Clarity Over Creativity | Rachael Branson

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Our guest Rachael Branson shares how clarity over creativity shapes healthy church comms messaging and team

Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Bart Blair: There we go. All right, here we go. I’ll count us in. And, Jason, we’ll go. This is Rachael Branson in three, two.

Jason Hamrock: Well hey, Rachael, thank you for joining us. How are you doing today?

Rachael Branson: I am doing great. Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Jason Hamrock: Oh, glad to have you on the show. And I’m really excited about our conversation because you and I are, have the same kind of a path. We were in the marketplace, came into the church, and we were both, I’m a former comm director and you’re a current comm director, so I’m really excited about our talk today. And so, for our audience, why don’t you just give us a little background as to who you are and what you do, what church you’re serving at, and bring us up to speed?

Rachael Branson: Sure. So I am at Abundant Life, it’s out of the Kansas City area, really, Lee’s Summit, Missouri. and we have four campuses currently. We are expanding into another market here, within the next year, and then a growing online presence. A little background, our church, we’ve been around for about 21 years with the same lead pastor. I have been attending Abundant Life for 20 of those years, so I’ve been experiencing a lot of the growth as not only on staff for 10 of those years, but also attending. And it’s really the only church my children have ever known. and so it’s just been a really sweet, sweet time to be a part of the growth.

Rachael Branson: A little background on me, I started out in the corporate world in an agency, digital, direct, and database marketing. I started out there, I loved my time there, but I also realized as we decided to grow our family, it really wasn’t conducive to work, you know, 60, 70 plus hours, and be away from kids. So, yeah, took a little bit of a break and then, just kind of got back into it, within the last 10 to 12 years and really, focusing on the marketing and communication side of things.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. How did you, I mean, it just seems natural then, because you started at the church in a different role, but you migrated over to the comms team.

Rachael Branson: I did, I did, so when I first started on staff at Abundant Life ten years ago, it was a part-time position in kid’s ministry. And, I did a lot with the scheduling of volunteers and really just coaching them up. Then I switched kind of to the administrative and more communication side within the kids’ ministry. Within a couple of years in that position, our creative arts director at the time had joined the staff and wanted to pick my brain about processes and just how marketing and communications worked. And so him and I met a couple of times and just decided to talk through what would it look like to start some processes, we were just growing so fast. And so when we chatted, I kind of left the conversation and said, hey, if anything ever comes up, just let me know, I’d be happy to kind of join the team and what that looks like. And, well, something did come up and so he approached me and just said, hey, we have this director position and we think you would be a great fit for it. So that’s really how that transition, you know, in the church world, you kind of move about based off of the need and based off of your skill set. And so that was a great fit for me, and I was able to jump into the role and just start going at it.

Jason Hamrock: Well, you know what I really appreciate about that, though, and I don’t know if people understand this, but when you’ve served on the other side of the fence, so to speak, you’re in the ministry position and then you hop into the comms director position…Because that’s how we, right, comm directors, they’re our clients, so to speak, the ministries we serve. And when you’re able to serve on that side of the fence, you get a really good perspective and appreciation for what the ministries are dealing with, and so you can bring solutions. I bet you probably, did that benefit you?

Rachael Branson: Absolutely. Being on the corporate agency side, we did have a lot of clients and so I approached it in that mindset of our ministries are our clients. Now, that relationship is a lot different, obviously, when you’re in the church world, but you have to approach it in, we want to do whatever we can to service our clients, bring value to our ministries that we’re serving, and be partners with them so that they know that we’re in their corner. A lot of times ministries, they are really tunnel vision and focused because they have such a passion for the ministry, kid’s ministry, women’s ministry, so they may not get all of the aspects that go into communicating effectively for their ministry. That’s our job as communication directors is to be able to help them communicate effectively and efficiently so that they can focus on what they’re really good at, and that’s with connecting people to their specific ministry.

