: Oh, not it’s probably closer.
Greg Serves: Yeah. I’s probably closer.
Caleb Grinoig: It’s the closest.
Brady Shearer: Right. So geographically their basically all within the same city, although one will be French speaking first it sounds. Okay, so first off, how big is the city of Ottawa?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah, it’s close to a million.
Brady Shearer: Okay. So right around a million, and you’ve got how many campuses in [00:04:30] total?
Caleb Grinoig: Good God. Total? [inaudible 00:04:40]
Brady Shearer: Okay.
Caleb Grinoig: Before starting.
Brady Shearer: Right right. And would you say that’s 300 people across all of those campuses? Is that how you measure the attendance?
Greg Serves: Yeah.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. That’s right, yeah.
Brady Shearer: And the reason that you expanded and did so many campuses in such a small size had to do with … It sounds like your meeting location. Doesn’t like you have necessarily [00:05:00] your own building [inaudible 00:05:02] meeting, renting out schools, or what’s the facility situation look like?
Caleb Grinoig: Right now in central we’ve always been meeting just in a school. And then in Orleans which is in the East, they’re also renting a location. And Right now our West location is actually just on the cusp of purchasing a building. So it’d be the first time, every really as a church, for that one location that will have a place [00:05:30] to call our own.
Brady Shearer: Interesting. So can you kind of give me a little bit of backdrop on the strategy or reasoning behind doing it that way? Simply because it is, maybe not completely unusual, but at least for many American churches that are listening, it’s all about, “Let’s get one giant building, and fill in as many people as possible,” or, “Once we have a church with an attendance of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, or of thousands, that’s when we can start planting additional campuses.” You took a little bit [00:06:00] of a different route. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. I think the main thing was is that when we as leaders were praying about where God was taking us, we felt that he wanted us to have big church, and small church. And for us, we never really … We kind of felt like, especially where we’re going, any more than more than 3 to 500 people [00:06:30] gets a bit too much for our vision and where we want to take the church. We don’t want to see any site go more than that effectively. And so, when we wanted to start branching out, it really came down to what God had spoken us to about which is, it was time to branch out. It is a little bit different than how others have done it.
Especially, I mean we, in Ottawa, just to give you a taste, we’d been looking at buildings for a while now [00:07:00] downtown. But they’re so expensive in the city. It’s a capital city. The actual spots to buy are few and far between. There’s not a lot of options. And so for us, this was a really simple solution to us outgrowing the school where we were, and so when we planted into the different parts of the city, one in the East, one in central, and one in the West, we started thinking, “Well actually now that we’re in the East and the West, we have [00:07:30] the ability to start looking at buildings because there’s a lot more on the sort of suburbs, for lack of a better term, available. It’s cheaper.”
And so the building that came up for us in the West, in the town called Carlton Place, which is still part of the Ottawa region, and only about half an hour outside of Ottawa City. It was one of those situations where it was … It’s actually a really old Presbyterian [00:08:00] church building. And the current congregation at that building is, average age 75, there’s only 15 of them that attend. So they needed to sell the building, and they needed to sell it for really cheap. So we kind of … It was an opportunity we couldn’t miss. So we went for that. So the upshot of all this that we just really felt like it was [00:08:30] what God wanted for us, is that we were outgrowing the school, and so we thought, “Let’s divide and conquer, as such.”
And so it took us down to about 60 to 70 people in each site I’d say, giving space to grow and we’ve got a lot of potential leaders in the church as well. And there wasn’t enough space for people to grow within the church. So this helps combat that as well. It kind of, [00:09:00] in starting other sites it gives people space effectively.
Brady Shearer: I think, just to be clear, I really like this model and way of doing things. Especially in an urban region where the cost of rent, and the cost of facilities can be so much. When you look at the average church budget, the facility cost is always one of the highest line items. And knowing that we’re spending so much money just on having this building, especially when for [00:09:30] so many churches it really isn’t true to their DNA or who they want to be. The thing is, it takes a leadership team, and a leader in particular, to be willing to kind of take that hit to the ego, like doing it this way means you’re never going to have this giant building out in the ‘burbs where all the families of Ottawa get in and come to your massive stadium like church. Which, truthfully, for those who are unaware, is like not a Canadian way of doing things at all.
You don’t really see this very often [00:10:00] in Canadian churches. I mean my church is one of the biggest churches in Canada, we’re building a new building right now, and even the way we’re doing things, we’re building all the facilities so that we can rent out all the facilities full time to places around the community. That’d be local sports or local clubs and teams and stuff like that. Simply because even our church is like, “Look. If we’re Canadians and we’re going to build a big facility, we’re at least going to rent it out to everybody because we don’t want to pay that facility cost.” I highly [00:10:30] applaud the way that you’re doing things guys. I really like that idea.
Especially in an urban center where if I’m living in Carlton Place or you know the region, the community, the neighborhood that I am in Ottawa, and I’m a younger person, it’s going to vibe with me to attend a church that’s in my neighborhood, rather than getting in my car and driving 30 minutes across town to another neighborhood that, even though it’s technically my city, I’m probably not invested in whatsoever. Except for maybe I hit those restaurants up that are local after church because you got to eat somewhere.
[00:11:00] With that being said … Okay, great. This gives me some context, some idea for what your community is like and what your vision is like. There is something unique … Another thing that’s unique that people need to know that might be a given, but might not be, is that your church isn’t, I imagine, simulcasting a message to all of these locations.
Caleb Grinoig: No. No. We got different speakers at each location.
Brady Shearer: Do you have campus pastors that are speaking? Do they do messages? Does everyone follow the [00:11:30] same series? Or is it completely autonomous?
Caleb Grinoig: It’s pretty completely autonomous to be honest. Unless, we’ve got sort of a leadership team over the whole, and unless there’s something really specific we feel that needs to be communicated to all the different campuses. But even then I don’t … Maybe once that’s happened.
Brady Shearer: So where does the desire come from to have consistent communication across all these campuses? Especially campuses that are pretty small, [00:12:00] and so are going to pick up the vibe and DNA of the 50 to 100 people that attend each campus? And because you’re not really currently communicating even within your message series consistently across, where did does the desire come from? Is that senior leadership thing? Is it something you guys have spearheaded?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. I think kind of the [inaudible 00:12:20] behind big church, small church, is that each of the locations kind of get to evolve into their own expression [00:12:30] and their own flavor. But the big church part of it is that we still see All Nations Church, even though we may be 60 here, 60 there, as one bigger church. And one thing that I don’t think that we mentioned either is that we’re looking to every quarter or so all gathered together as one larger group, to kind of … Almost remind people of the fact that it’s not … They’re doing [00:13:00] their thing in their spot, but they’re part of something bigger.
And through communications and technology, we really want to emphasize that point and use kind of … Yeah, technology is the tool to keep people interested in the loop of what’s going in the different locations, whether it’s a specific local outreach, or a young adults thing. There’s also [00:13:30] some ministries that while they’re going to be church specific, there’s also church wide ones. So for instance, our young adults group. At this point since we’re only 60 or 70 in each location, those demographics are split across the church, whereas we all used to be in one thing together. So making sure that we, for instance, yeah, communicate to young adults church wide is really important because they’re actually still going to be all gathering together as one group rather than [00:14:00] a young adults group at each location. And there’s other demographics too that have been kind of split up like that where having a focused, cohesive, communication strategy is really important.
Brady Shearer: Perfect. Yeah. Because I was going to say, “If there are no really practical implications on why you all want your churches to have communication strategy and visual brand and all that that’s consistent … Like if there’s no actual practical implications I don’t know where the compulsion is coming from. But it sounds like there is a foundation [00:14:30] and root that would make sense for that.
So the first thing that I’d say is, again I apologize for all the questions but it really does help-
Caleb Grinoig: No, it’s good.
Brady Shearer: Me get a understanding. Okay, let’s translate this to the digital world. Before I go into my suggestions, and we can dive into that, how does the website infrastructure and social media infrastructure look? One website, one Facebook, one Instagram? Or are there multiples for each?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. So right now, as I was kind of describing the parent church, the overall [00:15:00] thing, we have one website which, to be honest, right now we’re looking at different ways to change things up. But right now we have one website and then the parent church has all of its own social media accounts. And we have started social media accounts for the different church locations as well because we recognize that honestly, if someone’s a part of one location it’d be a lot of information overload for everybody to always get everything that’s [00:15:30] going on in every one of the spots. So we’ve been kind of using those sub-social media channels to filter the information coming through so someone from one location’s not getting things mixed up from another location, but then using the parent social media account to announce more church wide events or communications that we want to push out to them.
Brady Shearer: Okay. Perfect. So I think having one website is the right thing to do. [00:16:00] Even if your church was eight times the size, ten times the size that it was now, I still think that having a single main website as your online platform that you own, and then having individual pages on that for campuses, or something like that. There are a variety of different ways. Does that makes sense? So that’s good. I would also recommend that you do the same with your social platforms. I firmly believe that getting information out through social media is not the best way to do things. I think there are other ways that [00:16:30] would make a lot more sense because social media … It’s more for a place of storytelling and inspiration primarily, rather than getting out information.
