Featured Member Of The Week: Brian Shoberg

What’s your name?

Brian Shoberg

Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?

Communications Director at Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo, MN. 3.5 years.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?

I help pastors with their marketing and communications.

What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?

Failure might be an obvious one but reflecting on it after being a communications leader for 6.5 years, it’s simply amazing how much you don’t know without experience and failure. Even though they’re very painful, those failures gave me such a great opportunity to learn. Opposition (and failing to manage it well) has also shaped how I approach work now. With the more experience we have, the better equipped we are to manage that well and still accomplish our goals. Social media has also really informed my thinking by following and interacting with marketing geniuses who work outside the church. We can never stop learning and out-of-industry influence has helped me approach church work better.

What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?

From outside: that my job is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. From within: that I’m not solely responsible for the success of your program/event. Marketing is only one piece of the success pie.

What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?

Google Sheets is my lifeline! I have all of our communications planned there (in some cases 3 year out!) and many years worth of notes that keep so much of what I do organized. If it crashed, I would need a long sabbatical filled with mostly depression 😉

What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?

Wow there are so many! The biggest mistake is lack of clarity from leadership to the whole organization about the communications team and its responsibilities. Everything tends to bottleneck at the comms team and without clarity, we’re set up for failure on so many levels. I see this being especially true with the topics of strategic development and program evaluation. Communication minds and teams have everything needed to lead those discussions but rarely are they offered the opportunity and moreover, they become the “bad guy” while continually bringing those topics up.

Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?

Phil Bowdle gave me a great gift! Rethink Communication put words to so much that was in my heart and head. Add to that the way he leads and carries himself is inspiring to me.

Google sheets, lack of clarity, and failure as a medium for learning – these resonate with us so much, Brian! You are onto something here with your very insightful points, especially since the church communications community is growing each and every day. More people should hear thoughts from driven church communicators like yourself. Keep your light shining!

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