Ultimate Man Day and NLC's Media Strategy

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Yesterday, I did an interview with a network of radio stations which reach forty-four states and half a million listeners. The reporter was curious about Ultimate Man Day, and for good reason! Not too many churches honor dads with turkey legs, chicken wings, classic rock, cigars, car and motorcycle displays and ESPN highlights in the lobby!

In our less than five years of existence, Next Level has received an unusual amount of national media attention. We are not scared to do things that are unconventional for churches and that in and of itself draws attention. But we are also deliberate about trying to get our message out through the media. Several reasons for this:

1. We want people to think of church differently so that they will think of God differently. We exist to connect people to God and the reason many people are so disconnected from Him is because they see church and God as irrelevant to their lives. We want to challenge this assumption with everything we've got.

2. We can reach people through media who would never otherwise come to Next Level. Now, when we do local media we hope people show up here! But I also do a lot of national media because it is the Gospel, not Next Level, that is of primary importance and if hearing about our church encourages someone in Los Angeles or Denver or Topeka to check out Jesus Christ and maybe hook up with a local church in their town, great!

3. We believe that the church should engage the surrounding culture, not go to war with it or ignore it. That is the way Jesus lived and the way Paul taught - engaged with the thought forms and communication styles of their day, and real life the way real people live it. I will do a Christian media interview if someone calls, but I am really excited when I get to talk to someone in the secular media and give them an image of the faith that does not involve religious Ponzi schemes, embezzling pastors, abuse of children, or bad toupees.

So we are cultivating all the media attention for Ultimate Man Day that we can, for one main reason - so people in our culture will hear about a God and a church who long to be connected with them so that they can take the next steps in their spiritual growth. After all, we have seen people begin a relationship with Jesus Christ because someone from Next Level handed them a shot glass!

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