Featured Member Of The Week: Ryan Longo

Katie Allred

Featured Member Of The Week: Ryan Longo

Katie Allred

What’s your name?

Ryan Longo

Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?

I have been a part of White Drive Baptist Church in Batesville, Arkansas, since I was 11 years old, and have served on staff for the last 6 years.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?

I complete projects like graphic design, video production, and lead special community projects as well as lead the youth and young adults.

What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?

I grew up around ministry being in a pastor’s home, but later in high school I realized, or maybe “discovered” is a better word, what true ministry looks like. I love what I get to do, but in the end, it’s not about a video or an event, it’s about people. I had been exposed to other ministries or circles where it seems to be about the performance more than the people. I think that exposure has helped me determine my philosophy of ministry – just being real with people, loving them where they are at, and encouraging (not scolding) them to grow in Christ. My job is to do that through media and outreach, but also just as a team builder, whether it be with our staff, media team, youth, or any other ministry where I would be involved.

What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?

There are some things I, of course, wish everyone knew, such as “Just because I can design a graphic doesn’t mean I can fix your smartphone.” If I could get in the heads of everyone in my church, I would want them to understand that ‘church marketing’ should not be done by only a marketing team. Telling others about Christ is not only a Biblical command, but word-of-mouth is still the greatest advertising anything can ever have. What I wish other ministry people knew about what I do is that I enjoy media and production, working behind the scenes. I don’t need public recognition as long as I’m simply appreciated. However, I want to not just take a back seat in ministry as a media support, but rather also have the opportunity to participate in events and situations that impact people’s lives.

What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?

Well, obviously I can’t do my job without the assistance of capable computers and technology. It takes quality to produce quality. The struggle with this is the expense it creates and the ever-changing world of tech, with updates and changes so often. For small to average-sized ministries, this expense can be a big issue. I have had to learn to be content and do the best with what we have been given. And, I don’t want to sound cliche, but, the greatest tool I use to minister is still the Word of God. It has more power to change a life than any computer. I want to lead others to God, rather than just to ministry media.

What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?

I feel burdened for ministries that put so much on their marketing strategy, like it is truly a statistical business decision, rather than caring about the individual people. Your conversion percentage, people you tell about Christ that actually trust Him, doesn’t matter. What matters is that we do what God desires of us, regardless of the statistics. I’m for doing what is effective, but relying on business strategy and secular philosophy should not be done by the church if we claim to believe that God provides the increase.

Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?

While I admire and learn from church media leaders such as Jeff McIntosh (CMG), Katie Allred (Church Communications), and Brady Shearer (ProChurch Tools), and others, I look more to the conversations they oversee. I have learned more from random ministry leaders in the middle of New Jersey, from Sydney, Australia, or the mountains of Colorado than I have learned anywhere else. Who are these people? I truly have no idea. But I see what they’re doing in their situation, and I learn from it. A quick word to those people, whoever you are – thank you. Your involvement has made a difference in my ministry. How do I learn from them? Through Facebook groups and other ministry collaborative events run by the Christian media leaders we all “know” (haha). It isn’t that they have all the answers for me, they don’t. I have had questions before that they could not answer. But in the end, I’m thankful they have the vision to provide an opportunity to connect ministries all over the globe, and that helps change lives.

Your story & statements are truly a delight for us to read through. We can feel your passion for ministry work, storytelling, and the Word of God. Props to you and your work! We hope you’ll continue the light you have started for yourself and share it with others.

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