Managing Church Communications in a Crisis | Jonathan Howe

Bart Blair Leave a Comment

Crisis in the church is something we all hope to never experience but as communication professionals we we should still plan for. Jonathan Howe, Vice President of Communications at SBC executive, shares what he has learned to better manage church crisis communications.

Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Jonathan, welcome to our podcast. How are you today?

I’m doing well, Jason. Good to be on with you and Bart.

Yeah. And you are coming from the wonderful state of Tennessee.

Yeah, just outside of Nashville here.

Man, As I said a little bit earlier, it seems like everybody’s moving to either Arizona, Texas, or Nashville, Tennessee.

We’ve got it all covered here. Jonathan, are you a native of Nashville or of Tennessee?

No, I’m a Louisiana native.

Louisiana, okay.

Baton Rouge, I’m a big LSU fan, Saints fan, that kind of thing. We’ve progressively been moving more northern as I’ve gotten older.

So I’m a fan of Saints, just different saints, not those saints. Okay, we’ve covered that, we know where we are geographically. Hey, Jonathan, why don’t you just share your ministry story with us or your ministry journey? Tell us a little bit about what it is that you do today, but certainly how you got there.

Yeah, well, I didn’t plan on being where I am today. I grew up in a pastor’s family. My dad was a kind of bi-vocational pastor, so I’ve been around the church my whole life, and Southern Baptist, my whole life really, which goes well into my current role, I guess you could say. But I really wanted to work in sports and sports marketing, sports communications and had really kind of started doing that, event production in the sports side of things, I went to school for that at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg and thought that’s what I wanted to do. And actually, it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I mean, if somebody called today and said, hey, come on, that would be a hard, you know, a hard discussion that I’d have to have. But got married to my wife, Beth, right out of school. And we had a couple of kids early on in their marriage, we don’t know what it’s like to be married without kids, basically, we’ve been married almost 20 years and we have an 18-year-old that we just took to his first day of college just a couple of weeks ago out in California, so that was a whole different type of emotion for us. But we got married and started having kids basically right away, and working in sports and having a growing family, and my wife’s in the ministry, she’s a children’s minister, worked in churches all her life as well. And it was like the Lord saying, like, look, do you want to have a family and serve me? Do you want to have a family, or, basically, do you want to work in sports? That was basically the choice there, because the time demands are pretty rough in that in that world, especially in the level I was at, kind of the small colleges or small professional sports teams, those kinds of things, you know, minor league baseball, I was working in.

And then out of the blue, I got a call from the Woman’s Missionary Union, which I don’t know if many of your listeners are familiar with that, it’s an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention, to come to do marketing for books. And I knew Christian books, I didn’t know publishing, but I knew books because I read a lot, as you can see behind me here, and then just randomly fell into this job in Birmingham. It wasn’t random, the Lord was in it. And because one thing led to another, I got to know some people up at Lifeway here in Nashville and just worked with them over a couple of years, and then a job came open up in Lifeway in 2011 to come up and help Thom Rainer and Ed Setzer kind of build their online platforms, and it came up and just threw some gas on those things and they just took off and kind of the rest is history. And now after about nine years of that, moved over to the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention as a vice president for communications and have been there for three years. So, the Lord has opened up some doors that I never saw coming, and I’ve been thankful for that and really excited about where I am now, and how we’re able to impact 47,000 churches and put 13 plus million people on mission for the kingdom.

So let’s break that down a little bit. How do you actually do that? What does your role look like?

Well, it depends on who you ask, because some people would say he does it poorly. But, you know, we have a lot of touchpoints that we have with Southern Baptist, a lot of partners. I mean, we can’t do it ourselves, we have a lot of partners, including our 12 national entities, plus the WMU, that includes six seminaries with 25,000 students. So there are a lot of touch points going on through partnerships, and that, especially with our 41 state conventions and the outlets that they have, the state papers, state newsletters, things like that that they have.

But the big piece that I kind of oversee, I don’t oversee like the day-to-day, we have somebody, an associate vice president under me that oversees the day-to-day for convention news, that’s Brandon Porter. But he runs Baptist Press, and that is our big convention news piece, about 6 million page views a year. We have a couple of podcasts that we do, we’re on 130, I think, radio stations across the country on a three-minute radio bit that we started earlier this year in partnership with Moody Radio and a few other independent public radio stations. And we’ve got a magazine that hits all of our churches. And then a weekly podcast I do, I’ve been doing since 2015 with Amy Whitfield, who co-hosts that with me, it’s SBC this week, that’s kind of a news recap kind of thing. And then we’ve really cranked up our YouTube stuff over the last few months, so we’re hitting all the platforms and all the information, trying to get out there where people are and get the truth about what’s going on in the SBC, there’s a lot of disinformation out there from people inside and outside the SBC. But also, just the good news of how God is working in and through Southern Baptists around the world.

Okay. So you know a lot about communications, right? And, no doubt, your voice, and your leadership, you speak into churches and how to help them become better. So from your lens, what do you think churches these days, after COVID, sort of after COVID, what what are churches struggling with when it comes to communications or clarity or direction, how to communicate better with not only their people, but how are they reaching more and more unchurched and de-churched people?

Yeah, well, I think you have a few different levels there. You had churches that were pre-pandemic, you know, I think in our world, in our lifetime, I think we’re all going to look at pre-pandemic/post-pandemic kind of thing.

Yeah, but pre-pandemic, they were already jumping in, you know, swimming in the deep end of the pool, in the digital space. They knew how to, you know, they had email newsletters, they had online streaming, they had it all, websites, apps, you name it, they had it, they were working on it and they were doing it. And post-pandemic, they’ve just gotten better at that, and so, there’s a lot of churches like that. But there are a lot more churches that had no clue what they were doing digitally pre-pandemic, and they are trying to build the plane in the air now, especially during the pandemic, and are really trying to play catch up, and it’s a steep hill. The good thing is, you know, there are groups like yours that come alongside them and help them out, and there are a lot of groups out there that help them take content, put it online, get it into the right places, get it to the people, but it’s been a struggle because they weren’t equipped or they didn’t have the equipment. Like, I’m talking like equipped like know-how, or know what to use to get things in the right places. So I think that’s the struggle churches are, most churches are, having. Your average church of 200, or even 75 or 150, whatever it may be, that doesn’t have somebody full time, that’s reliant on a volunteer, that isn’t really trained for what they’re doing in a digital sense. They may be trained or know how to do communications and inter-office communications, that kind of thing, but they don’t have the people, the training, or the technology right now, or they didn’t at least pre-pandemic, and they now they have it and they don’t really know how to do it. You know, they’re the guy that just learned how to drive, trying to drive a sports car or something. And really that’s the struggle I’m seeing with churches right now, is that they know what they need to be doing, but they don’t quite know how to get there.

Yeah, that’s interesting, because when churches talk to me about this, and it’s a small church, 125,150 people, I say, well, don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

Yeah. Yeah. Because they see the big mega-church down the road and all the stuff they’re doing, the production, and this is what their live stream, we need to look like that. No, it’s never going to look like that.

In my opinion, I’m a huge fan, so I’m going to say something here, I’m a huge fan of using digital tools, but not to live in a digital world. We live in a world where relationships matter, you see people, you shake their hand and hug them, and that’s ultimately where I think it needs to end up. You can start online, but it can end up there. So for those smaller churches, go back to knowing what you know how to do, right, start shaking hands, inviting people, and all that kind of things. Let digital be something you can get into, but you don’t have to just like totally put all your focus in there because you won’t be able to.

No. And that’s the draw, I think, of a lot of small churches, people like small churches. Why don’t they like small churches? And we’re saying small churches, those are normative-sized churches, let’s be real, that’s the normal-sized church. But they like those 100, 125, 150, and 200-sized churches because they know the people and they can connect with them.

That is right.