What I would suggest you do instead, is have an email list specific to each individual campus, and then get information out that way. Not only will this mean … Right now, Facebook you’ve got seven out of ten Americans that are of Facebook. Active adults. I’m that sure that translates to Canada very closely.
Greg Serves: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: Nine out of ten, or ten out of ten have email. So you’re going to have more [00:17:00] people on email than Facebook. And again, email’s a place where it makes more sense to get information rather than Facebook from my opinion. You could also do something a little bit more progressive. You could have a private Facebook group if you wanted for a campus. You could have a Slack channel. You could send out mass texts. But your macro Facebook channel, I just don’t think that’s place to do it. So I would consolidate all of your Facebook pages into one, same with Instagram, same with any other place where you’ve segmented to different campuses.
And then what I would do, is [00:17:30] I would do my very best to get everyone on the same page in service, in … Well, let’s say two ways. Firstly if you’re doing autonomous messages right now, that’s totally fine. But what I think would be helpful is to get everyone to do the same sermon series framework. So even if you’re doing completely different interpretations of the message, get under the same series every single month. Or every single six weeks. However you want to break that out. But let’s say you’ve got 12 series in a year, [00:18:00] let’s say the first one you’re doing is called Gravedigger, which is always an example that I go towards because I think it sounds fun to say. Gravedigger at All Nations. What I would do, is have a series called Gravedigger, have kind of a general understanding, explanation throughout the campuses and campus pastors of what the series topic is going to be.
“It’s about, when you’re a follower of Christ, dead things come back to life.” You know? That can be the overall idea for the series. And then, have the campus pastors be able to interpret that how they want, [00:18:30] but hat way everyone’s going through the same series even though it’s not the same. Because this is the tension that you’re going to have to figure out. We, unlike most multi-site churches, in that … Or not that we’re unlike most, but we’re unlike the most popular model which is one church sermon giver, who’s the charismatic personality, and every person gathers to listen to him or her. You are, the same church, but doing completely different things in small locations. So you’ve got to find a way to manage that tension. [00:19:00] And a great micro example of that is sermon series framework that everyone follows, but then everyone interprets it in their own way.
And that way a pastor can get up and share their message of being a follower of Jesus and dead coming to life. And they can share a message that is a little bit more, perhaps, practical, intentional, and makes sense for their location because they’re in a neighborhood where the average income is X. And they’re in a neighborhood where the average age is this. And so there are different ways to implement that. [00:19:30] The second way I’d do it is to have a very strong visual brand that is the same everywhere. This is something that you can do to bring everyone together much like we just talked about with technology, you can use visuals to bring everyone together in a way that no one’s going to be upset about.
Meaning, you get a logo, and that’s the same logo every single place. You get a really strong and distinctive color palette, and that’s the same every single place. This is the typography guidelines that we use. It’s the same every single place. And that way when you walk [00:20:00] into the campus, the signage is the same. You get those roll ups signs maybe because they’re really mobile and easy to set up. The signage is the same, the connect cards are the same, the brand is the same, the logo is the same, and that’s one way to bring everyone together.
So that way, when you have these quarterly gatherings where everyone comes to one place, they walk into a different campus for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, and they’re like, “Oh yeah. This still feels at home. We’re in a different location, but that’s my logo. It’s the same colors. And even though we’re [00:20:30] not having own locations that we own, and we’re all setting mobilely, this still feels like my home church even though it’s a different location.” So those are the three things that I would do and implement right away.
Number one, sermon series are the same. Number two, Facebook and website, one account for the whole church, and use that to bring everyone together digitally. And then thirdly, a visual brand that sticks the same every single place. And to hit back on the website and Facebook account for a moment, [00:21:00] especially Facebook and Instagram if you’re doing it, what you can use these two social platforms for, is even though people are meeting in their own unique location in physical respect, when it comes to digital you’re all following the exact same Facebook account. And what you’re doing is you’re hearing the same stories whether you’re at Carlton Place, or you’re at the French campus. And you’re seeing the same visuals. You’re seeing the same photos, and the same videos, and the same Facebook live that [00:21:30] your campus pastors are jumping on.
