The Communications Ministry at the bridge exists to promote and support the initiatives at the bridge through the use of media and technology. This year, we have seen some significant growth and development in our use of both media and technology to reach the world with the message of the gospel.
We started our ministry year in September—right in the midst of group onboarding for Seasonal Groups, LifeGroups and Starting Point. A discussion began at that time regarding ways to simplify the communications of groups under a single banner. This conversation continued into the third and fourth quarter of 2019 and led to the establishment of the “Group for Growth” brand AND the establishment of a new communications calendar that grouped all our major initiatives into six seasons. There’s a tremendous benefit to this, as it allows us to develop greater communication campaigns that cover a wide range of eventsAND allows us to get ahead of the calendar, so we can involve creative volunteers in greater ways. We launched our first Group for Growth in January to great success and saw incredible engagement with our group onboarding for this ministry year.
Alongside that initiative, the Communications Department continued to work with all ministries on their communication plans and the execution of media to help promote their events and initiatives. 2019 brought us Baptism Sunday, AGM, Christmas Cheer, Surviving the Holidays, our Fall and Christmas Series, our incredible Christmas Eve services and—of course—the Kidzone’s Christmas special service. It was an incredible time!
As we moved into 2020, I began the process of developing a mobile app for the church working with church mobile development companies. We also finalized the details of our new digital sign and finally saw it installed in February! While this was all happening we began to turn our attention towards Easter promo when….COVID hit.
COVID changed everything and presented significant challenges to how we do what we do as a church. I’m glad to report that, despite the challenges, we stepped up to the plate and made some rapid changes to respond to the need. We were able to create the “Church Online” space on our website that was a quick way for people to gain access to all the online ministry experiences. We launched the “Daily bridge”, a daily reflection video series with contributions from various members of the bridge. We worked closely with Jeff and the Creative Arts team to strategize our online Easter and weekly worship experiences. As a department, we worked hard to help all our ministries get set up online and make ministry happen…and we did. Despite COVID, we have seen incredible engagement online.
The early work on the app paid off, as we were able to launch our appl right in the midst of the pandemic, which was perfect timing as with everything being digital, the app allows for easy access to EVERYTHING online. We’re incredibly proud of it and already have close to 600 downloads of the application on people’s devices.
As we continued into the summer, we were able to design and launch a fantastic summer teaching series called “got fruit?” where we shared weekly recipes that accompanied the weekly fruits in the sermons. We also began the development of several new online initiatives: an online learning platform that we hope will be an instrumental part of leadership and ministry development; we supported LifeGroup through the development of a digital LifeGroup launch box that was a great success during the September LifeGroup launch experience. Then, working with Connections Ministry and Cynthia, we started the set-up our new CRM system Hubspot, which will create greater efficiencies in how we do ministry.
As we moved into the current ministry year, Pastor Jeff and I started rebranding the Sunday morning experience with new visuals and animations, as well as a brighter feel—all with the goal of making our online worship experience more engaging and impactful as we dig deeper into online ministry.
So much has happened this year. It’s been an unprecedented time, but God has made us more ready than we ever thought possible. I want to send a special thanks to Kathy Mo, who by working several hours a week has been instrumental in helping us move forward. She’s made the use of her design, editorial, organizational and coordination skills in all the areas mentioned above. So thank you, Kathy.
Well, you can dig more into the details about the Communications Ministry below this video. There, you can check out information on our social media growth, web traffic and more. Thanks so much for watching! Be blessed.