(The Juicys are a way to recognize and reward those churches who’ve worked to improve their church communications during the last year. It includes giving them a grant to jump start their next project. To see past winners, click here.)
Annual reports can be a dreaded part of life for many people in church communications. There are a lot of numbers to digest and it’s a task that has to be done year after year.
Harris Creek Baptist Church in McGregor, TX, reimagined what an annual report could be in helping the congregation of 900 see the true work being done. The church launched an on trend, interactive website (annualreport2013.harriscreek.org) with videos, images and easy to read stats that showed the impact the church had over the last year.
Gathering the information needed wasn’t easy, but it was crucial to doing this project well.
“I would say that this project was a success because we gave one person the ultimate say on how it should be done, and also gave this person the responsibility of finishing it on a deadline,” explains Worship and Arts Pastor Drew Greenway. “Many times in creative process ideas are thrown out, and never acted upon. Or, balls are dropped because there are multiple people trying to make a project happen. It has been helpful for us as a creative team to give ownership of specific projects such as this one.”
Overall, our judges were impressed with how engaging the site was and how it could also serve as a way to easily show a new person how the church was moving in their community.
One judge commented, “Instead of something that gets shuffled away in your pile of unread mail, Harris Creek made their annual report an entertaining and engaging experience. The infographic style callouts and relevant stats made for an exceptional experience with an annual report. This project is a great example of communicating important information in a fresh way.”
For Harris Creek, multimedia experiences aren’t just around because they’re trendy. They are a vital way to reach their congregation through a medium they understand.
“Our church is very young demographically,” says Greenway. “For us, media is THE WAY we reach the generation that is coming to our church. We have so many young families and college students so flooded with information that they only stop to take notice when something catches their eye. Therefore, we need communication that is very intentional and strong to be able to cut through all the noise!”
Next, in an effort to improve engagement, Harris Creek plans to improve their video production quality. The church knows it falls in line with a key priority of telling stories of life transformation.