How to Start a Communications Ministry From Scratch | Maddie Hall

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Maddie, a new member of our team, shares her experience establishing, building, maintaining and growing a communications ministry

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Bart Blair: Well, hey, friends, welcome to the Missional Marketing Church Growth Interviews podcast. My name is Bart Blair, and as always, I am joined by my friend and colleague, the CEO of Missional Marketing, Jason Hamrock. How was that? That was a pretty good intro.

Jason Hamrock: That was good, Bart, how are you doing today? I hope everything’s going well for you.

Bart Blair: I’m doing well, I’m doing very well. We’re approaching the weekend, we’re recording this on a Thursday, tomorrow’s Friday. I’m taking my family to the Scarbro Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie Texas this weekend. Have you ever heard of Waxahachie?

Jason Hamrock: I have never heard of Waxahachie Texas before.

Bart Blair: Really, because you can’t say.

Jason Hamrock: I could barely say it.

Bart Blair: Waxahachie Texas, you’re going to be here in Texas in a couple of weeks, and I promise I will not take you to Waxahachie. But, yeah, we’re going to go to the Scarbro Renaissance Festival, which I’ve never been to, and have been wanting to for the last few years. I thought we were going to go last year, but then Covid shut it down, and I’ll tell you why. There’s only one reason I’m going, and that is because I was listening to this podcast, I used to listen to this podcast called Weird Jobs, and there was a guest on the podcast. And obviously, the podcast is about people who have weird jobs. And there was this lady on the podcast whose job as, a performer, is she runs a show or has this show called Cirque de Sewer, you know, kind of like Cirque de Solie, but it’s Cirque de Sewer, and her show is trained rats and cats, and she is going to be at the Scarbro Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas. And I’ve been wanting to see this Cirque de Sewer show for the last few years, so I’m going to get to see that on Saturday.

Jason Hamrock: I tell you, your family, they’re in for a treat.

Bart Blair: Yeah. I mean, I really, I’ve never been to a Renaissance festival, I’ve had friends in the past that worked at them and have gone to them. I’ve never been to one, so I don’t really know what to expect, I guess there’s going to be some jousting and some other, like, medieval stuff. But I just want to see trained rats and cats do a show, and I don’t know what it is that fascinates me about that, but I’m looking forward

Jason Hamrock: Well, now all of our listeners are going to be kind of curious about how that went down, so stay tuned for an update on hisxperience this week.

Bart Blair: All right, yeah, I might tweet some photos out there, so if you are on Twitter, you can follow me @BartBlair, I think that’s my Twitter handle, @BartBlair. I think it’s, yeah, it’s that simple. And I’ll post them, Cirque de Sewer pictures from Waxahachie, Texas.

Jason Hamrock: There you go.

Bart Blair: Jason, I’ve been excited about this podcast that we’re sharing today for a while because we have an opportunity to introduce one of our newest team members. Before we get to that, though, I want to give some homage to another one of our team members. We have a gal on our team, we have an awesome team, we have lots of people on our team. We have a gal on our team named Leighton, and Leighton provides us some reporting every week for some stuff that’s really important for us when our team meets. But one of the things that Leighton does is, she provides us a joke with the report. The report is kind of boring, right, it’s kind of a, let’s put it this way, it’s a naughty list. So if you’re a church, and you’re one of our church partners, you don’t want to be on Leighton’s naughty list, and it has nothing to do with payment, it’s other stuff. But anyway, that being said, she sent out a joke this week, and I’m going to tell the joke because I thought it was funny. OK, are you ready? Are you ready for the joke? I’m ready. OK, I’m just going to read it just as Leighton sent it because I don’t want to mess it up, all right? So during the Sunday school lesson, a little boy learned about how God created human beings. And this boy became especially focused when the teacher explained how Eve was created from Adam’s ribs. Later in the week, the boy’s mother saw him lying down on the floor, and so she asked him what was wrong. His reply was priceless, Mom, I have a pain in my side, I think I’m getting a wife. I read that, I laughed out loud. Did you laugh when you read that this week?

