What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
Gateway Victory Church in Calgary, AB. I’m “officially” the Creative Director, responsible for our graphic design, social media, and marketing. I’ve served in different capacities since we started about eight years ago, including worship leading and on our core leadership team.
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
My job is to help create meaningful and impactful experiences for people who come across our church, through visual design and social media connections.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I didn’t grow up in church, so I often filter (or try to) filter what I/we (my church) do through the lens of someone who doesn’t know God. We have the best message in the world, one that is so desperately needed, so whatever designs, song list choices (as music leader) we use, I keep those people in mind, and yes, sometimes at the expense of our current churchgoers. Without intentionally leaning in that direction, our designs and experiences would gravitate towards our members by default.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
It takes a lot of brainpower and can be emotionally draining at times. In addition to combining all the research, data, and design principles into a visually attractive package, the creativity needed is often needing to come from the heart. For most creative design leaders, we’re pouring our hearts and emotion into our work, as well as our knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, and then opening ourselves up to the criticism of what is essentially a piece of ourselves. In a nutshell, it’s not as easy as it looks, and no, not everyone/anyone can do it.
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
Adobe Creative Cloud. Aside from the obvious Photoshop/Illustrator, Premiere and Audition work so great together for editing our online services; it’s often been a bit of a lifesaver.
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
Choosing what we’re used to or comfortable with as opposed to what statistically and financially makes more sense. For example, spending thousands on print flyers that people often throw out, vs. a few hundred on FB ads that with the right strategies, often yield a way bigger return.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
MyVictory (Lethbridge) and Connect Church (Calgary). I love what they do with their social media. It’s both creative and doable for a smaller church like ours.
Communicators are mostly fueled by creativity and practicality. Jackie is one of the few church communicators who are wholeheartedly dedicated to creating content and connections that matter to all. Keep up the great work!
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