We've finally arrived at part 4 of our "Ask a Church Communicator" mini-series. Hopefully these sit downs have been helpful and encouraging, and have motivated you to reach out to fellow church communicators in your area! In the mean time, take a look at what our final church communicator had to say!
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 Amy, the Communications Director at Bridgepoint Church!
Bridgepoint Church is a multi-site church in Florida. They "exist to help people, all people, get closer to God. We do this by believing in Jesus, living His teachings, and becoming His people. We believe that through Jesus, we can become all that God desires us to be. No matter where we are, it's never too late to become the person we're meant to be."
Here's an insight into their approach to church communications:
The Sit DownEkklesia 360: What’s your favorite part about working in church communications?
Amy: I love more than anything seeing the lives impacted when they encounter and respond to Jesus. We are doing ministry in an area that largely comprised of an unchurched population, and getting to be a part of shifting this culture towards a life of faith is hugely rewarding for me and my team.
Ekklesia 360: What’s your biggest challenge as a church communicator?
Amy: Keeping up with the changing landscape of digital marketing requires a significant commitment. This isn't possible when we spend too much time "down in the weeds" of the everyday tasks associated with a central marketing team.
Ekklesia 360: What’s your favorite online tool that you use in your day-to-day?
Amy: We just moved all of our short- and long-term project management to a web-based app called Monday. The customization and visualization tools work better than most other tools for us. Any tool that makes us more efficient and facilitates healthy communication is going to be a win for us.
Ekklesia 360: What is your process for updating/maintaining your church website?
Amy: Our team walks alongside ministry leaders to support nearly every stage of a project or event. So we're able to keep the website up to date because we're not waiting to be fed information, usually we were on the team or were in the meetings that planned the logistics and shaped the content. But thorough content sweeps of the web site and our app are part of our weekly workflow.
Ekklesia 360: Do you hear any pushback from your members about online giving?
Amy: Surprisingly, none! We recently switched platforms and besides the expected challenges with getting everyone moved to a new platform, it has gone quite well. And our online giving numbers are steadily climbing.
Ekklesia 360: How does your ChMS help your staff?
Amy: We're in the process of moving platforms because we've identified that the current tool is more of a barrier and a series of workarounds than it is a tool leveraged to reach and impact people. The new platform will enable us to communicate efficiently internally and externally, and more than anything, prevent people from slipping through the cracks.
Ekklesia 360: What type of goals do you have for your church this year?
Amy: This year we are well-positioned to start producing more and better video content for our sermon series, ministry areas, and church-wide events. We've started forming a volunteer team of creative professionals in photography, video, and motion graphics that will help tell the story of BridgePoint and multiply our impact in our communities.
Ekklesia 360: Is there any additional training or resource you wish you had?
Amy: I know there are pockets of this, but nothing that I'm aware of on a large scale: a national network of church communications professionals that connect regularly to leverage each other for resources, encouragement, and solutions.
Ekklesia 360: What advice do you have for a new church communicator?
Amy: A lot, actually! Simply put, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Just because you can produce yet another brochure, doesn't mean you should. Just because you can ask a pastor to stand on stage and tell your congregation to come to the XYZ Event, doesn't mean you should. Instead, consider what's the best way to inform and compel people to respond to the opportunity being presented? Help the decision-makers at your organization understand how important this is. If you are functioning like a customer service department you'll never move beyond that to being a true partner in helping every ministry effort be successful. This may be a familiar-sounding scenario for a new church communicator: a ministry lead walks up to your desk, describes the card, graphic, or email they need drafted (like, yesterday), and you drop everything you were doing and scurry to fulfill the need because even though they're late you believe in the opportunity and want it to be successful. Nowhere in that scenario is there room for defining priorities and key messages, strategic planning, and measuring success.
Ekklesia 360: What impact are you hoping to have on your church?
Amy: Our job is done well when the people God has entrusted to us are both well-informed and are compelled to respond to their role in helping our cities get closer to God.
The Take Away
Now that you've heard from Amy, 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.