Kelvin Co is the Creative Arts Pastor at The Oaks Fellowship. I’ve had the privilege to work directly with him, and let me tell you he’s a great person.
He’s been kind enough to let me ask him a few questions about his role at The Oaks, and his trajectory and ministry in the creative arts.
Most church creatives are gifted in more than one skill. Whether it’s video, graphics, lighting, etc, how did you learn?
You can probably relate but most of what I do I learned (and continue to learn) on the job. The catalyst for learning how to do something for me is usually driven by an idea. If it’s an idea I come up with or copied from pop-culture, research and a lot of figuring out is involved. If an idea is from another church, an email or phone call simplifies the learning process. I must admit, I almost love the figuring out and learning as much as the creative process itself.
What’s your primary role at your home church?
I have a variety of things I am responsible for under my portfolio. Primarily, I would say, I am responsible for driving the creative vision of my church.
When did you start doing creative ministry? Did you ever volunteer at your church (or any other church) before becoming part of the staff?
I started as a volunteer in creative ministry in 1998. We were a mobile church. We set up and tore down each week in a movie theater.
How has your role evolved since you came on staff?
I started as the Communication Director at The Oaks Fellowship overseeing marketing strategies, PR, web and social media strategies, etc. About 3 years ago, I was promoted to my current role. I am grateful for the incredible team I get to work with.
Mention some challenges that young church creatives will likely experience in this field.
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, and often most neglected aspect of doing church creative ministry is relationship. Most of us are inclined to do what we do because we are introverts. We prefer to work behind-the-scenes. We are perfectly content being left alone in our caves and work. Unfortunately ministry is not primarily about our gears, the pixels we push or the ideas we put into production. It is about people. We need to be intentional about building relationships with:
- The people we serve. Know the hearts of the pastors and ministry leaders we support.
- Other church creatives. It is incredibly encouraging and strengthening to be able to connect with someone who can relate with what we are experiencing whether it is dealing with a challenge or celebrating a win.
- The people we are ministering to – our congregation. Worship with them. Join or lead a small group. Do not neglect being part of your church by doing life with the people of your church.
I did an interview for Church Marketing Sucks for their Getting Started series. You can read about other thoughts and tips for the young creative here.
If you had the chance to go restart your career, would you change any of the mistakes or challenges?
I absolutely love what I do and embrace the journey God has taken me through. There are only 2 things, I wish I could’ve done differently:
- Bathe my work in prayer more
- And, built better relationships with people.
Mention your biggest accomplishment (or more) since being part of creative ministry
I don’t know about my biggest accomplishment but my favorite so far is seeing someone who has the creative ministry itch find their sweet spot.
What’s the one thing anybody must know before they get started in church communications?
Here’s an excerpt from my interview with Church Marketing Sucks re this question.
“I wish I knew that the most powerful and important communication weapon in any church’s arsenal is its congregation. The natural tendency in marketing is to focus on saturation of the market through various forms of advertising and promotional campaigns. There is absolutely nothing wrong with mass communication. I’ve learned that most people start coming to a church because of relationship.”
You can read the full article here –
Do you have any ministry mentors? How important are mentors in our field?
Absolutely! As important as having creative mentors is having people who care about your spiritual growth around you. It is too easy to deceive ourselves that because we are doing ministry we are growing closer in our relationship with Jesus. For that reason, I think it is absolutely critical to have a spiritual mentor.
Have you ever mentored a beginner?
Yes. And I love seeing them step up and run with it.
What advice would you give to someone who’s starting out?
Have a lot of fun. Pray. Read your Bible. Make friends, lot’s of them.
Kelvin Co gets to do what he loves as the Creative Media Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship located in the Dallas Metroplex area. Kelvin has been doing life together with his wife and best friend Lucy since 1991. They have been doting and pouring into their son Luc since 2002.
Follow Kelvin on Twitter @KelvinCo
Do you want to contribute to Young Creative Ministry? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org