What’s your name?
Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?
I head the Social Media Department and am a licensed minister at The Secret Place Church in Pasadena, Ca. I have served in that position for about six months (newbie in the house!). For the past three years, I have written weekly articles for our church’s app.
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?
I would describe myself as an online copywriter, a content creator, and a published writer (articles) for magazines and online platforms.
What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?
I am a former clothing business owner, and I learned early on that packaging, labeling, and presentation are E-VER-Y-THING! They may be just as important as the product itself because it is the first thing people use to identify who you are and what you represent. They reveal what your brand is about and who it is your brand is targeting. They “speak” to potential customers when you are not there to sell the product. So, I’ve taken that experience and apply it to what I do for the ministry. I make sure that all images and text speak to our demographic and also make sure it is able to draw in others who may find what we are doing to advance the gospel refreshing and welcoming. And of course, the main goal is to relate to peoples’ needs, to lift them, and to assist them on their spiritual journey.
What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I wish people in my position were blessed to have access to the community of solace that can be found in your Church Communications group! My position’s workload quadrupled overnight (me and the whole planet of church communicators! ) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a “one-man-band” with little to NO experience with social media/church communications, I would have been drowning in my tears and freaking out had it not been for all of the comraderies, support, and unity I found in the group. So many people vulnerably expressed their concerns, fears, and aggravations and suddenly I did not feel alone. Others shared their creativity and expertise, all of which have been so helpful. I laughed, I cried and found great refuge in reading the posts. Commenting has been like therapy, and I think I chat more than I work, but don’t tell my church, haha!
What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?
I cannot live without Canva! The reason why is because their system is so easy, yet the ways to make posts one of a kind and original are endless. Every day, I’m learning something new, and it keeps what I’m doing fresh, new, and relevant.
What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?
The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is when churches play it safe and keep their message too generic to reach a broader base. I think it is important for churches to identify their own brand first, market accordingly, and trust that God will send people who are drawn to be a part of their ministry based on how the presentation of the message relates to them. I think God can give us a bigger base when we establish our unique niche and allow Him to multiply it from there.
Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?
I look up to Terri Savelle (Ministries) because she has clearly identified her niche as a dream coach and inspirational speaker with a predominately female audience. She is very quirky with a squeaky voice and upbeat personality, and you can see and hear very distinctively when you read her Facebook and Instagram posts. Oh wait, she is not a church. Ok, how about T.D. Jakes. I’ve been listening to his messages, reading his books and watching his movies for years, but since working at the church, I definitely stalk his social media pages for inspiration. His pics are top-notch quality, all of the text is strong and powerful, and the colors are very vivid and royal. Whoever mans his page is the man!
We are glad to find people who translate their skills into their ministry work as it adds even more value to what churches can offer. You shared with us clear insights on a new perspective to church communications, Taning, and we appreciate you. Spread your light onto others!
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