We’ve been doing a series of interviews with the board members of our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication. This week we talk with Lori Bailey. She’s the director of communications at LifeChurch.tv and also works on the mobile Bible app YouVersion. You can keep up with Lori on Twitter.
What’s one thing churches can do to communicate better?
Lori Bailey: Different churches probably have different areas to focus on. For us, it’s remembering who we’re talking to, and crafting our communication in a way that speaks to them… all while maintaining a voice that’s authentic to who we are as a church. We forget how much we know about our church and our ministries, or we get in a hurry, and can veer toward communication that makes a lot of assumptions. We almost need to maintain a healthy schizophrenia We need to keep two views in mind at once—using our knowledge as an insider while maintaining the perspective of someone who has never experienced what we’re talking about. It’s so basic, yet so hard to do consistently.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen churches do to communicate in the past year?
Lori: I’m really excited by how many churches are incorporating stories into their communication. It seems like something the church talked about for a long time, yet struggled to implement. But over the last year, something seemed to shift and more churches are finding creative ways to tell those stories. NewSpring Church, for example, does a phenomenal job of incorporating stories into their web presence. Over the last year at LifeChurch.tv, we’ve been working to identify and capture those stories, and also to find ways to weave them into our communication.
How has the mobile app YouVersion been a game changer?
Lori: In 2008 when we took YouVersion mobile as the Bible App, our team noticed that we were reading the Bible more ourselves because it was always with us. And the response we saw through the rapid growth of the app indicated that many others were experiencing the same thing. Having a Bible on our phone helps us bring Scripture into our daily realm—the device we use to stay in touch with others also becomes a device we use to stay in God’s Word. There’s something powerful about that fluidity.
LifeChurch.tv has been quite the innovator in the past few years. What’s your favorite part of working there?
Lori: When I sit down at my computer each morning, I know that I’m part of a larger team that is changing the world—the global church. Working at LifeChurch.tv has opened my eyes to what that means, and our leaders are intensely focused on the ways we can work together to bring the love of Christ into people’s lives. I’m still in awe that I get to play even a small part.
What do you see down the road for the Center for Church Communication specifically and church communication in general?
Lori: Predicting the future isn’t my thing, but I can tell you what I’m looking forward to watching. For CFCC, it feels like we’re on the verge of some significant momentum and I can’t wait to see how God uses it to equip church communicators. And for church communication in general, I’m eager to see how our connectedness shapes what we’re able to accomplish. Consider the advantages we have compared to past generations… we can learn from church leaders around the world just by checking Twitter, logging on to Facebook, Skyping with another church leader, reading blog posts, etc. What I hope to see is churches coming closer together in learning and sharing, as well as helping and rooting for each other—all while becoming more distinctly aware of who God created each of our churches to be and continually growing into that unique vision.