Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What the Church Could Learn from Comic Con Part 2

Stacy Adams

"I look upon the whole world as my parish." - John Wesley

I learned a lot in just a few days at Comic Con 2019.  My eyes are always open to the different opportunities to glean a little something in the realm of marketing and promotions as well as customer engagement and overall experience.  In a nutshell, Comic Con offers all of that.

Build a Buzz

Comic Con does a great job of building a buzz.  They hype up panels with the Q&A sessions and the sneak peaks.  Plus, the fans keep the buzz going with trending streams of social media content, sharing selfies and quoting the panels with inside information.

Mayans MC panel in Hall H on Sunday offered an exclusive sneak peak of the season opener.

You got to love the way that it all plays out to fit into a media campaign that keeps buzzing before, during and well after the event itself has packed up and moved on to the next city.  People enter the event with an expectation, and their expectation turns into an experience that they feel compelled to share via social media.  

Imagine if the church generated that type of buzz about its special events.  Picture how much of a difference it would make to have streaming video of more than pulpit preaching for seekers.  It could truly turn out to help us in engaging the public.  If people have an idea of what type of experience to expect when interacting with our church, then they could make an informed decision about checking out the local church.  That opens the door for the gospel to be preached or taught.

We have to build a buzz to build up expectations of the experience.

Use Events as a Means for Recruiting Others

The event itself does not need to recruit many people.  However, the exhibit hall and streets are filled with opportunities to download or sign up for this or that in order to get a discount or an opportunity for a special experience.  There are numerous ways to play it, but playing it safe is definitely not the mantra here.

"Jesus turned everyone into recruiters." - Laurie Beth Jones

Rakuten Marketing Welcome Program
As the local church, we need to see our mission as recruiters as well as ambassadors.  We want people to feel a certain level of connection that they cannot get simply streaming church worship services on the Internet.  We want to tap into the inner yearning that drives people to seek to do so much more with their lives than simply sit through church.  We need to serve as a conduit for people to give more of themselves in order to make a difference in the world around them.

We need to see that every event and service is an open opportunity to get people involved in what we are doing within the community.  If it is a golf tournament, what is the charity that benefits from having foursomes fill the golf course? If it is a food giveaway, how are we adding value to the lives of those receiving food beyond just the food itself? Yes, Jesus met the need but He also professed to be the Bread of Life that would make it to where they hungered no more.  We need to recruit people by helping them attach to more than just doing something.  We need to recruit people to make a difference where they fit in and offer their best.

Face the Feedback

Like any organized event, sometimes people drop out and do not show up.  The showrunners of "Game Of Thrones" did not make it, leaving some of the cast to defend the final season that did not go over with much fanfare.  Cast members took the negative feedback from fans in Hall H, but the truth is that we all need to face the feedback.

The truth is perfect, but the people who are followers of the truth are nothing but imperfect.  Therefore, we need the Savior.  If that's the case, the same people who run the local church are just as imperfect as the people who make decisions about episodes and camera shots to bring those story boards to life on the screen.

Facing the feedback is not easy.  It reveals our imperfections.  It stings a little bit, even a lot at times.  Yet, if we take it in, we can begin to make some necessary changes and provide some quality that matches with expectations.  Plus, it boils down to something super simple: people are able to vent and feel that they have been heard.  I learned early on in ministry that we cannot truly help them if we have not truly heard them.  Accept the feedback and act on it accordingly.

After 50 years, Comic Con appears to still be going strong.  It initially started with 300 people.  Nowadays it just takes over the entire downtown of San Diego with swarms of cosplayers and gamers as ell as geeks and super fans.  Add to that the people watchers and the onlookers as well as the freebie chasers.  That's an entire melting pot of folks.

If that is the five-day frenzy over comic books and related media, we should accomplish so much more with the truth of the gospel.  

