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MinistryCOM 2010 Scholarships

MinistryCOM 2010 Scholarships

September 8, 2010 by

One of the joys of being a part of Center for Church Communication is to see the growth that comes from those just starting out: the pastor who realizes design is important but truly has no budget, the secretary who’s been given the task without much background, as well the creative just starting out… through the Church Marketing Lab, Church Marketing Sucks posts, local meetups and more, I really enjoy watching many of you becoming great communicators.

If you find yourself on this list I’m happy to announce that we’re giving away some scholarships for MinistryCOM 2010. You will still need to take care of travel (Hotwire has a hotel for under $50, and you could also consider splitting a room), but registration will be taken care of. This annual church communications conference is coming to Dallas on Oct. 20-22.

Conference like this and many others are great opportunities to not only learn, but even more importantly connect. I’ve said it before, even as a speaker, the best part of conferences aren’t the speakers, the best part are the relationships that are created.

Please, if you do attend this conference be a sponge, but also be a magnet, constantly connecting and reaching out to people.

That might not come naturally but I promise, if you walk up to a group and enter into the conversation (yes, even though they didn’t text/Facebook/Twitter you an invite) you will be welcomed in and you’ll make some new friends.

If you are interested in a scholarship to this year’s MinistryCOM, just comment below (be sure to fill in your name and e-mail address) and include the following:

  1. Your church name
  2. A bit about your story
  3. Why you’d be a good fit for a scholarship
  4. Your greatest struggle as a communicator
  5. Your greatest joy as a communicator

We’ll take a look at the submissions and award as many scholarships as we can based on need. We’ll take submissions for one week, so you have until Tuesday, Sept. 14 to enter.

Sept. 20 Update: We just awarded nine scholarships to MinistryCOM. Thanks for entering and we hope it’s a great opportunity for your churches.

Post By:

Michael Buckingham


With the goal of making the church the most creative place on the planet, Michael founded Holy Cow Creative, the church’s creativity and design studio. He is also the creative director for the Center for Church Communication and Church Marketing Sucks. You can find him speaking at conferences such as HOW, Echo, and MinistryCOM. Check out his blog, Jesus Hates Papyrus, where he continues to help the church intentionally reflect Christ in how it communications.
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10 Responses to “MinistryCOM 2010 Scholarships”

  • 1. Your church name – River City Recovery Ministry, and the worship church is called “The Fish House”
    2. A bit about your story – we are a small ministry that reaches out to the culture of outlaws and addicts and encourage them to lay down their guns, needles, pipes and attitudes and accept Jesus Christ as their savior and leader. We have 6 sober homes (Called the House of Promise), a church called “The Fish House” and Tuesday – Friday we have discipleship classes that help those ex addicts and outlaws become disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in their new identity. We currently serve 39 residents and 250 people each week. I spent 30 years as an outlaw drug addict. I have lived in prisons, nut houses and the gutter. I finally found Jesus (or he found me) in a homeless shelter 16 1/2 years ago. I am currently working on a second Master Degree. We started this ministry 5 years ago and God has blessed us in so many ways, mainly in the area of Changed lives.
    3. Why you’d be a good fit for a scholarship – we are not a ministry that has a lot of money to spare, the audience we reach out to does not have a lot to give, but we realize the need to present our message in a way that connects to the people who are out there still suffering. We would like to reach more and I would like gain more tools to make that possible. I feel that the reason we are a good fit for a scholarship is because it would be a great investments into the lives of a culture that is not touched by mainstream churches. I feel that if we had a great marketing program we would we would be able to reach more people.
    4. Your greatest struggle as a communicator – prep time each week, it seems that I just do not have enough time to get all the work that I need to get done, so I walk into the pulpit feeling like I could have done more.
    5. Your greatest joy as a communicator – my greatest joy is seeing the people that I have been called to serve, get it!. When you look into their eyes and you show them Jesus in a different way and they get it, and the eyes light up, and their face lights up – that is awesome. Seeing people come face to face with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and walking away forever changed. (Gen 32:30)

