Church Marketing Hacks | Episode 02 | Kenny Henderson

This week Matt sits down with Kenny Henderson! Kenny is a worship pastor at Grace for the Nations Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also a recording artist and worship consultant.
September 26, 2022
Church Marketing Hacks | Episode 02 | Kenny Henderson

Referenced Resources:

Rick Pino -

Worship Coach -

Kenny's Music -

Connect with Kenny - Kenny's Facebook | Instagram: @kennyhendersonmusic


Hey, welcome back to another episode of the Church Marketing Hacks podcast. I'm your host, Matt Lombardi, and I am joined today by Kenny Henderson up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kenny, how are you doing? 

I'm good. How are you, Matt? 

I'm great, man. I'm great. Well, thanks for being on today. Before we kinda hop into the meat of everything, can you just give your kind of 30,000-foot view bio, tell everyone kind of what church you serve at, what your role is, and kind of maybe even just like how you got in the ministry originally?

, so I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Been doing ministry ever since I was. Ooh. In a leadership role at 16. I started in the Baptist Church. Went from the Baptist Church to the charismatic church. Went from the charismatic church to the Christian Reformed Church. Awesome. And, so I have, you know, I’ve experienced it all. And currently at Grace for the Nation's church as a worship leader, but also doing some, worship, and consulting with other churches and, worship leading, also, recording artists as well. 

Love it. Love it. So that's fun because you're gonna come at it from a few different cool angles. One, lots of denomination experience, right? So seeing it in a few different ways. And then two is kind of coming from it through a worship lens, which I'm excited about because it's something a little bit different than some of our other guests. But I think there's something that could be really cool here, because worship is obviously what we do every Sunday morning, and so that's gonna be a huge part of it. So, okay, we're gonna hop right into the meat of the content then. So let's go. First question coming for you. Coming in hot. In your time serving churches since you were a wee little boy. What's the best marketing hack that you've seen to help churches grow, to increase their impact? Could be a system, a process, or something that's just been done really smart that you've seen.What's the best hack you've seen? 

I would say, and I'm really going off of the experience in the last church that I was in. First of all, word of mouth is always good, right? But, social media has been a very helpful tool in getting the word out. You know, about ministry events, what's going on with the church? The church series, the pastor’s sermon series. tTe previous church that I was at was not social media savvy. And so there was social media there, but it was very underutilized. And when we started utilizing Facebook, YouTube, and those things, especially in the middle of the pandemic, it really gave people more access cuz people are right. They weren't able to come in right to the church and look at a board or, you know, or get a bulletin. And actually what I was realizing was that the day of the bulletin was kind of phasing away. What was happening was people were leaving bulletins on the seats. So, the custodians would complain, you know, constantly about coming in every Sunday and cleaning up. a stack of bulletins cause people were leaving them, but people were still calling a church for information. And so we needed somewhere to redirect that information, Check your Facebook page. You know and then go to the website, which we had to update the website. And  subscribe to our email list. Right? And so, you know, things like, what's that? That, Not Survey Monkey, but what's the one, MailChimp. You know we use MailChimp for email, which is compatible with a lot of other programs. . You know, and so that really helped us get information out there. 

I love it. I love it. So it sounds like, the biggest thing for you all was just transitioning from kind of the, if you wanna call it the Barnes and Noble bookstore model into the Amazon model. Right? Like, so taking everything from. Okay. Here's the old way we've been doing it and that may have worked before, but now we don't have those advantages.

Right. People aren't gonna be here every Sunday. Or maybe their taste has just changed and they want this now on demand when they can get it on social media. Correct. 

Were there any, I'm gonna go off-script a little bit here. Were there any challenges with that transition that were unforeseen or things that you would caution other leaders to look out for?

There was pushback in this, with the older generation maybe. 50, 60 plus. That was like, I like my bulletin. I take my bulletin with me. I love to read it and, you know, that was kind of hard, in transition. In any case, it's always hard when you're introducing something new, right? So you just kind of have to walk alongside people. Make sure that you have multiple spaces where people can get resources. You know, redundancy, right? And constantly, repeat it, you know, it constantly repeated at the pulpit. If it's through the pastor, if it's through somebody in announcements, if it's through videos and something you're sending in email, whatever mode of communication that you're going to use.

