In the world of digital and social media church communication there are many individuals doing some great work and paving a path forward that the church has not been yet. Some of these individuals you may have had interactions with or have even seen a product of their work. Others might have slipped through the radar as they continue to work in the trenches of church communications. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight them and the work they do. Here is a small window into their world.
Up next is Van Baird. I am honored to say I know him – giving someone a real-life high five is knowing someone right? In addition, Van is definitely one of my most favorite people to follow on social media. If you don’t follow him, you need to do so. He will challenge you, encourage you and definitely make you smile at some point. Van is a State Farm Insurance Agent, and is also a volunteer on the social media team at Browns Bridge Church in Cumming, Georgia. Van is also one of the founders of That Church Conference, and has helped pave the way for what it means to “listen” on social media through his work with what he calls relational equity.
Here is my interview with Van Baird.
MH: Van, you work as an insurance agent, but how did you get started in Church Communications?
VB: After discovering a way to use social media on a very relational level in the business world, I was hired as a consultant to a church to train them on how to connect relationally online. Having studied Family Ministry in college and serving in the church world for many years, it was a great opportunity to help the Church to tell the best story ever in a digital space.
MH: We do have the best story ever, which is one thing that excites me about the digital space. When it comes to what you get to do, what excites you the most?
VB: I get the most excited when I see a person or a team or a church that I’m consulting with finally “get it” when it comes to using digital the right way for the Gospel. For so long, so many churches were just “doing it” because they thought they had to to keep up. Leading them to see the efficiency and effectiveness of our digital age is quite exciting.
MH: Challenges and difficulties seem to come with any job. What would you say is the hardest part of your job?
VB: The hardened hearts. The weary and beat down staff that see digital as something else that they won’t be good enough at. I find the perceived larger churches are very willing to share what’s working, however, there are too many smaller churches that find more reasons to not engage rather than praying through how to be equipped with the right tools that could actually make their ministry easier.
MH: Wow. I cannot say Amen enough times after hearing those words. There are so many good resources from small to large churches especially with all the groups on Facebook, the Twitter chats and your community site that has just exploded on thatchurch.community.
So there may be some reading this who are new to church communications what is one piece of advice you would give them?
VB: Ask questions!!! There are so many communities of people figuring out the best way to share information for the betterment of the Church and the Gospel. The internet is full of REALLY good articles and sites that have taken so much of the guess work out of what we do.
Oh…and read Kem Meyer’s book “Less Chaos. Less Noise.”
MH: Kem just released “Less Chaos. Less Noise” and I am excited to read through my copy that I received from attending the That Church Conference Chicago Workshop. Ok Van, my final question is not a typical interview question, but one I believe can say a lot about a person. Also, I just like asking the question.
What is your favorite cartoon character and why?
VB: Wile E Coyote. Dude makes me laugh so hard without saying a word.
Van thank you so much for your willingness to do this and know that your work with is making a huge difference for the local church, and the kingdom.
You can connect with Van online. Check out the links below.