Stacy Adams

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What the Church Could Learn from Comic Con Part 1

Stacy Adams

For a few years, I have attended Comic Con San Diego. #sdcc  
2019 is no different. #sdcc2019

There are certain aspects of Comic Con that could teach the church a thing or two.  I am not saying that the church needs to change its principles.  On the contrary, I believe that the church could learn some lessons on how to engage both the public and its own flock.  With an open mind, some church leaders might be able to see beyond all of the cosplay and Dungeons & Dragons mixed in with the Avengers, anime and Stranger Things exclusive sneak peeks to discover some real marketing and engagement gems.

So, the master praised the dishonest manager for being clever. 
Yes, worldly people are more clever with their own kind than spiritual people are.
- Luke 16:8 (NCV)

Offer an Experience

Part of the lure of Comic Con is the overall experience that it offers fans of all kinds of interests.  The long lines to enter Hall H and the fan frenzy for the network and studio experiences throughout the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego are all part of the wave of fans and freaks seeking the ultimate fan experience during Comic Con.  There is a heightened sense of anticipation buzzing in the air.  There is an atmosphere of being in the present moment as well as being on your toes for any sudden surprises.

AT&T's Game Of Thrones Experience in Chicago, another example of an engaging experience for fans.

The church can learn something here.  How much build up and hype do we create with our outreach and promotions, even our advertising and marketing? 

Create a Sense of Community

Comic Con allows folks to interact on a wide variety of levels.  It lets the fans feel like they are part of a broader community than just being loyal and dedicated X-Men or Avengers fans.  Those attending Comic Con get caught up in this groundswell of being part of a larger community.  
  • They share an experience.
  • They sense total acceptance, whether costumed or not.
  • They openly share where the freebies and worthwhile experiences are throughout the area.
  • They feel like this experience could go on forever if possible.
When was the last time someone felt all of that in church?

I have been going to church for years, and I have been preaching for a while, too.  Yes, I get the typical "That was an on-fire sermon, Rev" and "You really touched my soul with that one, brother." But I have never heard or viewed church folks filled with the type of elation and jubilation that entry into the San Diego Convention Center provides Comic Con attendees.

Where We Need to Focus and Pray

When we learn to generate that type of experience and sense of community, we might be catching up with the cleverness of the "worldly people" Jesus mentioned in Luke 16:8.  

Rakuten Marketing Welcome ProgramWe need to gather as spiritual leaders of local denominations and houses of worship, and then pray over how much of an experience we provide through Sunday worship services and special events.  Included in that same prayer, we need to consider how much of an inclusive experience we offer visitors, guests and seekers.  We also need to check out what type of community we have created in our local churches.
Do people feel accepted and connected?

Stacy AdamsOnce we purge the type of thinking that everyone outside of the church is demonized and needs to be exorcised by a priest with a crucifix, we might be able to stomach that Comic Con presents an opportunity for outreach.  It does not mean that the people who are a captive audience in line are beaten down with Bible verses until they cannot fathom any more.  It means that we might offer hotel concierge church marketing and outreach materials just in case some attendees ask about local worship services.  We might even talk with local wait staff at downtown eateries in case someone asks about worship services or Bible study. 

In Part 2, we will dive deeper into what else the church could glean from Comic Con 2019.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Prayer Pointers for All

"God answers the mess of life with with one word: grace." - Max Lucado

God has answers.

God grants us access.

God gives us answers.

We just have to accept God's answer.

Prayer is more than just telling God what you want.  Prayer allows us to also hear from God.  It is more than what we take to God.  It also involves what we take in from God.

"Prayer is humbling work." - E.M. Bounds

Prayer is about Access

God grants us access to His throne of grace.  Max Lucado said that God's answer to all of our mess with grace.  With access to God, we have the Almighty attentive to our supplications and petitions.  Let us go to God with our cares and concerns, releasing them to Him and His will as we lay them at His feet and under His authority.

Prayer is about Answers

David's agonizing pleas in Psalm 13 appear to be scribed in the midst of frustration.  It sounds like David just could not get God's attention and an answer from God.  Much like David, we may not get the answers that we want but we most assuredly get the answers that we need.  Even if those answers do not come in the form of a booming voice from heaven, God can still answer as a whisper in the wind or a burning bush to give us the answers that we need. 