And that way, everyone is meeting an hour a week in their own location, and yeah you’re meeting maybe every quarter altogether, but every single day, for those 167 hours outside of your Sunday service, everyone is part of the same digital community. And you can use digital, Facebook and Instagram in particular, to bring together a segmented audience that’s meeting at different locations and maybe hasn’t even met face to face, ever, but you can bring them all together [00:22:00] in one digital space, and you can leverage digital to to do that. Something like that wouldn’t have even been possible ten years ago.
Greg Serves: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: What are your thoughts on those first three recommendations?
Caleb Grinoig: Yes, it’s definitely interesting the whole concept of … It’s actually one of the questions that I prepped before was the having multiple social media accounts for everywhere, and you’re kind of [00:22:30] that point fragmenting everything-
Brady Shearer: Exactly.
Caleb Grinoig: And really adding to the complexity of stuff.
Greg Serves: Yeah.
Caleb Grinoig: It’s nice because you have a little more control over the content, but hen you’re also offering … It’s like, “Here’s four Facebook accounts that you can follow. Here’s four Instagram accounts that you follow.” So I … It’s interesting to hear in that perspective.
Brady Shearer: And look, I talk to a lot of churches, and it is rare to see a church of any size excelling on social media. [00:23:00] And interestingly, a lot of churches have this response, you’re not alone, where they’re like, “We can’t really handle one. What if we could handle four?” It’s like, “Bruh. You can’t even post consistently quality content to one account. You want to 4X that because it’s in the guise of like, it’s more personal to an individual campus?” No. That’s just not the case. In fact, I spoke with a church of 8,000 and they had five different campuses, and they had five different Facebook [00:23:30] accounts, rather pages. I went to each page and they’re posting the same thing on every page. I was like, “You’re just creating more work for yourself.”
And so this is a problem with a church of 300, and it’s a problem with a church of 8,000. Like this is something that all multi-site churches deal with of whatever size, any demographic whether Canadian, American, anything in between. And so … And you have to recognize the situation that you’re in, you are naturally, due to the infrastructure of your church, going to be fragmented. Because you’re [00:24:00] not simulcasting, because you’re not a big church with one central location and then other campuses that are just offshoots of that, because of the way that your church is set up you are naturally going to be finding yourself fragmented. And so you have to do everything you can to undo that. And social gives you that opportunity. A visual brand gives you that opportunity. Consistent sermon series frameworks for every campus gives you that opportunity.
When I talked earlier about managing the tension between one church and many locations, you’re naturally [00:24:30] going to be pushed towards the many locations side. And so you’ll probably be finding yourself having to come up with even more ideas of, “Okay, how can we again bring this back to one church? How can we make sure our digital presence is stronger so everyone knows, whether you meet in Carlton Place, or the French location, or the others, we are just one church?” And so you probably … This is a recommendation for every decision you make going forward, you’re probably always going to want to be biased, or inclined, to that one church side [00:25:00] because all the other natural elements and infrastructure that you’ve built up until this point is going to be pulling you the other direction. And you want to pull equally from both sides.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, I like that. We’ve done some good, Greg especially does some great work on the visuals and keeping that all consistent. So that’s all consistent. Connect cards are all consistent, the logo’s consistent, the color palettes are great. [inaudible 00:25:25] All consistent, but I like what you’re saying, and as one of those campus leaders, [00:25:30] I really like the idea of having the sermon series. I come from a church in the UK that was multi site, and we did sermon series and I found that worked really well. And it was helpful for those had to speak and preach because you have a framework to work within, and even those that … Because one of our [inaudible 00:25:53] having multi site is to make room for new leaders to emerge.
And so to be able to give them specific [00:26:00] parameters and say, “This the series this month. You can speak on anything within that series,” is easier than saying, “Just speak whatever you want.” And then I find that it’s really tough, especially being in churches a long time and [inaudible 00:26:19] Is that if you find … If you’ve got 52 different messages to listen to and try to act out and try to … It’s almost impossible to [00:26:30] do that. It is impossible to do that. I mean before … You’re not even done implementing that one that you just heard on Sunday before the next Sunday comes. But if you’ve got that consistency across the board … I really like that. I think that’s great.
Brady Shearer: Awesome. I think that kind of gives us a pretty good directive on … Or at least lots of work to consider and get into. What else do you want to talk about in the remaining 15, 20 that we have together?
Greg Serves: [inaudible 00:27:00] I [00:27:00] do want to put the …
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. And I guess our question is, how do you get tons of people on board if you can’t pay them? So volunteers. Like the sort of things that they could help out with easily if they’re not a paid employee? [00:27:30] And how do you ensure that they catch the vision of what you’re trying to go after?
