I was sitting across from a young leader in the communications department of my denomination and we were brainstorming ideas for how to better resource our churches in the area of communication instead of relying on digital DIY. In a hushed tone, he excitedly told me about his idea that he was sure would take our churches to the next level in communications.
“A Facebook group where we do after effects tutorials.” He waited for effect and for awe to settle into my soul. Unfortunately, my internal reaction was likely similar to yours. A combination of an eye roll that could rival Starfox’s barrel roll and uninhibited anxiety.
The reality for me was that I was a pastor in a small town church who was passionate about communications, but barely had time to maintain the website, much less maintain all the other duties of my role. And the reality is that the majority of pastors are in a more difficult spot than I was.
The time demands on a pastor, and all church leaders, are enormous and the realities of the modern church do not help. We’re expected to design like Joe Cavazos, manage our social media like Brady Shearer, all while preaching better than Carey Nieuwhoff. Oh, and if you could also sit at Great Aunt Greta’s bed and read her favorite Psalms until she nods off that would be great.
There’s no budget to hire more staff so pastors tend to become masters of digital DIY. We shoot and edit a video until 1am before getting up to preach the next morning.
The problem of digital DIY is we spend hours watching tutorials on web development only to realize we’ve ruined our entire website with that one accidental line of code. We(I) waste an entire day learning to animate a simple lower thirds clip in After Effects while putting off a meeting with a volunteer.
The pressure to perform is enormous and we leaders tend to want to rise to the occasion. But there is too much to DIY this. The truth is there are things that we do that no one else can. No one else can sit with that grieving family after a tragic loss and be Jesus for them. No one else can encourage that teen that’s struggling with depression and help them connect to a healthy community. There are things that only you can do.
There are experts out there who can enable you to do what you were called to do, but you have to be willing to leverage them. Here are a few that I think will help you look amazing, while still being able to do what only you can do.
- Visual Media Church
(Motion backgrounds, Countdowns, Stock Video)
James Adams, the creator of VMC, has an amazing heart for the church. And membership to VMC will provide you with beautiful motion backgrounds, stock videos, and social media content that will blow you away!
- Sunday Social
Social media can steal countless hours out of your week. Sunday Social gives it back with ready-to-use social media content. They work months in advance and have some of the best designers and content creators in the game. They also include pre-service slides, Instagram stories, and sermon series designs. All for a super low cost.
- Pixel Preacher
(Sermon design, Bumpers, Animation)
The creators of Pixel Preacher are a couple of the most talented designers/animators in the game. Pixel Preacher provides high-quality sermon series designs with full media packages. You can even get editable versions if you feel like flexing your Adobe skills a bit.
- Church Media Squad
Want to hire a graphic designer, but don’t have the budget? Church Media Squad is the answer. They hire top designers from around the world and create unlimited designs for you. Seriously. Unlimited. From the bulletin to your sermon series, to your Great Aunt Greta’s 90th birthday celebration. They’ll design it for you. If you’re a planter on a budget contact them and they’ll help you out.
- The Church Co.
Paul Cox created The Church Co. to provide churches with top of the line websites at a minimal cost. The cost is on par with DIY builders like Squarespace and Wix, but Paul and his team will set up your site for you. And on top of that, they provide premium features that you can’t get without knowing code.
There are some things that only you can do. Like being there for Great Aunt Greta during her crisis of faith. And there are a lot of things that need to get done, but that you can hand off to other people. So let the need to digital DIY go and let an expert handle it. Then go do what you were called to do.
This article on digital DIY originally appeared here, and is used by permission.