James Martin: Why Before What

James Martin: Why Before What

January 7, 2013 by

We always like to hear from the board members of our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication (CFCC), so we’re starting a series of interviews connecting with them. This week we’re learning from James Martin. He’s the president and COO at Monk Development, the marriage and family pastor at The Resolved Church in San Diego and a former police officer.

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

James Martin: Put thought into it!  More and more I’m seeing churches ask “why” before they jump into the “what” of their website and other online initiatives.  A strategic plan and unified vision across the whole organization is obviously the best place to start.  Unfortunately churches are all too often slow to adopt this thinking.  They jump into a website or online social network and treat it as an online brochure with various ministries competing for space.  I’m very excited to see how many have scrapped this approach in favor of taking a big step back and looking at their entire strategy for ministry.  Their online presence should reflect a set of common goals and be developed to move people into established ministry processes.  It isn’t just about awareness or messaging…. but awareness, engagement and disciple making!

What’s the latest technology that churches are screwing up?

James: In my humble opinion I don’t think churches are using social media or mobile well.  We seem to be slightly behind the curve on both.

What’s one thing churches can do to connect better with people?

James: Listen. Meet people where they are and hear their story.  There is always a way to bring them full circle to the truth of the gospel by sharing the message of hope intertwined with the story they bring.  Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he said “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

How can churches get leadership on board with marketing?

James: Great question… marketing gets a bad wrap at times.  Many in leadership may just not understand the purpose and/or they don’t trust the ministry processes.  Over communicate the why behind the message and make sure everyone is on board with the vision and goals of the organization.  In my experience I find that I’m all too eager to talk to people about Jesus but I often fail to talk to Jesus about people…. so that is important to remember as well.  Any good church initiative should start on our knees. Some leaders feel this but are not able to express it.

What do you see down the road for the Center for Church Communication specifically and church communication in general?

James: As a numbers and operations guy it is my gift and passion to not only help organizations become sustainable but grow exponentially.  I’m excited to be part of CFCC and the future is bright.  We are talking as a board about various ways we can get clear on the pain experienced by church communicators and work as an organization to bring leaders and thinkers together to address them. I know that if we do this well the value will be evident and together we can grow stronger.

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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3 Responses to “James Martin: Why Before What”

  • Joy
    January 16, 2013

    Thanks for this great post–good stuff in here to ponder.


  • Drew Goodmanson
    January 30, 2013

    This guy is a stud!


  • the Old Adam
    February 5, 2013

    Our church is going to drive down and buy one of those new fangled computer machines and get with it (finally)!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Now…where’d I park my brontosaurus?



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