18 Thankful Thoughts for Church Communicators at Thanksgiving

18 Thankful Thoughts for Church Communicators at Thanksgiving

November 14, 2016 by

Oh, Thanksgiving, we love you. I mean, you do have the unfortunate job of ushering in the official start of overplayed, super-cheesy Christmas tunes and cranky, stressed-out worship leaders. But you’re also the bringer of awkward family gatherings, slightly overdone turkey, and that gelatinous, purple-ish goo claiming to be cranberries. What’s not to love?

You also guilt us remind us to stop, breathe, and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with gratitude for our people and for our stuff. It’s all a bit schmaltzy, to be honest—not that there’s anything wrong with that. But today, I’d like to pause and, in a decidedly unsentimental way, remind our church communications tribe of some super-great, gratitude-enhancing stuff.

Here’s my List of Some Thankful Things. Add yours in the comments!

  1. The list of no-no fonts boasts a new addition: Bleeding Cowboy. (Awww, Comic Sans has a new buddy!) If you don’t know what Bleeding Cowboy is, you can be grateful for that. (I dare you to search for “Bleeding Cowboy.” One of the first results will be the Facebook group “People for the Destruction of the Bleeding Cowboy Font.”)
  2. The yearly generosity campaign is finally, gloriously finished.
  3. Kem Meyer is back! (If you don’t have her book, go get it. Right now. Make it a Christmas present to yourself.)
  4. I didn’t see any local churches trying to work Chewbacca Mask Mom and Ken Bone into a “relevant” message series. (Oh my gosh. Did yours? Did any of you have to do that? I’m soooo sorry.)
  5. Working in the church offers opportunities to do incredibly meaningful, potentially life-changing work. Yes, it’s hard. But I choose to be grateful. Let’s join in this work together.
  6. I said, “No” to some requests, and I didn’t die! And the church didn’t fall down in ruins! Thank you, Jesus!
  7. People are starting to recognize we shouldn’t end every sentence with an exclamation point. (Whoops.)
  8. Some people discovered how deeply and desperately God loves them, and something you did helped with that—a phrase on the website, an event on Facebook, a tweak to the bulletin. The little things all count. They can lead to amazing moments when the noise fades away and we encounter the living God.
  9. It’s not Easter yet. (Don’t get me wrong. I love Easter. I’m just glad we’re not planning for services yet.)
  10. You got better at something this year, and someone noticed.
  11. You failed dramatically at something this year, and even though everyone noticed, you survived.
  12. Can I say it? The presidential election is over. Over! No more trying to address the elephant in the room without actually endorsing any elephant-, donkey-, or other-themed political parties.
  13. You got the team to switch to the Oxford comma without causing a rumble in the hallways. (You mean you haven’t heard the joke about the Sharks and the Jets [and they’re profanity-serious, FYI]? OK, so maybe it’s only funny to grammar snobs.)
  14. Emoticons! Customizable GIFs! Welcome to the wonderful world of Snapchat, where you can lose hours exchanging ridiculous photos collaborating with teammates.
  15. You know that lorem ipsum text graphic designers put in before they have legit copy? You can now use Lorem ipsum for churches.
  16. For the next few weeks, it’s perfectly acceptable to play Pentatonix Christmas records all day every day, even if it annoys the youth pastor. Note: I do not condone intentionally annoying the youth pastor. (OK, maybe I do, but only just a little.)
  17. Did you implement any new systems or processes this year? Have they been helpful? And do ministry leaders still love you (or least respect you), even though you (gasp) changed something? Of course they do. That’s cause to be grateful!
  18. I’m thankful for church. We’re all so different, yet God brings us together in beautiful harmony (metaphor harmony… I do communication, not choir).


If you want to keep on being thankful, we’ve got a few more resources:

Post By:

Kelley Hartnett

Kelley Hartnett spent more than a decade working in established churches and helping to launch new ones. She recently launched Tall Tree Collective, which helps nonprofits craft messages that inspire people to get behind their cause. Kelley formerly served as the membership director for our Courageous Storytellers Membership Site and is the author of You've Got This: A Pep Talk for Church Communicators.
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6 Responses to “18 Thankful Thoughts for Church Communicators at Thanksgiving”

  • Mike Phillips
    November 14, 2016

    I’m thankful that my refusal to use the Oxford comma makes me seem edgy, wild and dangerous.

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    • Kelley
      November 15, 2016

      Mike, the church comm world needs rebels like you. :)

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    • Rachel Marie
      November 22, 2016

      Haha! I’m in the same position. It was quite the shock for everyone when I did away with it.

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  • Paul Steinbrueck
    November 17, 2016

    I am thankful for other church communications people, their support and encouragement and places like CMS where we can gather and learn from each other. (And FWIW thanks to Twitter, I refuse to burn 1 of my 140 characters on an Oxford comma)

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  • Laurie Meek
    November 22, 2016

    I’m thankful for Wordswag & Canva… in that order :)

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  • Becky Powers
    November 20, 2017

    I would be thankful if people would quit using ordinal numbers in dates…my current pet peeve!

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