We’re wrapping up our series talking with the newest board members of our nonprofit parent, the Center for Church Communication (CFCC). We’ve already heard from James Martin, Emily Elgin and Jacob Day, so today we’ll speak with David Uribe. He’s the director of arts and communications at Christ Fellowship Miami with a background in animation and post-production.
What’s your church working on right now that fires you up?
David Uribe: I have the honor of working for one of the most diverse churches in America, and it is a church that is passionate about making disciples and reaching the lost. We recently redefined our mission and vision statement to be much more focused on discipleship and reaching the lost. At Christ Fellowship Miami, we are about making fully devoted followers of Christ in our city and beyond. The fun part is figuring out new ways to do that. We are starting new campuses, planting churches, starting a prison ministry, partnering with local college campuses and more. It’s humbling what God is doing through this church.
What’s helped you the most as the director of arts and communication?
David: One thing I’ve been very thankful for in my role is the support and clarity I have received from our church’s leadership. Our senior pastor completely trusts my team to accomplish the visual and creative elements for the church, so we have a lot of freedom to try new things. We also have an outline of the upcoming sermon schedule, which gives my team clear direction and boundaries for dreaming and executing creative strategies. Ultimately, the Arts & Communication team exists to support our different pastors, ministries and campuses. Having support and clarity allows us to serve them to the best of our abilities.
You’ve got “arts” in your title—why does it seem like the church has ceded the arts to mainstream culture when we used to be the primary creators of art?
David: I’m not sure why the church has left all the art making to the mainstream. After all, God was the first artist and we are his masterpiece. Knowing that, as Christ followers we have reason to celebrate the creation of art and live it out as well.
The mission of the Arts & Communications team at Christ Fellowship is to use art to tell stories that draw people closer to Christ. Being a church in an artistic city like Miami, we felt it was important to have an emphasis on creating great art and supporting relationships with the art makers in our community.
We felt so strongly about this that we renovated a portion of our Downtown Campus to become an art gallery space and rentable art studio spaces. We called it The Artisan Lounge. Our desire for The Artisan Lounge is to bridge the gap between the church and the artists in our city who maybe never would have stepped into a church building.
What’s the single greatest thing you think churches can do to communicate better?
David: I think churches need to identify their audience, their mission, and vision, and let those three things guide most of the communication decisions. Every announcement, video or printed piece should promote and direct people to accomplish the stated mission and vision of the church.
What do you see down the road for the Center for Church Communication specifically and church communication in general?
David: One of the projects I’m excited to be working on with CFCC is a certification class that equips communications directors in churches. This will help equip these church leaders to understand the challenges and best practices of communicating in a fast paced, communication-heavy world. When you take into consideration the different opportunities that a church has to communicate (emails, tweets, Facebook posts, videos, announcements, bulletins, mass texts, etc.), it can be an overwhelming task to communicate effectively. Every church is communicating already, but many are doing it poorly. Our prayer is that this certification class will become a resource to improve and enrich church communicators so that they can best serve their congregations and communities