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Church Marketing Podcast: Sneak Peek With Gerry True

Church Marketing Podcast: Sneak Peek With Gerry True

April 11, 2014 by

How far ahead did you plan for Easter? In this sneak peek episode of the Church Marketing Podcast, Minister of Communication Arts at Oak Hills Church, Gerry True shares that his team begins planning for Easter three to four months before the big day – but that wasn’t always the case.

How do you help move your team from planning week to week to suddenly being 6 to 8 weeks planned out? It doesn’t happen over night but there is a secret sauce to making it happen.

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What’s In This Sneak Peek Episode

  • What happens at the CFCC Certification Lab?
  • What makes Oak Hills Church unique?
  • What conversations take place to coordinate your six campuses for Easter?
  • At Oak Hills, who initiates the conversation to start planning Easter services?
  • Would you say that your senior leader is planned out well into the future?
  • What tactics would you suggest a communications director take to initiate the conversation of what it would take to begin planning further out?
  • How do you start the conversation about Easter if it hasn’t happened yet?
Post By:

Dave Shrein


Dave Shrein is the pastor of media and communications at Mountain Park Community Church in Phoenix. You can connect with Dave on his blog, daveshrein.com, where he writes about leadership and communications or follow him on Twitter.
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7 Responses to “Church Marketing Podcast: Sneak Peek With Gerry True”

  • Andrew Fallows
    April 14, 2014

    Hey Dave, I’ve been loving these sneak peeks, I’m really excited for full length episodes.

    Something I’ve noticed from the three sneak peeks so far is that the guests have all been managing communications for large churches, churches which are big enough to have very established needs for communication, and where those folks are probably in paid (and possibly full-time?) positions.

    Personally, I’m a volunteer in a small-to-medium (~350 weekly attendance, ~1500 member) church which barely has an official communication team and does not have a communications director position (although we’re creating one). I’m excited about the podcast as a possible aid for getting started from the ground up. Advice on effectiveness in an established program is invaluable, but so is “How do I get my church communicating in the first place?”

    I’m looking forward to content that answers questions like:
    “What do we mean when we say ‘church communication’ and ‘church marketing’?”
    “Why is church communication so important (what happens when we fail at it, and what happens when we succeed?”
    “How will a church communications program affect my church’s budget?”
    “How many people does it take?”

    I can probably come up with plenty more, but even these questions are enough for multiple episodes.

    Last thing: I’d like to hear from more of the audience for CMSucks to know the breakdown – are people more from small churches, medium churches, large churches? Are we mostly people in established comm positions, or people seeing an unmet need and trying to get it filled?


    • Mike Gillispie
      April 14, 2014

      Andrew, I represent a church with a regular attendance of a about 100-150, and I’m definitely in the “seeing an unmet need and trying to get it filled” crowd. I’m purely a volunteer, and we’re nowhere near having the resources to create a communications position. I took over management of the website, and took us through a major redesign, and am now working on making our branding and marketing more consistent. I’d love to hear from other people who may be in the same boat.

      I have people who volunteer with me, but it’s tough to do when everybody has their own jobs, and you’re working those jobs when the church staff is working.


      • Andrew Fallows
        April 14, 2014

        Mike, thanks for replying! I think we’re in similar places – my church has a ‘communications committee’ which currently seems to be fairly inactive and a ‘tech committee’ which is more concerned with IT and A/V than website, comm, and social media. I have a foot in both camps right now (I’ll be helping with a website relaunch this year), but we’re only just starting to build momentum.


      • Dave Shrein
        April 17, 2014

        Mike, kudos to you for volunteering. The situation you’ve described is real and definitely deserves attention.

        I am going to make note of your comments and do my best to identify some folks who can speak into these concerns specifically. If you have recommendations of anyone you think our audience would benefit from hearing, please let me know. Wanna make sure to do our best to give you the information and encouragement you’re seeking.

        Thanks for serving in your church!


    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      April 14, 2014

      Great questions, Andrew. We did a survey last year about our audience, which will give you some details. We’ve definitely got a sizable chunk of volunteers and newbies in our audience.

      And we’re very committed to delivering content for those folks and not just the established pros. We’ll be working on delivering that kind of diversity going forward, though it’s often the case that the pros at larger churches have the experience to impart to the rest of us. But we’ll work to make sure it’s applicable to all kinds of churches, not just the big dogs.

      You might also want to check out our Getting Started in Church Communication ebook series, which is definitely geared for folks just getting started.


      • Andrew Fallows
        April 15, 2014

        Kevin, thanks for the resources! The survey definitely helped out, that was exactly what I was hoping for.

        I do have copies of the GSiCC eBooks (bought the combo pack!), although unfortunately I haven’t been able to dig into them yet. I may just need to do that ASAP!


    • Dave Shrein
      April 17, 2014

      Andrew, wow, I am so grateful you decided to leave a comment. What you shared here is EXACTLY what I need in order to put together content that will be helpful for church’s of all sizes.

      I hear you and I will do everything I can to address the questions you’ve really done a great job laying out.

      If you feel like there are pieces we are missing as this thing progresses, be sure to let me know through the comments.

      Thanks Andrew. I really mean it.



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