Jason Hamrock: I did, yes, I did laugh at that one. I thought I might have heard that before, but it made me laugh, going, oh, I get pains in the side all of the time, I only need one wife and I only have one wife. Yeah.

Bart Blair: Yeah, yeah, I’m just, I’m not going to go down that road right there, I might say something that incriminates myself. But I thought that was funny, Leighton, thanks for sharing the humor with us, and I just wanted to give that shout-out. And hopefully, our listeners found that joke entertaining too, and for all of you pastors who are listening, who need a joke for your sermon this week, feel free to steal it. I don’t know where Leighton got it, but we’ll pass it along.

Bart Blair: So today, Jason, we’re sharing an interview that we recently recorded with one of our new team members, Maddie Hall. Why don’t you give a little insight on who Maddie is, and set this conversation up for us?

Jason Hamrock: Maddie is a rock star, she has recently come from Indianapolis. She was the Communication Director at Northview Church, it’s a multi-campus megachurch in Indianapolis. I think they, I don’t have many campuses, but I know there are about twelve thousand people, pre-covid, on a weekend. Maddie ran the communications department, and before doing that, she was the Digital Director at the church. And she’s just has a career in marketing, super sharp, very much knows her stuff, she’s really articulate in all things church communications and she knows what she’s doing. And so we had the opportunity to hire Maddie, her and her husband Drew, they have two little girls and they just relocated out here to the Phoenix area. And so she joined us in January, and we’ve already given her a bunch of churches and she is already just done a knock-out job.

Jason Hamrock: So today, we get to learn from Maddie, who literally has helped build their communications department, what does it take to build a communications department these days? Here we are, kind of post covid sort of, and lots of change in the church world over the last 14 months or so. How do you even go about establishing and building, or maintaining and growing, a communications department? So Maddie’s going to speak of that.

Bart Blair: That’s true. Now, if you’re listening to this or you’re watching this podcast, and you’re like intrigued by what you hear Maddie say, we’d love to connect you with Maddie in some way or one of our other digital coaches that can help you accomplish some of the things that she lays out in this conversation. The other thing that I want to point out, is that Maddie is new to our team and we’re actually also looking for some other new team members. So if you listen to Maddie and you go, you know, I’m kind of like Maddie, I think like Maddie, and I’ve got some of the same skills as Maddie, maybe I’d like to do what Maddie is doing? We’d love for you to connect with us, you can go to MissionalMarketing.com/careers and we’ll put that link in the show notes. We’re hiring digital church coaches, we’re also hiring a lot of technical people doing SEO, video, social media, graphic design, web development, lots of stuff. But we’re looking to see our team continue to grow, as God has continued to bless us with more and more churches that we get to work with across the country. So I’m just plugging that in there. But this interview, this podcast, is really all about this interview with Maddie. So without any further delay, here’s Maddie Hall.

 

Bart Blair: Well, hey, Maddie Hall, welcome to the Church Growth Interviews podcast. Jason and I are so excited to have you on the podcast and introduce you to our listeners, our audience, as one of our new team members. We’ve had a chance to work together for a little while now, starting to get to know each other, and I know that you’re going to have a lot to add to this conversation that we’re going to have today. And, yeah, just really glad that you took the time out of your very interesting life schedule right now to record this podcast episode with us.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, I’m really excited. So just for our listeners, Maddie and I come from the same background, we worked in the corporate world then we came to work for the church where we served as communication directors, and Maddie more recent than me, and she’s got a lot more experience in that space recently. And now she’s a coach for us, and so she gets to, as I say, get to work for churches, not necessarily in the church, it’s a little bit of a different set up there. And now we get to touch lots of churches around the country and speak into their communications and their marketing needs.

Jason Hamrock: So, Maddie, you joined us several months ago, and you know, you got your feet wet a little bit with Missional Marketing, but talk to us a little bit about your story, your background, and how you ended up being the communication director.