And that’s the attraction of a church that size. And if you’re trying to use digital to be something you’re not, it’s not really going to help because what people really want from your church is those relational connections, and I think what we want in the gospel community is that relational connection. Even if we’re in a large church, we still want those sizes and those groups from going into sitting in rows and sitting in circles, as Ed Stetzer would say, is getting those relational touchpoints, getting that connection, and communication is the means to the end, but it’s not the end there.

Right. I think we kind of got off on the digital front. But still, when you talk about making sure you share your story, making sure that you communicate what you’re about as a church, you should be known for something, right? Not known for what you’re against, but known for something. And so I think maybe some, I don’t know, do you guys do this where you’re trying to help churches articulate that message.

A little bit? I mean, we’re we don’t really run a communication service. We’re happy to talk to different churches and stuff. But what we want to do is we want to communicate what Southern Baptists are for, you know, from my office, like what’s important to the vast number of Southern Baptists and how are Southern Baptist churches, how are Southern Baptists communicating that to the lost in their neighborhoods and to the nations as well? So our goal, from my seat and from our office, is to help tell those stories and help highlight how God is working in and through Southern Baptist, to share the Gospel in their community, in their neighborhood, around the world, and in the nations.

That’s got to be incredibly encouraging, right? Because, you know, it’s like stay on mission, right? We’re on mission to save, to go after the one.

Yeah. And it’s fun to tell those stories, those are the stories we have the most fun telling. I mean, we had one this week, the week we’re recording this. We heard about a church in rural Louisiana, it’s not rural, rural, but it’s like not in a big city, Louisiana, and they hired a new youth guy and he’s kind of come in and taken the area by storm. And they had 260 youth at a church that runs like 400 the other night, 260 youth on a Wednesday night, 125 of them visitors, and had 23 salvations. Just this incredible event in just this random church in the middle of Louisiana, you know, not in a major city, just because they’re going and they’re building the relationships, they’re getting their people outside of the walls to invite others to come, and the Lord is blessing that. So, you know, those are the exciting stories that we get to tell. And it really comes back to the relationships, and the stories that people are telling on the ground with those around them that are maybe close to them, or near to them, but far from God.

Yeah.

Let me ask you a question about that, Jonathan. I think sort of what you’re doing, and the way that you’re doing it, can translate into the context of a local church with a church communications director for a couple of reasons. One of the things that we’re constantly trying to emphasize with churches is their need to be storytellers, not just announcement makers. Right? We don’t want to just simply make everything that we’re communicating about, where you’re supposed to be, how you’re supposed to sign up, what side dish you’re supposed to bring, but to actually be communicating and telling stories, celebrating the wins. So let me ask you a couple of really practical questions. And maybe because of your specific role, you’re not as involved in the decision-making here, but maybe, maybe you can kind of talk me through the process. Number one, how are you gathering the stories that you’re telling? Because this is a problem that a lot of churches have. Jason, I’m thinking of one specific church, it’s a large church, campuses all over the place, and we’ve been working with them to try to get them to tell more stories. And they just have a really difficult time collecting those stories. Secondly, you mentioned in your intro that you have a number of different outlets for communication from printed media to the website to podcasts and others, how do you decide what information gets distributed on what channels? So there are really sort of two questions in there. One is, how are you collecting these stories? Like, who’s responsible for that? How are you getting that? And then once you decide what needs to be communicated to your primary audience, how do you decide which is the best platform, the best medium, the best channel for communicating those things?

