What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
I am the co-pastor of Connect Church in Calgary, Alberta, along with my wife, Amber. We planted the church four years ago.
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
I help people question the things they have learned about God from their family, culture, and media, and to reorient their lives around Jesus and his teachings.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I grew up in an environment full of poverty and substance abuse; nobody in my immediate or extended family went to church before I started going at age 17. But I’m incredibly grateful for this! Because I wasn’t raised in the faith, I believe God has given me an ability to speak the gospel in ways that speak to non-Christians.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
That pastors are normal people just like everyone else. We have the same doubts, faults, and temptations that they do, which means we need people to care for us just as we care for others. Unfortunately, God doesn’t grant any special “pastor powers” when we become ordained!
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
My iPhone. As a Gen-Xer, I remember life before these gadgets, and I am still consistently in awe of everything they allow us to do.
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
I believe it is communicating to unchurched people as if they were a Christian audience. We use insider language and presuppose a Christian worldview. We answer questions that our neighbors are not asking, and we ignore the ones they do have. We assume they know more about the basics of the faith than they actually do, and we fail to deconstruct their secular worldview before we attempt to reconstruct a Biblical one.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
Carey Nieuwhof, founding pastor of Connexus Church, near Toronto, Ontario. Carey has a unique ability to communicate to mixed audiences, and his church leadership content is gold. Plus, he’s Canadian!
Wisdom comes from experience. We are in awe of your story and your perspective towards church communications, Dan! You are a great role model for our community of communicators.
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