Maddie Hall: Yeah, well, thanks for having me on today, guys, it’s been a fun few months here getting to start with Missional Marketing. But my background is in marketing, right out of college is kind of when social media was taking off for businesses. And businesses were like, oh, shoot, I need somebody to run this. And they said, well, you’re the youngest person in the room, you probably know how to do this, so you’re our social media person. And I’m like, well, I guess I know about it, you know? And so, what I didn’t know, I was teaching myself as I went along, but I started in promotions and online course education for the National Office of High School Sports, like the NCAA, but for high school. I was there for a while, and really have a heart for the marketplace and for what businesses are doing, and being just a Christian in that space, I feel like there needs to be a representation there for Christ.

Maddie Hall: But I kind of was looking for a new position, and our pastor said, hey, I hear you’re looking for a job, we’ve got one open. My dad’s a pastor, my husband is a pastor, I thought, I’m never here to work in the church, so thanks for asking, but I’ll pass. And one thing led to another, and I started working in the church and it has actually been a really great mix of helping the church that I was at, understand how we can use these practical tools that people use in the marketplace, in businesses, in corporate places, and use them and apply them in the church world. And, you know, I kind of started having a passion for that I would say, even when I was back in school, I would do a lot of case studies, they would be on churches. They said you can choose what business you want to do this on. I said, well, I’m going to do it on the church. And so I would go in, and I would interview the different church staff. And I would do a SWOT analysis looking at their strengths, weaknesses, their opportunities, right, the threats, and say, OK, how can we take what we found here and transform that, and use, like some real-life tools that maybe the church isn’t as familiar with, we’re not used to using, and see that for church growth, and ultimately, for people coming to Christ.

Maddie Hall: So that, you know, I’ve been the communications director, I’ve been a communications director at my previous church, and then that’s what led me into Missional Marketing. You guys know, my family had decided to move out West, and so we’re kind of looking for different jobs and found Missional Marketing, which really pairs both my interests in the church and then in kind of the business setting.

Bart Blair: Moving out West, which let’s just call it what it is, if you’re watching this podcast rather than listening, you’ll see the really cool background that Maddie has behind her, which she informed us before we started recording, is like the only thing left in her house because her family is literally in the middle of moving. Yes? Yes, most communication directors have like, these really cool, neat backgrounds, but you’ve got a piano.

Maddie Hall: Yeah. Well, really I was like, we had been talking about kind of moving right since I started working for Missional. And I was like, well, I’ll get a good background when we move. Well, it’s been four months, I’m like, OK, well once we get situated, then I’ll officially have a cool background, I guess. But yeah, if you walk around my house, there’s really nothing on the walls anywhere, I just have a few things here and there, and some boxes.

Jason Hamrock: I feel like Bart, you should grab your guitar, pick one, you’ve got two. Maddie, just turn around, you guys could play us a song and we can just break into some worship right now. I’m not singing, but hey.

Bart Blair: I’ll tell you w1hat, yeah, you know, I know and I will speak to this, that during Covid when all these worship teams were creating like these Zoom videos with their bands all in different locations, it’s not what it looks like. They’re not just all in a zoom call playing all at the same time, because it’s impossible to synchronize. So, yeah, I think we’ll pass. I was on a Zoom call with a group of people a couple of weeks ago and we tried to sing Happy Birthday to someone, and even that, we couldn’t all sing Happy Birthday together because of the time lag with the Internet and everything, it’s kind of silly.

Jason Hamrock: Well, Maddie, let’s turn the corner, let’s talk about a church out there that’s, you know, they’re thinking about hiring a communication director. You know, they’ve got pieces of it. other people in their church, different staff members are handling things like social media, one person’s doing that, another person might be doing some advertising, another person might be trying to streamline the, hey, we went we need to promote this ministry of that ministry. So they’ve kind of got it in pieces, but they’re thinking about, it’s time to hire somebody. What advice would you give that leader that’s looking to hire a full-time communications director?