Brady Shearer: So, you want to obviously get them onboard. The other question is what are the best places to put them?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. I’m not sure if this question was towards volunteers in general, or if it was more … Yeah, I think it’s probably just volunteers in general. I, maybe from a communications standpoint, how do you [00:28:00] light that fire in them to really want to serve and be a part of what you as a church are going after?
Brady Shearer: Perfect. So the biggest advice that I can give you is this idea of pairing together responsibility with autonomy. What I mean by that is that for a volunteer to succeed from your perspective you need to be able to give them a task, and they need to be responsible [00:28:30] for seeing it through. Right? So whether it’s as simple as uploading the audio podcast from each campus each week, something that maybe someone on staff doesn’t want to take care of perhaps, and you could hand out to a volunteer.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: Seems like someone … Is that what’s already happening now? And that’s a great thing. I always encourage churches to do that because that’s something that a volunteer can take care of that maybe someone on staff can put that time elsewhere. So [00:29:00] the thing is that’s what you want. Right? You want your volunteers to be responsible for what you give them, and do it with a passion and a fire. You’re not paying them though, and so they have no reason to do that aside from their own goodwill and desire. So what you need to do is compensate them in a different way. And the way that I way that I always encourage churches to compensate, because they don’t have the cash to do so, is to do it with autonomy.
What I mean by that is you want to give your volunteers, and compensate them with, ownership. [00:29:30] You want to give them a self-esteem boost and and ego boost and compensate them with the feeling that they are important. Which is one of the most powerful ways to compensate someone aside from actually handing them a blank check. And so what you want to do is pair this idea of what you want, which is them to be responsible, with what they want which is autonomy. And so it can be something as simple as uploading the podcast, and knowing that that’s they are in control of, and they are in charge of, that [00:30:00] falls to them completely. And if it doesn’t get done by them it doesn’t get done at all. And it’s so important that they do that. And they were chosen for this task because we believe they can do that. And it is integral to … The lifeblood of our church is communications, that they do this.
And so now, they feel a sense of responsibility because you’ve given them the autonomy to be 100% in control of this. And so it doesn’t have to be something big. Like autonomy can think like, “Oh man. What if we put [00:30:30] them in charge of people and they don’t want to be in charge of people?” Like it can be something super simple, which is why I used the audio podcast upload as the example. Because that’s something that seems so simple, and yet when you’re in charge of it, you feel a sense of ownership because you know if you don’t do it, nobody else will. And thus, you are more inclined to do it and show up for it every single week because you know the responsibility falls on you.
Pairing autonomy with responsibility. And so what you want to do is make out a list. Okay, look at all the things that we need from our volunteers. Okay, these are like [00:31:00] the five main areas that we need help in. Okay. Let’s now, to use your word because I really liked it, let’s fragment those five things into certain tasks that we can delegate to people and have them be in charge of. Again, this does not mean they have to be in charge of people which is something that very few people like, enjoy, or desire. But what can we give them that is a small enough task that they can own, that they can take charge of, that they can feel like, “This belongs to me, and I’m contributing to the church. And this matters.”
And then what you want to do [00:31:30] is then assign those to people in a way that obviously matches their skillset, and their time commitment. And now what you’ve done is you’ve paired what you desire, which is them to be responsible, and them to actually help out with the church, with what they desire. Sure you can’t pay them in money, but you can pay them in this autonomous gift which is, “You are important. You were chosen to do this. You are worthy. And you are someone who can be trusted with something as important as this.” Does that make sense?
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah, that’s good.
Greg Serves: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. I like that. And one of [00:32:00] the questions we had was in regards to social media. You’ve got so many options now in terms of, obviously Facebook, Instagram, and that’s probably where we focus most of our effort on. But then you’ve got like SnapChat, and you’ve got Twitter which seems to be not being used as much anymore. Is there any insight that you’d have in terms for a church [00:32:30] the size of ours, and if we were to bring everything under one hood, is it better to stick with just a few and really hit those hard? Or is it do the same thing across all of them, or do different things across … Because Facebook’s very different to SnapChat and …
Brady Shearer: Yep. So I would always recommend that you go deep rather than wide. Meaning start with one, make sure that you’ve got that one fully where you want it to be, and then move on to the second. And [00:33:00] the nice thing is that the current landscape of social media has kind of made this decision easy for us already. So when we just look at the usage of social across our culture and demographics, Facebook is by far the winner. You’ve got 68% of American adults, which again I think translates nicely to Canadians. 68% of American adults on Facebook. The next closest, in terms of popularity, is Instagram and it’s only at 28%. So you’ve got almost three times as many on people on Facebook as on Instagram.
