The Houston Sermon Subpoenas and How Christians Should Respond

It started when Fox News broke the explosive story: “The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, or gender identity. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.” The Houston Chronicle reported it began with Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance driven by Annise Parker (pictured above), Houston’s first openly lesbian mayor and approved by the city council in June. A group of Houston pastors opposing the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot. But in a controversial turn the city unexpectedly Read the full article »

When Hiring Your Family Is the Smart Thing To Do

When I wrote a recent post about nepotism, I received a lot of feedback – particularly on my Facebook page – from people defending hiring family members. It’s true that family-run businesses have a great track record. In my defense I did mention that I’m not 100% against hiring your children, plus I wrote that “In many cases, certain family members are doing excellent work.” In fact, I love it when my children help me in my own business. However, in retrospect, the post came off as Read the full article »

Be Cautious When Hiring Your Family

Although nearly every church, ministry, or non-profit client I’ve ever known hires their family, I always urge caution when doing it.  Sure – there’s nothing we’d all like better than to hire our spouse, children, or other relatives.  The idea of a “family company” sounds great.  But in truth, it doesn’t work as well as you think.  Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki is direct and too the point, but worth listening to when he says:  Read the full article »

Research on TV Viewing That May Shock You

It’s widely believed that in the digital age, television is dead. But as with many rumors, nothing could be further from the truth. That lesson is supported by recent research from Nielsen Ratings. Plus, you’ll be surprised at who’s watching TV versus spending time online. Here’s some of the findings: Read the full article »

How People Discover New TV Shows

In the digital age, there’s plenty of controversy about traditional advertising versus digital advertising and social media (not to mention guerrilla advertising.) But a recent survey from HUB Entertainment Research reveals the truth about how people find new TV programs. The results may be surprising: Read the full article »

In Media Programming, Are Male or Female Narrators More Effective?

I get a lot of questions about using male versus female voices in media productions. Largely because there are some terrific female narrators out there, and yet most videos, commercials, news, and other media seem to be dominated by male voices. Does it matter? I’ve asked many direct response producers, because DR is a genre that needs results right away. That includes infomercials, fundraising programming, donor development media, and most of religious media. It’s a place where you can measure results quickly, and Direct Response writers and producers have always told me Read the full article »

Can You Outwardly Fail And Still Be Significant?

There’s a flood of self-help and positive thinking books and teaching out there, and it’s infected the church in a big way as well. I’m a positive person, but it doesn’t take much study of great leaders and innovators to realize that life isn’t about what most people call “success.” That’s why a recent devotional from 843 Acres caught my attention. If you don’t receive Park Forum’s 843 Acres email devotional, I highly recommend it, because in this case, I can do no better than simply quote it and ask you to compare it to how you evaluate your accomplishments in life: Read the full article »

Are You Paying Attention To Unexpected Events?

You could probably define my life as being filled with unexpected events.   So much so that I believe many of the best things I’ve experienced in life, I  discovered on the road to something I thought was better.  In this age of hyper-productivity, we set goals and then lock our eyes on the end result until it’s achieved.  But in the process, we often miss serendipitous things that occur along the journey.   For instance: Read the full article »

Struggling With Distraction Is Older Than We Think

In 1925, apparently there were so many distractions in the typical workplace, that Hugo Gernsback – a writer, inventor, publisher, and member of the American Physical Society decided to do something about it. Gernsback was called by some the “Father of Science Fiction.” His writing was well known, and he created the first science fiction magazine. The result of his work on the distraction issue was called Read the full article »

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