Seeking good-news ambassadors
When people ask me what I do at Chapel Hill, and I tell them I lead the Communications and Marketing team, sometimes they ask, “Why does a church need to market itself?” It’s a fair question. Ideas about the role of communications in a local church have evolved over the years. I remember my former senior pastor, Louis Zbinden of First Presbyterian San Antonio, introducing me to a new church member and explaining my job: “When I talk to the editor of the newspaper on the phone, Judson calls him back after I hang up and says, ‘What Rev. Zbinden told you was A, B, and C. What he MEANT to say was X, Y, and Z!’”
But while media relations can be an important part of any communication strategy, my primary purpose is to meet people where they are. As a future-thinking church leader said recently, we need to figure out where our culture is going and “set the table” for frontline ministry leaders to address those people with biblical truth, and then lead them to where God wants them to be.
In other words, intentional communications directly supports the mission and vision of our church. We want to remove any barriers people might have to hearing about God’s love through Jesus Christ.
It’s been said the front door of the church has moved back quite a bit from the days when it was literally the front door of the building. In fact, it’s not even the signage at our Rosedale or Skansie entrance; it’s now our website. When we created our new website a year ago, church leadership agreed that the primary audience members shouldn’t necessarily be Chapel Hill regular attenders—but rather people considering their very first visit to Chapel Hill.
It’s the same with our social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. People who seek answers and greater meaning in their lives are looking for it everywhere, including online—so we want to meet them where they are, and create easy pathways into our faith community.
If you’re wondering how this might relate to you, the answer’s simple: you can help share our content! Take one of the ministry cards we have at the wood wall in the lobby and the reception office. Give it to someone you know—maybe a neighbor, a colleague, a school friend. Like and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram; share a post or a video clip from one of the sermons.
And when you do, remember that every video, blog, post, web link, postcard, or brochure supports your own personal invitation (whether it is to a worship service, an event, a LifeGroup, Alpha, Celebrate Recovery, HSM, MSM, or even a deeper conversation). It’s not the content itself that will have the greatest impact on the person with whom you’re sharing it—it’s you. You are Chapel Hill’s greatest ambassador! May we all step out in faith and obedience to invite people to hear the good news.
Senior Director of Communications & Marketing
Chapel Hill Gig Harbor