All right, so to start with, how we’re collecting them. That takes intentionality, it’s rare, now, it does happen, but it’s rare that a story just falls in somebody’s lap. Right? I mean, even if you’re in the local church, it’s rare that somebody just comes up and said, Pastor, you will never believe what happened to me. I mean, that does happen, but a lot of times it’s more you having a relationship with somebody, talking to them, and asking questions and following people online, on social media, those kinds of things to know what’s going on in their lives. There’s a pastor here in Nashville that I know pretty well, and like every time I’m with him, he’s telling me stories about people in his church, he’s telling me about the person that he went and saw at the hospital, visited in the hospital. And not like just, oh, they’re dealing with X, Y, and Z in the hospital, it’s like, no, here’s their life story, like, he gives me a lot of information. And I mean, those types of people, those in your church, those are the kind of things that that drive stories in the local church, just getting to know your people. You can’t tell the story of your people if you don’t know your people, if you’re on staff, if you’re doing pastorate or whatever it may be, even if you’re like a Sunday school teacher or whatever it may be, just a volunteer, you’ve got to know your people. So it takes intentionality to find those stories, it doesn’t just fall in your lap a lot of times. And that’s the thing with us, like we have websites, we have Facebook groups that we follow, we have people on Twitter and things like that, we’re always looking for things. And once you have that lens, you start seeing everything that happens as a story, or a potential story, and that just takes the reps. So it takes relationships, it takes repetition, it takes you doing the work, putting the work in to find the stories. The more work you do, the easier it gets on the rep side of things. And in a local church, I mean, it’s as simple as whenever, and this is one of the most effective things I’ve seen from local churches when we talk about telling stories, is baptism videos. If you can’t do baptism videos and you just do it live, you have some interview questions or whatever when you’re baptizing them. In the Southern Baptist Church, you know, we take a minute to do that a lot of times, because you’ve got to go all the way under. You know, it depends on what type of faith tradition you’re in and how quick or what that looks like, you know? But a lot of our churches have gone to where they’re doing baptism videos where, maybe they don’t show the whole video in the service, maybe it’s just online later on the Facebook page or something like that. But they use that, and they tell the person’s story of coming to faith, and there’s nothing more powerful than somebody’s personal story of coming to faith. And it’s just I mean, regardless of the age, those are powerful stories every time you hear them because you can see bits and pieces of how the Lord’s working differently and that, and the people that were involved in that. I mean, you know, like how much more encouraged can you be as a member in a church to know that you had a hand in somebody’s eternal salvation? Like, let’s go right now, I mean, that’ll get you fired up. And those are the kind of stories, and that’s the easiest opportunity I think churches have to tell stories and the power of story and the church.

Another is, you know, and we kind of got away from this because of COVID, but the offering moment, you know, the time for worship and for the giving of tithes and offerings. The ability to say, look, here’s what our church’s money is doing, we’re impacting this ministry, it’s done this, we’re impacting, and we’re doing this. And people are coming to Christ because of your giving, because of what’s going on in our church, because you people in the church are generous, you’re faithful, and you’re giving to what the Lord is wanting us to do. And those are really powerful stories, and just two instances in a worship service that you can use the power of story really to make an impact and to get people to invest and do more in the local church. You’re going to have to remind me of the second part of the question.

What platform?

How do you decide what’s the right channel to distribute, which stories, and which pieces of news?

I mean, it depends, I guess. I don’t really know, I don’t really have a like a set where I’d go, that’s a good story for this thing or whatever. We don’t really have our rubric for that kind of thing. It’s just the stories that are good, they get more attention. I mean, that’s kind of where you you have to triage your content, just like whenever you’re doing announcements. You know, the lady’s crocheting meeting on the second Tuesday of the month does not get the same announcement time slot and volume as the fall festival that’s church-wide, you know, it’s kind of know the A content, B content, C content. If the A content’s what you run with in all your platforms, B, you may just hit one or two spots, and then C maybe just a digest item on a website somewhere or something like that, that’s how we look at it. And I think the same would kind of go across as you’re looking at how you’re doing your newsletters, bulletins, whatever it may be in the local church. So the big things get the most play across all the different platforms.

Yeah. You know, as a communications professional, you know, you’re adapting and growing. And, you know, how much are you guys using other platforms, like, in particular, you know that everyone’s kind of using Facebook, Instagram, you know, and they have obviously have their website. Are you guys getting into more like TikTok? Are you encouraging churches to get into using TikTok and short-form videos or what?

