What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
Willow Grove Baptist Church, Pastor, 11 months
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
I oversee the pantries and provide help to those in our community. We also provide a Sunday service and opportunities to connect throughout the week.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I came to faith at 24, late to the game compared to many others I meet. It was during a divorce and deep season of depression and through that, somehow I had to die to myself, to my dreams, to my idols. In doing so, I have an unwavering commitment to pursue Christ in a way that will hopefully look radically and unapologetically different. Living out my faith requires that I push my life beyond my abilities, to a point where God has to show up or it fails.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
Most days, I really have no idea if what I’m doing is going to work out or much confidence that this is going to produce the good fruit that we need. But each new opportunity, a new project is worth pursuing until it is clear that it is closed.
Examples could be the new sermon series, new marketing possibilities, new partnerships, following up to bizarre community requests.
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
Besides the Holy Spirit or Bible, I would say Facebook Groups. Church Communications, Senior Pastors Central, WordPress for Churches, and many other groups have been crucial to helping me overcome blocks and improve in what we are doing. For lack of better words, I can farm out problems and get a dozen or more replies to the situation which usually helps to see it clearly.
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
As a senior pastor in the suburbs of Philly, we have a lot of churches, mostly under 250. Many of these older churches don’t seem to want to adopt new approaches to communications. It is 2020, Covid has changed so much, we need to adapt as well. Now is the time to experiment to take chances. Give it 30 days and reevaluate if it is beneficial to keep doing or tweak.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
While I don’t know a lot of people, or names, I have come to value Katie Allred, Ryan Wakefield, and Brady Shearer. I’m a total beginner when it comes to marketing but these 3 are passionate, knowledgeable, and leading in these areas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been researching a topic or attending an online conference or checking out a live video on a topic of interest and they provide a wealth of knowledge of understanding.
We admire church leaders like you, Jorge, who are more than willing to take chances and try new things in terms of church communications. You are an inspiration to many and we hope you keep on influencing people in your own way!
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