Ministry-vs-Personal-Growth

Ministry vs. Personal Growth

In the 2000′s I was called to be a youth minister and really wanted to focus my life on the ministry of the God by feeding into youth. I dumped my time and energy into the youth of my ministries. The problem with this is I didn’t know how to seperate my work, I was being paid to be a youth pastor, from my life.

Within the 12th chapter of Mark Jesus tells how we should give back to the goverment what we owe it.

Then Jesus told them, “Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” – Mark 12:17 HCSB

From my understanding of this scripture it simply isn’t talking about giving back to Caesar taxes. I think Jesus was also talking in a sense of how we pay back to our employers. We are paid a salary for a job or service and we should pay back what we owe for the services we perform. The majority of strong Christians I know stand by this principle in their life. They try not to overwork strive to put their priorities in place as God, family, and then work.

The major issue with this concept is that the majority of pastors and leaders with in the body of Christ don’t do this. Many pastors get lost in Romans 8:28 and miss a key aspect of it.

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 HCSB

When a pastor or leader with the body of Christ read the verse they read it in this way…”We know that all things work for the good of those who love God”. They and I, for a very long time missed one of the key words within this scripture. We miss the simple word “together”.

All aspects of your life should be working together to the glory of God. Your personal spiritual growth, family and ministry should be working together not fighting for dominance within you. You have to make sure your ministry isn’t over powering your family or your personal growth. If it is you will loose in the end.

I’m an example of a looser. I fed every once of my biblical studying into what I was teaching Wednesday night or Sunday morning. I stopped feeding into myself because I was too busy to take care of myself. I switched myself from feed myself steak to drinking again from the bottle of young believers. As a youth pastor I wasn’t able to advance my ministry past a point because I stopped advancing myself.

All ministries work this way no matter if you are paid or not. If you stop feeding into your personal growth biblically and spirtially you will loose the ability to keep growing the ministry your called to do.

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2-Reasons-Why-We-should-plant-new-churches

2 Reasons Why We should plant new churches

In the book Jesus commands us to

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20).

As Christians and as a part of his church it is our job to go and build churches. I wanted to provide you some strong reasons on why we need to go and plant churches in todays modern world. (more…)

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Comparing Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and DoubleClick

In review of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads you have to look at at the two companies very closely. Yes they are the top two websites online and are used by billions of people across the known web world every day. Both Google and Facebook allow a company to target exact geographical locations. This exact targeting allows online businesses the ability to connect with local business granting them the ability to take advantage of smaller local markets within their regions. (more…)

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Display Ads Today

Understanding Banner Ads

Frank D’Angelo and his ad agency opened the world up to Banner ads over 17 years ago the world hasn’t looked back. Beginning with major companies such as AT&T and Volvo, Banner ads provided the advertiser an average click through rate of 78% [acp footnote] Singer, D. (28 October 2009). Happy birthday banner ad…bet you wish click through rates were still 78%. In Social Media Today. (more…)

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The Creation of a 1940′s Pop Icon

In 1941 the United States found it self on the brink of World War II and the country needed a symbol to lift the spirits of the Americans watching the news reels coming from the front lines. Comic book creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby realized that with Adolf Hitler they had the perfect villain and all they needed was a hero. “Jack and I read the newspapers, and knew what was going on over in Europe. And there was – Adolf Hitler,” Joe Simon recalled “with his ridiculous moustache, high-pitched ranting and goose-stepping followers, he was the perfect bad guy, much better than anything we could have made up, so what we needed was to create his ultimate counterpart” [acp footnote] Moore, M. ( July 22, 2011). Joe Simon’s Co-Creation, Capt. America, Returns. In ABC News. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=14134238#.T9k5TCtYu7y.[/acp]. With the villain in place, Kirby and Simon began creating a super hero the everyday American could believe would be able to defeat Hitler, and Captain America was born.

