What Makes for a Great Church Creative/Communications Director?

A great church creative director is equal parts brand ambassador, storyteller, metaphor maker, creative coach, and strategist.

What Makes for a Great Church Creative/Communications Director?
There are three types of stories: Stories of being in mission with our community, stories of being relationship with one another, and stories of Jesus being made more real in people’s lives.
What Makes for a Great Church Creative/Communications Director?
There are three types of stories: Stories of being in mission with our community, stories of being relationship with one another, and stories of Jesus being made more real in people’s lives.

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I recently got an inquiry from someone who was assuming creative and communications leadership for a large church. He’d been on my blog and, having read a few posts, wanted to distill several ideas to a bottom line question: What, in my view, makes for a great local church creative or communications director?

Show me an image of a disciple in the form of a story, and I will show you a ministry, program, or activity that “works.”

It’s a great question, isn’t it?

Here’s what I told him:

A great church creative director is equal parts brand ambassador, storyteller, metaphor maker, creative coach, and strategist. (I use the terms creative director and communications director interchangeably, depending on my situation, but will use creative director for the rest of this article.) Sometimes I call it a “church like Pixar.” 

Let me explain each:

1) A great church creative director is the brand ambassador for the church.

There’s no one else in a large church, senior pastor included, who has the same global view of what is going on as a good creative director. This person is the main representative and protector of what the church values and what needs to be minimized or eliminated. This isn’t to diminish the visionary role of the senior leader.

In fact, the two jobs should work closely together, with the creative director co-developing, strategizing and executing ideas with the senior pastor. He or she is constantly making decisions on how best to push church messaging toward what matters. For example, here’s a recent post I wrote on how to develop marketing to inspire your church to invite people.

This is done, though, with lots of diplomacy. Churches are, by definition, collaborative, because the head isn’t a person, like a secular organization, but Christ, under whom we all follow together. This means you’ve got to be able to inspire and persuade with the “why,” and not just dictate with the what.

2) A great church creative director is the primary storyteller.

A disciple of Jesus isn’t someone who checks the boxes on a set of beliefs, but someone who is in the ever-increasing process of receiving and becoming Jesus. As such, the most transformative way this happens is through stories, not principles. Stories are models of changed hearts, lives, and communities. This is why we do what we do.


More About Len Wilson
Len Wilson has been championing creativity and more effective communication in church life since 1993. In service to this calling, he has worked on four church staffs, written ten books, consulted with dozens of churches, spoken at hundreds of events, founded two media micro-publishing firms, and acquired leadership books at a major publishing house. He is currently Creative Director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Get in Touch: len@lenwilson.us    More by Len Wilson

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