Bart Blair: I’ve often said when we’re talking to church comms leaders, that one of their primary pain points is the fact that every ministry leader in the church acts as if their ministry is, like, the most important and the only ministry in the church, and that creates a tension for them. But I said, if that’s the case, you have the right person in those roles. You want your student ministry director to really feel like their ministry is the most important. You want your marriage ministry leaders to feel like their ministry is the most important. Now, it takes a strong vision and a strong leadership team to really guide that, to make sure that everything is working cohesively. But that one thing that creates a pain point is actually a real benefit in the church, because you want people to have such a significant passion for what they’re doing, that they forget that there’s anything else going on. But as a comms director, you’re now the air traffic controller in the middle, trying to make sure that all the planes are taking off and landing when and where appropriate.

Rachael Branson: Oh, 100%. I wouldn’t want somebody that was not passionate about that ministry. So how can we direct that passion into a partnership so that we can communicate? And sure, a famous phrase that I use a lot with a lot of our team is if everything’s important, nothing’s important, right? Everything cannot be important, so it’s a matter of balancing. And really, it’s not, just balancing, but getting into a good rhythm and a good strategy to be able to communicate all the things without watering down, or confusing the audience, or overwhelming the audience of what’s going on. We are an event, heavy-driven church, we have a lot of events going on, which is great, it’s a lot of opportunities for people to connect to others, but also to connect to Christ. And so with those events, we want to make sure that we’re communicating about them in an effective and efficient way so that they know what their next steps are. If it’s confusing or anything, we always say clarity over creativity, right? We want a very clear message so that they know what is my next step in my faith journey. And so that’s our role. I don’t expect the ministries to know that that’s our role as a communications department, to be able to guide them and give them the best resources to communicate.

Jason Hamrock: Oh, I love that statement, clarity over creativity, because we can just creatively take stuff that doesn’t communicate an ounce. Well done.

Bart Blair: Can I ask you just a real quick follow-up question to that, Jason? Rachael, in terms of your own gifting, would you consider yourself a person who leans more on the creative side, or are you more of a project coordinator, or project manager type of person? Like where does your primary gifting fall in all of that?

Rachael Branson: Yeah, great question because there are kind of two sides of the fences when it comes to comms and marketing. I fall more on the process side. On the creative side, I have a great team that I trust significantly. Now can I look at something that they’ve designed and be like, that’s not going to work, it’s not communicating effectively? Yes, I can certainly do that. but I certainly fall more on the processes, what can be efficient, what communicates words, and so forth. If you were to sit me down in front of a computer and ask me to design something, I would be fired within two minutes, I can promise you that. But as far as the process and what can we communicate with, and what words, and how do we communicate, that’s more my sweet spot.

Bart Blair: It reminds me of something, Jason, our friend Tyler Mount over at Providence Church in North Carolina said. He said, I don’t need to be a graphic designer to do my job, but I need to know good and bad graphic design when I see it. And that’s the filter that he runs that through.

Rachael Branson: Absolutely.

Bart Blair: Jason, I interrupted you there, sorry. I hope you didn’t lose your train of thought.

Jason Hamrock: No, I didn’t. Well, I wanted to go back because I think this is a really valuable component of your story. So, Rachael, you’re a seasoned veteran, you’ve been around for a while. But you mentioned that your mentor, which is a key thing there. everybody needs a mentor, right, don’t don’t do this alone. But you were talking about some challenges and some transitions inside of the department and what was going on there. Talk to us a little bit about what were those challenges, because I think a lot of people can relate to that kind of thing that’s going on inside the church, and how did you how did you navigate that?

