Planning Lessons From South Park

September 10, 2008 by

South Park UnderpantsWhen someone from my team e-mailed me this South Park clip, I knew this would both incite and resonate with so many well-intentioned church leaders. The 37-second clip is a picture-perfect representation of how so many of us approach planning and strategy, especially when it comes to marketing and communication.

First: Let’s make a cool video.
Second: ?
Third: God is glorified.

But wait, that second phase was skipped, which should really be the first phase. What is the purpose of the video, brochure, web site or special event? What are you going to do with it? How does it serve your purpose? What if you shouldn’t be making a video at all? I would also argue that the third phase should be specific, actionable and measurable. “Profit” or “glorifying God” are not only a given, they’re not any different from anybody else.

It’s time we stop collecting underpants and instead figure out why we’d ever need to collect them in the first place.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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4 Responses to “Planning Lessons From South Park”

  • Kem Meyer
    September 10, 2008

    Great analogy. I love it.

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  • deWeb
    September 10, 2008


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  • Aaron
    September 10, 2008

    Who’d have thought South Park could ever be used in a church analogy… but there it is! Seriously though, great insight Brad. That’s especially true of video clips (“hey, we’ve gotta be a ‘relevant’ church, let’s throw a clip from a movie in with the sermon and find a way to tie it in”) and events (“We’ll have this huge event and our church will get bigger…”). We’ve gotta think about what our purpose is. Thanks for the reminder.

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  • Archie Mck
    September 10, 2008

    Real truth there, great post. SP had a great (however obscene) commentary on the Christian music industry a few years back, wow, sometimes we don’t step out of the moment enough to question our real motivations.

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