Vocation, or those roles to which God has called us to love and serve our neighbor, is at the heart of our lives as Christians. God uses means, or those things we encounter in our daily lives, to care for and communicate with His creation.
He works through what we often consider ordinary. Literally, the word vocation means “calling.” He works through the gifts and talents He’s given us, including those in the area of communication, both within the walls of the church and outside of them.
We don’t need a list highlighting the countless communication avenues we have at our disposal to know that we, and those we’re called to serve, are exposed to and influenced by loads and loads of information.
In this contemporary landscape, the church’s job, and our focus as communicators, is to clear through the muck of messages the world is constantly throwing at each and every one of us and point to Jesus—to His life, His death, His resurrection, and His call upon our lives to love and serve our neighbors.
Whether our communication is through a website, a print piece, a Facebook post, a video, or all of the above, let’s consider: Does this point to the truth of God’s Word and the forgiveness, grace, and hope it communicates? Does it equip parents as they teach their children the Christian faith? How are we engaging and educating through this communication vehicle?
Church communications coach, author, and speaker Kem Meyer challenges us to consider whether we are liberating people, equipping them in their vocations, or bogging down already-weary individuals and families.
As church communicators, part of our vocation is informing so that those we serve are equipped for their vocations. But church communication is not a one-way street. Listening is part of our call too.
While we can listen in person, an advocate for quality church communication and leader in the field, Van Baird, emphasizes the importance of churches listening on social media as well. Our neighbors might not share their joy, their hurt, the brokenness they experience, and the hope they find face-to-face, but many will share their lives online. Listening, in those places people are openly sharing, is crucial.
In our listening, in our sharing of content, in our conversation, Gretchen Jameson, Senior Vice President of Strategy and University Affairs at Concordia University—Wisconsin reminds us that “we’re not marketing the Gospel; we’re connecting to the Gospel.” In a culture that responds to storytelling, God has given us the greatest narrative.
What we communicate isn’t about what we do at all. It’s about what God has done through Christ to redeem and restore broken and hopeless people, communicating His love and mercy.
As God uses church communicators to love and serve our neighbors, He also uses those around us, both geographically and digitally, to equip, challenge, and encourage us in our vocation.
He places us in ministry teams and staffs. He works in various ways to clarify and refine our efforts in sharing the life-giving Gospel with a world that so desperately needs to know the love of Christ.
Do we do always fulfill our vocations perfectly? As sinful people, living in a sinful world, the answer will always be no. I fail constantly.
But thanks be to God for His forgiveness and mercy and the grace He showers upon us. I’m grateful for reminders that, even in our mistakes, in our failure, there is something to learn.
Does God need church communicators to share the truth and love of His Word? Absolutely not. Does He choose to use us anyway? Yes. And what a privilege and joy it is to love and serve our neighbor in this way.
How do you see church communication and vocation colliding? What avenues are you using and what messages are you communicating as a church or organization? We’re excited to hear what you’re thinking!
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