We’re big fans of church communication books. We review them whenever we can and we’ve written a couple of our own. One of those books is Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communication, which was the brainchild of Tim Schraeder back in 2010. Published in 2011, Outspoken pulled together more than 70 essays on church marketing. Now Tim is going for more. Our former co-director is putting together a new book called Church Communication 101—a collection of 101 essays and blog posts—and we’re thrilled to support his efforts.
This time around Tim is turning to the crowd for support, funding his book project through Indiegogo. He’s trying to raise $8,000 by Sept. 13 and so far he’s almost a quarter of the way there. We asked Tim a few questions about his new book and we hope you’ll check it out and support it.
Why is now the time to pull together this book on church communication?
Tim Schraeder: I believe there are two reasons.
First, I believe the need is greater than it’s ever been. Church Marketing Sucks has been around for a while and this is not the first time conversations about church communication have been happening. However, I do believe that more and more churches are realizing the need for better communication, now more than ever. A key example would be the Echo Church Media Conference. Less than five years ago there were maybe 200 of us there; this year there were over 1,000. It’s a growing audience and growing need. There are some great resources and books out there already, but I think there is still a great need for practical resources to help churches of all sizes get better at how they communicate. Churches need help and don’t know where to start, and I hope that Church Communication 101 will be valuable resource for them to begin that journey.
Second, is more personal. I passionately want to help inspire church communication leaders. I’ve been leading church communication for over 12 years and have taken a lot of notes from my experience. A lot has changed in the last decade, but there are many key ideas and principles that haven’t. I felt the time was right for me to personally share things I’ve learned and create the resource I wish I would have had when I was in the trenches.
What’s changed—both personally and in the industry—since your last book project, 2011’s Outspoken?
Tim: Industry-wise, I think we are seeing more churches taking church communication seriously, and it’s only going to keep growing. Back in 2011, we were still fresh on the social media bandwagon and I think that we’ve still got a long ways to go in regards to that. I am, however, very encouraged by the great things churches are doing and by the great work our tribe of church communicators are doing. Things are changing before our eyes every single day but we still have the mandate of communicating the unchanging message of the gospel in a way that connected with our ever-changing culture.
Personally, in August of 2012 I stepped down as the co-director of the Center for Church Communication (CFCC) to pursue some new opportunities. I loved serving CFCC and am so grateful for the team that has continued the work and is helping it move forward. Most of my work over the last year and a half has been behind the scenes. I’ve literally been around the world and have had the honor of working with some incredible churches and Christian leaders. Highlights have been working on the “JESUS IS ____” book campaign with Judah Smith and spending time with the team at Hillsong Church in Australia. I’ve got some other great projects on the horizon and am excited for what’s next.
Why did you opt for the crowd-funding approach this time around?
Tim: Outspoken was created and funded under the umbrella of CFCC. It was a great project and something I loved helping make happen.
This time around, I didn’t want to have to go through all of the red tape and long process it takes to ship a project when you’re working with a publisher. So I opted to self-publish.
This book is for our church communication tribe and I wanted to go with crowd-funding to let everyone have the opportunity to contribute. I’m keeping the cost to create this book are as minimal as possible and hope that people will care as much as I do about creating a great resource and choose to donate!
What can we expect from Church Communication 101? Is this for beginners or experts, or do you have something for everyone?
Tim: Don’t be deceived by the title. It’s not going to be 101-level material, it’s going to be 101 short essays. I’ve got a few different audiences in mind who I’d say I’m targeting this project to:
- Church Communication Leaders – Whether you’re just starting out or need some new insight, you’ll get insights from someone else who has been in the trenches.
- Senior Pastors – Learn why this role matters in your church and the skills required to make a great hire or addition to your staff team.
- Students – If you’re passionate about the local church and communication, hear from someone who translated that passion into a full-time career.
- Church Leaders – I’ve worked in various church contexts and have worked alongside some of the most influential churches in the world. Get the inside scoop on things I’ve learned working with some of the best.
Assuming you hit your goal and publish the book, when will it be available to the world?
Tim: My goal is to have the book released by December 2013. It’s going to be a marathon, but thankfully I’ve got a good majority of it already written! If I hit the goal, I plan to take a few undistracted weeks off to finish it up and then get it off to the editor, designer and illustrators I’ve lined up to help me take it across the finish line.
You can support Tim’s Indiegogo project now. Sept. 13 is your last day to join the campaign, so contribute now.