    Thank you for hearing me out. Have a blessed day

    Pastor Howard


  • Alison Thomas
    September 8, 2010

    Your church name First United Methodist Church of Allen
    A bit about your story: I’ve been working at this church for 10 years now, the past 3 as a communications director. The path to this position has been a long time coming, and it has taken my experience in journalism, corporate communications, a little freelancing, and many years of print editing in between. It’s a job that takes all those years of experience and puts them into play as a gift from God for sharing the good news of God and the works of his followers.
    Why you’d be a good fit for a scholarship: Funds for marketing/communications are tight this time of year, but continuing education is a requirement in order to be the best at what we do. Plus I’m right here in the DFW are so the event is a perfect fit. I’d probably have a hard time justifying a trip this fall othewise and my senior pastor is sure to let me attend if I show him I procured a scholarship to improve my craft!
    Your greatest struggle as a communicator: Probably for everyone…the task of getting laity and staff to meet and appreciate deadlines and the need for just a little advance planning in getting events off the ground. Then it’s just finding the time and the self discipline to do as much as I possibly can with the limited resources availed to me. But God is good and gives me just enough with what He’s afforded us.
    Your greatest joy as a communicator: Seeing people grow from seeds my office has planted. And that’s all we do…plant the seeds. We share the news, we get people into the church, we provide the tools, we help people take action. God does the rest. It gives me joy to know I’ve done something, no matter how minute, to make a difference.


  • Angela Burris
    September 8, 2010

    For one year, I am serving/interning at Faithwalk United Methodist Church (a young, growing church plant) in preparation to do a new church start in the summer of 2011. My passion is to help GenX &Yer’s and find relevant ways to experience the Gospel message. Having worked in the church in various capacities, I thoroughly understand communicating through traditional channels, aka bulletin, newsletter, website, etc. However, communicating a message through visual arts, drama, and eye-catching ways is often my goal in worship. Heading towards planting a church, I understand how critical good marketing/communication is to reaching my affinity group.

    I would be a good fit for such a scholarship because there is NO budget on the local or conference level for training of this nature. With any extra personal funds this year, I have been revamping the industrial gathering space (a retro modern) for the church I am serving in order to welcome our target group. I would love to learn more of the nuts and bolts of good, creative communication in a tech generation. To maintain relevancy in a new generation, learning new types of communication has become a passion for me. And, as a women, being a church planter in the southeast can be a challenge so this type of training would be even more of an asset to me.

    My greatest challenge as a communicator is being consistent and timely. Often, my schedule becomes overwhelming and an event is not given access to all the potential outlets. Planning the release of information in a timely fashion far enough in advance can also be a problem for the same reason.

    My greatest joy is seeing the response of good communication, whether that is in the form of an art display, logo or facebook conversation. When a form of communication can cause a light bulb to go on, the reward is great, but to see a form of communication that has the ability to invoke someone to take an active role in serving Christ, well, that’s a gift.


  • Jason Barr
    September 8, 2010

    Church Name: Solomon’s Porch

    Our Story: We’re a church plant in Richardson, TX (Dallas area…8 months old). In addition to the church, we’ve pioneered a campus ministry at the University of Texas at Dallas. Our focus is on community involvement, which we’ve done by ‘adopting’ two local elementary schools. We’re also intentionally working to be a multi-ethnic church. Not an easy task but one we believe in. Our worship pastor is originally from Bangladesh, our youth pastor is originally from Colombia…so we’re trying. I’m the lead pastor and would love to send our primary graphics guy to this conference. His degree is in graphic design, but he’s a recent graduate, hasn’t been exposed to the world of church communications for very long, and is volunteering his time with our church. This would be a tremendous blessing to him and our ministry.

    Why: One of our core values is communication. We understand everything we do communicates and we take this part of our ministry very seriously. However, we’re not pros and we have lots to learn. This would be an invaluable opportunity for this young man and help open his eyes to the world of church marketing/communications.

    Greatest struggle: Knowing our situation, I will try to speak on his behalf. We have limited resources, and minimal experience, yet reside in the megachurch capital of the world. We want to design as much as we can in house and do it with excellence. Being a new church plant, this isn’t always easy but it’s always the goal.

    Greatest joy: Creating communication pieces that compliment, enhance, and effectively promote the gospel message. Our church may be small but that doesn’t mean our logo, graphics, mailers, etc. have to look small. We’re here to reach our city and we find great joy in knowing our communication efforts help us fulfill that vision.


