The Best Reason to Change Is So You Can Reach and Help More People

The Best Reason to Change Is So You Can Reach and Help More People

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One of the crucial keys to building a ministry or business is the process of redefining yourself. If you don’t do this, you will lose your impact and relevancy. Your voice in the marketplace will not grow. The “this is how we have always done it” mantra only works in a static universe. We don’t live in that place, which is why you want to spend time and energy thinking about how to have the most impact in your sphere.

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Out with the Old

Blockbuster, K-Mart, and CDs are a few of the things that stopped moving forward in the rapidly changing mainstream. You can add many used to be valuable items, ideas, and organizations to this list. This principle is hard for some folks to grasp. There is something in us that likes how things have always been, which does not apply to the unchangeable gospel.

Paul had strong language for anyone who tinkers with the gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Changing the gospel and methodologies that present the gospel are different things. We must learn the lesson of Guttenberg: he changed the world with the movable type machine. Johann Guttenberg did not compromise the gospel, but his invention maximized the expanse of the gospel profoundly.

Some Christians conflate these two things. There is a fear of changing methodologies. They see the moral decline of the culture and do not want to change into what they see. They are correct. They don’t understand that changing ways to impact the culture does not alter the gospel but gives you a better chance to connect that old gospel to a modern culture that will receive it in ways they understand.

Two Keys to Relevancy

Changing is useful if the change does not compromise the gospel while positioning you with a more robust platform and a more unmistakable voice to proclaim it. This perspective of changing a ministry for the greater good of the gospel is a recurring theme. There is never a day that passes where I’m not thinking about doing what we do more effectively.

As an organization, we want to be where the people are, relating to them in the ways they understand, so we can present Christ the right way, hoping for the magnification of Him in their lives to experience the transformation that He offers. Christ was like this to His culture. Interestingly, He was so relatable that some folks could not distinguish Him from everyone else (Matthew 26:48)—until He started talking, of course (John 7:46).

Christ’s ability to relate to His culture without compromising His message stood on two pillars: He was relevant to the culture, but He brought a radically different message to the culture. If you can do this, you will position yourself in the mainstream with a powerful, transformative, and God-glorifying—different—message.

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Brief History of Change

In our world, we focus on how to bring the practical message of Christ to the world through cyberspace. We are an Internet ministry. We do not carry the practical gospel to the culture from a 1995 platform. For example, in the mid-nineties, blogs were new but not that relevant. Today, if you do not have a website, you’ve lost some relevancy and numerical impact.

In 2007, Steve Jobs gave us the mobile phone, and culture moved en masse to this new way of connecting. Seventy percent of the folks who come to our ministry do so through a mobile phone. Twenty percent use desktops, while the rest use tablets. Today, everything moves at the speed of the Internet and redefines itself with endless iterations of technology.

It would blow Guttenberg’s mind to realize what Steve Jobs did with that old moveable typing machine. The question for you and me to wrestle with is how we can take the modern means of grace available to us and use them in redemptive ways to reach people worldwide with the gospel of Christ. Every Christian should live with this worldview in mind—even if “worldwide” only goes to your county line.

How We Changed

I started thinking about these things in 2008. God had given me an extraordinary life, as He has done for you, too. He also permitted me to run down the biblical counseling lane. My job was to discern how to merge those two things for His fame, my purpose, and the benefit of others. Because I live in the Internet age, my thoughts shifted to the redemptive use of technology. It went this way.

