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Ep. 324 Preparing Our Legacy to Minister to the Next Generation

Ep. 324 Preparing Our Ministry Legacy for the Next Generation

Shows Main Idea – My unspoken mission is to take the practical gospel of Christ to every human on the planet, which implies that I must extend the life of this ministry beyond my lifetime. In late 2020, we formed a team to start planning our legacy ministry: What do we need to do to continue this ministry after the Lord takes me home? I want to share with you where we are in that process.

Show Notes

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When to Start

I’m sixty-two years old. The question is, when is the best time to start thinking, planning, and implementing a legacy plan? Do I begin today or wait five years? If you’re going to do it, why not start now when you have the mental clarity and physical ability to make the necessary changes happen?

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Ministry Changes

  • 2008 Counseling forever
  • 2010 Requests for training
  • 2015 Article to audio (podcasting)
  • 2015 Rick discontinues counseling
  • 2018 Publishing books
  • 2019 Ministry discontinues counseling
  • 2020 Video emphasis
  • 2021 Prepping for legacy

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:13-17).

Ministry Methodology

  • Using the redemptive use of technology to reach as many people as possible with the practical message of Christ
  • Echo of omnipresence in technology
  • A minimalistic approach to ministry (cost and materials)
  • Complete mobility

Ministry Names

  • Legal Name: The Counseling Solutions Group, Inc.
  • Brand Name: Competent Counseling—2008-2010
  • Brand Name: RickThomas.Net—2010-present

Legacy’s First Step

  • I’m an introvert by nature, a person who does not enjoy being out front. I do it because my passion for the gospel is more potent than any temptations to work behind the scenes. Thus, I’m a reluctant frontman for this ministry.
  • My natural proclivities have always created a rub with the branded name of our ministry. We went with my name because it made the shortest distance between two points: people read my (Rick Thomas) stuff and know where to find me (RickThomas.Net).
  • However, as we think about the life of this ministry after I’m gone, it does not seem wise to use my name but to choose a name that is more relatable to our mission.

What Is Our Brand?

  • Fortunately, we spent approximately $15K in 2015, working with a branding agency to determine our brand.

The Upside

  • We have a branding guide.
  • We have a logo concept.
  • We have our tone, vibe, feel.
  • We know who we are.
  • Out of the brand comes our mission statement: We exist to provide life-changing resources that equip Christians to help others.

Our Brand Metaphor

Coffee is the best word that describes metaphorically who we are.

  • Coffee naturally flows out of that branding guide. It makes common sense based on who I am and how I think about helping others.
  • Coffee is ubiquitous: everyone knows what it is.
  • Coffee has a vibe that connotes real-world ideas, i.e., personal, relationship building.
  • There is a natural, common sense, and non-artificial connection between coffee and relationships.
  • You will not have to explain “doing life over coffee” because it makes sense. RickThomas.Net requires more work to explain.
  • We’re not creating something new from a “positioning marketing” perspective—inserting something new into peoples’ minds. Coffee, life, and relationships are already in everyone’s minds.
  • My name does not quickly identify or communicate our brand DNA. LOC does, and after I’m gone, it will continue to do so.
  • LOC moves me off centerstage, which prepares us to have other content creators.
  • The clearer the brand identity, the easier it will be to maintain, sustain, and advance it.
  • There are a ton of merchant opportunities with LOC.
  • A Life Over Coffee brand provides a more straightforward path for folks to invest. My name—RickThomas.Net—could sound like you’re giving to me and not a ministry. Though LOC does not sound like Desiring God or The Bible Project, it’s not as ambiguous for folks to perceive as a worthy ministry to which they would want to give.

The Process

  • Phase One: Create the name, concept, identity, brand.
  • Phase Two: Hire a company to bring the brand to life.
  • Phase Three: Hire a company to adapt the website to the brand.
  • Phase Four: Implement all the best practices and strategies to reach the most significant number of folks with the practical message of Christ.

What Can You Do?

  1. Pray for the legacy of this ministry? May we always be true to our mission statement.
  2. Partner with us financially so we can continue providing free resources to Christians globally.
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