Nick Jones is a journalist, cinematographer, creative strategist and now board member with the Center for Church Communication, our nonprofit parent. As the owner of Prolifik, a documentary film studio based in Oklahoma City, Nick has provided the creative horsepower behind many notable conferences and campaigns including the Willow Creek Summit, People of the Second Chance, Foursquare Church, Compassion International, The Mentoring Project and more.
Nick joined our board earlier this year. We caught up with Nick to learn more about the future of church communication.
What have you seen churches doing lately that’s exciting?
I think the most exciting thing happening in the church world today is a renewed sense of community engagement and cooperation. I recently visited with some individuals at a church in Oregon that created a nonprofit pub on the first floor of their church building. They didn’t do it to be trendy or controversial, they did it because the community they live and work in interacts with each other in pubs. I absolutely love to see churches leave their silos and engage as active members of the community.
Your role on the board is to help with vision and strategy for all of our content. How can big picture vision help local churches?
Vision and strategy work hand in hand to unite the church and spread her influence. A church with vision knows who they are and where they’re headed. Once the vision is established, strategic thinking and communication help to spread that vision outside of the church and into the community. Great vision followed up by solid strategic communication allows the community to understand who you are and what you are about before they even step foot in your door. Most churches do a pretty good job with internal vision casting, but struggle with their ability to communicate that vision externally. If we can help the local church to communicate strategically we can greatly multiply the impact of the church in our communities.
What’s the single greatest thing you think churches can do to communicate better?
Do you ever get robocalls at dinner time? I get them all the time. A generic voice asking me to sign up for this or vote for that. I hang up immediately. I wouldn’t hang up on an actual person, but these calls aren’t from actual people. They’re just words. They are spoken but they have no true voice. Most churches don’t have a voice. Christian is not a voice. Baptist is not a voice. Progressive is not a voice. Who are you as a church body? That’s the big question that many churches can’t answer. If we want to effectively communicate the love of Christ with our community we can’t take a neutral tone. We need to speak from our heart, and we can’t do that until we know who we are.
What do you see in the future of church communication?
I’m a bit of a futurist, so this is a dangerous question for me. The biggest opportunity I see right now is live social streaming. Twitch.tv, a site that streams primarily gamers playing videogames is worth around $1.5 billions. If you log into Twitch at any time of day you will find thousands of streamers doing anything from playing Destiny to cooking a microwave dinner. It’s not uncommon for these streams to have thousands of viewers. Live streaming allows the entire world to interact together in realtime with live host interaction. How amazing would it be for churches to emerge out of this culture? With the right administrators you could effectively create a global 24/7 church. A church comprised of every nationality with no service times or office hours? Now that makes me excited!