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EP281: Barbara Carneiro, Generational Communications, and Targeted Audience



Navigating Generational Conversations in Your Church's Digital Mission: The Secret to Effective Communication Lies in Understanding Your Audience

Understanding Generational Preferences

In an ever-evolving church landscape, it’s crucial to understand who we are communicating with. Barbara Carneiro, CEO of Word Revolution, articulates the importance of specificity in content curation. Catering to different generations isn't just wise; it's essential. She eloquently breaks down generational categories into four Cs: contributors (boomers), consumers (Gen Xers), collaborators (millennials), and curators (Gen Zs). These categories reflect distinct worldviews shaped by diverse upbringings. Grasping these nuances can transform the way your church reaches out to each group.

The Transformative Power of Simplification

Jeff Reed, host of TCD, together with Carneiro, advocates for targeted communication over broad attempts. This strategic approach echoes through their conversation, highlighting the need for churches to harness the power of simplification. By narrowing down focus and understanding key human desires—whether it's hope, belonging, or truth—churches can craft curated paths of communication that resonate more profoundly with their intended audiences.

Barbara Carneiro's Impact on The Church Digital

In the wake of technological advancements, Carneiro’s influence on the digital presence of the church has been pivotal. Reed’s initial resistance to change a logo for a younger audience underscores Carneiro's insight into generation-specific appeals. She underscores the need for churches to understand the shift from the information age to the engagement and now curation age, where trust is the new currency.

Trust, Technology, and Curation

Carneiro's perspective on technology and trust is enlightening. She emphasizes how today’s listeners seek curators to help filter the overwhelming tide of information. Her comments on short videos as the primary communication channel for Gen Z also reflect a deep understanding of current trends. For churches, this means being intentional about the platforms and messages they use to connect with different generations.

The Challenge and Opportunity with Tailored Communications

This episode sets the stage for churches to contemplate the benefits and challenges that come with personalized communication. Reed’s enthusiasm for further conversation on this topic suggests a future deep dive into the subject. In a nutshell, the podcast EP281 of TCD provides a wellspring of innovation and a call to action for churches to learn about their audiences and tailor their messages accordingly.

Conclusion: The Path to Effective Church Communication

Carefully targeting your audience with generational understanding and simplification can revolutionize your church's outreach. Let TCD be the guidepost on this journey through the digital mission field, helping your church navigate the complexities of audience-specific messaging.


  •  00:00 Introduction of The Church Digital Podcast, Brought to you by Riverside
  • 03:28 Barbara and Jeff discuss generational communication strategies.

  • 08:37 Barbara revolutionized The Church Digital with a new logo.

  • 12:27 Passionate curiosity drives understanding in generational communication.

  • 14:50 Generational perceptions influence engagement and worth.

  • 18:53 Simplify life, communicate effectively with different generations.

  • 21:46 Specific impact matters more than abstract concepts.

  • 25:39 Gen Z prefers short videos for communication.

  • 29:07 Empower others, value in ministry, beautiful curation.

  • 29:57 Moving from information to engagement to trust.

  • 33:45 Podcast excited about personalization and communication trends.

  • 39:29 Prioritize people over channels for effective communication.

  • 41:49 Efficiently utilize resources to invite engagement.

  • 46:08 Identifying key human desires and church archetypes.

  • 49:54 Targeted audience demographics and communication challenges.

  • 52:04 Be clear, focus, and align with others.

  • 55:53 Life.Church checks for Pei Wei for church locations.

  • 58:06 2024 curation, simplification, and hope for improvement.


Host: Jeff Reed
Founder, The Church Digital

Guest: Barbara Carneiro
CEO, Word Revolution


  • KLOVE Crisis Response Care:
  • American Association of Christian Counselors -
  • AACC's Light University -
  • How can churches effectively tailor their communication strategies to address the unique needs and preferences of different generational groups such as boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zs?
  • In what ways can churches utilize the concept of "circle of trust" in both physical and digital spaces to engage and curate experiences for their congregations and communities?
  • What are the challenges and benefits associated with transitioning from broad church communication strategies to more targeted, niche approaches?
  • How has the shift from the information age to the engagement and curation ages impacted the way churches should approach digital communication and content creation?
  • What steps can churches take to build trust within their digital outreach initiatives, ensuring that the content is both curated and impactful for their target audience?
  • How can a church identify the key human desires—like hope, belonging, or truth—that it aims to fulfill, and how should this understanding shape its communication and curation path?
  • Given the evolving preferences and digital literacies of younger generations, such as the reliance on short videos by Gen Z, how can churches adapt their content delivery to maintain relevance and engagement?
  • What role does technology play in shaping the way we curate experiences within the church, and how can it help in creating a sense of awe and wonder that complements spiritual teachings?
  • How do financial behaviors and motivations for giving differ across the generations, and what does this mean for the way churches approach fundraising and stewardship?
  • With the evolving landscape of church communication, what specific tactics or channels have been most effective for reaching and resonating with a church's target demographic, and how do these channels align with the church's core message and mission?


We know these conversations out there are hard. Even the best of churches haven't figured out... If this podcast is helping you and your church work through what Church Online is, then help us impact other churches! Take a moment and leave us a brief review!

By leaving a positive ranking and review of THECHURCH.DIGITAL PODCAST on iTunes, you're helping to get this podcast in front of new people who are most likely asking the same questions you are. Head over to that Ratings & Review section on iTunes and drop a good word for us!

Feedback on the podcast is vital as well. Leave comments on the podcast, or comment on this post! I'd love to know your thoughts and how we can serve your church better.

Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed

How to Get Out of a Funk
The Power of Asking Questions

About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

Related Posts
EP289 - Jeff Talks Beer, Multiplication, and the Digital Church
EP288 - Navigating Asynchronous Community: Gabe DeWalk & The Kingstide Journey
EP287 - Innovating for Impact: Jeff Reed looks at Digital Church Movements


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