  1. 2008 – Started a weblog, in addition to counseling folks.
  2. 2009 – Added a member site to create a paywall to help underwrite the ministry.
  3. 2010 – Added online forums so we could interact with our community.
  4. 2012 – Built out and launched our all-online Mastermind Course.
  5. 2014 – Developed our 4th generation site to accommodate the growth.
  6. 2015 – Started Your Daily Drive podcast to convert our articles into audio.
  7. 2015 – Began moving resources from behind the paywall: our articles.
  8. 2015 – Stopped counseling folks.
  9. 2016 – Started Life Over Coffee as another resource to respond to questions.
  10. 2017 – Began to develop more videos and conducted online webinars.
  11. 2019 – Started an eighteen-month process to build a fully-customizable website.
  12. 2020 – Finished the web build and started the most extensive changes in our ministry:
    1. We are bringing videos, infographics, mindmaps, charts, and forms from behind the paywall.
    2. We created a new resource series: Life Over Coffee w/Daniel Berger and Rick Thomas
    3. We are redeveloping our Mastermind Program to make it easier to complete.
    4. We are building topical studies, which are single classes on various subjects that model our Mastermind LMS template.
    5. We are adding a new, more intuitive forum experience.
    6. We’re hiring our thirteenth team member on January 4, 2021—a full-time administrator.

History of Resources

In 2008, articles were king. Virtually everyone preferred reading their online resources. Thus, I wrote one article every day, seven days a week, for two years. I then dropped back to five articles a week. Since 2015, I have been publishing three articles a week.

In 2015, podcasting was mainstream in the culture, though new to most Christians. The Christian culture is, generally speaking, a decade or two behind the culture on certain things. That year and the next, I started two podcast networks: Your Daily Drive and Life Over Coffee.

In 2017, I began thinking more about the third leg of our resource presentation, the video space. I had been producing videos all along but was not fully engaged with the medium due to time, cost, and expertise. When COVID hit full throttle in March 2020, we took the plunge since our family—and yours—was sheltering in place. We have produced over 120 videos in seven months.

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We’re Redefining Again

We currently have a massive library of articles and more than 1,200 podcasts on all things that pertain to life and godliness. We have active forums where we can interact with our community. My point is that we have filled our big box cyberstore in cyberspace to the brim with resources. Thus, it’s time for another redefinition.

Effective immediately, I am pulling back from writing three articles and producing three Your Daily Drive podcasts a week. My new goal is to produce at least one each Thursday, with our Life Over Coffee podcast dropping each Monday. This change will free me up to do several things that need my attention.

  • Collaborate with Daniel Berger in our Life Over Coffee series.
  • Be more thoughtful in the one article that I do produce weekly.
  • Spend more time on our forums with our community.
  • Build our topical classes, hoping to have at least 100 that you can choose from.
  • I need to devote more time to book writing.
  • We will be able to meet the public speaking requests.
  • I’m going to develop our Life Over Coffee series, including a time-dated show, not evergreen, to speak to current cultural matters. This new strategy also includes more interviews.
  • I plan to provide more live, online free webinars.

Now that we have a massive resource library, we have the materials to give folks who come to us for help. Rather than expanding our treasure trove with the same types—articles and podcasts, we hope to expand the resources options:

  • Create more interactivity with better forums
  • Make smaller LMSs on many topics
  • Produce live webinars
  • Do more public speaking

By writing fewer articles and podcasts, it will release me to serve in more effective ways. We will be able to shore up the other resource weaknesses, which will give our friends more options.

Not without You

When we moved our articles from behind the paywall, we lost 200 supporters. They said, “Now that it’s free, there is no need to pay to read.” I understand the perspective and agree—in the sense that I like free stuff, too. Our hope was for that other remnant who understands the broader mission: reaching as many families as possible with Christ’s practical message.

I know we have rock-solid, biblical material. I have seen the impact on hundreds of lives. It has been my passion to release our resources to as many people as possible without restriction. But we could not do that without those folks who believed in our material and had the means and desire to help us. We do not have all that we need to do what we’re doing, but we’re asking God to bring those folks to help us as we take this remarkable step.

Our world is a mess, and I cannot sit back without speaking into it. People are hurting and in search of help like never before. We have the technological means to enter into their homes and present material that can transform their lives. That’s my pitch and passion. If you can help us in any way, let us know. These are crazy exciting times with seemingly unlimited opportunities to help a lot of folks with the unchanging gospel.

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