Office Hours: Puppy Dogs & Advent Conspiracy

Office Hours: Puppy Dogs & Advent Conspiracy

November 28, 2011 by

Every week I hold online office hours and answer questions from folks like you. This week we’ve got a question about shaking things up in your church and how to get people interested in events. Take a look and be sure to join me every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. CST for online office hours!

I’m shaking things up a bit at my church. New ideas mixed with people stuck in the old. How would approach the church with new ideas? And a fresher way of doing things with technology? 

My answer: First and foremost, ask for “experiments.” Tim Ferriss calls this “the puppy dog sell” (i.e. if you’re a pet shop owner, you let a kid who wants a puppy have one night at home with the creature, the chances of them giving it back freely greatly decrease. That means mom and dad need to shell out the dough!).

The point is to create a limited amount of time (to lessen risk) where you can apply a fresh new approach. Say something like, “give me one (or two or three) month(s) where I can do XYZ and I’ll show you the results. If it doesn’t work, we can let the experiment run out. No harm, no foul.”

Of course, the genius of this is that you get to try a new approach and if it works, others will see that that let you keep doing it. If it doesn’t work, you can tweak and ask for a new trial when you’re ready. Win-win.

Sound good?

Any advice on helping get people excited for the Advent Conspiracy?

My answer: Oh boy. Without knowing your context, that’s kind of tough to diagnose. The reality is that some folks, no matter what you do, may not care one iota about the Advent Conspiracy.

For instance, we tried to do this in the ministry I was involved in some years ago and interest fell flat. Way flat. No amount of promotion was going to help it out either.

Instead, we found that partnering with a local organization that adopts families for the holidays was much more effective. The turn-out was far better than Advent Conspiracy was, and I think people got more out of it as well.

Advent Conspiracy is good, but it may not be for everyone. Try it out for yourself, but look for opportunities where you can bring in local organizations whenever possible. People like to support other people in their community.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the great questions everybody! Hopefully this information will help you get from where you are to where you want to go. See you next time in the office!

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Justin Wise

Justin Wise lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and son. He likes coffee, reading, running and blogging.
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