And [00:33:30] if your church skews younger or older, these demographics will adjust accordingly. But basically this is true for most churches. And a lot of churches skew older, so it might be even more exaggerated. And so it’s important for you to invest your time where the people already are, and that’s why I always suggest start with Facebook first. Master Facebook to the point where you know, “Okay, we are super happy with the results we’re getting, with the effort that we’re putting in, and with the amount of time and energy and creative resources that are being expended [00:34:00] on Facebook.
And when you no longer feel like, “Man it is so hard to come up with new content on Facebook each week.” When you feel like you’ve got that ready to go, then you can move to Instagram. And really most churches aren’t going to need to move beyond Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve got a vibrant student ministry, I would encourage you to be on SnapChat. But aside from that, Facebook and Instagram for most churches will be plenty when it comes to using up their time.
I’m on your Facebook account right now, and your Facebook account only has 83 likes on it. And for a church of your [00:34:30] size, I think that we can definitely boost that. Like you need to have probably three to four times as many likes on your Facebook, as actually weekly attendance. So what I would say is, if you’re at all … I mean, I love this word I’m so glad you used it. If you’re at all fragmenting your current creative resources across multiple social platforms, let’s consolidate it into a single one. So like, step one is having one Facebook page for the whole church and all the campuses. And step two would be putting all of your energy, creative resources, for social into [00:35:00] one platform and that being your main Facebook page.
Run a contest that gets people and incentivizes them to like the page and get connected online. One of the first things that I recommended was creating a sense of unity using digital. Well that only works if everyone’s connected to the Facebook page, right? So step one is getting everyone, as many as possible, connected to that Facebook page that aren’t. And it looks like, based on at least the like volume, that there’s a lot of people that aren’t currently connected. So what you could do is [00:35:30] you could run a contest, like a giveaway where you’re giving away a $50 gift card to one of everyone’s favorite local Ottawa coffee shops, Ottawa Mexican joint. One of the places that everybody likes. Get a $50 gift card and say you’re giving it away and you can only win if you are a person that likes the church account on Facebook.
And so something like that will incentivize a huge group of people to get connected to you on Facebook that aren’t already. Because what I think you need to do is like, if you’re going to [00:36:00] put in to practice a lot of things that we’ve recommended here, you need to have everyone connected on one place online. And you can do this with an email list, but I think Facebook is a great place to do it because it’s public and everyone can see it. So run a contest, get as many people to like that page in a single week, and then you can start implementing actually creating the good content, experimenting with some Facebook ads if you want. Working on the storytelling that you’re doing through Facebook. Building and establishing that visual brand. All of that. But first you need to get the audience there. Probably the fastest [00:36:30] way to do that is through a contest.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah, okay. Yeah that makes sense. I think right now, like you said, with all of our different sites like the central Ottawa, like you said has 83 and then it kind of peters off. Our main one has over 500.
Brady Shearer: Oh there it is. My bad.
Caleb Grinoig: So if we were to bring everybody back into that then … Now that we’ve done it, I mean we’ll have to … If we were [00:37:00] to bring it all back we’d have to-
Greg Serves: [inaudible 00:37:02]
Caleb Grinoig: Just don’t … Yeah. We’ll have to like communicate, and everybody back in one. Back in one. But I think that’s really good, and I like the idea of a contest. Like free baptisms or something like that.
Brady Shearer: And you can use that and couple that with the change that you’re going to make. Because obviously the change of going back on the original decision to fragment the pages and go back into all of one and consolidate, that change … No one likes change, right? And so if you pair that with [00:37:30] a contest, and couple that with giveaway, then it becomes an exciting change. And I’m always a big advocate of pairing together changes at once, kind of like a rip the bandaid approach rather than make like, a bunch of small changes like death by a million cuts over time. When a church does a rebrand, introduce it all once. Okay, this is our new color, our new typography, our new logo. Everything’s changing as of today. This is the landmark Sunday where everything shifts.
And you can do the same thing in this respect. And that way, people that are uncomfortable [00:38:00] with the change, rather than having stragglers that are holding on you’re like, “No. We deleted all those pages. We want you all on this one page, and here’s the incentive to do it.”
