Church Communication Hero: Turibius de Mogrovejo

Church Communication Hero: Turibius de Mogrovejo

December 23, 2013 by

“Time is not our own, and we must give a strict account of it.” –Turibius de Mogrovejo (1538-1606)

Sometimes there’s a job you don’t want to do. You’re not trained for it. You’re not ready for it. You just don’t want it.

But it’s the perfect job for you. It’s the one you need to be doing. It’s the job you were put on this earth to do. You can’t turn your back on it, no matter how much you want to.

That’s the story of Turibius de Mogrovejo. He was a highly educated nobleman and brilliant lawyer in 1500s Spain. Too brilliant. He was appointed archbishop of Peru, a job he definitely didn’t want. He prayed for God to give the job to someone else. He protested that he was just a layman. He wasn’t even a priest, how could he be archbishop?

No matter. He was ordained a priest, upgraded to bishop and shipped off to Peru.

Sorry, Turibius, you lose.

But rather than drag his feet and whine his way through a job he didn’t want, Turibius crushed it. He took on the corrupt colonialists, cleaned house in the church and became a champion of the natives. He traveled back and forth across his diocese, all 170,000 square miles, usually by foot, baptising and confirming an estimated half a million souls. He started churches and schools everywhere he went, refusing to let them bear his name. He started the first seminary in the Western hemisphere.

Turibius rocked this job he never wanted.

Sometimes we’re called to accomplish a task, and no matter how much we want to avoid it, no matter how much we think we’re ill-equipped to handle it, it’s the work God wants us to do.

Sometimes I think parts of church communication are like that.

I’m not talking about the job you don’t want to do—the menial labor that you’re genuinely not good at. I’m not talking about the parts of your job you complain about all the time. I’m talking about having the skills to tackle a job, whether you know it or not, and stepping up to do it. Many of us are staff members at churches and we do that job day in and day out for a paycheck. But some of us aren’t on staff, we’re just volunteers. Sometimes reluctant volunteers. We have the skills, we see our churches struggling, and we pray “Please, Lord, not me.”

Can’t someone else do it?


Sorry, you lose.

God has given you the skills and the talents to tackle the communication woes at your church, and it’s time to step up, like Turibius, and crush it.

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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