Rethink Communication Stories: Pete Carlson

Rethink Communication Stories: Pete Carlson

October 9, 2019 by

Pete Carlson is the creative communications pastor at Hopevale Church in Saginaw and Bay City, Mich. He’s coming at the communications process from a pastoral perspective, and Rethink Communication by Phil Bowdle has proven to be an invaluable resource.

“In the past we would throw a bunch of things at the wall and hope that some would stick and then move on to the next thing.” -Pete Carlson

How has the book impacted your team?

Our church is in the beginning stages of developing a creative communications ministry team and Rethink Communication has helped us to navigate the unknown as well as address the concerns of being a central services ministry to multiple ministry areas. While this is an exciting opportunity, it is not without its pressure points, and we have learned how to build an effective ministry philosophy that will keep us from burning out this valuable resource.

What insights have made a difference?

Often times we are reactive in our approach to creative ideas and ministry objectives that come out of countless meetings and are often last minute. We have started to implement a proactive approach to creative initiatives as well as communicating with our church. We now have rules and guidelines to protect our audience from an overload of information and to protect our staff from burn out with all the requests coming in.

We have also begun the process of measuring our results to see what is working and what is not. In the past we would throw a bunch of things at the wall and hope that some would stick and then move on to the next thing on our agenda. We had not created time, space, and therefore value in learning what was working and what was not because we had nothing in place to measure our successes and failures. Rethink Communication gave us some valuable tools that we can now use to put a higher focus on what is working and valuable and stop wasting time and energy on practices that were failing.

What specific ideas have you implemented?

One of the things we have started using is the church-wide communication grid. This has helped our teaching team, worship team, and the communications team get on the same page on multiple levels and has removed some of the frustration we previously had.  This has also helped our communications team to prioritize our work flow and stay focused on bigger picture promotions throughout the ministry calendar year.

How have things changed at your church, whether in your outward actions as a communication team or even just the inner atmosphere or vibe in the office?

We are still at the beginning phases of our new creative communications ministry, but we are excited, and I believe we are on a better path to success and production with excellence than we would have been without the information and practices that we have taken from Rethink Communication.

Phil’s book was so good that we hired his services as a consultant to assist us with some of our ideas and practices as we get this new ministry area off the ground. His advice has already saved us countless headaches and potential frustrations. His insights into social media and how it is best used by the church has also helped us to communicate better and connect with a congregation that continues to grow.


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Post By:

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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