Prayer is about Acceptance

At the end of all of our efforts to give our prayers over to God, our work is not done.  We have to take action once we have an answer.  We have to accept God's answer.  Our acceptance comes by both our attitude and actions.

  • Attitude: How we respond to God's answer by our countenance and with our words
  • Actions: How we respond to God's answer with our works
For all that God provides us, how we respond to the answer that God provides us says a lot about our expectations of God and our relationship with God.

We just have to learn how to accept God's answers to us.

Follow the Jeremiah Journey  #JoinTheJourney

Friday, December 22, 2017

Charity Challenge for 2018

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; 
but the greatest of these is charity.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)
"Change requires action." - John C. Maxwell

Oftentimes, I find myself wondering why we struggle with letting go.  We refuse to let go.  We refuse to let God have His way.

We hold on to the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and then we wonder why we do not have what God promised us.  

The logic is simple, friends.  We cannot take hold of what we should have because we have not freed up our hands to let go of what we are holding onto for dear life.  Sadly, much like the rich young ruler who left saddened from the words of Jesus, what we have a hold on truly has a hold on us.  Perhaps, it even has a hold over us.

Imagine how much collective power we would have if we shared and pooled our resources like the brothers and sisters of the early church, having all things in common.

2018 Charity Challenge

"... but the greatest of these is charity." 
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)

Life Path Multimedia is part of the larger vision of Life Path Ministries & Services.  Our work consists of online multimedia content and a message-driven, mobilized outreach ministry.  This blog along with Rev Bruce's Blog serve as the cornerstones of content for Life Path Multimedia, but our online storefronts on Sellfy and Lulu (books and other resources) as well as Zazzle and CafePress (t-shirts, buttons and gear) are how we truly fund the ministry's outreach and good works.

During 2018, we dare to trust God for more support as we seek to expand and enhance our ministry's outreach and evangelism.  Our goal is to take the gospel on the go, taking it to more people on the streets and in all walks of life. One of our goals is to purchase a used SUV and trailer later this year for summer outreach at festivals and fairs, even local 5Ks and marathons.  Also, we want to distribute tracts, Bibles, and more.  We want to make the accusation in Acts a reality that we are turning the world upside down.

For 2018, all we ask is that you check out our storefronts and identify items that you might purchase in support of our ministry.  Consider it an act of charity (translated as "love") and help us help others.  While some of our publications are more secular, our profits go towards the work of our higher calling as Paul wrote in the New Testament.

Check out some samples below.  Also, check back throughout the year for more materials and designs as they become available.

Writing the Wrongs

Writing the Wrongs (poetry in protest)

Discover Words from the Underground by Rev Bruce Jackson

Loving Poetry Dark T-Shirt by LifePath
Find more & unique gifts at CafePress
Loving Poetry T-Shirt

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Counting on the Wrong Thing

Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.- Psalm 108:12 (NIV)

Let's put this in perspective.

If you have a legitimate problem, then you are in need of some real help.

What some folks have to offer just isn't real help.  It is worthless.

The plea within this psalm is for help or aid against an enemy or foe.  Actually, it is a plea for help from a specific enemy.  The psalm says the enemy.  Thus, the enemy must be known by both the victim and rescuer.

We realize in the midst of our own turmoil and struggles how useless some types of help amounts to when weighed against what we are going through at the time.  


Talk is cheap when you need to spring into action.  Mere words offer little consolation when you are in the heat of a major conflict that needs immediate resolutions.


Money can do a lot, but it doesn't solve everything.  In all honesty, some of the "true riches" that the Lord spoke of were the things that stood out in life despite how much money one had accumulated.


If someone is going to stab you in your back, they have to get close to you.  The attack is in close proximity to you.  No one can get any closer to you than family, even some friends.  Beware that it often hurts our hearts more that it someone we cared for and loved than the actual damage caused by the gossip, innuendo  and smear campaigns.

