Church Communication with Kenny Jahng
On Episode 12 of the Ministry at Scale Podcast, we talked with Kenny Jahng, founder of Big Click, curator of the Church Communications Facebook Group, and author of Instagram Posts that Work. Kenny shared his wisdom on improving churches’ digital communications, and how innovation fits into the chaos of communication in the digital space.
Church went online. Now what?
In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, most churches went online to allow their members to participate and stay socially distanced. This opened up a whole new sphere of church communication, leaving a new style of ministry for churches to reckon with: the hybrid of online and offline services. How does one do both equally well?
Kenny’s advice for churches facing the hybrid-ministry realization is three-fold:
Define what you want to accomplish online. Start with Sunday services first, and then expand to other offline ministries. Create an aspirational inventory of what you want to do online.
List priorities. Ask yourself, what are the most engaged and impactful offline ministries? Is it possible to take them online? What can we solve online that we can’t do offline?
Switch from a 1-day world to a 7-day world. Many churches view smaller offline ministries separate from the Sunday service – instead, think of content as a stream across 7 days, not one day and one hour. In Kenny’s words, “One day a week only builds an obligation, not a relationship.”
For small ministries and organizations, innovation can be a very scary task to take on.
Kenny told us that innovation starts for his team in the hiring process – he looks for people who have a “bias for action,” meaning they are willing to take micro-risks on a daily basis. Over and over, Kenny expressed that the goal is to “fail fast, and fail forward.”
It is natural to be hesitant to fail, but perfection is the enemy of progress. Kenny recommends working on innovation in several iterations so that you have multiple tries to improve it each time. In his words, “If you’re producing something, and the first try doesn’t embarrass you a bit, you’re doing it wrong. You’re waiting too long to show it to the world.” Thankfully in the digital space, we have the opportunity to revisit and revise our work easily.
Kenny’s advice for our listeners is to keep reading genres and authors that are outside of their comfort zone. In the digital age, the echo chambers of social media reinforce the ideas we are used to, so it is good to broaden our horizons of thought.
He recommends two books for everyone to read:
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss - A book on negotiation and empathy; not necessarily written for churches, but a great way to start thinking about nonviolent communications.
Systemology by David Jenyns - A book about preventing burnout by building systems and processes that work.
To learn more about Kenny, you can find him on LinkedIn or join the Church Communications Facebook Group at churchcommunications.com/group.