Killing Church Programs – What the Church Can Learn from Apple and Google

In your latest update to Apple’s free program, iTunes, Ping is gone. It’s disappeared. What is Ping?, you ask. (Well, you should be asking, What was Ping?) Ping was an attempt by Apple to get into the social media game by allowing people to easily share what songs they were listening to, liking, etc.

You know how people are always using Spotify or Pandora to share with you on Facebook the song that they’re listening to at the moment? Well, Apple was hoping that since over 300 million people use iTunes, they could get a piece of the action.

But it didn’t work. Ping had a low adoption rate — at least by Apple’s standards — so they killed the program. They didn’t keep it going for the millions of people who used it. They didn’t apologize. They just euthanized it and moved on.

Three years ago, I wrote a post about Google Wave as a Sermon Preparation Tool, and that post was picked up the next year by Within months, Google killed Wave.

Google Wave was an online, real-time collaboration tool. I liked it, a lot, and I used it. But not enough people did. When asked about the death of Google Wave, CEO Eric Schmidt said,

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Proof: Women Are Better Leaders than Men

In the Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman release the results of their study on men, women, and leadership.

In the confirmation category is our first finding: The majority of leaders (64%) are still men. And the higher the level, the more men there are: In this group, 78% of top managers were men, 67% at the next level down (that is, senior executives reporting directly to the top managers), 60% at the manager level below that.

Similarly, most stereotypes would have us believe that female leaders excel at “nurturing” competencies such as developing others and building relationships, and many might put exhibiting integrity and engaging in self-development in that category as well. And in all four cases our data concurred — women did score higher than men.

But the women’s advantages were not at all confined to traditionally women’s strengths. In fact at every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows:

Read the rest: Are Women Better Leaders than Men? – Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman – Harvard Business Review.

I realize there’s a glass ceiling in business because of the “old boys’ club.” But we should be able to quickly counteract this trend in the church. Why, then, does the gender make-up of the church so heavily favor men in leadership?!?

HT: Michael Toy

Helpful Books for Church Leaders

Today I begin teaching an online course for Andover-Newton Theological School called, “Pastoral Uses of Social Media.”  In the course, we’re learning about social media and its ministry uses, but we’re also learning about how social media has been a game-changer as far as being a leader in our culture.

To that end, I’ve assigned four books in the course, each of which has a lot to say about the way that organizations (like churches and ministries) need to organize themselves for the future.  The fact is, you can invest all you want in social media in order to advance the mission of your church, but if you don’t understand how the social web has changed how people relate to one another, then you might as well stick with mailers.

Each of these books has key insights about what’s going on right now, and I highly recommend them all.

The four books are:
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Why a Social Media Boot Camp?

Kevin has posted an interview with me about the JoPa Social Media Boot Camps over at Church Marketing Sucks:

Why do you think it’s important for pastors to use social media?

Tony Jones: There was a time when churches and pastors needed to decide whether they were going to wire the church for telephones. There was another time when they had to decide whether to bring microphones and amplification into the sanctuary. Those were decisions about using new technology to communicate. Social media is simply another step on that path–it’s about communicating with people, and more and more people are using it, so churches need to decide how to engage that.

via Church Marketing Sucks: Social Media Boot Camp for Pastors.