You don’t know very many Southern Baptists do you?

Yeah.

You don’t want them on TikTok, no, we’re not really in the emerging technologies. I mean the key is always you want to be where your people are, right? Be where your people are, and if your people start migrating to new platforms, then be there. It’s always helpful to try to experiment and I think get out of your rut. We don’t really have the content that I think really fits like a TikTok or an emerging brand or social platform or whatever, we have good content for the traditional digital media type platforms. It is something that we’re working toward, I will say that. We do have a lot of video content and we just don’t have the manpower right now to work on it. We just hired somebody, actually, she started yesterday from a local church, and she started working with us. And she’s going to come in and really take our digital content marketing up a notch because we needed it. I’d had that spot open for about a year trying to figure out what to do with it and what type of employee to hire. And as we look toward the future, it was like, look, I need somebody that really understands the digital content area and what we need on that side of things. So we went out and found somebody, and really excited about her coming on board with us this week. But you know, she’s got the talent and the ability and the tools to take it into a digital space that is an emerging technology or emerging platform, whatever it may be, whether that be trying to figure out how to get us on like a BeReal type platform, or TikTok, or whatever it may be. And something that may come down the road, it’s going to take some more planning on our side to just to try to figure out how do we take our existing content into this, or how do we build content for the future, for this platform?

So we’re not looking for the Jonathon Howe TikTok show anytime soon?

No, I won’t be duetting videos, or dances with costumes on, or whatever it is.

Well, I get really excited about about that kind of thing because, well for our listeners, you want to start going there. TikTok is the fastest-growing platform, it’s getting way more traction than Google. It’s growing up, it’s not teenagers using TikTok.

You’ve just got to figure out how your content fits on the platform.

Exactly. And don’t be afraid to fail.

Well, this is something you might find interesting. I do have a question that I want to ask, but one of our partners at Missional Marketing, his name is Earl, Earl has shared this story with us a couple of times. Because our assumption is that the majority of people that are on TikTok are really young people, they are our kids, teenage kids. And Earl shared with us, and he is getting close to or is at Medicare age, and Earl shared with us that he actually found a TikTokker that explains all of the nuance and the process for applying for and getting approved for Medicare. And he said, like, that was the best solution that he found anywhere on the interwebs to solve the problem of figuring out what he was supposed to do. And so it was actually a TikTokker explaining to senior citizens, step by step what the process was to apply for Medicare. And I think a lot of churches and communications leaders, we just kind of naturally assume that our primary audience is going to be, on TikTok is going to be young people, when the reality is, more and more older people are spending time on TikTok, they’re just not as forthright about it.

Maybe not creating, but it’s a big consumption platform as well. So as little as they may be creating, they’re consuming a lot.

Yeah.

So and that’s, and that’s where I kind of go back to when I said, be where your people are, well your people are going there and they are there. And at some point, you’ve got to figure out how to get your content into that, maybe that’s sermon clips, maybe that’s something else, I don’t know, but you’ve got to start thinking that way. And that’s why I made that hire that I made recently, is because we’ve got to start thinking that way. So it’s getting there, it’s almost to a necessity.

If your people are the lost sheep, go there.

I’ve got a communications question, kind of a big-picture strategy type of question here. You took your role, your current role in what, 2019, right before the pandemic. You said that you’d been doing, you know, the SBC Weekly, or whatever it was, the show for several years before that. So you were aware of stuff going on in the SBC, then you take this role, and then the pandemic hits, and of course that completely changes everything. And then, you know, the last year, year and a half, has been pretty tough for the SBC in terms of, whether it’s real news or fake news, it’s certainly a lot of opinions out there. As the leader of the lane organizationally, as far as communication is concerned, how do you navigate some of those turbulent waters? You know, we have church leaders, church communications professionals, who most of us were praying we never have to deal with a crisis or a controversy in the context of our ministry, but unfortunately, it does happen. What advice do you have based on the experiences that you’ve had the last few years for communications directors who might find themselves in a situation where there’s something controversial, something challenging that needs to be communicated, it needs to be communicated well, and how do you refute all the other stuff, or do you refute all the other stuff that’s negative or false? Let me let you run with that.

Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s something, it has been a very difficult last year and a half or so. Much of it has to do with, I would say, you know, we deal with a lot of disinformation, we also deal with a lot of mistakes made by people that are no longer around.

Mm hmm.

And I think that’s one of those things where the frustration may be the most high, is that being the people left behind, or now in charge, trying to figure out how to communicate about something that somebody who’s no longer here did or did not do years ago, that’s a difficult task. If you’re at a church and something happens, or something comes up about something that happened 10, 15 years ago at the same church, and now you’re having to deal with a PR crisis for something nobody around you ever even knew about or had any playing in, what do you do? That’s frustrating because you’re like, this ain’t fair, I didn’t do anything about this. Why am I having to deal with this now? I could understand how churches could be very frustrated about that. You know, the last couple of years have been difficult, and what I’ve learned is there’s often a point where you can, I wouldn’t say get out of the pain process or whatever it is, but there are a lot of off-ramps along the way a lot of times, the key is to recognize them and to do the right thing early on. You will save yourself a lot of pain on the back end. Oh, I’m sorry, somebody is in the house and I forgot, they were walking around. Sorry.

So the key that I found is that you can only do the right thing whenever you have the opportunity. Like just do the right thing when you have the opportunity to do it, whatever that may be, the communications, just say the right things. Don’t think that you can just kind of move on to the next thing without dealing with it right then. A lot of times, like I said, there are a lot of times that you may don’t realize the offramp or the decision that you have that is going to save you from getting too far down the road on something. Do the right thing the first time. Say the right thing the first time. That’ll save you a lot of pain in the end. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense, but…

So as you’re trying to make decisions about what gets communicated and how it gets communicated, are there other people or other resources that you’ve looked to for some sort of counsel or insight? Are you just looking at the leaders within your own organization?

Well, for the most part, it’s the leaders within. But also, you know, it’s good to have friends outside that you can bounce things off of. Having relationships with people who are smarter than you and are better at this than you, is really important. Having people that you can call and say, hey, this is kind of where I’m thinking, what do you see in this situation?

Is Chris Martin smarter than you? Is Chris Martin smarter?

No, not him, as much.

Okay, all right, I just wanted to make sure.

He calls me.

Okay.

So sorry. No, my my my co-host, Amy, she’s. She’s been really good for me to be able to bounce things off of over the years and on the SBK This Week podcast. And, you know, to have somebody just to be able to run, run something by, hey, what do you think of this wording or what do you think of this? Like, do you because a lot of times you get so focused on how it’s going to play to you and your people that know everything about it. You forget about the people that are seeing this for the first time and wording, word, choice, quotes, those kind of things. They matter. And they hit different people different ways because everybody’s coming at an angle, a different angle than you to the to a scenario or an issue. So there are a lot of times where my first instinct to say something, I have to think through it three or four times before I realized that’s that that can be misconstrued or whatever. And it’s communication professionals. You want people to not only hear what you’re saying, but to not hear what you’re not saying. I don’t know if that makes sense, but you don’t want to leave ambiguity for them to be thinking, Oh, well, what they really meant was this. You want to be clear and you want to be concise, and you want people to understand exactly what you’re trying to say and not something that you’re not trying to say. Yeah.

Well, yeah. And you know, I’ll add on to that because, you know, I’ve been in those situations before. You should well, first of all, pray because that the spirit will lead you. But we understand that that’s an exaggeration. Yeah. But second, I think is good to, to put together some ideas on what, what, what happens if. And you’ve got that folder sitting over there on the shelf.

Yes.

That you don’t, you’re not like blindsided and. Oh, my goodness. Now what do I do? Put some forethought into it. It may happen, you know.