“He’s (Captain America) a concept that anybody can understand,” Simon recalled, “Even people who’ve never read a Captain America story before intuitively comprehend what he’s about and what he stands for, and no matter where you happen to sit along the political spectrum in this country, Captain America represents something to you”[acp footnote] Moore, M. ( July 22, 2011). Joe Simon’s Co-Creation, Capt. America, Returns. In ABC News. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=14134238#.T9k5TCtYu7y.[/acp]. Captain America became a symbol of hope to the families living in America as their loved ones lived and possibly died on the battlefields of Europe.

Captain America has been a Pop culture image and icon since World War II and continues to lead the way as a moral compass through pop culture. Captain America has always stood for virtues similar to many of the people born in the greatest generation. Many people believe that the morals behind the greatest generation and Captain America are out dated for the modern world.  I completely disagree with that. We should never forget the morals that pushed our country through one of the hardest and most dangerous times ever witnessed.

Mark D. White, a professor of philosophy at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, explains in a article for Psychology Today that the morals of Captain America haven’t changed the world itself has changed. “Moral questions may seem more difficult and the answers less clear,” White explains “but that makes a firm sense on ethics more important, not less. New technology and opportunities to harm each other may develop, but the bedrock of right and wrong do not change, regardless of how one chooses to define them”[acp footnote]White, M. (July 21, 2011). Are Captain America’s Ethics Too Old-Fashioned for the 21st Century?. In Psychology Today. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201107/are-captain-americas-ethics-too-old-fashioned-the-21st-century.[/acp].  These morals are what have kept Captain America at the forefront of comic book culture and now a part of two major motion pictures.

Captain America was created in 1941 for a generation that needed a moral compass to push them through life after the great depression and the beginning stages of America entering World War II. Morals are timeless and never changing and there will always be a need for Captain America’s morals in a world that is ever changing.

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Landing Page Optimization

Every landing page I have reviewed, over the years and for this element review, has several strong characteristics on the landing pages that capture the attention of viewers and future conversions. Each landing page has the ability to convert viewers into clients or to lead them away. In my experience strong landing pages have very specific and very similar elements that produce strong results for online businesses. Each landing page should contain a company logo, strong header image, a strong call to action and a secondary call to action. Each action is specific to the page and draws the viewers eyes to the calls to action.

Company Logo

header imageA business using landing pages has to have their business logo in the top left or center of the landing page. Having a business logo located on top of the landing page will lead the eye line of the viewer directly to the name of the business or company logo. Having the company logo within the key eye line will allow consumers to connect with company brand. Jon Correll, a writer for Conversion Voodoo, strong headerbelieves that by having a companies brand on any and all landing pages they are currently using will lead to brand awareness for consumers shopping for similar products[acp footnote] Correll, Jon. (August 9th, 2013). 9 Must-Have Elements for Landing Pages That Convert. In ConversionVoodoo.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from http://goo.gl/m4dqAp.[/acp]. This brand awareness will lead consumers to connect your business with a specific product and/or service completing the circle of brand awareness.

If you are thinking of not adding your logo to the website think about the classic marketing concept “the rule of seven”. The rule of simply states that a prospective buyer should see or hear your companies marketing message at least seven times before they are likely to buy from your company[acp footnote] Tutorials Point. The Rule of Seven. In TutorialsPoint.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from http://goo.gl/DLWHV1.[/acp]. The rule of seven is a old concept but still needs to be paid attention to especially within a companies landing page.

Strong Header Image

A strong header image on a companies landing page has the ability to tell a amazing story very quickly to the consumer from the company. When you look at this image below you see a beautiful woman but what she is doing tells a story. Then when you connect the image to the text itself you are called to click on the main call to action. header imageA strong header image will connect the lead text to the call to action. John Paul Mains of MarketingLand.com states that a header of the landing page has to capture a visitors interest  within 3 seconds of visiting the website or the rest of the page doesn’t matter[acp footnote] Mains, John Paul. (September 4th 2013). How to Design A Landing Page That Converts. In Marketingland.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from http://goo.gl/4F7xGa.[/acp].

With headers we have to pay attention to what marketers have been taught for years a image is worth a thousand words. If we have a clean image that tells a story a viewer is able to process the information faster then they would in reading large text boxes.

