In the Last Year: John Yeng

In the Last Year: John Yeng

January 19, 2016 by

A new year is a good time to look back and assess. So we’ve launched a series to talk with church communicators and find out what they’ve done in the last year and what they’re looking forward to in the next year.

Today we hear from John Yeng. He’s the director of communications at The Austin Stone Community Church in Texas. He spent 18 years in the corporate world, working in ad agencies and eight years at his dream job in the aviation industry.

One strategic move that I made was to advocate for aligning ourselves with other artists on staff.

1. What’s the smartest change you’ve made in the last year?

One of the smartest changes was actually changing careers by leaving the corporate marketplace and entering full-time ministry. It was one of the hardest decisions we had to make as a family, but God was very clear about my calling during this season of my life. We moved from Chicago to Austin in July of 2014 to join staff at The Austin Stone Community Church.

From a church communication perspective, I’m not sure if I made any significant progress in terms of communications footprint last year, but one strategic move that I made was to advocate for aligning ourselves with other artists on staff. To help put things into context, my communication team consists of designers, editors, writers, social media, web, filmmakers, photographers and storytellers. Our communications team was under the operations department and felt the separation with the other artists on staff. It indirectly affected creativity and ideation. In the spring of 2015, we re-aligned ourselves with the church’s central team, where we had closer proximity to worship artists, who are also creating beautiful things to lead people in worship.

2. What was your biggest mistake or regret?

Coming in from the corporate world, one area of learning for me was that I was too performance and achievement driven. It took a while to shake off the corporate vibe, and to be better to leading the team as my family. This year, I’m focused on being more empathetic with my team and being equipped in the word.

3. What do you look forward to doing better in the future?

Professionally, my focus for 2016 is to build my team and lead them well. I’m privileged to lead a group of amazing artists and I want to make sure I lead them well and support them in their calling from the Lord. In addition, I’m looking forward to being able to dream and build a robust communication ecosystem for our church and figuring out what that looks like through collaboration across all ministry teams. I will do my best to help the team set aside some time to be inspired. It could be a trip to the museum, ice cream factory or a stroll along Town Lake. In addition, I will be looking for conferences and workshops for our team to attend as well. I’m also looking for more times for us to spend together as a family (sharing in meals, team sports, etc.)

Personally, I want to lose the “new hire 15” that I acquired when I started this job a little bit over a year ago and to be more active in fitness, maybe consider another marathon?

4. Who are some voices we should be listening to in the next year?

I’m still getting familiar with the voices of ministry, so I’m not sure how to answer this question, but I will say my theory is that social media channels (the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter of the world), will be taking over church communication as the primary channel in the upcoming years. Each of the social media platforms are being designed and developed right now so that companies and organizations can utilize their platform to be the primary voice to champion their products.

As a rookie, I’ve been following closely the voices of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, The Gospel Coalition, International Mission Board, Send Network, and of course our pastors Kevin Peck and Matt Carter.

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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