Gratitude + Growth
Marketing & Communications for a church is a pretty interesting ministry! We embrace the vision and mission of our church to be a vibrant family that makes disciples. And, we get to use some cool tools and technologies to communicate opportunities to grow and serve within our church family.
Over the past year and a half, this ministry has been (and still is) tasked with bringing a strategic approach to communications across our faith community. Think of all the ministries our church is blessed to initiate, develop, and cultivate over time. With those 30+ ministries in mind (can you name them all?), having strategic platforms to unite all of these efforts is paramount.
Communications is important to the life of the church and the faith journey of each person. These communication tools allow for individuals to know of ways to connect, participate, and serve here. Each of us is on a unique spiritual journey that calls for an active and durable faith. And, the Communications Ministry seeks to offer information critical for your development every day – literally!
We certainly know there are areas of growth when it comes to communications, but we did want to take a moment to celebrate and share in gratitude some of our recent efforts:
- This June we will be celebrating a year of the Monthly Newsletter. Shout-out to all our leaders who submit announcements by the 3rd Monday of every month to ensure inclusion in that communication staple. Each month after the Communications Ministry receives the submissions, we spend the next two weeks in layout/design, proofing and printing.
- Yay for screens! We have three screens around the Winter Park campus that scroll through relevant information. (Do you know where they are located?!)
- During Christmas 2018 and Easter 2019 we integrated a digital check-in to capture information from worshippers such as new member interest, prayer requests, newsletter subscribes and more. (Did you know we created 6 different bulletins for the Christmas Eve services and 5 bulletins for the Holy Week services?)
- How about those emails?! Each week we offer two e-newsletter: Monday Memo and Thursday at Three. Thanks to our ministries that submit announcements, updates, and stories to share with the greater church family. (Did you know: This Lenten season a mix of lay leaders, staff, and clergy wrote devotionals that we shared over the course of 39 daily emails to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Easter.)
- Social media is what the kids (and adults) are using these days and we send out roughly 60 messages of month across various platforms.
These are just a few of the cyclical tactics the Communications Ministry uses to keep our church family informed so that you can be engaged! Certainly, there are always areas of growth and we will continue to strategically embrace ways to enhance our efforts.
**Also, look for updates later in the year regarding a couple of exciting strategic projects that are currently under way.**
Welcome + Invitation
Let’s take this conversation a step further. Understanding that communications is a ministry, we see these communications efforts as tools for our members to use in their individual ministry. As we seek to invite others into this faith community and welcome those that visit this church, these communication items become a way to connect others with the life of this church. Have you suggested to visitors…
- “Grab a Month newsletter.”
- “Follow us on Facebook.”
- “Subscribe to our Thursday at Three.”
We know that communications is crucial for our engagement but, also, a means to involve others in our faith family.
Serve + Strengthen
Growing an Engaged Church is a great resource that discusses church engagement and spiritual commitment in contrast to mere participation and involvement. Relying on research from Gallup and strengths-based leadership, the author notes the importance of an individual serving in their faith community by using their strengths. As one uses their God-given strengths they “get stronger, more energized, and more engaged.”
So here’s the opportunity – are you gifted and passionate about communications (whether it’s graphic design, writing, video, social media, etc.)?
If so, send me an email at [email protected] and I’d love to discuss what serving our church family in a communications capacity looks like.
Sarah Skidmore, MA
Director of Marketing and Communications, First United Methodist Church of Winter Park.