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Trust Agents: It’s Go Time!

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It’s hard for me to believe, but our group blog discussion of the book Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith has run its course.  Sixteen of us – representing 3 continents, 3 countries, and 9 U.S. states – spent a month reading through the book and blogging about it.  Amazing!

I want to thank Chris and Julien for sharing their knowledge and experience with us through the book.  Thanks guys for being the real deal – not just writing about trust agent principles but for living them out by stopping by to comment and tweet me on a few of occasions.

I want to thank the 15 bloggers who joined me in the group blog project.  You all provided some fantastic insight in your posts and comments.  I learned far more from the book by blogging and discussing it with you than I would have if I had just read it on my own.  And of course, that made it way more fun too!

We’ve reached the end of the book.  However, this is not the end, but just the beginning.  It’s time to begin putting into practice the things we’ve learned.  Right now my head is full of knowledge and my heart is fully of inspiration, but I can tell you from past experience that I forget things quickly and inspiration fades fast.  If what I’ve learned is going to have any lasting impact on my life, I’ve got to commit now to taking specific action steps.

So, here are my biggest take-aways from Trust Agents and what I’m going to do with them.

1) Make it a game. I’m a numbers/goal-oriented person, so I’ve set some numerical goals for my blogging and social networking activities.

2) Help others more than you promote yourself. Prior to reading Trust Agents, I thought of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc primarily as platforms for branding and getting my message out.  Now I view them more as tools for building relationships and helping others.  In the last month I’ve begun retweeting others’ stuff (blog articles in particular) far more than I tweet my own stuff.  It’s a win for those I follow who are getting more retweets, and it’s also a win for those who follow me because they are getting much more good content than I could ever create myself.

When it comes to this blog, in the coming weeks we’re going to start doing some new things here to help other bloggers, authors, and ministries.

3) Make regular touches. I have a terrible memory as well as tendency to fall into an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mindset.  There have been times I’ve gone weeks or even months without seeing a friend at church or on facebook and didn’t even realize it.  The idea of being intentional about having small interactions with people on a regular basis was an important learning point for me.  I’m not ready to start documenting every interaction, but I am going to make a list of people I want to be intentional with.  I’ll scan that list periodically as a way of reminding myself who I need to reach out and touch.

4) Become an agent zero. I love doing things like this group blog project, where we bring together a bunch of people with similar interests but different experiences and perspectives to learn from each other.  More specifically, this is a time of great experimentation as churches try to figure out how to best use online tools like websites, blogs, Facebook, twitter, and mobile apps to assist in the efforts of the church (evangelism, discipleship, developing community, serving).  Thousands of churches are trying all sorts of different things, but most are not aware of the successes and failures of others.  We could be learning from each other so much better than we currently are if insights from all these churches could be shared and coordinated.  So, I’m going to initiate some efforts to try to do that.  (If you’d like to be a part of this, let me know.  I certainly can’t do it alone!)

Those are my action steps.  What are yours?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.


    • Thanks for organizing this blog project Paul! I know I haven’t been an uber commenter throughout but I have been reading and learning. I will say that, like you, I am very excited to be living in this time when we are all learning how to use this new social networking medium for good and for awesome for God!

      I’ve learned a lot. I’ve got a long way to go. This was fun. I’ve started a bookmark folder called “fav blogs” and this one is in it. It is my version of your list of people to stay connected with.

    • Definitely learned a huge amount.
      I may need to go through the book again an focus on different areas over a longer time period – well many of the aspects discussed are ones that will always be under development. I think that that is important – there is no arriving at a point where you say “I am a Trust Agent” rather “I am on the Journey; learning, to be someone that can be trusted”

      but as we did this together – we can also continue together, we can be a coalition of armies, ready to support, help and promote each other – I am in.

    • I really enjoyed this blog project, learned tons and not overwhelmed with covering a whole book at once. Much more digestible this way.

      Also loved getting to know the blogging team. Some were new names for me, others I got to know on a deeper level. Having Cultivate experience in the middle of it all was nice too.
      Agree with you Paul, more fun doing this together. Thanks for arranging it all.

    • Great project. Nice to see churches getting creative, and there are few mentors out there better for social marketing than Chris Brogan. Kudos to all involved!

    • Normally, I would read a book like this with action steps included and just read the steps, then move on. I’ve been making a daily habit to work through these actions items.

      I also having been giving a lot thought to gatejumping. In the area that I working in, it took awhile, but I figured out who the gatekeeper is and how to jump that gate. And, true to Trust Agents, jumping will require relationships.

      Thanks Paul, and everyone else, for this learning experience.

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