Let’s be real— communications can be challenging. So how did I get here and why, despite the challenges, do I love it?
It goes back to my first loves – first impressions and next steps.
I love first impressions (or guest services). I’ve spent countless hours and personal funds on conferences, classes, and books on the subject.
I love next steps. Everyone is always growing. Daily, you’re becoming more like Christ or more like the world.
I love the process. I love to see people go from first time guest to leading a ministry. The Christian growth process never ceases to amaze me.
So there I was serving as a Next Steps Director at a local church and as part of that I was the Master Admin of our church management software.
This glorious tool that helped me see where people were. Sort of like the domino’s pizza tracker, but for people. From first time guest to serving. From serving to leading. From first time guest to small group. I ran weekly reports, personally followed up with people, met people for coffee, and did whatever I could to make sure people connected.
Then I began to hear stories and saw a theme. How did you hear about us?
Through Facebook. Through an internet search.
So I took a step back to look through their lens. And I began to see connections between the database and our website.
Parts of our database were publicly accessible. We could lock them down or use this to our advantage.
Because I had a background in marketing and design, I began to work closely with our marketing and graphic design team, and with our website volunteer.
I remember posting online one day that I was putting more thought into our website colors and fonts and I wasn’t sure what that made me. My friend replied, “that makes you a church communicator.”
Around the same time, I took my kids to a restaurant for lunch. It was the type of restaurant that has booths on one side and counter seating on the other.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that every person at the counter was on their phone. Every one.
What content are they consuming? What are they looking at? And how do we get our church – and the Word of God in front of them?
I began to see the Internet as a mission field. I sought out books on church communications, joined Facebook groups, studied other church structures and cultures, and attended conferences. Usually – but not always – on my own time and my own dime.
It’s been crazy. Aggravating at times. Tears have flowed both from joy and sadness. It’s sometimes lonely, yet I’ve made my best friends.
A few weeks ago someone walked by the computer at church and stopped, “I didn’t even know you were there.”
It’s okay. Most people don’t.
On social media, we’re reaching thousands some weeks. Hundreds other weeks, but that’s the nature of communications.
I see heat maps, click rates, open rates, reach and share data, and other back end metrics.
And I know we’re doing more than marketing our events. We’re sharing the gospel and helping people connect with our church. We’re helping people take a step from an internet search to an in person connection.
And that’s why communications.