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.
With some amazing girl power here is my interview with Carrie Kintz. The first time I ever heard Carrie speak was at That Church Conference in Atlanta, and she blew me away with her content and her heart for Jesus. She is one of those people you can see the Spirit working and moving. You can find Carrie all over social media helping others do digital better. She and Sam Hoover have a weekly Facebook Live/Podcast called Unfiltered where they highlight various things happening in the digital and social media world. She is an avid Broncos fan (being a Steelers fan I won’t hold that against her) and in her words is, Powered by Coffee ☕. Amen Carrie. Amen. You will be blessed by her words.
MH: Carrie I have heard you speak a number of times on communication within the church, how did you get started in all of this?
CK: I actually started in communications working at a ministry. I joined the public relations department at Focus on the Family in 2010, and learned how to talk with the media, connect with journalists on Twitter, and create awareness for the ministry.
As I grew in my job, I continued to see how the digital world could be used by the church in so many ways. But church leaders I talked with either didn’t get it or felt overwhelmed by the prospect. Gradually the Lord crossed my path with people who love the church and love to help the church communicate digitally and offline and it’s kind of all grown from there.
MH: Digital communication can definitely be overwhelming at times, but there is such a need for the church to have a voice in the digital world. I know for me the overwhelming pales in comparison to all the possibilities the church has with digital communication, it is definitely one of the things that excites me the most about what I get to do. What would you say is one thing that excites you the most about your job?
CK: There is nothing better than watching digital click for someone. Not just the understanding that communications are important, but that they can actually be used by Jesus to impact people through their job.
Helping people get to that point is amazing and it is so fun to watch the possibilities suddenly explode around that person. Also, I love seeing what’s happening in the church at large with communications. There is a much stronger desire to be intentional, thoughtful, and creative online and that is encouraging.
This next wave of communicators in the church really seem to not only get current trends, but they’re not afraid of new ones and they provide safe spaces for people to explore and understand them. Seeing the universal church bond together in that way – with unity and a shared sense of responsibility to communicate the gospel – makes me incredibly happy.
MH: Amen. Those are all good things and I love seeing the sense of unity and shared responsibility as well. We should work this way – we should have a sense of unity and shared responsibility because at the end of the day we are all on the same team, focusing on the same goal. As with most jobs there are always moments when it is not so good and exciting. There are days when it is incredibly difficult and hard. What has been the hardest part of your job?
CK: Trolls. Not the fuzzy ones that I had as a kid but living, breathing internet trolls. They’re the worst. From nasty comments to filling important trending hashtags with terrible things, the sometimes make digital communications a really difficult thing.
The other hard part, I think, is just keeping up with how fast technology changes and helping churches and clients figure out what are the best platforms for them. We should be trying and innovating with tools, but it can be overwhelming sometimes. Even for someone who loves digital/church communications.
MH: I totally agree with you on both difficulties especially the second. Technology seems to change weekly, if not daily and trying to keep up with everything can be exhausting and certainly overwhelming. Being aware of the changes, but not always jumping on the latest trends I think is helpful. We don’t have to have it all, nor do we have to be on every digital and social media channel – more important to choose wisely.
Carrie there may be some reading this who are new to digital communications what is one piece of advice you would give them?
CK: I would tell them that the best thing they can do is rest. Communications is a full time job x2 most days. And it is easy to feel like you’re failing if you aren’t running yourself ragged.
But rest gives your brain a break. It actually fosters creativity. It can help reset your thinking. Many people I know say that they don’t have time or feel like they can’t. (Which is a lie that busyness perpetuates.)
So my suggestion is a simple daily exercise that at least helps start the pattern of rest. Every day, find a half hour block on your calendar and block it off. No exceptions. Find some place to sit and be quiet so you can rest and even use the time to be with Jesus. Put your phone on do not disturb and set your alarm. Make it a distraction free zone for 30 minutes.
I started doing this in the middle of a very intense and busy season at Focus and it helped so much to refresh, to even reset my heart and attitude with Jesus.
MH: Yes. Yes. Yes. This is probably one of the biggest issues for communicators. The fact that we can take things on the go with us has perpetuated this issue. Rest is so important and allows us to defray and like you said, reset. So often when we are go, go, go, that we end up just going through the motions and lose sight as to why we do this in the first place. We become more routine and less relational because we need to get information out and make sure something gets posted. When we rest, we breathe. This breath allows the Spirit to enter back into the mix. Thank you for reminding us to stop, rest and reset.
I am sad we are almost done with this, but I have one more question – it’s always my favorite. Ready?
What is your favorite cartoon character?
CK: Growing up I loved Odie from Garfield and shows like The Flintstones and The Jetsons. I was also OBSESSED with Rainbow Brite.
I would say now I love Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb – which is a hilarious and very clever cartoon. I also really love Malefecent from Sleeping Beauty. She’s so weird and crazy. And her laugh is one of the best evil-muwahaha-I’ve-made-evil-
MH: Phineas and Ferb are by far one of my favorite cartoons ever – great choice there! Carrie thank you so much for your willingness to share your thoughts. I know that you are doing some amazing things for church communicators and the Kingdom. Keep being the beautiful soul you are.
If you want to find out more about Carrie, which you totally should, you can check out the links below: