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Part two of a two part series on Church Communication Professionals.
In the world of church communications, it is important for us to learn from each other and share what works and what doesn't. With that in mind, I wanted to interview Meredith Whitefield, an amazing church communicator who serves as the Media Director for St. John Lutheran Church, in Cypress, Texas, and give us all a chance to learn from her ministry.
How do you stay inspired/energized?
I love brainstorming. I’m only one person so as much as I’d love to have all the best ideas, it’s just not possible. I’m notorious for talking with a co-worker about one issue and 30 minutes later we’re in a conversation about what lighting would look best with an orange curtain. I am fascinated with people’s creativity, especially my co-workers. Their creativity inspires and ignites my own creativity.
What do you listen to at work?
When I’m not listening critically to the videos I’m editing I’m usually listening to a Spotify playlist. At any given time there’s a good chance that I’m listening to Ben Rector, Explosions in the Sky or Rend Collective.
Favorite blogs, websites, podcasts, or other resources you’d recommend:
I really love the Lutheran Communicators group on Facebook. Members in that group bring up the best topics and think of questions that hadn’t crossed my mind. It is a great place for brainstorming and problem solving.
I have been blessed to meet other church communicators from other areas of the United States who are always open to a quick text or an email with ideas, questions, and obstacles that I might be facing during work.
Sometimes I need to be fed spiritually in the middle of the week. I like to listen to Breakaway Ministries, a campus ministry at Texas A&M. Although it doesn’t help me with communication efforts it is uplifting and a good resource for staying connected with a younger culture and current events in relation to God’s Word.
Other churches or organizations you follow for communication inspiration?
I love the content on DoSomething.org. I’m also the biggest fan of Southwest Airlines Twitter accounts; it’s hard not to be a fan of good humor, good puns, and FAST customer response.
What advice would you give to churches considering adding this position?
Have a goal AND a plan! Ask,“What do you want out of this position and how will this position enhance the mission of the church?" “Communications” is a broad term and can seem overwhelming, but setting specific responsibilities will help shape the position to be both productive and positive for your ministry.
What advice would you give to someone about to step into this role at a church?
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to utilize your creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s an exciting environment that allows you to interact with more people than just Sunday morning.
Biggest challenge & opportunity in the next ten years?
TEN YEARS?! That’s crazy to think about! There is no doubt that Media will shift and change in the next ten years. Staying connected to new media trends is a challenge now, and I feel certain it will continue to be a challenge.
With so much information online it might be difficult to make sure the message of Christ is at the top of that list. The best opportunities are ahead of us. I think we will have the opportunity to reach more people.
Think of the ease of finding new information in today’s society. As the Church we have the opportunity to use that platform to spread the message to all corners of the earth at any given time.
Is there anything else that might be interesting to church communicators?
The work you do to further the Kingdom is incredible! I’m constantly amazed by the dedication and creativity that comes from church communicators. I enjoy learning from and growing with y’all.