Maddie Hall: Yeah, so this might seem kind of basic, but get it all on paper. If you ask a leader anywhere, hey, what’s that person doing? What’s that person doing? What’s that person doing? They may know what kind of their direct report is doing, or the person that works right next to them, but they’re not knowledgeable of every single task that everybody’s doing. Oh, you know, this person posts on social media three times a day. Well, somebody that’s not super familiar with social media thinks, oh, that takes about 30 seconds, three times a day. Well, to have a really robust social media presence takes a lot more than a minute and a half a day, as you guys know. So, just do that analysis, kind of like I was talking about earlier, get it down on paper and say, OK, the student pastor is running social media, OK, the worship pastor is running our videos. What is every person doing, who’s running, who’s talking about advertising, who’s communicating with, if you’re doing an ad for Christmas, who’s actually talking with the media relations people? Get that all down there on the paper, and then say, OK, this is what it’s going to take for somebody to do all of these different things. And write down, OK, this person does social media, it takes them 10 hours a week. This person does media relations, it takes them five hours a week. This person does video, that one takes 40 hours a week. You know, so that you can really say, oK, this is the type of person that we’re going to need to hire.

Maddie Hall: And I would say one of the big things for me as far as communications director, is processes, tight, that’s where I have found working with churches is the process isn’t always defined. And you need a really defined process, in order to keep people organized because otherwise, the student pastor who likes to do social media, I’m just going to go do this because I know how I used to do it. It’s like, well, that was working for a while, but now we’re trying to grow, we’re trying to bring in new people, and in order to do that we know we need everybody to jump on board. So defining what it is that you need, but also helping the rest of your team saying, you know, this person is going to come in and help you grow, to help you move forward, I think is a good place to start.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. Yeah. So I agree with that, I love that analogy of it, of actually putting on paper, and explaining to the candidate you’re looking to hire, this is what we’re trying to achieve. And we’re not there yet, but giving that person that kind of that big, wrap their arms around idea, is so important. I’d also mention, keeping people. Sometimes, I talk to churches, bigger churches, and they’ve got staff turnover like you wouldn’t believe. And when you start to uncover the layers, you realize there’s a lot of dysfunction in some of the leadership because they change all the time, they’re changing their directions. And when you’re causing somebody…And ministry is hard enough because a lot of it’s is repetitive, obviously, every week you’re doing the same thing, getting ready for Sunday. And then you sprinkle in all kinds of stuff, events, or conferences, or just branding as a whole, adding more campuses, it becomes a lot. And so if the leadership is kind of all over the board, that makes it really difficult for the staff to kind of follow, and continue to keep their passion up, at least this is what I’ve found. So then I find people who have turnover, and so you have to really take a hard look, I’d say, before you hire a communication director, at your leadership processes and your leadership [inaudible]. And is it going to be really clear for somebody to step in to see where you’re going as a church, or are you kind of like all over the place?

Bart Blair: Jason, I would even add to that, is that when the leadership has had the ability to kind of define their leadership processes, and as Maddie just talked about, you’re your defining and you’re documenting your actual communications processes, you are better able to set a clear set of expectations for what that role entails and how that staff member, how that team member, wins. I think that’s sometimes the hardest thing. And more often than not, I’m sure that both of you have seen this, a church will have a person, maybe their communications director, manager, maybe their associate pastor of some sort, who kind of manages and oversees it. And they’ve got a really diverse set of skills, they’re good at video editing, they’re good at graphic design, they’re great at copywriting, they know and understand social media. And that person moves on to another church, or takes another opportunity, and then the church goes out and tries to find that person without realizing that that person was a unicorn, that that person was not, that person was not really easy to replace. And so it gets a little, the waters get really muddy because now you have a set of expectations, you’ve got leadership expecting something from the staff, that may or may not be able to be delivered. You’ve got some things documented, some things not, you just had a really intuitive person who was able to run with it and do it out of their back pocket, and it does make things really tricky.

Bart Blair: You had a question buried in there for Maddie, which was Maddie, how would you coach a church leadership team to make sure that they’re setting their communications person up for success and sustainability in their role?

Maddie Hall: Yeah, that’s a great question, because the communications director needs support. And I would, you know, I would always go to bat for having your communications director on your top leadership team. And here’s why, every single thing you say from your church, you’re communicating, your student’s team is communicating, your kid’s team is communicating, your kid’s team is communicating to all of these parents, your student’s team is communicating to all of these students and their parents. From the stage every weekend, you’re putting on an event for however many people come to your church, you’re putting on a weekly event for anywhere from twenty-five, fifty, a hundred, thousands of people, I mean, that’s a huge undertaking, right? And what anybody says from the stage, it shows what your church is about. Right? And so you’ve got to have the communications person be able to be on the senior team to be able to help filter through all of that.