Caleb Grinoig: Nice. One question in terms of … Because we’ve actually had a few meetings now about redoing our website altogether. One question that I’ve always had, even in the church [inaudible 00:38:26] in the UK was … Where it was multiple sites, [00:38:30] when you’re putting out literature into the community that you’re in, so let’s say I’m in Carlton Place. I’m putting out a, “Hey we’re new the town. Come and check us out.” In terms of … This seems really minute, I know, but in terms of the web address, right now we’ve got AllNations.church, in each of those sites, if we’re to put out literature in those communities, what is your thoughts on having [00:39:00] just everything has AllNations.church, or would you have /CarltonPlace, /Central, /Orleans is our other one. Or is that fragmented even more? Is it best to get the people right from the beginning or does it confuse them if they go to site and they see all these sites and … I don’t know.
Brady Shearer: One of the core communications tenets that I abide by is, it’s always my responsibility [00:39:30] to make communication clear. And I don’t want to put that responsibility on the end user. Right? And so if they’re confused in any way, that’s my fault. Sure, maybe they should be more intellectually savvy, or technologically savvy, or familiar with that. But at the end of the day, if they’re not and that’s my audience, then it’s my job to fix that. And so I would highly recommend using only AllNations.church as the website. And then what you can do is something like a NewSpring. [00:40:00] cc where their big call to action is find out your location.
So the first thing that happens is when they land on the site, they’re presented with the option to find their local location based on their geography. And they can put in their postal code and figure it out that way. You can just have your four locations listed and they can click on theirs. But basically what you want to do is put the [inaudible 00:40:23] on you. And I think that if your website is working the way that it should, and I think I’m on the same page with you, I think it would merit a [00:40:30] redo. If your website is working the way that it should, the problem that you’re trying to solve being, “Where should I go? Which location is best for me? Which location is closest,” your website should be able to solve that.
I mean, with that being said, I think like you said it is a pretty minute decision, and I could probably convince myself to go other way, only in the case of mailers.
Caleb Grinoig: Right.
Brady Shearer: But with that being said, I might not even do a slash. You know AllNations.church [00:41:00] is already a forward it looks like to your main website. Which is like … What is it? A-
Caleb Grinoig: ANCN.
Brady Shearer: ANC [inaudible 00:41:09]
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah.
Brady Shearer: Right. So it’s already a forward. You could do something similar. Like you could get like Orleans.church, and you could even do a forward that way and then it could take them directly to the landing page that you have where it shows directions and kind of that plan to visit literature. Like, “Here’s what [00:41:30] you should expect when you come for a first time.” So I’m not against doing the slash or the forward to an exact page on the website, but I’d probably do it with a single domain rather than with a backslash, kind of longer URL. You want to keep it as short as possible. Especially because you got think about the context of when people are getting this mailer.
If they get and are compelled to check it out, they’re probably not near a computer. They’re not going to take … The only time I take mail to a computer is when I’m paying a bill. And I’m so mad at it that like, you know I’m willing [00:42:00] to put in the URL. But I’m still mad at the bill. So someone picks up this mailer, this piece of print, and they’re like … If they feel compelled to check it out, they’re going to do on their phone. They’re going to take out their phone, and now what you don’t want is to give them this super long, difficult to spell, 25 character URL to type into their phone because that’s a lot harder to type than if they’re on a computer obviously with a real keyboard.
And so I try to keep the URL as short as possible. So really the decision you’re making is, “Can we get a bunch of really short URLs [00:42:30] that forward to the exact place on the website we want this specific person in their local neighborhood to go to? Or, do we just continue to use AllNations.church and allow the website to direct them to the place that we want them to get to?” And you’ve got to work through each option and figure out which one is the most user friendly. Which one provides the least barriers to getting to that final destination that we want to take them to? And then go that route.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. That’s great. I’ve got [00:43:00] one about … We’re still all right for time right?
Brady Shearer: Yeah. We got like another five, ten.
Caleb Grinoig: Awesome. So in one of the campuses, one of the sites, as I said we’ve purchased a building which is an old Presbyterian, 200 years old shell effectively, and very different style on the inside to what we are as a church. We’re charismatic I guess if you want to put a label. Non-denominational. This is a Presbyterian. [00:43:30] Lots of things all over the place, and we’re going to put our own stamp on it which will take time, but this place is kind of a place in the community that everybody knows as St. Andrews. We’re All Nations Church, and now we got to help the community see that the church in there is different, the shell’s the same.
Do you have any insight or have you dealt with any churches that have done similar where they’ve bought these old shells effectively [00:44:00] that have been around for years. Community all knows it as St. Andrews. They have something in their mind as to what it’s all about. A different type of service altogether. And how you can combat that basically, or not combat it. You know what I mean. Change that.
