Firestarter: Pathway Community Church

Firestarter: Pathway Community Church

November 16, 2012 by

Firestarter is a way to recognize churches that have ignited ideas and sparked brilliant communication. The hope is that this project will fan the flame and spread those creative embers to other church communicators. Learn more about Firestarter.

What if you never had fun when you got together with family?

What if the mood was always serious? How much would you look forward to your next time together?

What is true in family is often true in churches, and there is an important element in church communications that too often we overlook. It is the element of humor and fun.

I don’t know if we overlook it because we take ourselves and our weekend experiences too seriously, or if perhaps using humor takes more creative investment than most of us are willing to give, but there is no denying that laughter breaks down walls and allows us to communicate deep truth in an approachable and compelling way.

There are many churches around our country that are using humor and fun in their services, but there is one that really stands out to me.

Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind., recently celebrated their 10th anniversary and in that short time they are already drawing weekend crowds in the thousands and it’s easy to see why. They exist to lead people into a full life found in Jesus Christ, and part of that life, and their weekend experience, is humor!

Eric Dunaway is the communications pastor at Pathway and he said that humor is an important value as they are planning their services and that value permeates their culture, even being led by their senior leadership.

Pathway uses a group approach to creativity. Eric has a team of people, both staff and volunteer, who gather to create engaging and often humorous communications pieces.

A church celebrates what it values and it’s clear that Pathway values fun.

I was sold on Pathway last Christmas Eve when I saw this Christmas Eve Service invitation video. I love that this doesn’t feel like your “typical” church invite video. They took a funny approach on something that easily could have been overly serious.

Eric also sent me this great video that they put together for their Children’s Ministry volunteer recruitment.

If I was a visitor to Pathway and I saw either of the above videos I would almost immediately feel comfortable with them.

I hope that more churches follow Pathway’s lead and look at ways that we can use humor to break down barriers that exist between our churches and the people who walk through our doors every week.

A big congrats to Eric and the entire Pathway team. We will continue to wait with anticipation to see what great communication pieces you put out in the future.

Do you know of a church that should be recognized as a Firestarter? Let us know by nominating a church as a Firestarter.

Post By:

Adam Legg

Adam Legg is the creative arts and communications pastor at ChangePoint in Anchorage, Alaska, a regular blogger at, and can be found on Twitter. He enjoys travel, art, music and sports, and he's pretty sure YouTube is the greatest invention ever.
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One Response to “Firestarter: Pathway Community Church”

  • Christine Niles
    November 16, 2012

    I am incredibly proud to have called Pathway home for the past ten years. It’s been amazing to see what God has done here. We started out just a few people meeting in the tiny lunchroom of a middle school; two weeks ago, we had over 3,500 people.

    Eric, Pastor Ron Williams, and the rest of PCC’s staff work tirelessly to make Pathway a safe and welcoming place without compromising the truth of Jesus. Because of them, lives are being changed.

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