Maddie Hall: I’ll use an example, I was in my role as communications director when March 2020 hit, right? I can tell you where I was when the team was like, hey, we got to have emergency meeting, hey staff, everybody get on the call at 4:30 today. And you know what we did, it wasn’t, for context, our church was about twelve thousand. So we locked, I mean, I would say for lack of a better word, locked email rights for everyone. Not because we didn’t trust our staff, but because for the amount of time, we needed to get a pivotal message out to everybody, and it needed to say the exact same thing, and then we gave those email rights back to the staff. No, it was just for that short amount of, that window of one or two weeks, we didn’t want everything kind of blasting out. Hey, what are my kids going to do? What are my students going to do? You know, we don’t know where we’re going, what we’re doing? And to eliminate some of the chaos is why we did that, right?

Maddie Hall: So, I guess as far as coaching your senior leadership team in how to prepare or support your communications director, is by investing and trusting them. And I’ll say, relationship is huge, if you need to prepare not only the communications director, but all of the ministries around that communications director, saying, hey, this person, this communications director, is going to come in to help us with our processes, to help us with all of these tools that we use to get the word out about all of these activities, events, weekend services, that we’re doing. And ultimately, you want to have a good, really good, relationship between the communications director and every single ministry person. So, that’s not always an easy task, but I have seen the churches that have that, have what you were saying, Jason, better retention in their staff, Bart, they feel better supported, not only do the ministry, but the communications director.

Maddie Hall: I had the outreach pastor one time said to me, wow, I really appreciate how you come in and you don’t just tell me how it’s going to happen, you try to listen to what it is that we need. Right. And so it’s building that relationship, to say, in the back of my mind, you know, coming from a large church I’m like I know you’re not going to get that email about that. We’re not going to, you know, twelve thousand people can’t go to a missions trip where there’s only 30 spots, we’re not going to send a church-wide email about that one thing. But helping them find solutions for whatever it is that they’re trying to communicate, helps them feel supported and helps them feel like you’ve got their back. And then, in turn, it helps you keep your processes as the communications team streamlined because you don’t have this team saying, well, why didn’t you send that email? I don’t appreciate that. Well, you’re friends with that person, and so that’s helped set you up for good success.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, let me piggyback on the leadership thing. So, if any pastor asked where should they be? What level should they be? I agree, one hundred percent, when I was in my church, when I started, I went several years of not being in those meetings. So my boss would hear it from our lead pastor, and then he would filter that to me, and it’s always going to be a disconnect. And until I got in the room with all the leaders, and I was hearing from his mouth what he expected and others were speaking into that, then it made my job a lot more clear. I understood exactly what I needed to do, how I was going to communicate things, what we were going to do process-wise

Bart Blair: And made it a lot less, made it a lot less like the elementary school telephone game, right, where everybody says something, it finally gets to you. You think you have the message, but you don’t really have a message.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. So, I mean, that is so important. And to what you’re…When a crisis happens, we don’t have to be in a crisis mode, we know exactly what to do and how to respond. Then the second thing you said there, which I think was really smart, working with the ministries, the communication director position is there to enhance what they’re doing, and help them be successful. The job isn’t to make their event successful, it was not my job to make sure you had success, it was my job to make sure you were propped up and could be successful. I’m not going to save your event, you’re going to, I’m going to equip you. And when you have that relationship, and you have those processes in place, then good things can happen and that makes the job a lot easier.

Jason Hamrock: And so often, we coach a lot of churches, the three of us do. And we’ll tell ministries, hey, I know, in fact, Maddie you’ve said this before, I know you’re trying to reach a lot of people for your event of thirty or forty people. And so the filter isn’t let’s reach everybody to get to thirty people, I loved your analogy, you flip that, no, no, no, no, no, we reach a few people just to grow and have them reach a bunch of people, that’s how we grow it.