  • Chanelle Williams
    September 8, 2010

    Your church name: Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center

    A bit about your story: I have always been into graphic design since I was younger. I have learned everything from watching and online tutorials. I had no idea what I would do with this gift. Little did I know that God had a plan for my gift later down the road. My pastor started our church 2 1/2 years ago and enlisted me to at first do a few flyers here and there. It later turned into me becoming the Marketing Director at the Church. I have grown with each assignment I have been given. Some ask why I don’t charge, but I feel that this is what God has called me to do and it is great privilege to do what I do for the kingdom.

    Why you’d be a good fit for a scholarship: I hope that I can affect someones life in a positve way and open their eyes to God or spark their interest through my work. I would like to reach other people with my work in ways that other areas of ministry wouldn’t be able to. I would greatly desire to continuously improve my gift and learn better ways to communicate effectively to different types of people. Times are changing, and we have to learn to change with it.

    Your greatest struggle as a communicator: the greatest struggle is keeping it new and fresh. Especially working more so with a younger demographic you have to stay creative or you will lose their interest, but also appealing to the older demographic as well.

    Your greatest joy as a communicator: It exciting be in the right position, being where God has placed you. Doesn’t mean there aren’t times I struggle or don’t get stressed, but I enjoy what I do. I enjoy using my gift to bring people to the kingdom. There are a lot of other ways I could use it for, but Im using it for his glory. I am proud that I am an instrumental part in the growth of the Kingdom.


  • Tracielynn Raterman
    September 9, 2010

    North Coast Family Fellowship –

    I have been with North Coast for almost four years now. I am the Asst. Office Manager, in charge of media. This past year I also became the Facility Use Coordinator and Webmaster. I have no formal training, I am self taught. I need all the help I can get! Thus I feel a scholarship would be a spot on fit for me! : )

    My greatest struggle would be that I’m witty and like to be edgy and not all church goers respond well to that. We have a church of many age groups and at times, it can be a struggle. Some of that is not from older people wanting a toned down weekly program and website, it can come from the youngest of people who prefer that style.

    My greatest joy as a communicator has come from doing our weekly program. I have had the privilege of bringing it more up to date. I’m still working towards even more up to date but will take how far it has come at this point! Bringing a special touch to reach to the lost. To put them at ease in our church. To warm the heart of the hardened and put a smile on the frown.
    I love my job and want to be the best at it.

    H.E.L.P. Me!


  • Rev. Sheila Fiorella
    September 11, 2010

    (I sent this by email. Will repeat here in case you did not receive it.)

    Your church name New Day United Methodist Church

    A bit about your story My name is Sheila Fiorella. I was ordained in
    June, 2010 and am the pastor of a new church start in Mansfield, TX. I’m
    46 years old. (Did you want to know that?) We launched evening worship
    gatherings on Sept. 9,2009 in the Mansfield Activities Center. We’re
    about to “re-launch” our morning worship gathering on Oct. 3, 2010, in
    our new leased facility in an office/industrial park. We averaged 54
    people in our 11 a.m. worship gatherings in August, 2010. 40 people
    attended lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings on August 22. 40 volunteered when
    we went to Union Gospel Mission to serve the day before Thanksgiving. We
    have persons in the womb all the way through nearly 88 years old. We
    have persons who are white, African-American, African, Vietnamese,
    Hispanic, and Arabic attending (may be other ethnicities that I’m not
    aware of.) New Day’s mission is to engage, energize, and empower lives
    with God’s forgiving love. Check us out @newdayumc on Facebook and
    Twitter and/or at http://www.ndumc.com. (Haven’t updated much since my laptop
    recently died and went to heaven. Well, it’s really going to Dell. DELL,
    not the other place. What were you thinking?) Did you want to know more
    about me or more about our church, because we’re pretty much joined at
    the hip right now.

    Why youd be a good fit for a scholarship I want your joy to be
    complete. You said, “One of the joys of being a part of Center for
    Church Communication is to see the growth that comes from those just
    starting out: the pastor who realizes design is important but truly has
    no budget,….” That would be me (and our worship leader Alex Vorse).
    Being a former left brained math teacher, I think you could help me
    better develop my “creative” side. Plus you’re going to be in Dallas and
    I could drive there and not even have to pay for a hotel. How often does
    a chance like that come along? Oh, yeah, and you all are the ones who
    turned me on to Topix. You linked a story about strippers protesting a
    church in Ohio, my home state, and from there I went to a site which led
    me to meet persons who are “non-Christians” (their label, not mine). If
    it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have made a bunch of new friends and
    learned a lot in the process. Thanks!

