So often these days customer service is non-existent. This is really odd since blogging and social networking give us all an instant voice to the world. Companies pay lots of money on advertising only to blow it with lousy customer service. Just when I have begun to think no company gets it any more I get a real surprise. Here is an email exchange between me and Hachette Book Group:


I purchased the box set of Malcolm Gladwell’s three books on audio. On disc 6 of “Outliers” there is something wrong with the audio. This occurred right out of the box so I know I didn’t damage it


Good day Chuck, sorry to hear you have a defective disk. Please let me know what your street address is and the ISBN number for the audio book so we may send you a full replacement.  

Thank you, Julie

Hachette Book Group

Customer Service



Thank you Chuck for this information. You should receive the replacement in about a week

Best regards, Julie

Hachette Book Group

Customer Service

A few days later I received a replacement for the whole three book boxed set (worth $80). Now that was unexpected! I would have been happy with a replacement of just the defective disc.  This is what Seth Godin refers to as “remarkable” (in other words, special enough that you want to remark about it).  And now look, I’m bragging about Hachette Book Group… on the internet.  That is the marketing world we live in. We MUST do the remarkable to survive in this world!

Church Planting Landmines

I just started reading “Church Planting Landmines” by Tom Nebel and Gary Rohrmayer. Tom always has greast practical stuff for fellow church planters. He speaks from experience, and claims the book covers many mistakes he and Gary have made over the years. I’m looking forward to digging in.

In the forward, the ever quotable Ed Stetzer writes, “Planters and pastors who fail don’t speak at our conferences or write books. We hold up the successes, and then wonder why our planters are surprised by hardship and overwhelemed by failure.”

If you are considering doing a Church Plant in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, please contact me We have a great Church Planter cluster going which meets every other Thursday night.

3 DM Church Planter Workshop

I attended the free 3DM Church Planter event last week in Pawley’s Island, SC . The setting was beautiful and the accommodations at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort  were fantastic. I’m still processing the information. There were things I liked and a few things I didn’t like about their approach.

What I liked:

1. Huddles – I do believe this is a very good approach to small group discipleship. I think a church planter would do well to work his core team through this process early on.

2. Missional Communities – Whether or not you use their “brand” of Missional Communities, this is proving to be a great way to get the church out into the community. I’ve been following what Virginia Baptists are doing with their “Fresh Expressions” approach and believe it has lot’s of potential for existing churches and church plants.

3. Bi-Vocational Option – This approach, as presented, would be viable for a bi-vo planter who is not on a fast track to growth. This is a slower process, but with solid results.

4. Focus on Relational Discipleship – I suspect this is about the only way to get a deep level of discipleship results.

So, I’d like to say thanks to the 3DM team for their generosity and time!