Maddie Hall: You read my mind, that was the next thing I was going to say.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah, so Maddie, go ahead and carry that conversation, because I think it was genius when you said that.

Bart Blair: I was going to say, I want to camp there for a minute because I think what you’re hitting on, Maddie, is often a struggle in churches, is you talk a lot about processes, and that’s one of the things in the short time that you and I have been working together, I realized that is a strength, you bring real clarity and strategy in process. So, you know, one, how do we define the process that allows a communications director to know when it’s appropriate or inappropriate to filter that email and say, we’re not sending this email out to twelve thousand people for a missions trip that only has 30 slots. And again, what is the message that we need to communicate to the executive pastor, or the senior pastor, about giving the communications director the permission to say no in that type of situation? How do you navigate that? Because it’s really complicated because of relationships, it can be easier because of relationships, but it can often be more complicated because of relationships. How would you navigate that tension?

Maddie Hall: Yeah, I think you hit the million-dollar question there. How do we know? But the churches, I would say historically have said, well, let’s tell everybody about everything because everybody wants to know everything we’re doing. Right? And that’s the whole bulletin, like, let’s walk in with the bulletin and they’ll read everything on there. They’ll read it, right, Bob? You know, they’re supposed to listen to your sermons. But the thought there is the upside-down funnel, like Jason saus. Right? It is, there’s a lot of people that we want to come to the church, but everybody is going to take something different out of church, somebody might join a group, somebody might go on that mission trip, somebody might volunteer in kids, somebody is going to come for a while and just in the content because that’s the spot that they need to be. Right? And ultimately, we want people to grow, and to serve, and to be in groups, and to be fully involved in the church. But everybody’s coming in at a different spot, right, and so when I think about what I am, I guess, most familiar with doing is the church, is reaching people who have never heard about our church before, but ultimately, don’t have much of a faith background, and they maybe don’t even know that church is where they need to go to get their answers to all of their questions. Right?

Maddie Hall: So, that kind of leads me into the felt need conversation, but I’ll try to stay on track here with what you asked, Bart, which I think I got at least the first part of your question, I’ve got that at least in my mind still. But defining where the communication should come from, right, so we would use a tiered system, that’s what I would recommend. So the tiered system kind of looks like this, a tier one event is your biggest, largest event, that’s an outreach event, that’s a fall festival, that’s an Easter egg hunt, that is your Easter service, that’s your Christmas service, that’s your weekend service. Right, those really high-level events that we want people to come to and just say, you know what, let’s use an Easter egg hunt, for example. Right now, people need free things to do with their kids, that’s a felt need, that they need that, they want that. We’re having an Easter egg hunt, just come to the Easter egg hunt. We don’t need to say come to the Easter egg hunt and we’re going to save you. You know, like, yeah, ultimately that’s what we want, everyone to follow Christ. But at the Easter egg hunt, as you’re explaining what’s happening, maybe you just give a three to five minute little explanation of, hey, and by the way, this is why our church hosts the Easter egg hunt. And then you just slip it in, and then you go on with your Easter egg hunt, but you don’t need to necessarily advertise that. And so that would be kind of your tier one event.

Maddie Hall: And then your tier two, tier three, different churches based upon how many activities that they do, some people follow a simple church model. It’s going to be a lot easier to have a tiered system if you’re on a simple church model, but then there are other churches that like to have a lot going on all of the time. And so I would say, you know, you’re kind of your next tier, is it necessarily you’re not talking about it in the weekend service, but you might have it in your social media accounts, you might have it in an email or targeted email groups. Right? And then kind of the tier after that is your very specific ones, this is my favorite one, the knitting club. Right? There’s not a whole lot of people that want to join the knitting club, but your church might have one, and that’s a very targeted group of people. Honestly, the best way to get other people to know about the knitting club is probably by word of mouth, right, because knitters and all the people that knit.

