What Does A Church Communication Team Do?

Dan Bracken

I recently gave a communication team update to the Ginghamsburg Church board. I perceived that it was helpful, so I thought I’d share the report with you, too.

The Ginghamsburg Communication Team IS:

Dan Bracken (Communication Director, Design Studio Creative Director, Marketing and Social Media)

Dan Bracken 2

John Whirledge (Online Campus Director)

John Whirledge 2

Shannon Sellars (Digital Content Manager)

Shannon Sellars 2

Will Flora (Video Producer and Research & Development)

Will Flora 2

and Lori Barnett (Data & Print specialist)

Lori Barnett 2
The Ginghamsburg Design Studio is currently responsible for all of THIS awesome and fun stuff (and probably more):

Ginghamsburg.org, Ginghamsburg.church, Church online live chat, Youtube.com/ginghamsburgchurch, Podcast management, Facebook.com/ginghamsburg, @ginghamsburg on Instagram, Video storytelling, Virtual Reality exploration and training, Graphic Design – digital and print, Event capture (photo and video), Internal and external marketing, Internal organizational communication, The Ginghamsburg App, The Ginghamsburg Blog, Website/YouTube SEO, Event Calendar Organization, Technology workflows (text in church, QR codes, serving signups, on-demand content, etc), Worship host scripting, Worship design participation, Creation of Worship media assets and weekend playlist, Registration and contact forms, Data analytics (attendance, giving, life group participation, serving, mailing lists, etc), In-house print publication, Wayfinding and digital signage, Digital and historical archives, Swag shop, Media relations, Ginghamsburg Discord server, Design Studio Internships, Miracle Offering Strategic Communication, E-News formatting, Scheduling and training design volunteers, 501c3 in-kind design support, Event design consultations, Maintaining communication timelines, New series marketing flywheel, Implementation and stewardship of Ginghamsburg’s corporate brand, Copy writing and Copy proofing, managing Voice and Tone guidelines–

…and now my brain is melting a little bit so I’ll stop.

The Ginghamsburg Communication Team has a really subtle but powerful influence on the life of our Church.

I spent five minutes walking around the Tipp City Campus and took a picture of everything with communication team fingerprints. I don’t want to break WordPress, so I’ll just show you a single screenshot of my phone’s photo album to give you a sense:

Comm Snap

When you walk through the lobby, when you sit at a table for worship at the Fort McKinley Campus, when you see a post from Ginghamsburg on facebook, when you browse the website for an event… what do you feel? Who is talking to you? Is it me? Shannon, Will, John or Lori? Or is it the embodiment of what it means to be Ginghamsburg Church?

The Ginghamsburg communication team has the delicate responsibility of managing Ginghamsburg’s brand, voice and tone.

Guidelines for brand, voice and tone help give longevity to the Church. It gives the church a unique voice, independent of the strong personalities that come and go. Brand is a language, equally shaped by culture as culture is shaped by it. It’s not a logo, a font or color scheme… it’s all of that and everything else working together to cohesively build a free sandbox worth playing in. It’s a way of being… existing.

When it comes to our function in the Body of Christ, the communication team is the mouth. The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. We observe the pains, the joys and all the complexities that represent the heart of our church family, and express them in simple ways we can all embrace and understand.

Example – What’s currently our most common slogan?

We love Jesus and Do something about it.

We’re also a team of future thinkers. We like to play with technology… which is equal parts exciting and exhausting. A few of us traveled to Texas for a conference on Phygital Innovation (“phygital” meaning physical + digital). One of our guest speakers was the Program Manager of NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation.

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He validated our exhaustion and provided evidence that the world is changing faster than ever before by comparing two coinciding exponential graphs: Population growth and the rate of patent applications.

Population Growth Graph
Patent Applications Graph

In 2018,” he says, “our best companies only had a lifespan of 18 years. 30 years ago that average lifespan was 90 years.

Innovation is no longer something we can put on the shelf for a rainy day. It has to be engrained in our culture, our brand, our DNA. The biggest stagnation of growth is success… because when things are working, we relax.   Our team is beginning to ask those “what’s next” questions when it comes to publishing events, the ginghamsburg app, how we engage on social media, the purpose of online church, how we tell stories, and even whether or not to incorporate AI, AR, VR…

Our team wants to make things simple. Accessible. We don’t want to waste time. We want our art to have longevity, timelessness.

Yet as we experience the chaos of emerging and complex technologies, we’re finding that hard to do.

So what’s next?

John and I have started a podcast.

We always have conversations that end in regret. Because we didn’t record it. So this podcast is raw, with little to no road map. It’s four episodes and you can find it on almost any podcast platform out there.

It’s called MAKE IT HAPPEN–a podcast for anyone tired of “doing church” the same old way. John and I talk openly about church practice and offer gobs of fresh ideas to do church differently.

Make It Happen Invite Slide

If you search “ginghamsburg”, you’ll find it.

We’re also thinking about redeveloping our app. It’s funny how something less than five years old can feel so ancient.

We’re not done exploring VR. Waiting on Apple for their contribution.

Soon we’ll put out another communication survey to seek understanding in the effectiveness of our systems and channels.

Are we ready to explore A.I.? Probably. Clyde, the new Discord A.I. seems to agree.

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