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. - Psalm 118:8 (NIV)

Get your help from the right source.  Know that your real help comes from on high.  Tap into the Lord's powerful ability and availability.  Let Him know your troubles.  Give them over to Him in sincere, consecrated prayer.  Allow Him to empower you with the Spirit of God that embodies every believer.

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.- Psalm 146:3 (NIV)

If you tell Him, trust Him.  If you trust Him, take every ounce of what He offers to you in faith and with joy, knowing that He gives us what we do not deserve (grace) and that He spares us of what we truly deserve (mercy).

You can count on Him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Almost New Wineskins for the Same Old Ministry

Part of my experience as a minister has been working with young men and other men in the local church's men's ministry and through A.M.E.N. under Life Path Ministries.  I see a lot of young men who have made wrong or unwise choices when I preach at the Consolidated Brig on a monthly basis for their Protestant worship services.  I write a lot of poetry on my own experiences like I did in my last e-book of poems,  Writing the Wrongs.  Somehow, I know that something has to be used to help with our predicament.

I write this post with a heavy heart for what I have seen and heard from our men who are behind bars and down and out on their luck, whether it be on the streets on their own or still at home.  This is to provide young people and the people who work with them with some handy resources and information to do more in the same ministries.

National Network for Youth Ministries (NNYM) has been one of my favorite site's and offers great updates, newsletters and information for youth workers and youth leaders.  I discovered them when we started a mentoring program through our church's faith-based nonprofit agency.  I love what they offer those who serve youth.  They are seriously resourceful to many of us in the field of ministry.

The Body by Chuck Colson is a must-read.
Also, check out:

Youth leaders could benefit from articles on compassion and caring for others as well as fundraising and leading groups.  Check out the article on youth leadership strategies that I had posted some time ago.

I pray that this leads to some new ideas and some innovations in the ministry.  I pray that we do not continue to see a decline in college enrollments and increases in prison sentences.

Perhaps, we will see a decline in our young folks desiring to live like reality TV stars and seek to live more like the real Jesus who came and died for the sins of the earth.  That can only come as we try to use some new wineskins or at least almost new ones.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Getting Down to the Nuts and Bolts of Evangelism

"He that winneth souls is wise." - Proverbs 11:30

Winning souls is of high importance.  It is a priority for the Christian and the local church.  In order to win souls, you have to be engaged in some aspect of evangelism.

In many cases, we have regulated evangelism to a few generalized activities rather than a broad range of diverse activities that impact and influence people to engage in a relationship with Christ.  Truthfully, evangelism is a mixture of both of these.

According to Vine's Expository Dictionary, "evangelize" means to proclaim glad tidings; preach the gospel (Luke 1:19; 9:6; Acts 21:8).  When we participate in activities that share the gospel, the "good news" about Jesus Christ, we are involved in evangelizing.

Our evangelistic activities should span beyond simply inviting people to worship services and events at our local church.  All that is saying is that someone has to come onto our territory in order to get what we have to offer.  That is not the type of evangelism that wins souls.  That simply gets them through the door for the pulpit and the choir to do the work of the soul winning.

Charles Spurgeon said it profoundly when he said:"Our main business is to win souls." Winning souls is work.  The Bible references good works as a means for opening the door for winning souls.  For example, in Matthew 5:16, we see that by letting our light shine, others will see our good works and call upon the Father in heaven.  As we do good works, we begin to get people engaged and interacting with the people of God for a good cause.  As we do more good for those around us, it will begin to get the people who benefited from those good works to look beyond us and to our source of support and strength.

In 2014, we will look at more of the nuts and bolts of evangelism.  We will begin to discover that we can do more and discover the power that God has given to us to influence, inspire and impact our fellow man, just by letting our lights shine before men.

Stay tuned for more on this topic as we engage in an ongoing effort to strengthen the church and the Christian to do more with what God has already given to us.