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.
Darrel Girardier is the former Creative Director for LifeWay Christian Resources who can now be found roaming the campus of Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN where he works as the Digital Strategy Director. Darrel has a blog with many valuable resources for those working in digital and social media you will want to check it out. He also has a podcast called #AskDarrel where he answers questions people ask regarding social media, church communications or technology.
Here is my interview with Darrel.
MH: Darrel it seems like you have been helping resources those doing ministry for a little while, but how did you get started doing church communications?
DG: Around 2012 I was working at a large corporation running a creative team. I started to notice an emerging pattern that smaller organizations with less resources where able to produce content at the same quality with less resources. At this point, I knew that I needed to look elsewhere.
At the same time, I had on ongoing conversation with my pastor about the future of our church and what needed to happen next. After more conversation, I joined the staff to run the digital side of things.
MH: What would you say excites you the most about what you get to do every single day?
DG: The fact that the industry is changing so fast. I love the speed of everything. There are very few obstacles to get what you want done on a personal level. I find that most of the issues I face are organizational cultural issues. A lot ministers are scared of the future and pace that it’s coming at them.
MH: The rate of change is incredible at times when it comes to technology, that is for sure. We know that regardless of the job we go to, it will not be smooth sailing all the time. What have you experienced as the hardest part of your job?
DG: People. So much of what I do is focused around technology and that is usually very neat and clean. However, people are always the variable that can make things go awry.
What some people don’t understand is that about 50% of this job is relationship management and education. A lot ministers are scared of technology and it’s implications. They need someone to say “it will be okay”. You have to be there to calm them down and give them a clear understanding of what’s next.
MH: Darrel there will be some who read this that are brand new to church communications. What is one pieced advice that you can give them?
DG: Read the following books, Getting Things Done by David Allen, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I think each of these books will teach the art of executing your ideas. If you can execute your ideas, you’ll be better than majority of the people who do your job at other churches.
MH: Great book suggestions. There are so many out there and these three are some of the best. Ok. I have one more question for you that might seem odd, but I believe that on some level the answer does say something about us.
What is your favorite cartoon character?
DG: Bob the Builder – Because he’s always saying “Yes we can!”.
MH: Darrel thank you for your words of advice and encouragement.
If you want to connect with Darrel online check out the links below.