Rachael Branson: Sure. So just talking quickly about mentors and coaches, I think it is so important that you have mentors and coaches that are outside of the organization. The reason being is that oftentimes if they’re on staff with you, they may have the same thoughts or thought patterns and so forth. So it’s really important that you have people outside of your current organization that are mentoring you in a way. They come to the table with fresh eyes, they come to the table with some great wisdom that is very neutral. And so I always tell my team when they first join staff, you need to decide who some mentors can be. I encourage them to have mentors not only in ministry but also outside of ministry, it gives them just a different perspective. And so I’ve been blessed with a lot of mentors, through different stages of my career. And so when I went through a tough time, really, it was, right after Covid, every organization went through some things, right? If you would have told me right before Covid that I would be working more than I had ever before during Covid, I would have been like, you’re crazy. But it was just such an interesting time, and how we approached it as an organization of communication, was super important. And so coming off of that, I just found myself in a season and we as an organization had to kind of pivot on how we are approaching things. And so there were a lot of changes within the organization, the structure, and so forth. Within a year and a half, I had three different supervisors, our team was divided as far as, how they were structuring it, and it was at that time I said, this isn’t for me. I was going through such an angry and selfish time. Looking back, I can say that. And I was like, this is not what I, notice I, had planned, what I had thought it was going to play out, and so I was angry. I was angry with the people within the organization. I was angry at God, because I was like, this isn’t what we talked about. And, really, that came out in such an ugly way, that after I got through that season and I really had a different mindset and a different heart shift, I had several people say, oh my goodness, I see the Rachael that is there as opposed to this ugliness because I it was pure ugliness.

Rachael Branson: Do I look back and say, I wish I didn’t go through that? No, and here’s the reason why, I was able to chat with a lot of mentors that really challenged me. One of them said, do you want to be right or do you want to be right with people? And at that time, I was like, I want to be right. And again, there’s my selfishness coming through, right? And she challenged me and she said, what does that mean for you? And at what point will you think that you’re right on everything? At what point? And so walking away from that conversation with her, I was a little bit frustrated, to be quite honest, because I was like, you know, she’s my friend, but really she was a mentor, and that’s different. She’s not going to speak just only words that I want to hear, she’s going to challenge me. And she’s like we, as believers and as followers of Christ, are to be right with God’s people, and right now, you’re not right with God’s people because you’re fighting. And so my rub and tension that I was trying to deal with was I was pleading with God to take me out of my position. I didn’t want to be there anymore, simply because I was hurt. And so I let the hurt define me and define my position within the organization. And, I just remember spending some very tense moments with God and just spilling it all. And you know those moments when you are raw, I mean, it is raw conversations. But I was just reminded of where I had seen God in the past in tough moments, and those moments I could go back to and say, okay, I saw him here, I saw him here, he didn’t leave me. But you know what I did? I walked and turned a different direction, and I was not walking in the same step with Christ. I had turned, God didn’t go anywhere, he was right there the whole time. But I had moved, because I was being selfish and I was being self-centered because I thought I knew best.

Rachael Branson: Here’s what I like to remind a lot of leaders, we tell all of our staff you are leaders either at home, or your leaders in your position at work, and so you have to remind yourself you’re not in on all of the conversations that may be the executive team has, you’re not in on those decisions that they have to make. And so we don’t know 100% of why those decisions are made, but if you trust leadership, if you trust who God has placed in those positions, that is something that you have to remember moving forward and make decisions based off of I trust leadership, and I did trust leadership.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Well, Rachael, thank you for being open and honest and kind of exposing a little bit of that about yourself. And hopefully, as our listeners have heard that, maybe you’re going through that season. And as I’ve always just people that I’ve led, I’ve said, hey, failure is a wonderful thing because as long as you’re failing forward and you’re learning about that failure because it’s going to help you grow because it’s inevitable, we’re going to fail. Now, sometimes it’s better to have other people fail so we can learn from them. And that’s what’s happening right here, is hopefully that for some of our younger leaders that they just got into ministry, it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen.

Rachael Branson: It will, it will.

Jason Hamrock: It is, so just take it in stride and always stay connected to Jesus and you’ll never go wrong. But sometimes we just get a little out of sync there and that’s okay.

Rachael Branson: Yes. And when you get out of that sync of being in a right relationship with Christ, it trickles down to all areas of your life. And so, that joy, pure joy, that you once had, is then replaced with discontentment, it’s replaced with comparison, it’s replaced with all of these things that are not of Christ. And so recentering yourself and being able to speak to those that can speak truth, godly truth, into your life and challenge you, of what are you doing this for? Is it for your own purpose, is it for your own gain, or did you lose sight of that, and why did you lose sight of it? It’s important to understand the whys, but also do something with it besides sitting in your self-pity and self, oh, woe is me, but to do something with it.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah.

