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Connecting Church Marketers

April 29, 2005 by

Last week Brad posted an entry about design and marketing positions in churches and theorized that churches will soon have a Pastoral Director of Design & Marketing. Based on the feedback we’re getting, it’s starting to happen. Maybe not a specific pastoral role, but churches are definitely hiring designers and creative people.

monkeyboy commented on Brad’s entry asking about getting church creative folks together:

“I would think that there might be enough people like myself who are on staff at a church as the Creative Director or a similar category that it might be beneficial to schedule something where we could all get together outside of our areas of ministry and begin to talk through the whole idea of communicating and presenting the gospel through our respective lenses. I know for me that I often feel like an island when it comes to doing what I do and feel there could be some definite benefits to networking with similar people when it comes to resources and such.”


He goes on to ask if such a group exists or if someone wants to organize them. We’ve heard of St. Luke’s Pow Wow, which is a group of church communicators in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and perhaps there are others. On a local level you could always start a Meetup group in your area (though they’ll soon charge $10-20 per month).

On a national level, we haven’t heard of many church marketing conferences, though they do exist. Outreach has their National Outreach Convention, which focuses more on evangelism but does have a marketing track. The Willow Creek Association has a number of events, though we don’t know how much they focus on marketing. We also heard about a marketing seminar in North Carolina earlier this year, though there’s no indication if it will continue.

When we dream big here at Church Marketing Sucks, this is the kind of stuff we like to think about. While we’re relatively small and new at this (we only started in July), we’d love to help connect church marketers.

If that means a new section of our site or linking to groups around the country to help people meet locally, let’s do it. If that means dreaming about a national church marketing convention, well, let’s start dreaming. Tell us how we can help.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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14 Responses to “Connecting Church Marketers”

  • Terrell Sanders
    April 29, 2005

    Main Street is helping to organize a national group for church communications professionals. The purposes of the group are (1) to encourage networking, collaboration, and sharing between church communications professionals, (2) to promote excellence in church communications, and (3) to provide education, training and support to church comm professionals.
    We are currently organizing a national conference in Houston, Sept 15-16, 2005. More information will be posted on our web site in the next few weeks as the details are firmed up.


  • Darryl
    April 29, 2005

    I love the idea, but is it possible to organise some kind of online discussion / conversation, so that those of us outside the US of A can join in? For example, TallSkinnyKiwi occasionally runs a discussion on alternative worship at Habbo Hotel (www.habbohotel.com). Or perhaps you could set up something at Yahoo Groups …


  • Shawn Wood
    April 29, 2005

    Shawn Wood here…creative communications pastor at Seacoast Church in south carolina. For all of the Creatives out there, if there were a quarterly meeting of Pastors/directors of the Creative elements of your ministry where we could collaborate and think together for a day or two – would anyone actually come?
    I have been yearning for this for 3 years now since taking on my new role (previously was Student Ministry Pastor at Seacoast) and would be very interested in this…
    Give me some feedback!


  • bethany crowley
    April 29, 2005

    I would love to talk with other comm/creative people too! I’m in MI though and it would be hard to attend something in Texas.


  • anne jackson
    April 29, 2005

    i am the director of communications at westside family church in shawnee, ks. there is also a communications seminar at granger community church in indiana on may 23. myself and our communications coordinator are going. kem meyer is awesome. :) there is pretty much nothing in kansas, but it would be cool to start something.


  • Jonathan Blundell
    April 29, 2005

    I must say, this has been a dream job for me for several years but I’m not sure our church has seen the benefits of this type of position yet. I’d like to think/hope our singles department (which I work with) has some of the best communication/flyers and such for events, but when I see other media things from our church, I’m left wondering why can’t this be better. I’d love to see an online community for media ministers. I’ve found a good number of ideas and resources from istockphoto.com. It’s a totally secular site, but great ideas have come from their pages.


  • brand1m
    April 30, 2005

    When I started down this path nearly three years ago, I must say I was a little nervous. Everytime I visit this site, I am encouraged by all of the excitement and passion everyone here has for communicating more effectively.