    Your greatest struggle as a communicator (see above) I’m a little wordy
    and can go off on tangents. That’s the reason I use a manuscript when I
    preach. Enough said. :)

    Your greatest joy as a communicator Sharing the GREAT news of God’s
    forgiving love through Jesus Christ. Duh! Like you didn’t know that?
    Really? (jk)

    I sincerely hope you will consider me and even our worship leader
    (although his baby is due Oct. 10 so don’t know if he’ll be available or
    not) for your scholarship. I would love more opportunities to network and
    to “be a magnet, constantly connecting and reaching out to people.” Thanks
    for your time and consideration! Hope YOU can be our guest in Mansfield
    some Sunday!

    Sheila
    New Day UMC
    1475 Heritage Pkwy, Suite 309
    Mansfield, TX 76063
    817-225-2277 (church building)
    817-368-8252 (church cell)
    @newdayumc on facebook
    http://www.ndumc.com
    Sheila@newdayumc.com


  • Yaileen Nieves
    September 11, 2010

    Your church name:
    Iglesia Cristiana Monte Sinai, Killeen Texas

    A bit about your story:
    I just graduated from College in Dec. 09. While in college, a friend of mine taught me basic photoshop, since than, I have been constantly designing things for as many people/church groups/small businesses as I can. I also taught myself how to use FinalCut Pro and have been putting together conference promo videos, outreach awareness videos and other videos that help market the different activities or opportunities our church has available. Here in my home town, there are very few graphic designers, especially amongst the Hispanic community. People still put together flyers on Word with clip art. And that’s ok, but a lot people look at that and are not at all attracted to the events, even though the events may actually be amazing. I understand the huge importance of good marketing/presentation when it comes to reaching more people for Christ and so I have just done it for free because I have a passion to help my church and other church groups be relevant and more up to date. Last week, I got hired on staff, (I am now one of the 7 employees). My job is to build a website and do graphic design for the church as well as coordinate special events.

    Why you’d be a good fit for a scholarship:
    I’m self taught and am definitely learning as I’m going. I think this scholarship would be an amazing opportunity for me to be able to soak up as much design/marketing goodness as possible. I’m hungry to learn and connect with other designers that share a similar passion, to use design and marketing to expand God’s kingdom.

    Your greatest struggle as a communicator:
    I don’t have formal training, sometimes I can see or feel something, but I don’t know the best way to communicate it. My skills are limited to what I’ve taught myself. Also, I want to be exposed to greater things and see different ways of communicating effectively.

    Your greatest joy as a communicator:
    I love seeing how people respond when they effectively receive the message. I recently put together a video to show the youth the problems around the world. After seeing that video, it became real to them and they prayed like I’ve never seen them pray before. Same thing with Missions, we are just lifting up a Missions team and when the church SAW the need, rather than just hearing about it… they got it. That is the most awesomest thing for me as a communicator! I love seeing how a design, video or whole marketing campaign can communicate to people in such an effective manner that,… they just get it, it becomes real to them and they act upon it.


  • Southwest Christian Church
    September 13, 2010

    Southwest celebrated 50 years of ministry last year. So it is a church with a history but also with a great future. We sold our building and property over three years ago. Since then we have been meeting in a middle school. How many 50 year old churches do you know who meet in a middle school?
    We are hoping to receive our building permit from the city of Austin in the next couple of weeks. Once construction begins of our new ministry center (building) it is our hope to begin using it in the summer on 2011. God is leading Southwest on a new adventure as we continue our journey with Him as a church body.

    Why I would be a good fit for a scholarship: I know communication is important for a church. However I have come to understand that it is VITAL reaching the people for Jesus Christ. Therefore I am eager, hungry and anxious to learn how to communicate to people who are disconnected from God.

    Greatest Struggle as a communicator: I guess the easy way to put it is like this: I know there is a game to be played however I don’t know the rules, the object of the game or even how to really get started.

    Greatest joy as a communicator: Seeing people relate and connect with the message you are seeking to tall them.


  • Michael Buckingham
    September 16, 2010

    Thanks all…love, love, love hearing your stories and hearts.

    We’ll get to you very soon!



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