personal productivity

12 Lessons I’ve Learned from unSeminary’s First 300 Posts

This is a total vanity post. 🙂 unSeminary has just passed the 300 article milestone and so I thought I would take time out to reflect on some of the lessons that I’ve learn through this journey.

  • Always Helping Church Leaders // I love church leaders. They are a totally amazing group of people. They’ve chosen to serve in a career where most people are going to opt-out of having any interest in what you are doing. They are attempting to turn the cultural tide back towards Jesus. I want unSeminary to be all about helping them. My hope is that every time people come here they are encouraged and practically help with “stuff you wish they taught in seminary.”
  • 70 / 20 / 10 // I’m inspired by Jonathan Mann – “The Song a Day Mann” – who produces a new song every day … 7 days a week … and has been doing it since 2009. His content production schedule is breath taking. [Check him out on YouTube.] He says that about 70% of his posts are mediocre … 20% are terrible … and only about 10% of them are great. [He explains this here.] He says that ratio doesn’t really change whether is writes once a day, once a week or once a month. So for him to get to 3 good songs he needs to write 30 songs! I think that ratio is about right with my blog posts too! Just writing and pushing forward is what has made the difference for me … committing to a schedule and cranking content has been valuable.
  • Surprises // I can’t always predict what helps church leaders. Because I have myself on a bit of a content treadmill there are times that I really have no idea what to write on … so I’ll just start writing. Some of those posts have proven to be the most helpful for people. My most read post – “7 Reasons Your Church Should Stop Buying Apple Computers and Move to Chromebooks” – was an example of that. I woke up that morning and was sitting at my computer with no ideas on what to write. I literally started typing about the Chromebook I was using that day just as a task to “just start writing” and it turned into that post. In the end, that post was read about 30x more than an average post! On the other end … there are times that I think people are going to pick up on an article and it goes nowhere!
  • Love the Community // It’s humbling to me that literally thousands of people have subscribed to unSeminary Inbox  … we deliver a week’s worth of posts every Friday morning. People are so incredibly encouraging to me every week as they thank me for what we do here. They share with me what’s happening at their church … we pray together over issues happening in their community. What started as a strategy to help make it easier for people to read the content I produce has blossomed into a community that I connect with regularly. I know that it’s a big deal that people “let me into their inbox” … I take that responsibility seriously. I’m thankful we have this connection!
  • Podcast has been fun! // In September 2013 I launched the unSeminary podcast and I love it! Every week I get to talk with fascinating church leaders about what is happening in their community. We try to focus on content that church leaders can put into action right away. The stats show that this has reached a whole new group of people … which is so encouraging! If you aren’t subscribed to the podcast … I’d love you to!

Most Read Posts

Least Read Posts

  • 297. The Unthanked.
    • I think the title for this post is too ambiguous and the writing is pretty bad. I still like the idea being expressed here … but I just didn’t get it across in a clear manner!
  • 298. Benchmarking: Kids Small Group Leaders 
    • Wrong tribe … I now have people from the “Family Ministry” community as a part of unSeminary but I didn’t at the time when I wrote this article. Plus the whole “benchmarking” angle isn’t right. Later I tried a similar article with a different angle and people seem to resonate with it. [6 Church Innovations from Churches You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of]
  • 300. Tension: Raw vs. Refined
    • This post was from my early days and breaks my “rule” of “always helping church leaders.” There is nothing “helpful” about this article … people don’t walk away with something they can actually do to be better at their church. The stats on this post are so painful … rightfully so … I wasn’t helping anyone with it!

Where is this headed?

In late spring (or early summer) I’m launching a whole new part of unSeminary designed to help church leaders even more. I think there is still so much we can do to see your church make a bigger impact in the community. Although it’s too early to make any announcements about what we’ve planned I can give you a sneak peak. This new part of unSeminary will give allow you to …

  • Dive deeper into new topics that are designed to help your church … rather than just skimming the surface we will dive deep with lots of practical help and done-for-you resources.
  • An opportunity to go 1on1 with “industry leaders” … rather than just listening to keynote speakers or wishing I would have asked someone a question on a podcast … you’ll get the chance to talk directly with innovative church leaders making a huge impact and they’ll be available to help you with your church!
  • Increase the conversation amongst the unSeminary community … there are some amazing people who follow unSeminary. You really should talk amongst each other more! I know there are solutions to the problems you are facing in the other people who gather here regularly.
  • And a few other surprises … that we’re cooking up. It’s going to be great!

Thank You.

I appreciate you being along for this journey. Thanks for taking time out from your busy ministry to be a part of the unSeminary community. I want to steward your attention well and see you make an impact in your church. I’m thankful that you’ve chosen to give unSeminary some of your attention.

thefamI also want to thank my wife – Christine – and my kids – Haley and Hunter. unSeminary is a side-hustle … I write these posts in the early morning or late at night. They give me the space, opportunity and encouragement to make it happen. Christine is an incredible woman … I still can’t believe she chose me. My kids are amazing people … I love watching them grow up into world changers. Thank you guys!



  1. Love the stuff you produce and I’m really looking forward to what’s coming up! Thanks for being super-humble and putting yourself out in order to help church leaders! I’ve learned a tonne from you! Blessings!

    1. Stafford,

      Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate that. Pumped by what is happening at Portage!

      Let me know how I can help you guys. (Hope you can join us for this new stuff we’re launching here this spring!)

      – Rich

  2. Thanks for all the in sigh Rich. Always helpful and nice to have a guy in the Google tech camp. Helped me convince our ream of chrome book. Looking forward to what you have coming up. I’ve got my ideas and looking forward to see if I’m right.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Ryan!

      How is the Chromebook working out? I had to swap out my 15 month old one today … kinda drove it into the ground. It was so fast to switch to a new one … two minutes tops!

      Thanks for being along for the journey … so pumped for what’s coming up!

      – Rich

      1. I’ll let you know as soon as I get it. Just ordered the new dell. Have a nexus 7 for my running around Sunday responsibilities. Hoping to be some good distance out of it. I’m sure there will be a couple things I miss but overall I do 98% of thing cloud or Google based anyway. Gods up to big things our way as well! What’s the new chrome book you ordered?

  3. Your ratio is much better. One cavil: in your least-read section, what happened to #299?

    Keep up the good work

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.