Yeah, it may. And you need to be ready. And if you’re a local church, I mean, you need to have a a communications plan. Now, you may not have the words because every situation is different, but you need to have a thought through plan on sex abuse, on a pastor passing away suddenly or a staff member or something like that, or somebody getting arrested. I mean, I hate it, but that happens. And we see it all the time, and pastors and churches and church communicators aren’t ready for it. And somebody says the wrong thing. And it’s not just like, what do we say? But like, who’s going to say it? How do we communicate to our people about what happened? What do we need to communicate to our people? How far to get into the details of whatever it may be you need to know and kind of have. I mean, in every situation it’s different, but at least have some kind of thought through plan. So whenever that happens, like you said, you can reach for that folder and you’ve got it and you know exactly what kind of a framework and then call your friends and ask for help too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Well.

Yeah.

Good stuff.

That’s really good. I appreciate that. I think that that’s really, really good advice. Something that I think we don’t like to think about, the fact that that’s a reality. It’s not the fun part of our job as communications professionals. We were much more interested in promoting events and activities and things that are going to actually move the needle for with the gospel and for God’s kingdom. But the reality is, is that sometimes we find ourselves in damage control situation and it is important. Hey, I’m watching the clock and respectful of your time and know that we’re kind of coming up on the end of our time commitment together. Jason, did you have any final questions or final thoughts before we give Jonathan a chance to have a parting shot?

I know. Well, I’m I think there’s some great things to take away from this conversation that no matter what role you’re playing in your church, you know, you want to you want to put thought into how you’re communicating in the story that you’re communicating and be ready for any kind of scenario. But I really loved our part about sharing and telling stories of change lives. I mean, that just gets my heart going and you have to work at that. That’s just not going to like you. Send out one email, then hope that they just come flooding in. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to work it, you know, and I think I’ve explained that. So now thanks for for being on on our podcast. It was a lot a lot of lot of nuggets to take away in.

Implementing our ministries.

Yeah. Jonathan, any any parting shots for us? Anything you want to share before we wrap it up?

Well, I would say that one parting shot just kind of looking to the future here. And we’ve seen it the last few years. And I don’t want to dive too deep onto this, but I know that your church and you’re going to have communications issues pop up moving forward, you’re going to have and it may more than likely it’s going to be something that you’re not responsible for. You’re not you had no business doing, you know, in the creation of the problem or the issue. It’s going to be a result of something outside your church probably or outside of your control. But to have patience and to just persevere through that, you know, we’ve got a political season coming up in a, you know, another election cycle coming up later this year even, and then down into 24 that I mean, I don’t know about you guys. The last six years have been kind of like the the most just continuous I’ve seen. It’s exhausting as far as a yes communication side of things. And, you know, not only does your church need to plan for when things go wrong, your church needs a kind of an idea of where we’re going to be with politics and stuff.

And I hate to jump into politics because that’s like a really just dirty area to be for a church communications thing is just there’s no good way out of that. But but it’s it’s real. It’s impacting our people. Yeah. And it’s something that you need to have a plan and a really think through because it’s going to impact your church. It already is impacting a bunch of our churches and I think a lot of people listening to go, yeah, you know, I can tell you about this and this, but be thinking through that as we get on to these election cycles, as they come up and how you can best steward people toward the gospel and not to politics when it comes to your communications and. And how you’re doing things in the church and and to to keep people really focused on the gospel and on on what Christ has done for us and how he’s moving in the world and not on any kind of hope in a political party or saving grace that politics may bring.

So well said.

I had to go there at the end.

But no, no. You all said.

I was not to saying that. I’m like whenever you ask me, What are you planning for? What are you thinking about next at the SBC? That’s the thing, because that is the thing that is just consuming people at this point. And it’s it’s hard. And I want to see people focused on the gospel and focused on the great commission and not on partizan politics.

Yeah, for sure. I was I was about to say pretty much guaranteed way. You are not asked back on a podcast is to start talking politics but you landed the plane pretty well there, so. Hey, Jonathan, thanks so much for joining us on the show today.

Thank you.

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