  • anne jackson
    April 30, 2005

    Jonathan,
    I was in the same position as you, but with students. Not only did we have the best marketing material, we came up with some pretty original ideas to reach our student database. For instance, after last summer, they changed the time that the high school met from Wed to Sunday and JH from Thursday to Wed. We wanted to make sure that the big change did not get overlooked, so we mailed out diapers and inside we put in a postcard saying “change is good” with all the vital info. Imagine the looks of the people at the post office when we came in with 700 diapers. It took some research and meeting with the postal standards people, but it ended up being cheap (.40/diaper after postage) way to get our point across. Anyway, after seeing some consistency & quality coming out of our student ministry, and knowing the need our church had for it, they created my position. It took a year and is still taking time to go through everything and also help some of the staff transition into out of the box thinking, staying away from mass marketing and going more towards niche marketing, but it is a process I am thankful to be a part of. I know your team will take notice of your creativity and excellence and then piece that together with their need for clear & effective communication.


  • kirt
    April 30, 2005

    I have already put the Sept. 15-16 Mainstreet conference on my calendar! I really believe there is critical mass for a “church marketing” conference to succeed.
    The Granger LiveWire Workshop is very good, but is, in essence, a lesson in how Granger does communication. I have not been to the Outreach conference, but it seems highly focused on evangelism and, correct me if I’m wrong, heavy on Outreach’s own approach and materials.
    If a national conference adds enough value to the online discussion, it will be an catalytic event. I’d be very interested in helping plan it so long as it’s not just a “who makes the coolest cards” contest.


  • kenny eicher
    May 3, 2005

    Oh, this is a wonderful idea. I am not on staff at my church (manhattanchurch.org in NYC), but do the bulk of the creative/marketing materials. I also do work for a church in Illinois. I’d be very interested in attending – and helping to organize – a national meeting of creative professionals who are joined in the notion that there’s something better in the world of church marketing/advertising than what we all grew up with.


  • Anthony Ingram
    May 4, 2005

    Hello – I volunteer at my church with the Creative Arts Department. The dept is only about one year old, but we are finally beginning to hit our stride. One other person in the dept works with me on “marketing” type activities – and a lot of the official marketing still is handled thorugh the main church office. We also have some talented graphic artists in our church who provide input fairly regularly. I think it would be great to have regional meetings that people from that area could attend at least twice per year. We could reinvent the wheel and build such an event from scratch – or try to build off of what is being done at the June Willow Creek Conference.(http://www.willowcreek.com/events/arts/leadership.asp)
    I do not see Marketing as a specific breakout session at the Willow Creek event.
    Is it possible to add a chat feature to a blog so that we’uns could all log in and share ideas and info “realtime” at specific dates/times – or – we could use the chat feature in a YAHOO group. I am all for it!


  • Terrell Sanders
    May 8, 2005

    For anyone interested in a trip to Houston in September, we have the details of our MinistryCOM conference online now – http://www.MinistryCOM.org


  • Honnie Korngold
    October 28, 2005

    Those interested in faith-based marketing should check out the First Annual Faith-based Marketing Summit in Dallas, TX, November 4, 2005. Here is a brief description of the purpose of the event:
    In recent years, the faith based community has played a major role in the success of numerous films such as The Passion of the Christ and the Left Behind series, and books like The Prayer of Jabez and Rick Warren’s best-seller Purpose-Driven Life.
    The 1st Annual Faith Based Marketing Summit (www.faithbasedmarketing.com) will explore the role this influential segment of society can play, and help attendees learn what it takes to reach this integral group of consumers.


  • Timothy Stewart
    August 31, 2006

    I am the Pastor of Creative Communications at my church, and I think it would be great to collaborate with other creative communicators. After transitioning out of Youth Ministry, I set out to spearhead a ministry that was designed to gather various forms of creative communicators, and give them avenues to glorify God through their unique giftings. It has been gradually progressing, but if there is anything else out there similair, it would be great to find out their infrastructure, vision, etc. Because the structure of the ministry has been the most challenging, and incorporating it into a rather rigid church service. If anyone wants to know about Radiance, visit radiancemedia.blogspot.com. Rather modest blog that I have been experimenting with.



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