Emily Kinney is twenty-three and lives with her husband, Dave, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is currently the Associate Children’s Minister at Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas. Initially, I had been leaning towards doing interviews with a major event planning firm in Austin, Texas. When I gave it some thought, I realized Emily held a position that combine both event planning and ministry, which is why I decided to interview Emily for my informational interview.
How she got into this field of work:
Emily majored in General FCS at Baylor University, and she took every class Baylor offered relating to event coordinating. She classes that related to food service, hospitality, and even ministry. Each summer during undergrad she worked at a different type of event planning. She worked at a large multi-site church, at the Dallas Convention Center, and for the Pizza Hut Corporation.
How she would describe her position:
Her main purpose is to work alongside the Children’s pastor. She is responsible for keeping families in their ministry updated and connected through several avenues – email blasts, social media updates, website changes, posters throughout building, handouts/take-homes, and mail-outs. She heads summer special day events, family events, training events, Kids Day, Dad/Daughter date night, friend day, and many more. She is the head communicator between various children’s ministry coordinators. Emily assists in motivating, training, and retaining volunteers through events, lunches, notes, etc. She is in charge of benevolence gifts/cards for births, deaths, surgery, etc.
Types of writing she does in her position:
On a regular basis, she conducts email blasts that are sent to about 300 families on the church’s database. From these emails, she chooses small segments or tag lines to be used on marketing materials like postcards, posters in hallways, announcements in bulletin or on screens throughout church. She also will occasionally write recruitment letters to potential volunteers. She will write letters to business’ asking them to donate to a city-wide event the church may be hosting. She also writes up proposals for her leadership team to consider a new event that the church is hoping to host. Emily also writes informal thank you notes to key volunteers.
How her writing has changed over the years:
Her writing has changed a lot in the last year because in college she was writing research papers and now things are more personal. She now write’s to grab people’s attention. Her writing now is normally persuasive, shorter and more precise. She has learned how getting to the point quickly while still showing appreciation is more successful. The persuasive papers and learning about sales she did in college have helped her in the event planning duties she now holds.
Reading Emily does within her job:
She reads a lot of leadership books. Her attitude on things will be a direct reflection on how the volunteers’ attitudes. She reads on how she needs to present things to a crowd. Emily also reads books on how to equip and train leaders, how to delegate tasks, and how to find people that can get the job done. Anything that is hard for her or doesn’t come naturally, she reads how-to books on.
Publications that keep Emily up-to-date on the industry:
Emily follows other mega multi-site church blogs to get ideas and see how they do the common and ordinary. She also keeps up with event planners on social media to keep ideas fresh. Emily also keeps up with her past churches to contact to ask personal questions and get one-on-one advice.