What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
Redeemer Church, in Loves Park, IL. I’m the Communications Coordinator – I’ve been in this role since May of 2021, but I’ve served at the church in various capacities since 2013
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
I’m responsible for making sure our church’s “content”, both digital and print, looks good from a language perspective, and partner with our Art Director to make sure it looks good, visually, as well. The goal is to give people access to not just WHAT we do (Sunday services at X time), but who we are (congregational/volunteer recognition/stories) and why we do it (scriptural encouragement, God stories, etc.).
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I have spent a huge part of my life frustrated when people misunderstand me. It has led to me being bullied pretty excessively while growing up, as well as to some pretty significant relational fallouts. So I have strived throughout my life to understand how different people think, access, and respond to information, and dialogue. It’s incredibly important to me that everyone feels seen and heard in the church, as we’re not here for our building’s glory, but for the glory of God who is working through these incredibly real people.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
In our highly digitized and decentralized world, the need for a “communications” person is more important than ever. Not only from an evangelistic point of view, to reach the unchurched who are only really connecting with people digitally, but also from a broader Church witness to the culture. In a world of misunderstandings and sound bites, being thoughtful in how you present the information you present through that status update or Instagram post or email is of Kingdom concern. If you don’t have a comms person, definitely get one, and if you do AND have the budget, make them a full-time person. You won’t regret it.
Also, not every communications person is a designer. Some of us are but don’t assume you’re getting a graphic designer in your communications person.
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
My calendar. I live, breathe, and die by it. From planning social media blasts to broader communication strategies, the calendar is where communications has so much potential to completely break down.
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
Treating their online platforms like billboards and not like digital churches. Learn to talk to people, interact with them, respond to their comments, not just post your next sermon video or needs request. Show people that the church cares about them before asking them to care about your church.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
So many. Most recently/currently would probably be Nona Jones.
We hear and feel you, Michael. One of the struggles of churches in communication is treating social media as a platform to announce more than a platform to reach out. And yes, not all communicators are also designers – you are right! We admire your straightforwardness with all these church communication taboos. Our community needs a lot more people like you. Keep on living life in honor of Him!
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