Maddie Hall: And so you have to look at the type of event that’s happening and say, what’s the impact? Right? So let’s go back to the missions trip. Thirty people going on a mission trip, impacts those 30 people, obviously, it impacts the people that they’re going to do the missions trip with, wherever they’re going to do that. But ultimately, those are probably people that are already following Christ, and so you have to think about, at your church, there’s going to be two types of people. There’s going to be people who don’t follow Christ, never really had a faith, never come to church before, and then there’s going to be people that are, there is going to be some that’s kind of in between those, but maybe they’ve accepted Christ, they’re not fully bought in yet, but then you’re going to have the people that are fully, truly bought in. And so that’s how you tier, based upon those levels, and based upon who you’re going to reach. So you’re your top tier is always going to be to those people that have never had an experience with your church.

Jason Hamrock: Yeah. I love that tiered approach, and it makes it very clear. And by the way, not only does that make it makes it very clear for the communication director, ministries also understand now what kind of support they’re going to get. Because, you know, every ministry when they’re wanting to promote something, wants a stage presence, the knitters or the motorcycle club. Right? But yet, that doesn’t reach everybody, so, you know, they understand they’re not going to get stage presence, they’re not going to even get a slide for pre-worship. They’re going to get this, you know, this nugget or that nugget of exposures.

Maddie Hall: One of the things that I think is the best, one of the best ways you can explain to ministries, and I’ve had really great success when explaining this to ministries, is that because they’re oversaturated themselves, they get so much, everybody’s getting so much information pushed into them. Right? You making so many decisions every day, it’s like you just start to filter things out. So if the church takes the approach of we will just tell everybody, because everybody can be impacted, nobody’s going to listen. Because they’re going to get oversaturated with all this information, until they see something and go, oh, I was wanting to go on a mission trip. Yeah, but you’ve got to find those people, so you start building your database, you know, there’s a whole other topic. But then within your database, Bart. I know he has been on a mission trip in the past, or he’s expressed interest to me. You’ve got to have a place for your people to be able to put that information in because Bart might be talking to a pastor on the side one Sunday, and he says, you know, I’ve been wanting to go on a missons trip. It’s not even the outreach pastor, but you’ve got to have your people trained so that that pastor can go into your database and mark Bart on that list. Right? OK, next time we advertise for Missions Trip, I want Bart to be on that list because he mentioned to me that he would be interested in go on a mission trip. Well, now that’s something that Bart is going to be, his senses are heightened on that. And so when he gets that email, he’s not just going to filter that out, he’s going to read it.

Jason Hamrock: Find your people.

Bart Blair: Yeah, you know what? We’re going to do this, I’m making a note, we’re going to record a podcast episode, Maddie, specifically on how to effectively use an email list. I think that’s one of the things I discover over and over again, just working with a church recently that they use Planning Center as their database, they use MailChimp for their emails, and no one really knows if all of the email addesses that are in Planning Center are in MailChimp, and nothing that is in MailChimp is tagged with any information that might be available for them in Planning Center. And your email, as far as internal communication, we use our three-ring system of communication at Missional Marketing, ring one is your people, ring two are people in your area looking for a church, ring three are the people in your community who are looking to meet some sort of felt need and DIY their life and they’re not looking for church. But those ring one people, that communication is really important, and that’s where so much of this stress in this pressure that, as communications director’s, we often feel is because we need people to know what they need to know. And our email is the most effective, it’s still the most effective way to communicate those things, but to Donald Millerize this, noise is the enemy. And as you were saying, Maddie, people are saturated, they’re getting all the information about everything. And when you’re getting all the information about everything, nobody really knows what they need to be listening to and paying attention to. So I just wanted to throw that in there, I’m making a note. We don’t have time to talk about how to flesh that out with emails today, but we will do this on another episode.

Bart Blair: We’re kind of running out of time here, but I want to give you an opportunity, Maddie, to just maybe even share me other thoughts that are important to you. And I also want to ask you a question about tools that you use as a communications director to organize, and to strategize, and to make things easier for the team that you’re working with. Right? So you’re a communications director of a very large church, multiple campuses, lots of different ministry leaders. What are some of the tools that you use to streamline your communication? Was it all email all the time, or are there other tools that you would recommend that you like? And then just add anything else that you want to add to this conversation, because you’re our guest and we want this to be about you.

