When I first started dabbling in church communications I developed this dream—a persona of what a full-time gig in communications would look like. The picture I had in my head made it a dreamy hunk of a job.
Wearing hipster sweaters and glasses. Drinking fancy coffees. Fine-tuning sermon series designs so they’re just perfect. Delivering awe as I walked people through our new website design I’d carefully crafted over the span of six months. Accolades from other millennials as I killed the paper bulletin in favor of a dedicated bulletin website. The church communications role of my dreams was sexy.
Communications is now my (almost) full-time job. It is not sexy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, as I’m sure you love yours. But church communications is not sexy. The reality is that there are a lot of things about doing the work of communications in a church that are at best tedious, at worst soul-sucking and frustrating.
Like folding and stuffing all six bajillion bulletins every week because you just can’t kill that sucker. Or not having enough content for your weekly email, much less daily social posts. Like being frustrated that your website still looks like it was built in 1999 but you don’t have time to overhaul it. Or killing yourself and working 70 hours in a week to crunch out the website by the hard deadline you’ve been given. Or explaining to Carol why she can’t announce her sister’s cousin’s second bridal shower from the stage… again.
Church communications is not sexy. Far from it.
But the truth is that the unsexy parts of the job are some of the most important.
It’s the unsexy parts of the job that will help your church share Jesus with your community. It’s your servanthood that will support the work of the ministry that ultimately brings about the Kingdom.
Some of those unsexy parts of your job are the tried and true tools of the trade that will get the message of your church out effectively, and point people to Jesus.
Like that bulletin you loathe. The information in it is critical for someone who is new to your church, and it serves as an object for them to hold onto, making them feel more comfortable as they wait awkwardly for the service to start.
Or like killing yourself to get that beautiful new website up and running. Your website is your first impression. So sacrificing some time, energy, and sanity to get it up to par will have a direct result in how many people walk through your church doors for the first time on a Sunday.
Sometimes that devotional you slapped together for the email at 4:30pm on Friday deeply impacts someone, and they take a step closer to Jesus as a result. Or that mediocre graphic you made in Publisher encourages one of your elderly church members who hasn’t been able to connect on Sunday morning for a while.
Whatever the thorn in your side may be right now in your role, the unsexy part of your job can have an impact if you leverage it for the kingdom. But you have to be willing to see it for what it is, and stick with it despite the way it may grate your skin.
So let go of the picture you have in your mind of what communications looks like, and figure out how to leverage some of those tried and true methods of communication. Because being an effective communicator isn’t sexy. But being an effective communicator does bring people to Jesus—and that’s totally worth it.