5 Tips for Landing a Job in Church Communication

5 Tips for Landing a Job in Church Communication

May 29, 2019 by

As the digital landscape becomes more complex, church communication is quickly becoming more important to the health of a church. What began as a part-time or volunteer role for many churches is now a full-time role, often sitting on the leadership team as a strategic role in church growth.

If you’re considering a role in church communication you’re likely someone who is passionate about inspiring people toward vision, creating marketing plans, and finding creative ways to tell the church’s stories of life change. Your passion is needed and is crucial to the future of the “big C” Church around the globe. If you’re looking to land a job in church communication, here are some key components to consider.

1. Know Yourself

The key to landing any job is self awareness, but this is especially true for a role as broad as communication. A role in church communication can mean a lot of different things, so it’s crucial for you to be able to clearly articulate your gifts and what you will bring to the role. At Vanderbloemen, where we help churches and ministries find their key staff, we look to see what types of roles candidates are applying for. If a candidate is applying for varying types of positions that are unrelated, this raises the question for us as to whether the candidate really understands their gifts.

Here are some questions to consider as you decide what types of church communication roles are best for you:

  • What job have I felt the most alive in?
  • What energizes me and what drains me?
  • Do I like to come up with new ideas or execute other people’s ideas?
  • Do I thrive more on the creative side of projects or on running the systems and processes related to a project?
  • Am I most inspired by people or projects?

If you’re looking for help understanding how God has wired you, consider the following:

  • Ask trusted friends and coworkers to share what they see as your greatest strengths and opportunities for growth.
  • Ask a former boss or supervisor to share what types of roles they recommend for your vocation.
  • Take strengths assessments like StrengthsFinders or the Birkman to help reveal where your natural strengths align with potential church communication roles.

If you can’t clearly communicate your own gifts, then it’ll likely be difficult for the church to understand what you can bring to the role.

2. Know the Role and the Church

Once you know yourself and your strengths, then you can start looking for church communication jobs that align with your natural gifts and skill sets. Every church is unique, so it’s important to do your research on the church and the role before you apply. Be selective in the roles you apply for, and make sure there is actual potential that your natural gifts and past experience align with what the role requires.

Here are some questions to consider when reflecting on whether the church communication job is right for you:

  • Is this a creative communication role or an operational communication role? A communication role can look very different from church to church.
  • Is this church looking for a visionary creative or an administrative powerhouse to oversee communication?
  • What level of leadership is required for this role? Will you be expected to lead a team?
  • Is this more of a marketing role or a communication role?
  • Are you energized or drained by reading over the tasks and responsibilities included in the job description?

Additionally, consider the theology and culture of the church. In ministry, theology and culture fit is a crucial step in landing the right job in church communication. The communication leader of the church should be the champion for the church’s vision and brand, and it is hard to champion a brand you don’t personally believe in. If we see candidates applying to churches in a variety of different theological tribes, that will raise a question for us as to whether the candidate has a grasp on their personal theology because we believe that theology matters when it comes to finding the right candidate for our clients.

3. Build and Showcase Your Personal Brand

If you’re applying to jobs in church communication but don’t have an online presence yourself, it’s going to be difficult for the church to trust your experience in the digital communication space. Do an audit of your personal brand online and get to work on any areas that need improvement.

Ask yourself the following questions when doing your own brand audit:

  • When I Google my name, am I proud of what comes up?
  • What does my social media presence communicate about me and my expertise as a communication professional?
  • What content am I sharing that shows my experience in communication?
  • Is it evident online that a church can trust me as its communication leader?

Include your personal social media channels, blog, and portfolio on your resume so you can showcase your skills front and center. Make it easy for the church to see your work by hyperlinking to it on your resume.

4. Show the Balance Between Creativity and Systems

One mistake many church communicators make is leaning too much into their creative strengths. I’ve even seen resumes that are beautiful and impressive from a design perspective but difficult to read and understand. Unless the church has a large church communication team (which is very rare!), most churches are looking for church communicators who can balance creativity with running efficient systems and processes. Your resume is your opportunity to show that you can be creative and lead systems at the same time.

Here are some ideas on how to communicate your creativity and systems abilities simultaneously:

  • Use numbers to tell the story of the scale of a project.
  • Highlight specific projects that you took from ideation to completion.
  • Reveal budget or team size when applicable to show that you can manage responsibility.
  • Include numerical results of a creative project to show the impact of a creative idea.

Most importantly, be honest but don’t shy away from communicating what God has done through you in your church communication work. A humble confidence is an excellent attribute that employers are looking for, especially in communication leaders who are going to be on the frontlines of carrying the brand of the organization.

5. Become an Insatiably Curious Person

The communication and marketing landscape will forever be changing. It’s the blessing and the curse of the technology at our fingertips. Once you figure out what your church community engages with most on social media, Facebook changes its algorithm and your posts stop getting as many comments. Or once you update your website, you realize Google updated its algorithm, and you’re now not ranking as high on organic search as you once were.

The key to being an effective communicator is to be a constant learner. Stay curious. Be humble. Talk to people younger than you about what’s new on social media. Every day we’re alive, we get less and less flexible. That’s true for our bodies, our brains, and the organizations we’re leading. The church needs communicators who are innovative and inspire people to action, so lead by example.

Go Get That Job

These are just five components to help you in your career as you seek to serve the Lord with your gifts in communication and marketing. What would you add to the list?

More:

We wrote the book in getting started in church communication. Grab a copy of our ebook, Getting Started: Landing a Job, for more help in finding your place in the world of church communication.

Post By:

Holly Tate


Holly Tate is the vice president of business development at Vanderbloemen, an executive search firm that helps churches and faith-based organizations find their key staff. Connect with Holly on Twitter.
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