What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – Director of Communications – 4 months | Previous Director of Digital Communications – Grace Church – 8 years
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
I get to share that our church is an open community of Christians helping people find and give hope through Jesus Christ – regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, or socioeconomic background. Every day I have the privilege of leading an incredible team who gets to share the Good News of an inclusive Jesus with the world through various communication mediums.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I think both good managers and bad managers shaped how I approach work. I’ve worked for individuals who are unwilling to adapt and those who do not know how to encourage their staff, which has led to toxic work environments. On the flip side, I’ve also had the privilege of being led by individuals who care deeply about their employees and will never ask you to do something they themselves would not do. This has helped me to understand the importance of leading by example, stepping into difficult conversations, never leaving my staff guessing, always striving to learn new things, and providing feedback and positive motivation that will keep us all excited to do what we do. Because what we do is more important now than ever in sharing Jesus with the world!
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I want people to know how my team makes my job 100% better every single day. I get to work alongside the most amazing individuals and we have so much fun. I don’t think people realize that besides the lead pastor, most often, the communications team receives the brunt of all of the comments/complaints. Some days can be difficult and people can be very hurtful, but it’s up to me and my team to communicate and respond with grace and love. However, when you get to hear/see stories of how your ministries are at work or how lives are being transformed, it makes it beyond worth it.
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
Wow, this is a toughie. Really, I can only pick one? I’d have to say our database, Rock RMS. Currently, it powers many of the ways we communicate with people. Our website, newsletters, emails, texting, and more run through Rock. It’s how we stay connected with our people, get content on the website, share the Good news of Jesus, communicate with our volunteers, and so much more!
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
Whenever I hear churches or people use the phrase, “This is the way we’ve always done it,” I cringe. None of us are experts because communication changes so rapidly. We can’t do things the way we’ve always done it because it literally changes day-today. The other major mistake I see in church communications is to continue to focus everything on Sunday. There are so many ways to reach more people and new people through various platforms like YouTube, podcasting, TikTok etc, that we can’t expect Sundays to be the end-all-be-all.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
Theology wise – Richard Rohr
Podcast – Prochurch Tools/Brady Shearer
Instagram – Transformation Church @wearetransformation
TikTok – Pastor Adam @adamericksen1
Facebook – Life Church @life.church
Change is rapid, that’s a fact. Thank you, Kristen, for mentioning this. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for communicators to adapt and grow alongside the technology that we use. You are one amazing leader and communicator. Keep on slaying it for the Lord!
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