You need to be consistent with it and you need to be concise with it. Absolutely. You know, it's good compared to like, you know, in the past they were doing things like writing stories and narratives, and so I came in and I said, Listen, we've gotta, we've gotta make our information quick and concise. You know, make the main thing, the main thing, you know? So don't come in and tell us. You know Little Holly and you know her, her story about school and how she needs school supplies. We need school supplies for our students, right? That's it. Easy. Keep it quick and easy, even on the platform. Keep it quick and easy. But we did have those, those people that were, you know, like, this is the way we want it, and you're always gonna have those people. But if you can convince the majority, that's huge, right? If you build, you can get the, Yes. If you could build a mentor with the majority and get the majority on board, eventually people will follow along and say, Okay, well this is the mode of communication that we're using now and we have to get on board. And I think it's really important, especially if you're dealing with church administration. You know, your church administration is very equipped with, you know, knowing. With the protocol and processes. So when people call the church. That's always a resource. You always have the people that are always going to call the church. You know, from the millennials we're like, Where is it? We wanna see it on Instagram. Right? Right. Where is it on the website? Where is it on Facebook? We don't really wanna pick up the phone and call anybody. Right. But you're gonna get the older generation. That might say, you know, so should always pick up the phone.  So for example, we might have an event, right? And, the event might be at a church center where you can actually, you know, sign up. Online. Right. But you might have an older generation or somebody that's just like, I don't mess with the internet. We have to provide an option for them that's good. When you do your platform announcement, you simply say, sign up at the church center for the church picnic. Or call the church. So when you call the church, the church administrators can sign you up right there. Yep. Absolutely. Do you know? . So I think providing options for people is really important, you know, maybe a subgroup feeling like left out, but there will be times where it's like, You know this, we don't have an option for that. This is the, you know, this is the one way, this is the one way, but trying our best, at least to provide some options for people. 

I love that because it just speaks to having a pastoral heart about it, right? Like at the end. Absolutely. As much as we, you know, we're all busy, we're all trying to get stuff done, mark tasks off the list. But you gotta realize like when you're in ministry, you have to have a pastoral approach. You aren't going to be as efficient as someone in the corporate world. You're just not and that's okay, right? But leaning into that and saying, Hey, we're gonna have both options, I think is so wise. When you're in an establishment that's trying to transition from Okay, the old way of doing things into something that's a lot more modern, and relevant. So yes. 

Okay. Question number two. These will, the two and three will be kind of rapid fire. , so what book podcast resource would you recommend to every creative leader you know, every creative director, worship leader, and anyone serving in the church?

Okay, so there's one worship leader, artist, pastor, whatever you wanna call him. Rick Pino. And he has a  website, but it's called Worship. Man, it leaves me. But if you, if you Google him or Rick Pino worship resource, it's gonna come up. Okay. . And he has a whole portal where you can pay, It's a very low fee for a year. And he is constantly uploading videos on how to work with your worship teams, and how to build a worship family. The simple things like, you know, how do you cultivate a team in scheduling and things like that, and rotation, a pool system. And then, from the practical things to the spiritual things. So it's constantly updated and it's not just Rick Pino, it's anybody from Betho music, people from Bethel Music, people from Elevation, Kim Walker, people from Maverick City. You know, they're just giving a lot of wisdom, especially if you're looking to talk more and learn more about diverse worship or multicultural worship, you know, that's huge.

There's a lot of conversation around that. So there are resources there. I use it anytime I'm doing trainings. I've used it for, you know, my worship teams and it's constantly new material, so I definitely would, and Rick Pino in general, I really like Rick Pino. Awesome. Well, I think we need to get Rick Pino on the show and also get you an affiliate link, so we'll, we'll make that happen.

Oh, We'll post absolutely. We'll definitely post in the show notes, his website, and that page. For the portal, we'll do the extra work on Google for folks so that they can just click right through to it. 

Question number three. If you could give your 21-year-old self. Any advice about working in the church, in the creative space, worship space? What would it be? 

Collaborate. Collaborate. I think in the early years it was for me, you know, I've got the strength, I've got the stamina. I can do it by myself. I don't need anybody else. I got it. You know? And then eventually I hit that burnout, you know, and had to kinda work to get back to a space of like, you know, this is what I'm called to do, you know, and actually enjoying it. And you know, a lot of it was, you know, I have to lead every single Sunday and I have to lead at every single event and it has to be me to plan this. And I really honestly didn't learn that concept of collaboration until like four and a half years ago. You know, when I came into a church culture that had already had a collaborative cult culture, and it was like, Oh, I only have to lead once or twice a month? That's it. On its other worship leaders to lead, you know, Or there are other people, you know, to come to the table and have conversations about what we should sing or what we should do, or how we should, you know, operate within the ministry like, That's really important. So all that weight doesn't follow me and I would, so I would definitely tell myself collaboration is key. It is key. A team is needed to execute, you know, ministry and to do it, to do it successfully, to do it with excellence, you know, so collaborate.

 I love it. I love it, man. So good. Kenny Henderson. Wonderful one. Have you on the show, tell the people where they can connect with you. How can they, how can they get in touch with you if they watch out for you? Or wanna just be friends on the interwebs? 

So check me out on Facebook, Kenneth Henderson music, or on Instagram, Kenneth Henderson music. I've also got music on all the digital platforms, Apple Music, and Google Play. Just type my name, Kenneth Henderson. , and, check my music out, heart of a worshiper.

Love it. Thanks so much for being on the show, Kenny. 

Thank you, Matt.