Strong Call To Action

Every landing page online today was created for the same reason, to convert the visitor to customer. Not all websites deem visitors as a customer but in the marketing world a visitor is always seen as a potential customer. The majority of conversions are made by having a strong call to action within the header section of the page. If you view the header by FluidSurveys you see a strong header image leading directly to the strong call to action. This leads the viewers eyes directly to the call to action. With the merging of the image examples and quick text explaining the product leads everything on the page to the call to action. In photography leading lines are used to pull the viewers eyes to specific points in the image[acp footnote] Anderson, Elizabeth. (AUGUST 16, 2010). Leading Lines in Photography. In Photoble.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from http://goo.gl/aZswa7.[/acp]. Leading lines are used the same way within good advertising designs. The leading lines always have to draw the attention of the viewer to a key location.

major call to action

That key location should always be the main call to action within the landing page but drawing attention to the call to action is not always the website victory. The call to action has to be quick and painless for the viewer. If they have to think too long regarding the information they are going to leave without acting on the call. Keeping it simple, a single click or very few actions to type in, will provide greater results within the landing page.

Second Call to Action

This second call to action used on a landing page is the best way to draw the attention of the viewer to your social media channels. These calls call to actions can be placed in different places within the website but typically should be smaller then the main call to action and located within the lower half of the website.  Having social engagement within a landing page allows marketers to track how often specific landing pages are shared[acp footnote] Radia, Uday. (September 17 2013). Automatically Track Social Media Buzz Around Specific Landing Pages with Searchmetrics. In realwire.com. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from http://goo.gl/cgFFk7.[/acp]. By tracking these options within the website you are able to understand how relevant a landing page is to the viewers seeing it.

minor call to action

With the second call to action you are also able to capture what I call falling fruit. Often if a main call to action fails to capture the viewer there is a possibility that the second call to action captures the attention of anyone continuing to view the website. These falling fruit conversions often prove meaningful for future social media campaigns.

If a landing page provides a strong use of these actions in creative and unique concepts it will lead to better results within the landing page. Many landing pages add these four aspects but forget the creative side of the landing pages. If landing page doesn’t provide compelling creativity and the elements to pull in the viewer the site will be lost in time without the benefit of a Tardis to save the landing page.

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The Contents of Gospel of John

Like the other gospels, the gospel of John sets out to tell the life story of Jesus. John focuses on the origins, ministries, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In writing the book of John, John does not claim in anyway to be present a neutral gospel. Through his writing John steps out to raise the faith of those reading the gospel. Great verses that describes John’s intentions towards his readers is John 20:30-31:

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” - John 20:30-31

These two verses display how God is using the pen of John to mold his witness focusing on the needs of the readers.

The structure of the Gospel of John appears to be simple and straight forward until you begin to think deeper about the scripture within it. The book itself can be broken down in this manor:

  • Prologue: 1:1-18
  • Signs and Wonders: 1:19-12:50
  • The Passion Story: 13:1-20:31
  • Epilogue: 21:1-25

Often two sections (Signs and Wonders and The Passion Story) are described as The book of Signs and the Book of Glory. I feel Signs and Wonders and the Passion Story are better titles for todays generation but if you are old school I understand completely.

No matter what you call it, the designation “Signs and Wonders” leads the reader to believe that all signs can only be seen within chapters 1 through 12 but if you break down again John 20:30-3 the gospel of John itself is book displaying amazing signs and wonders to readers throughout the centuries. The book itself ends with the greatest hope and sign Christians can cling to which is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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9 Assumptions about My Readers

In my head, I dream that the readers of my blog are marketers, small-business owners, and people running online social media empires. Really anyone who writes about Social Media Marketing wants those type of people to be their readers. I understand that many of you may have stumbled upon my blog or found it out from a link Twitter. Right now I’m not a Chris Brogan or Seth Godin in the marketing world. What I am is a John Paul Richards.

I like to view myself as a simple guy who loves to praise my God, hang out with my wife and play with my kids. I writing about social media marketing because that’s what I’ve gone to school for the last 2 years of my life. I love social media marketing and love to share my knowledge with others that I’ve learned from marketers like Brogan and Godin with others and how to incorporate it into your own website or blog. In reality what I dream my readers are can be listed below here:

(more…)

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