In the June 7th Forbes Magazine, Rich Karlgaard noted some of the shared characteristics those companies which seem to have grown stronger and better despite the Great Recession. His article is good and well worth the read, but I’m taking those ‘seven secrets’ and applying them to how we’re thinking at The Bridge:
I’m not a designer, I’m not even artistic. But it doesn’t take too much to see bad design–in fact, in the past, I think a lot of our effort was just avoiding bad design. Our design is getting better… thanks to GotPrint, t-shirt producers, and Cloversites, I don’t have to be an incredible designer to have good design. We could be better, and we’re growing, but I’m glad we’re not settling for “free” when an investment in design speaks volumes about us. We’re moving to a place where we’re pursuing beautiful design rather than just running away from bad design. I’m excited about that.
In general, things are moving much faster than we thought they would… and this is building serious momentum–we’re planning to launch and daughter faster than we thought could happen. We can’t take credit for this, but it’s happening. We also are focusing on making sure we follow up fast and do what we said we would when we said we would.
We’re working hard to show that when someone invests in The Bridge, we’re being wise in how we expend limited resources. ‘Cost’ for us has less to do with what a customer gets from us, but how we manage the results we demonstrate to our investors. In our community, it also means ‘free’ doesn’t suck. We’re trying to do as much as we can at no cost to the people we’re ministering to… but we’re trying to do it as though they paid a premium to be there.
When it comes to our investor churches, we genuinely believe they are getting something by partnering with us, whether it’s people who participate and take a renewed passion back, or a sense of legacy, there are many benefits to being part of what God is doing through The Bridge in Pittsburgh. But when it comes to serving our community, after just a couple of events The Bridge is already ‘the church that gave the free car wash–that’s great!’ We’re finding fun ways to show our community we care, we want to know our neighbors, and that God really loves them.
Right now, this has to do mostly with face-to-face contact. Rick, especially, has been knocking on doors and being ‘the face’ of The Bridge. This will only go so far, and we’re analyzing where to best put some communications dollars: radio? adsense? street corner with a sandwich board? As we learn our community more and more, we’ll discover the best ways to communicate outside.
We could do a better job at keeping launch team members on the same page, but we’re learning how to make sure communication among senior leadership is open. Thanks to GoogleDocs, Calendar sharing, and Facebook, we’re growing in our communication and how we collaborate; we’re not ‘there’ yet… but I think we’re well on our way.
We’re here to help people connect with Jesus and see them grow in His likeness. More than that, we’re here to keep doing that by planting churches that plant churches to reach those far from God. The Bridge exists to love, learn, and live Jesus Christ in our context at whatever cost. We hope we have the purpose thing down… now it’s a matter of staying on mission when things, good and bad, tempt us to drift.
Why not run down the list yourself and give your church/organization a quick checkup?