Brady Shearer: Yeah. So there are two things that you want to consider. The first is, think about what it would be like for someone in that community, and try to get yourself into [00:44:30] their perspective. So think about … Almost every neighborhood has this. That restaurant that consistently is always in that same spot in that plaza, but it’s always a new restaurant every 12 to 18 months. Like one closes and another opens up. How do you know that that happens?
You only know because of the signage, right? And even though the inside may be completely different, they might put in a couple $100,000 of renovations to redo the inside, all you see as a passer by, and you have to consider that the vast majority of people [00:45:00] are never going to step foot in your building and are only going to see it as a passer by, all you can do then is then change the signage to signify that a change has happened.
So obviously, you want to adjust the signage as much as possible. So much so that when someone goes by, they’re kind of like startled by the difference and are forced to pay attention to it. So to go back to that restaurant example, if I was a restaurant that was taking over for the previous one, and the previous one had a ton of red branding, what I would not then do is [00:45:30] go with red branding for my restaurant. Because what could happen is visually, I might not be able to startle someone enough to force them to look at the signage and realize that it’s changed. It would be too similar, and they might just pass it by.
So if you’re working with some old signage, like let’s say it’s white background, with a bunch of black text, don’t redo that and just take out the St. Andrews name, and put in All Nations. Because no one will likely notice that that’s happened. Looks like you’ve kind of got like a blue green [00:46:00] gradients. Maybe what you want to do is put that in there. Put that logo in there so when someone walks by they immediately notice. If you’ve got a bigger budget, put up a whole new sign altogether. And that the way the difference is the fact that there’s a whole new piece of physical thing on this building.
The second thing that you want to do is recognize that this will take a long time to happen. When you have a church that’s been their for decades and decades and decades, recognizing [00:46:30] the human condition and how much we resist change, it’s going to take a while for people to see you as a different entity. And that’s just something you go to prepare yourself for. The best advice is already given to you when it comes to the signage. But aside from that, there’s not really anything that you can do other than put up that signage and then wait. Because based on your strategy, you’re not going to want to spend a ton of money or even be able to spend a ton of money redoing a ton of the exterior to make it clearly different. [00:47:00] And like I said. I like your approach and I applaud it. There’s no really reason to spend a ton of money on doing the physical exterior anyways. So just change what you can when it comes to the signage, and then just be patient because the change will take a while.
You’ve got decades and decades of familiarity and expectation within that neighborhood in front of you, and it’s going to take a while to undo that. You know what? The third thing that you could do is do as much as you possibly can when it comes to community events at the building. [00:47:30] So you know, like do a bunch of free food giveaway on the outside, or host a garage sale. Or anything that you can do to get people paying attention and actually interacting with you without requiring them to come inside, which would then force them to be like, “Oh. I thought this was St. Andrews.” “Oh, well yeah it was. We actually bought the building …” And then tell the story. That story gets shared with their friend, and then you get a bit of word of mouth going. And so you could do that through some actual local community events hosted on the property.
Because that way you get the most bang for your buck. If you [00:48:00] do it somewhere else, you could be like, “Oh yeah, we’re All Nations Church,” and then no one would make the connection that you’re in the old other church building. They would just assume you’re somewhere else. So you want to do those events on the property.
Caleb Grinoig: Yeah. That’s great. Yeah that’s really helpful. That’s really helpful.
Brady Shearer: Awesome guys. Well I think that’s a great place to leave off. Are there any final questions that you want to get in before we sign off?
Caleb Grinoig: No, that’s great man. Thank you.
Brady Shearer: Awesome. Well this has been a blast. I can’t wait to hear from you in a couple of months when all [00:48:30] these changes have been implemented, and hopefully things improve and you can solve some of these problems. So thanks for jumping on the three of you.
Caleb Grinoig: Thanks.
Brady Shearer: And yeah, like I said, it was a blast.
Caleb Grinoig: Thank you.
Brady Shearer: Thanks for tuning into the Pro Church Podcast Coaching Edition. My hope is that by hearing what’s happening behind the scenes in another church you can see that no church has it all figured out, and we’re all on this journey together. To that end, if you have a question for me, the best way to get it answered is on our weekly question and answer show called The Ask Brady Show. You can submit your [00:49:00] question to [email protected] Sending in a video question will put you immediately at the front of the line, and you can watch every episode of Ask Brady at AskBrady.tv.