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Getting Started in Church Communications: Learning The Craft

This post is part of a mulit-part series giving pointers to those who are starting out in church communications.

Landing a job in the field of church communications can be tricky. There is lots of information available for the person trying to break in to communications in a corporate or business setting, but how does one go about it in the church world? We want to answer your questions.

Hopefully you will walk away with the confidence to live out your calling as a leader in helping the church better communicate its message.

One of the essential parts to landing a job as a communications director in a church is learning the trade. This includes both formal and informal education.

Formal Education

There are many paths we can take to get a formal education. For example:

  • An undergraduate degree in communications.
  • A masters degree in communications or a related field.
  • An MBA with supplemental communications classes.

Personally, I wanted to start out with a background in ministry (in fact, I intended on being a pastor from the beginning, not a communications professional) so I pursued an undergraduate degree in “Christian Ministry.” It wasn’t until later that I received formal training in communications and media.

The important thing isn’t necessarily which path you choose, but rather choosing a path and jumping in. Get as much formal education as is practical…it never hurts.

Beyond the Books

Aside from schooling, there are other ways to learn the ins and outs of church communication. For example, internships are a great way to get practical knowledge valuable for serving in churches.

There are also a lot of great books and resources out there. Here are a few of them, but be sure to check out the Church Marketing Directory on ChurchMarketingSucks.com for a comprehensive list.

Blogs:

Books:

People To Follow (on Twitter, Facebook, etc):

There are literally hundreds of other people that I didn’t have room to list, but this list will get you started.

Attending conferences, workshops, tweet-ups, etc. is another way to “informally” learn the craft. Don’t forget to look at both ministry conferences (like Cultivate, Catalyst, Echo, The Global Leadership Summit, Story, etc) and non-ministry conferences (Photoshop World, SXSW, NAB, etc) as you’re determining your budget.

Finally, above all else, believe in yourself and just jump in. Volunteer for your church or a local non-profit. Help out your youth group or college ministry. The sooner you can get in and start interacting with ministry leaders, and church attenders as soon and as much as possible. The only way to truly learn the nuances of communicating in the church is to get in there and do it.

In the next post we will look at how to land a job in church communications.

Chuck ScogginsToday’s post was written by Chuck Scoggins. Chuck most recently was Comm. Director for Calvary Church, and currently runs 374designs.com. Passionate about leveraging technology to help people, he’s also a part of the Creative Missions leadership. Chuck and his wife, Amy, and their 3 sons live outside of St. Louis, MO. You can follow him on Twitter @chuckscoggins.
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  1. Tony J. Alicea (Reply) on April 18th, 2012

    This was super helpful, Chuck. I just came on as the Communications Director at my church in January. I have more of an IT background but I have been blogging for the past 2 years so I’m very comfortable in the communications medium.

    It’s always great to find resources to further my knowledge and help me get better. I just followed Media Bleep on Twitter and I’m going to be coming back for more!

    • Chuck Scoggins (Reply) on April 18th, 2012

      Great to hear, Tony! Congrats on the new gig and let us know how we can help you be successful in the future!

  2. [...] post is part of a mulit-part series giving pointers to those who are starting out in church [...]

  3. [...] post is part of a mulit-part series giving pointers to those who are starting out in church [...]


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