Important Open Letter to Church Communicators

Important Open Letter to Church Communicators

Dear Church Communicators,

For almost three decades I’ve worked in this crazy, ever-changing field. I jumped into it the moment I saw Darrin Stephens (played by Dick Sargent) in the original Bewitched TV series. He was an “ad guy” who was always put on the spot in front of his clients as he tried to please everyone with his ideas. That was me. Perhaps it was Mad Men that made you fall in love with the field. Don Draper could only wish he had a witch for a wife (who, in Bewitched, always helped Darrin out of trouble).

I started before computers were used; and I relied heavily on teams of artists, typographers and suppliers. I’ve won national and international awards.

Have you noticed that in our field you never get comfortable? Ideas, clients, production, suppliers, methods, and software are changing continuously. You think you’ve mastered something and “BAM”, it changes.

But that’s what I love! I’m a communications/ideas/creative guy. You’re probably the same. And we love the church. But, I’ve almost burned myself out several times in this all consuming role.

Can I get personal for a few minutes? I want the best for you. And I want you to learn from this “old guy” who’s been doing it for a long time.

Here’s 3 things I wish someone shared with me earlier on:

  1. You can’t do it all. You have so much that you’re juggling with deadlines looming continuously. You’re so talented; that’s why you have the position. But even though you CAN do everything; you NEED others around you to help you. They’ll challenge you. Help with deadlines. Support you. Ministry should be about empowering and motivating people to use their gifts. It’s not supposed to kill you as you try to do it all yourself. Even though you feel that others slow you down; a growing, excited team will ALWAYS be better for you. And they don’t have to be paid. There are volunteers who’d love to learn from you.
  2. Focus. There are a million ideas and solutions. But a “creative person” has a difficult time selecting the best ones. We’re often insecure. Crave direction from others especially if they’re helping you set boundaries. Learn to set your own limitations. Time, DNA, brand foundation, and abilities. Once you have those restrictions, be creative. Creativity is not working without limitations, it’s finding solutions within many limits.
  3. Learn. I’ve seen so many creatives and communication’s people get stuck in a rut. You know your groove and although everyone loves your style, change is coming. And as people and processes change, you risk being left behind. Use EVERY moment to learn and be inspired by other people, news, ideas and solutions. There are classes, conferences and workshops as well as websites, Pinterest, email, social media, etc.

You can do this. The church and your Pastor needs someone to help them be creative, inspiring, and understood. God can use you. Be humble, stay in God’s Word, and remember to love those around you. Breathe. Focus on what matters: communicating God’s amazing grace.

Sincerely,

Mark MacDonald

PS: Based on everything I know, I’ve put together a Process that will help you in your role. It shapes your communication strategy and creates an effective church digital hub. Let me know if I can work with you — and validate you to your church leadership. You are important!

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