Maddie Hall: Oh, gosh, you’re so nice. No, I mean, and Jason and I have talked about this before, but I’m a huge proponent of taking email out of your internal communications. Like, if I’ve got a question for you and I say, hey, Bart, can you remind me if that event was at seven p.m. or six p.m. I mean, that just is like cluttering up my email inbox. So I would say you Slack, use Microsoft Teams, I mean, Facebook has what’s called Workplace Chat. Right, there’s so many different tools out there, and that’s how I would really encourage you to communicate internally with your team. So you could have a whole nother conversation about just internal communications at a church, like businesses have a whole entire internal communications teams, right. So I think that is really important because I know Jason and I have talked about like, Jason looking in his email, and he’s got several emails from other staff, and then he loses his outside email. He’s like, oh, where’s that email from this other client that I’ve been working with? I can’t find it. Right? So that’s just a push for internal communication using Slacker, or Microsoft Teams, or something like that.

Maddie Hall: As far as email goes, I think email is can be used internally if you need to, if it’s maybe someone you don’t talk to a lot, maybe you have like more explanation in it. But let me support that by saying, you should be using some sort of project management software. So I’m a huge fan of Asana, they’re not paying me, although maybe I should get them to pay me because I promote them a lot. Asana, right, is just a way to organize products, excuse me, projects. There are so many different ones out there, Monday, I’ve been getting a lot ads, and know I’m going to get even more ads, but I’ve been getting a lot of ads for Monday, Monday.com, I think it’s what it’s called. Yeah, there’s Trello, I know a lot of churches that use Trello. Actually, I was on Trello for a while, I like Asana better. And really, it just kind of comes down to kind of how your brain works, I think, as to what your preference is. But a lot of them have free versions, so if you’re a smaller church, and you are like, I don’t want to pay for one of these expensive softwares, there’s a free version, they’ll let you have up to fifteen users, I know on Asana it will. And you can still do almost all of the same things as you would with a paid account. And so the beauty of Asana, is that you can organize your project with all of the different levels of things that need to happen, we need this design, and we need this content, we need this person to edit this, we need this person to view this, and we need this person to send it off to the printer. You know, all these different things, and all of the attachments can go into Asana. And so you don’t have to lose it in email and say, OK, let me drag that off, or find where that is. And go back to the email piece, is if I don’t have a project with somebody already going in Asana, I’m going to communicate with them a little bit in an email. But some sort of project management software, some sort of internal chat, are my two biggest products that I think churches should use when communicating with each other.

Maddie Hall: And then I would say, since you said I get to add anything I want, I’ll just add, because I think as a communications director, you shouldn’t be afraid to think of using terms like marketing and advertising and promoting. And because this is, this maybe gets mixed reviews sometimes when I say this, but Jesus is the best product that anybody could ever want or need, right? And so I don’t go around saying, well, Jesus is a product, but I do think that Jesus is the best thing that anybody could ever have in their life, and so I want to use everything that I have at my disposal for other people to be able to hear about Jesus.

Bart Blair: Drop the mic,

Jason Hamrock: Drop the mic.

Bart Blair: All right, thank you, yes, we got some Jesus into the podcast here. Thank you for doing that, Maddie.

Jason Hamrock: We really appreciate you, love having you as a coach on our team, I know the churches you get to serve love having you speak into their systems and their processes. So, hey, if you want to be able to have Maddie speak into your team, just reach out, and she’ll schedule a call with you.

Bart Blair: Absolutely. Absolutely. Maaddie is one of the few faces, one of the few people, that you have an opportunity to work with if you are a partner with Missional Marketing. And we love to, if you’re listening to this and you need some input or some insight into things that you can do to help more people discover Jesus through your church, make sure you reach out.

Bart Blair: Maddie, thank you so much for taking the time to do this with us today, we know that between packing your moving boxes and getting your house cleared out to move, and having all the other calls and things that you’ve got to do with churches today, we appreciate you taking the time with us this morning. And make sure you share this podcast episode with everybody that you know, because we know you know lots of people. So thanks, Maddie.

Maddie Hall: Thanks for having me, guys.

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