This story first appeared in the spring 2019 issue of the Arbor Light, the official magazine of Concordia University Ann Arbor.
Seth Hinz is passionate about blending creativity, communication, and the Church, and he knows what it’s like to take on big projects that combine the three. In his previous role as media director for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Michigan District, Hinz tackled formative undertakings and maintained a consistent (and impressive) social presence for the largest district in the LCMS. Now, a recent job change has led him to one of his biggest creative projects to date.
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Together with his wife, Rachel (Cousino, ’06), and their three young children, the longtime Michigander moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in fall 2018 to direct the creative team at St. John Church Ellisville—now Pathfinder Church—home to one of the largest congregations within the LCMS.
Prior to joining the Pathfinder team, Hinz served in the Michigan District office for more than eight years. Hinz has also been a social media team lead with the LCMS National Youth Gathering planning team since 2013. With two degrees from CUAA, a bachelor’s in business and communication (’06) and a master’s in organizational leadership and administration (’09), Hinz holds experiences both educationally and professionally that have prepared him to lead initiatives in the Church that are interactive, intentional, and inspiring.
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“What I love about my job is that I get to share the Gospel message, lift up stories that bring people hope and encouragement, and communicate messages that lead to meaningful connections,” Hinz said. “The Church is at a unique point in history—social media has forever changed how relationships can begin and flourish. Modern means of communication offer us an exciting opportunity to connect with real people and share the real hope we have in Jesus.”
Hinz is gifted in bringing together communicators within the LCMS. As founder and administrator of the Facebook group Lutheran Communicators, Hinz has created an online community for more than 1,700 members to ask questions about social media and communication within Lutheran congregations. Members willingly share tips, tricks, and best practices with one another, offering advice on everything from useful applications for graphic design needs to tips on live streaming weekly worship and setting up sermon podcasts to even bouncing ideas off of one another on better ways to reach out to the community.
That sense of Christian community is something he experienced at Concordia, too.
“I’m incredibly thankful for my time at Concordia,” said Hinz. “I was able to study alongside fellow believers, form lifelong friendships, and discover a passion for church communication.”
While the role of “church communicator” is relatively novel, Hinz said he believes more churches will see the value in adding the position to their payroll in the years ahead.
“The message we, as the Church, share hasn’t changed, but the ways in which we share it certainly have,” said Hinz. “If it’s a career path you’re considering, know it’s a field that’s constantly evolving and you’ll need to be a lifelong learner, but also know there is a growing community of like-minded communication professionals out there—people who are willing to share their experiences along with the ups and the downs. There is strength and joy to be gained by sharing mission, ministry, and life together.”
Learn more about Concordia’s Haab School of Business offerings at cuaa.edu/business.
The spring 2019 Arbor Light hit mailboxes the beginning of May. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, call 734-995-7317 or send us an email.
— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-476-7736.
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