Have I mentioned that I work for a church? ?At least once, but that was a long time ago. ?I do. ?I am the publications person for a Lutheran church. ?You may think, ha ha, she puts together the little newsletter for a church, how lame is that. ?I assure you, it is much more than putting together a simple little newsletter. ?The fact that our church employs an actual person to create publications is almost a miracle. ?Most churches utilize the services of their parish secretary and volunteers to communicate church information to the public. ?In addition to the 24 page newsletter I create all of the brochures for the church, the annual ministry book, assemble the annual report and help out with other printed materials the church sees fit to produce. ?I built and manage the website, I fix the computers when they break. ?I serve on the Outreach team and the Tech team. ?Supposedly I do this all in 20 hours a month. ?Yeah right.
I don’t complain because I like my job. ?Sure, I would love more money, but at this point I have a job and one that is potentially expendable so I thank the Lord every day and do my work.
When I started out in careerdom I had no intention of working for a church. ?The trusty MIL was a music director and parish administrator for many years. ?She worked her butt off. ?Church work is hard. ?However, in the 5 years that I’ve been working for a church I’ve really come to like it. ?It probably helps that I work for a church with an awesome staff and equally cool congregation.
In my roll of publications I have the unique perspective of outreach. ?Most of the staff at a church is very focused on the congregation and what they need. ?Youth directors focus on the church’s youth. ?Music directors plan and execute music for services and special events. ?Pastors… well pastors are pastors. ?They preach, provide pastoral care and do other pastory things. ?The parish secretary keeps everyone in line. ?My job is to communicate the mission of the church to everyone. ?This includes the congregation and the public at large. ?I am here to tell you one thing. ?Church marketing sucks.
In fact, there is a whole website called just that. ?It’s not just a clever name. ?It’s true. ?I could go on and on about church marketing and it’s suckitude. ?Don’t get me wrong, some churches get it right, but most of them don’t.
Our parish secretary’s husband works for an organization that consults on capital campaigns (large church fundraisers). ?He visits churches all over the US and brings back publications for all of the churches he visits. ?If he finds one that is particularly good he emails me a link to their website. ?Otherwise he passes all of the material to me so I can see what other churches are doing. ?It is terrible. ?Because church marketing sucks.
Remember how I told you that I had a few ideas of what I want to do in life? ?This happens to be one of them. ?Churches need to step up and realize that it is ok to be professional in your approach to outreach. ?They need to know that the material they put out is not just for the congregation, but for everyone who passes through their doors. ?It’s a tall order.
Because frankly, this is funny… because it’s true.