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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘connection’

The #1 Way to Keep Audiences Engaged

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

Let me try to put it this way.

For the last 15 years, the single arc of my life has been shaped around this notion of creating awesome, authentic, experiences.  I have been paid very well to ensure that the artists, entertainers, and speakers look and sound awesome, making sure that audiences are drawn in and captivated by what is being presented. That’s of course, in addition to getting married and raising 3 incredible little joy factories.

But seriously I’ve traveled all around the globe, working with some of the biggest celebrities and personalities you can think of with this goal in mind.

Here’s what I’ve found.


Photo courtesy of Ahimsa Media / Photographer: Liz Kearsely

The #1 way to keep your audiences engaged in any event, endeavor, speech, book, sermon, or whatever other type of experience you can think of is this:

Mitigate each and every distraction.

Sounds simple doesn’t it.

Sometimes it is.

Sometimes thinking thru what those distractions are and finding them are simple, but other times, they are unknown and complicated.

The point and the practice though, should be to develop a discipline, in whatever creative element you’re involved, to plan ahead and do your best to mitigate these things.

That may require you to:

  1. Ask for help
  2. Break your normal routine
  3. Show up early or stay late

Many times it comes with a cost like having to rehearse more!

Whatever that looks like for you, think about the pay off.

Cause let me tell you, again from my experience, its well worth it.

What specific things do you do to mitigate the distractions and engage with your audience?

Share your thoughts below!

Posted on: March 11, 2013

3 things not to say to a friend who is unemployed.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

This is a good one for me today but whether I like it or not, I have been unemployed several times.  If you have heard of Jon Acuff, or his book “Quitter,” then you probably have a feel for what I’m talking about.  I’m probably one of the few who can actually give him a run for his money when it comes to number of jobs held over the last decade!

I’ve often thought and said things to myself like “I should write a book just about stupid things people say to those who are hurting.”  Well today I’m gonna give you three of those things.

Here are 3 things you should never say to someone who is unemployed:

  1. I’m sure something will turn up.”  Really?  Thats the best you can do?  I mean if you’re in the situation when someone is confiding in you and they have the courage to tell you they’re unemployed, that’s all you can come up with?  [Pause] All sarcasm aside, if we’re going to live authentic lives and lead others to have authentic experiences, we are in desperate need for a heavy dose of empathy.
  2. Have you thought about a career change?”  This one is great because of the MASSIVE assumption it makes.  Like someone who is unemployed hasn’t really spent enough time thinking through their career choices and options.  Advice is great and all, but it is the most effective when permission is granted, and let me tell you, when you’re hurting and unemployed and can’t provide for your family, the last thing you want is pious advice.
  3. Insert any religious platitude here.”  Yeah, platitudes have no place among the hurting and unemployed.  What you and I need most when we’re hurting is for someone to just be there.  Sit with us, grieve with us, help us get to the other side.  That’s never done with platitudes.

Sometimes existing with others in painful places is hard.  I know, I’ve done it for years and years, but when we can truly connect with our own stories of pain, provision, and survival and live authentically from those places, we can be safe people for others to experience their own healing.

Do you connect with the hardships of your own story?  Are you currently engaged with others who are unemployed or hurting in some way?

I’d love to hear stories of how you’ve just “been” there for someone in need.

Posted on: February 13, 2013

3 ways to create Authentic Experiences.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Authentic experiences have the power to radically alter the arc of our lives.  In one single moment, we can walk away changed forever.

Ever been to U2 concert or a Billy Graham crusade or have a near death experience?

If you have, then you know just what I’m talking about.

You see, we are all uniquely created with a very specific vacuum inside of all of us.  And that vacuum tends to vibrate at amazing frequencies when we encounter truthful, authentic experiences.  Its in those places and those experiences where dramatic life change happens.

Here are 3 ways to create those authentic experiences:

  1. Reinvent every rule – What I don’t mean here is simply just ignore things like best practices and the tested that have proven to work, but rather approach each and every facet of creating experiences with an openness to maybe break a few rules
  2. Redefine every role – If we are not willing to revaluate each and every role and redefine what those roles’ purposes are for any given event, then there is a very good chance opportunities are going to be missed.  Comfort zones can be a very dangerous thing to creatures of habit.   
  3. Create connection– This involves being intentional.  Connection doesn’t just happen.  It takes effort and forethought.

I can remember being a part of one event several years ago where none of these things happened.  It was obvious.  There was no life, there was no energy and I can probably guarantee, people walked away wanting their money back.  I know I did.

The question though is, what are you and I going to do with this tremendous power we have in the ability to create these experiences?  

Posted on: February 8, 2013

The Importance Of Telling Our Stories

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

I have long considered myself a story-teller and have long-lived for creating the experiences where our stories allow us to connect with one another and impact each others’ lives.  I believe it’s there, where the Gospel is made more complete.

My amazing wife, shared with me this story and I wanted to feature it to all of you.

You can read it here.

Its beautifully tragic in its script, but eloquently executed in its delivery.  And while breaking its components down could lead to missing its point and disarming its purpose, the true greatness lies in the Good News Reminder it gives.

May we all be intentional about actively participating in our stories and strive to tell them to one another.

Posted on: February 6, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
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