Have you ever wished you could sit down with another church communicator and just ask them about their day? What tools do they use, what struggles do they face, how do they keep inspiration fresh?
If this is you, then I think you'll enjoy our newest mini-series coming right here to the blog. We've sat down with several church communicators to do just this: ask them about their role, their job, and their impact. Each week we will share another interview with you.
So, pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy this sit down with a fellow church communicator.
Meet Rachel, Communications Director at Cornerstone Fellowship
Rachel is the Communications Director at Cornerstone Fellowship, a multi-site church throughout the East Bay in California. Their mission is simple: to help every person take their next step with Jesus.
Take a look at how Rachel uses her role to carry out this mission.
The Sit DownEkklesia 360: What’s your favorite part about working in church communications?
Rachel: There are so many great things about Church Comm, but my favorite has to be the relational aspect of the job. I leave work every day knowing that I get to partner with ministries and help them share Jesus with our community. Our social media, videos, print media and series branding, they’re helping change people’s lives in ways we can’t even imagine. It makes this job feel like much more than a 9-to-5; we’re making an impact!
Ekklesia 360:What’s your biggest challenge as a church communicator?
Rachel: Cornerstone is multisite, so we have a unique challenge in that we have to communicate the same message to several different demographics. Not only that, but we have a diverse leadership that we collaborate with, so getting everyone on the same page is sometimes tricky.
Ekklesia 360: What’s your favorite online tool that you use in your day-to-day?
Rachel: Slack! We do all of our internal communication through Slack and it has revolutionized the way that I communicate and stay organized at work. Even though we’re multisite, Slack makes it feel like we’re all working in the same space. It’s also been instrumental in allowing me to have a healthy work/life balance.
Ekklesia 360: What is your process for updating/maintaining your church website?
Rachel: We have a Project/Content Manager, plus several volunteers, who update our online platforms (website and app). We source requests through a Wufoo form and our Project Manager inputs the data into Monday.com (our project management tool). From there, she’ll make sure the information gets to the right place online.
Ekklesia 360: Do you hear any pushback from your members about online giving?
Rachel: After switching to PushPay this year, we’ve actually seen an increase in online giving. We’ve found that the easier the platform, the more willing people are to switch to online giving. We utilize “text to give” during our hosting segments every weekend and we often communicate how easy that tool is to give right from their phone.
Ekklesia 360: How does your ChMS help your staff?
Rachel: We use CCB for our ChMS platform. As a multisite church who operated with Fellowship One for a long time, we’ve found that Church Community Builder meets the majority of our needs. We’re an equipping church so our volunteer process is really important to us – we use their process queue systems to help move people from people who are “just interested” to people who serve regularly! Our hope is that with our ChMS, people don’t get lost in the process and are connected to our church quickly.
Ekklesia 360: What type of goals do you have for your church this year?
Rachel: We’re working hard to grow our volunteer team, so we can create and update even more for our church. Another huge goal of ours is to continue to move people towards relying on our website as their first source of information. It’s a slow process, but the more intentional we are about keeping our website updated, the more our congregation trusts the amazing tool.
Ekklesia 360: Is there any additional training or resource you wish you had?
Rachel: Nope! When it comes to Ekklesia, my team has felt supported from day one! The teams are easy to work with and always responsive. When we were building the website, I felt like my project manager was my friend – that’s a pretty cool feeling when you’re partnering with a company.
Ekklesia 360: What advice do you have for a new church communicator?
Rachel: Wow, welcome! Church Communications is fun and weird and stressful and rewarding. Some days you’ll want to pull your hair out, other days you’ll be in awe of what God’s doing through your ministry. The things you create are often some of the first things people see when it comes to your church. First, remain a student – listen to podcasts, talk with other church communicators, look at other church’s websites – always strive to think outside the box and stay ahead of the curve. Second, be humble and helpful. People often think they know best when it comes to communicating their ministry; you have the unique challenge of having to listen to them AND educate them, so they trust you to communicate for them.
Ekklesia 360: What impact are you hoping to have on your church?
Rachel: As a female millennial, sometimes it feels like the cards are stacked against me when I have the title of “Communications Director” at a multisite church. I’m hoping to help pave the way for other female leaders in the church world. My church is amazing and empowers women to lead, but I know that’s not always the case for all churches, so my goal is to speak out for women in church leadership when I’m given the opportunity. I’m also hoping to continue to push this church into the digital world. Taking the plunge and moving from print to digital can be scary and daunting, but we have such an incredible opportunity online to reach the unreached. My hope is to create a digital foundation that can be sustained for years to come!
The Take Away
Now that you've heard from Rachel, hopefully you are feeling inspired, encouraged, and ready to continue the work that's been set before you.
If you're looking for even more information on how to survive the crazy world of church communications, check out our church communicator's survival guide here.