Bart Blair: The nature of employment in church is so much different than employment in the marketplace, because you’re not just in an employee-employer relationship with the church that has hired you, but you’re also in a covenantal relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s a different dynamic altogether. And it’s not uncommon, we see this far too often, that church staff culture can be unhealthy. But I think sometimes we jump the gun and say the staff culture is unhealthy without realizing that maybe it’s us that are unhealthy. Maybe the problem is inside me, and it’s not as much external factors contributing to that as it is just my own personal relationship with Jesus, my own pride versus humility battle that I’m fighting inside. And I appreciate, Rachael, I appreciate your honesty and your transparency there. And I appreciate the fact that the Holy Spirit led you to a place where you realize that, yes, there were some external factors that were creating the tension and the stress, and the discontentment for you, but you started with that internal reflection of going, okay, let’s start with me. Let’s get myself healthy, get myself redirected, get myself back on point, and then let’s see where things go from there. And if it still proves to be an unhealthy situation, those are the types of ones that you may need to move on from. But you know, more often than not, I think that we find that if we can really redirect ourselves, get ourselves healthy, repent of the things that we need to repent of personally, it gets us back on track, and then we can get back into those constructive and productive relationships that God has called us in those people to serve alongside.

Rachael Branson: Yes. And, you know, I tell staff members that are coming from the corporate side into ministry, I just let them know there’s a lot of grace, there’s a lot of love, there’s a lot of forgiveness. And so that expectation of the corporate world, it can be a hard transition from corporate into ministry. And so I tell them, have a lot of grace with yourself, but also have a lot of grace with others. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have boundaries, and be able to have expectations from others, because after all, we’ve been called to be good stewards of our resources, which is ourselves as well as our time, and we want to steward that well. But at the same time, there are a lot of times when we lose sight. And so we may look at somebody that doesn’t understand everything that we as a comms director is going through, and so we may look at them in a negative light, whereas instead of just, criticizing them, we bring them alongside, we explain to them why it’s important or why we do it this way, and having a lot of grace in that area. I used to say, I was not a very grace-filled individual until a lot of grace had been given to me. And when you experience grace from individuals that I look back and I think, why did they even extend any grace to me? Why? Our Heavenly Father has done that to us, and there are often times that I think I should not have received that grace because I didn’t feel worthy of that. And so it’s just a reminder for us to have that grace towards others.

Rachael Branson: And then in that transition from corporate into ministry, is to look to see where they’re coming from and try to understand. And then also, I always say, and we as a whole team have a very open and honest feedback culture. And having that healthy way makes a world of difference, a world of difference. Because I always say in those tough conversations that we have with people, there’s always nuggets of truth that we personally can take and learn from. Even if maybe that individual had wronged us in a certain way, there’s some ownership, a little piece of ownership, that truth that will come out in those conversations.

Jason Hamrock: How have you built your department in getting to that point where you have that feedback loop? You know, because we’re in the service side of things and there’s that structure you want to have because it’s a team effort, it’s not like it’s our team and their team, you know, it’s one team. But yet you’ve got to have that honest, transparent feedback loop so that it allows you as a leader to be able to get inside of your strengths and your joys. And if you’re a Working Genius model, you know, I love the Working Genius if you guys have not gone through that, but mine’s invention and wonder because I get joy when I get to do that. So talk to us about how you’ve built that feedback loop and how you’ve taken that and then done something with it.

Rachael Branson: Yeah. I really think a healthy feedback culture begins with trust. If there’s not trust within your own department, and other departments and ministries, it’s going to be very hard to have a successful and positive feedback culture. So trust is a very important thing. The other thing is, is when you are meeting with somebody, ask them if you can give them feedback. That’s super important. One it’s asking, hey, can I give you some feedback? And then provide what that feedback is, but then also do some follow-up. At the same time, for the person receiving feedback, it’s super important that we identify, are we being defensive in that feedback? And if so, where is that coming from? Is it coming from a place of I don’t trust that individual? If so, then that needs to be addressed before that feedback can be given anymore. Or is it because that is just my way of responding to a lot of negative because it’s something that’s been growing inside of me? And so being able to understand, okay, why am I being defensive? Where is that coming from? And being able to have those conversations, even if they’re uncomfortable a lot, is super important. Do I get it right all the time? No. Am I still working on it? Yes. But at the same time, having that trust within the department, in your own department, is really important. That I can go to a designer, or I can go to a videographer and I can say, hey, do you mind if I give you some feedback on that? Even in a meeting, maybe after, maybe they didn’t present themselves or the department in the best way, I can go to them and say, hey, do you mind if I provide some feedback on how that meeting went? I observed this, and I noticed that the reaction was this, is there another way that we could have approached that? So then that gives them an opportunity to really think through it. And if they say no, I handled everything well, that’s an opportunity for some coaching to say, this is what I observed, this is what I walked away with. And my supervisor still does that with me as well, which I appreciate. Sometimes, also, it’s important that we ask for feedback. Hey, how do you feel like that meeting went that I led? Do you feel like I was clear in my expectations, and do you feel like how I approached the situation was positive, or were there some things that I could improve on? As a leader. we should be looking for feedback, and looking for it in people that we know that we can trust as well. If we’re just looking for feedback and we’re only surrounding ourselves with people that are only going to say, oh yeah, you were great, that’s not a problem, yeah. Where how are we learning to be better leaders? So it’s really important to know your inner circle that can provide that feedback that is true, and honest, and helpful, and then what do you do with it?

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. What you just said there a second ago was like, oh yeah, everything’s great. That’s so not helpful because you’re not perfect 100% of the time and you only really learn through your failure.

Rachael Branson: Yes, yes. And I think people are afraid to fail, especially coming from corporate, there’s not that grace. And so when you fail, maybe on a project or how you handled a situation, you sometimes then have people who start thinking of you in a certain way, and so now I have to hurry up and change how they’re thinking of me. Whereas I feel like in ministry, failure, if it is taught in a healthy way of, hey, it’s okay if we take a risk and it doesn’t hit it out of the park. It’s okay, we’re just going to adjust and we’re going to make some changes to make it better for next time. Now, if we’re intentionally not doing our best, that’s a different conversation. But some things are going to fail, and that’s okay because we can learn from it, and then the next time we’ll be a success.

Jason Hamrock: It just seems to me, just in our brief conversation here, that you’ve really spent a lot of time working on the culture of your department and having those vulnerable kinds of conversations. And that’s really how you’ve, one of the, I think, this is one of the tools that you’ve been using to build a really healthy comm’s department, and it’s bridged those relationships with those ministries.

Rachael Branson: Absolutely. About a year ago, I was overseeing the ministry side of things, as well as what I call the corporate, the organization, of Abundant Life. And so my supervisor came to me and said, I really think we need to split those, have somebody that oversees the ministry side of things and have somebody that oversees organizationally, you know, Abundant Life. And I could have done one of two things I could have said mine, mine, mine, I have built this department and I’ve worked hard. Or I can say, you know what God’s entrusted me to manage and have it with an open hand. And so we brought another individual in who oversees the ministry side of things, and it has been such a great partnership. She has really built a great bridge of trust with the ministries, and I’m able just to see her flourish in that area. We are, on the same level, the same team, and it’s really has been so very helpful to have somebody that can share in that and, the frustrations and the wins and so forth. But when it first happened, I was like, hmm, this is kind of a different way for me to now approach. Now my focus is going to be different, which has been great, and that’s kind of my sweet spot anyway, organizationally overall. And so it was really a great transition. It could have gone one of two ways. It could have been, I’m going to fight it and I’m going to make her life miserable, or I’m going to embrace this and we’re going to have a great partnership. And it’s really been a great partnership, now I have somebody to bounce ideas off of and she does the same. And so it’s really been just a sweet, sweet partnership.

Bart Blair: Rachael, I don’t want to devalue the conversation up to this point because it has been phenomenal. We’ve talked a lot about sort of the soft skills and cultural development. I would like to, for the last, you know, few minutes that we have in the conversation, to talk a little bit more technical about your team, about the structure of your team, and about the things that you’re doing technically, really, to help the church accomplish its mission. So you just kind of shared with us that, this communications and marketing role that you were holding kind of got divvied into two separate lanes. Can you break that down for us? What does that look like for you? What does it look like for the other person? How much overlap do you have? What are your priorities in the team that you lead, and how does that really help the church?

Rachael Branson: So I help with campus expansion, as well as marketing Abundant Life externally, that’s the best way I can describe it. And so our, you know, mission is we want to see lives changed by Jesus. We know with the digital world, and how that looks now, in person is not always the answer as far as how people are connecting to Christ. Some are going to watch you online for many, many months without even raising a hand or even commenting. And so how do we really take that individual on a journey from watching online to participating in some other online things that we have? So we started doing a lot of different resources, based off of sermon series, getting some downloadable study guides so they can further, it’s not just a Sunday thing, they’re studying throughout the week.

Rachael Branson: We did a series on just the pains of life called Scars. And so a lot of people have pain, that they’ve experienced in life. And so having them go through a study, just helps them connect not only to Abundant Life, but connects them to Christ and the hope that they have in Christ. And so my role is for us to expand our reach, not only in the Kansas City area, it is to get people involved with Abundant Life and to see their lives changed, and take their next step in their faith journey. But it also is beyond that, we have, you know, over 4000 people that are streaming us every single Sunday, and so it’s important to connect them and not make it where it’s just they’re watching us on a Sunday, that they’re having a small group in their house. We have 25 church houses, which means they gather, they get a group of people that are coming together on a Sunday morning, they’re streaming our services, they’re having a community, and they’re building those communities, pockets of community all throughout the United States.

Rachael Branson: But with our events as well, we want people to see that we are living proof of a loving God to a watching world. And some of those events are a free carnival that we have every single year, we’ve been doing it for 20 years, where we open up our largest campus and we have a carnival, free food, free games, free rides, everything. And why do we do that? Well, we want the community to see that we love them and we want them to have a fun spot for their family. And it’s what we like to call a yes day for parents, sometimes you’re not able to say yes, but when they come to the carnival and they say, Mom, can I have cotton candy and a hot dog and nachos? You’re able to say yes because you don’t have to pay for it, and so it’s a great opportunity for us just to help them out.

Bart Blair: Oh, you will be paying for it if they eat all of that, you’re just going to be paying for it in a very different way.

Rachael Branson: Exactly, exactly. But we want to be able to bless the families, we really have taken the initiative. We have, every two years, we kind of have this two-year run of initiatives. And so we’re in our second year of called irresistible, where we want to be able to show the love of Christ that it is irresistible. And so we’ve started a family ministry, and we had a family parenting conference last fall. We’re getting ready to do a marriage conference this spring because we know the importance of families. What family doesn’t want to be better, right? Whether or not you’re church-going, whether or not you’re Christ-believing, you want to be a good mom, you want to be a good dad, and you want the best family. And so if we can help provide resources for those families and get them connected, to other families and other communities, that’s super important. And so my role is really the external marketing of that, we have a content writer that helps write blogs because we all know, how are people are going to find you on the internet, on Google, we’ve got to play the game. And so playing the game is making sure you have content that is searchable, that it’s optimized. And so we’re cranking out 2 to 3 blogs a week, just to refresh and make sure we got content out there. On our YouTube, we are making sure we have shorts and we’re getting ready to start some online series for our online, just our community so that they can find us. If we’re not having paths for people to be able to find us, they’re going to find something else to fill that void with, we want them to fill that void and hopelessness with Christ, and so that’s part of my job.

Rachael Branson: Now my co-part, she oversees ministry. So she really helps communicate, with the ministries on how they can really effectively communicate internally, about events, about their ministries, and Bible studies, and what’s going on there. And so she really leads them down that path of what’s the most efficient way to communicate about the different things that they’re doing, and how she can really help them.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Well, I love your model there because I would say she’s in charge of the ninety-nine and you’re in charge of the one.

Rachael Branson: Yes. So it’s been a great partnership. and she brings a lot of knowledge. She also comes from a corporate background as well, so she brings that knowledge in there as well. And she leads a great team of, we share graphic designers and we share videographers, which has been really just a sweet time for us to be able to just to share resources and, and bounce ideas off of each other.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Wow, well, thank you for sharing. Okay, we’ve gotta land this plane because I could keep going on and on because this is so good. But just real quick, tell us a little bit about who you’re listening to, and who you’re paying attention to, to help you do your job better.

Rachael Branson: Yeah, that’s a great question. I always think Carey Nieuwhof has great nuggets of leadership. I have followed him for years and years, and so anytime I can pull some of those nuggets and really apply them to my own leadership is super important. One of my mentors, was, part of John Maxwell, and they always have such good, good information there. Being able to lead in a godly way and being able to be humble, being able to have synergy within your team, and just being able to communicate to your team and be open, and honest, and transparent is really important. So those are two major ones that I do. We haven’t gone to a conference in such a long time. We kind of got out of the rhythm with Covid, and we would love to get back into maybe a church comm’s conference of some sort, but we haven’t done it in so many years. We kind of have gotten out of that rhythm. But I also, several years ago, even before Covid, I put together just a local group of comms directors here in the Kansas City area, all female, which has been just a sweet time for us to be able to get together. We get together quarterly, and we don’t look at it as, oh, they’re just right next door to us, and it’s competition. We look at it as this is building the Kingdom, and so we’re able to share ideas, we’re able to share frustrations of, oh, I’ve been through that, here’s how I handled that situation, and really just build a sisterhood of comm’s director in the Kansas City area. It has really just been a time for us to build each other up and grow, and so those are some things that I do just to keep myself fresh and that I can also call on that core group, my inner circle when things are tough. And I know I can say I’m having a time, I need you all to pray for me, and I know they’re going to do it.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Oh, that’s so good. Yeah. I encourage everybody who’s in that role to find your people, and your group to connect with.

Rachael Branson: Absolutely.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, all right.

Bart Blair: Rachael, as, as we wrap things up here today, help our audience know how they can find you, find Abundant Life online. We are constantly talking with churches about content creation, SEO, and blogging, and I know a lot of our listeners are going to go, oh, let’s go see what the blogging content looks like. They’re going to want to know where can they find that. How can they connect with you if they have any follow-up questions or want to pick your brain about something?

Rachael Branson: Yeah, absolutely. So you can go to Livingproof.co, not .com because if you go there you’ll get hair products. Okay, so living proof.co is our website, /blogs is where all of our blogs live. If you want to reach out to me anybody can email me, and that’s Rachael, Rachael.Branson at livingproof.co. I am happy to answer any questions. We feel like we’ve learned from so many other churches that we also want to pass on whatever we’ve learned because we’re all in it together. We want everybody to be able to succeed and we want the Kingdom to grow, and so I’m happy to answer questions regarding that. You can find us on YouTube as well, Living Proof. It’s actually underneath YouTube.AbundantLifels, the same for all of our social handles on Instagram and Facebook, AbundantLifels in Lee’s Summit.

Bart Blair: Excellent. Rachael, thank you so much for being generous with your time and sharing so much with our audience today. I’m confident that it’s going to be something that’s going to resonate with people for a while. and yeah, we just appreciate you and what you and your team there at Abundant Life are doing to reach more people for Jesus. For those of you who are listening, just a quick reminder if you haven’t subscribed, wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, make sure that you subscribe. I do want to remind you that if you’re listening to this in real-time, about the time that this podcast came out, you’ve only got a matter of weeks until Google Podcasts is going away. So if you’re subscribed on Google Podcasts, you won’t get the podcast anymore in just a few more weeks. So make sure you find a different platform, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or somewhere else, otherwise, you will never hear us again. And Jason and I would really be sad about that if you don’t hear us again. Again, if you’re watching on our YouTube channel, we’re going to pose a question related to this discussion that we just had with Rachael, pinning that to the top of the comment section, and we’d love to engage with you there on our YouTube channel. So, leave us some feedback, let us know what your thoughts are, and answer that question. Rachael, again, thanks so much for joining us today.

Rachael Branson: Thank you, guys. Have a great afternoon.

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