Notes from Jon Acuff’s Keynote at Echo

This entry was posted on Aug 03 2010

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Echo Conference in Dallas, Texas. It’s a conference for people who work in church media, but there was TON of info I’ll be able to apply to my work in the marketing department of a staffing company. It was personally refreshing and professionally inspiring.

I took tons of notes, and will be sharing them over the next few weeks, as I have time to type them up and get them posted. I’ll start with my notes from Jon Acuff’s keynote. Jon is the creator of, a site that he started to discuss the problem of Christian “Christianizing” pop culture phenomenons. He said he expected it to only last a few weeks, but two years, and one book later, it’s still going strong. Here are the ideas I managed to jot down:

The Rhythm of Social Media
Jon Acuff – Echo Conference 2010

Three elements to successful social media:

- Americans are subjected to 3,500 marketing messages each day.
- Surprise can help your message stick.
- The brain tries to associate new information with old ideas. If your idea isn’t new enough to grab attention, people will tune it out.
- For example, Jon’s “Booty, God, Booty” concept is surprising and more memorable than simply saying, “Sometime we compartmentalize our faith.”
- There is a difference between being shocking and being surprising. A shock is a shortcut–cheap and quick.
- Our stories should have a seamless, short gap between the hook (the surprise) and the core message. (How can a church move from “come to church Sunday for a chance to win a new car!” to “Jesus died for you”? It’s a ridiculous stretch.)

- You have to be consistent. “Single Ladies Devastation” was not Carlos Whittaker’s first YouTube video of his kids. It’s what he does every day.
- Exodus 13 – Like the Isrealites, sometimes God takes us on the longer road because we’re not ready for the battles of the short road. We often don’t want to accept the gift of the desert road, but God takes us on the long way because He loves us.
- Focus on the vital instead of the viral.
- God is about filling hearts, not rooms.

- It’s kind of obvious, but honesty communicates powerfully.
- Ad agencies are catching on to this:

- We think we have to be cleaned up to do what we do. “I’m not ready yet.”
This is where the devil can attack us. He’s not omnipotent, so he only attacks the       things that benefit the kingdom. When you start using your talents, he attacks you.
- Having a separate ‘online you’ and ‘offline you’ is dangerous.
- Jon told a story about a kid who accidentally put mustard on his ice cream, but rather than accepting a free, clean bowl of ice cream, he just stirred it in, because he was embarrassed. We don’t have to eat the mustard ice cream! You can’t fix your life by stirring the bad stuff in. Jesus came for the failures and mess-ups. He’ll give you a clean bowl.
- Fame is dangerous in the Christian world. Don’t chase fame; you’re already famous to God.
- The headline about the Vietnam kindergarten-building effort on was “Blog Raises $30,000 in 18 Hours,” but it actually took 18 months of relationship-building and daily blog posts.

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