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Scott McClellan Brings Sexy Back

Scott McClellan Brings Sexy Back

December 6, 2010 by

This week we talk with Scott McClellan for the fourth in our series of interviews with board members from our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication (CFCC).

Scott McClellan is the editor of COLLIDE magazine, which is discontinuing its print version and will soon be rolled into the Echo Conference, for which Scott is also the director. You can learn more about Scott from his site or follow his latest exploits on Twitter.

You held another successful Echo conference this summer. What was your biggest takeaway from the event?

Scott McClellan: For all the talk about the problems (and decline) of the American Church, Echo reminded me of an old Mark Twain quip: “The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” The energy, creativity, passion and faith of the church leaders at Echo is by no means exclusive to Echo, but I came out of this year’s event excited about the future of the local church.

You’re on the leadership team for Tapestry, an adoption ministry at your church. Are there any communication lessons from your adoption experience that the church could learn from?

Scott: Our journey to adopt our daughter taught my wife and I to tell our story as it was happening—when we were hopeful, when we were anxious and when it looked like things were coming to an unceremonious end. We didn’t realize it at the time, but it takes faith to tell a story before you’re sure there will be a happy ending. But it’s the conflict, the adversity, and the suspense that draw people into your story and invite them to walk it with you.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen churches do to communicate in the past year?

Scott: This might sound a little odd, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed the way many churches are breathing new life into good old-fashioned testimony videos by treating them like short films. Instead of talking heads in front of out-of-focus fire places, I’m seeing churches pair beautiful cinematography and music with the beautiful stories God is telling in their congregations. Rather than abandon a form that has been around for a while, people are pushing the limits of the form—I love that.

You come across all kinds of interesting stories as the editor of COLLIDE magazine. What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve seen from a church?

Scott: I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things over the last few years, but I have to say that I was presented with an alarming number of church parodies of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Call me crazy, but I don’t think a pastor wearing sunglasses and singing, “I’m bringing tithing back…” prompted many people to reach for their checkbooks.

What do you see down the road for CFCC specifically and church communication in general?

Scott: I see the CFCC becoming more and more active in facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practice among church communicators—a noble cause if I’ve ever heard one. As for the future of church communication in general, my hope is communicators far and wide will be sharpened by increased exposure (via CFCC and other initiatives) to what’s good and what’s bad in the world of church communication. In other words, I hope we use the Internet to raise the bar for church communication, particularly in terms of aesthetics, authenticity, clarity, and fidelity to the message and values of the gospel.

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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One Response to “Scott McClellan Brings Sexy Back”

  • John Sasson
    December 7, 2010

    Great article. It tell what’s sexy though – A 100 foot church cross that’s also a cell phone tower!! Now that’s sexy!! (Maybe not as much as Justin Bieber for some, but to each his own)

    In any event, it’s just about a year ago we completed construction of our church cross cell tower, and quickly worked to get that word out that it was perhaps the tallest free standing cross east of the Mississippi. The project, with some small amount of public relations effort, earned newspaper and television stories around the world, from the Times of London to the NY Post and even a late night monologue joke. We christened it after our Christmas Eve service.

    Importantly it all began with some out of the box thinking. Since then, I’ve heard from churches all over the country, and I’ve even added that to the marketing tools I offer churches to promote themselves.



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