What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title and how long have you served there?
I currently serve at YWAM Lausanne in Switzerland. I do pubications and promotions. Through graphic design. I create school themes, promote our schools via mail and online. I took my full time church communication job in Florida and transitioned in 2017 to doing Communications as a full time missionary!
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
Well, I will translate this to missions in saying our greatest calling as Christians is to know God and make him known. And for every missionary that goes out to share the gospel there has to be a team working and preparing the way, building the teams and making sure everything is set… And that’s us! We may be “office missionaries” but a watch does not work without the cogs that make it turn… That is us. So I personally use my skills to invite others to come and join us, to entice the heart of future missionaries to come and train and go out. God gave me gifts and talents related to creativity and an eye for design alongside my heart for missions so it’s a great match.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
When I was 27 I moved to China and worked in a foster home for children with special needs. The government told us they would never get adopted, never have a quality of life. We began sharing their stores online and slowly they began to be adopted! We made our house a home, each floor with a couch and living room toys also paintings on the walls… And soooo much love! It was A 180 from any orphanage situation in the country, people began coming to us to learn how to love these children, all orphans… From this I learned that I could impact others, even nations by doing things that I love, that God has given a heart for… It forever changed my perspective on what can be accomplished if you put your heart into it. With each new design I create I think ” how will this design impact someone’s heart” and I realized missions does not always mean front line hands on trips… It means taking on the great commission no matter what sphere if influence the Lord has placed you in.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I wish people saw my job like I see my job. I so enjoy creating things that impact the world, designs that catch people’s attention and tug at their heart strings to come and join missions. But I think people subconsciously think that caring for orphans in China is more valuable missions work than what I am doing now. They unintentionally put higher values on different positions in missions when the Bible never said that… The Bible just says “go and make disciples of all nations” not that any one form is more valuable to me than another.
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without and why?
The Adobe suite. I used it every day. Illustrator is my go-to second by InDesign and Photoshop. I even love spark post. Without these tools I wouldn’t be able to take all of this creativity the Lord has put inside me and get it to the paper! I believe everyone Christian or secular had been given their gifts from God so I believe the Lord has a hand in creating resources like these because he knew we would need an outlet. That graphic design would become another means to share the gospel and stir people’s hearts. And I love that I can use resources and pool people’s creativity to come to my final design in illustrator! ☺
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
100% it’s not seeking out someone for your team who’s gifting is design and trusting them. Second to that is thinking that your goal of your designs is to make your church congregation happy when our goal should be to bring in New believers with our
congregation in mind. Pastors need to realize that God called them to be pastors and called designers to be designers. They are gifted in that. It will do benefit your church to find one and let them help you. And pay them well! Don’t force someone who does not run in that field to take on the role… You won’t see what you want and their personal skills in the area they enjoy would be wasted.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
Jeff McIntosh from CMG is making a huge impact for sure! I also love the creative team from City beautiful church in Orlando.
It is such a pleasure to get to know you more, Kristen. Thank you! We see that you are a CREATIVE soul boosted by a lot of passion, and that’s why you are a CERTIFIED communicator. Always keep your light shining to inspire others in our community!