September 24, 2019 (edited March 2021)

Communio is launching its second City Platform of 2019 this Fall – replicating the success of our experiment in Jacksonville into yet another city.

Thanks to the support and leadership of the Brown and Sparks families in West Texas, Communio is replicating its model across Martin, Midland, and Ector counties – home to the sister cities of Midland and Odessa. 

Midland and Odessa – with a combined population of roughly 240,000 people – represents the second medium-sized market Communio has launched in 2019. The first new City Platform came with the generosity of the Gianforte Family Foundation in Billings, Montana and got underway in June with support from local funders there.  On September 3, Communio’s fulltime City Director in Billings got to work. 

After an extensive search for a City Director in Midland, Communio hired Josh Hopkins. Josh came highly recommended by several business leaders in the region. He has spent the last 20 years building his career as an entrepreneur and leader, while balancing family life and community involvement.  After receiving his MBA from TCU, he shifted his focus in 2018 to helping businesses that have big opportunities to impact the community.

Josh comes to Communio with years volunteer experience working with teens and facilitating programs and content in the church that help equip families to thrive. These qualities and experience will now be focused on equipping church’s in the Permian Basin to strengthen marriages by implementing Communio’s Full-Circle Relationship Ministry™ model. Josh has been married to his wife, Amy, for 20 years and together they have two teenagers.  Together, they love God and serve others.

As the new Midland-Odessa City Director, Josh will work over the next three years to serve a critical mass of large churches in the market with our proven model to produce measurable city-wide movement on family and faith dynamics

Each church receives donor-provided consulting services and funding incentives to build out and run Communio’s Data-Informed, Full-Circle Relationship Ministry™ – a ministry engagement and outreach strategy that fosters healthier relationships for singles, those preparing for marriage, married couples, and those in marital crisis.

In a nutshell, the process has three steps: 

1. Diagnose marital and relationship needs: 

Communio equips churches to administer an internal mobile survey of their single, engaged, and married members to capture immediate biographical data and feedback on the quality of their relationships. Then, using the best in consumer products transaction data, Communio analyzes the church’s entire membership – as well as those in the surrounding community – to uncover those at heightened risk for divorce, single parenthood, financial insolvency, and other relationship challenges. These findings are shared at two-day planning sessions with church leadership.

2. Develop a customized ministry plan to meet needs that arise in the data: 

Communio then consults with the church to apply best practices in developing its own ongoing relationship ministry for singles, engaged, and married members. This includes the development of a Ministry Engagement Ladder that puts individuals on a growth journey toward healthier relationships. Here, Communio helps the church plan and run community-oriented outreach events that flow people into ongoing engagement opportunities and ultimately into skills-based couples’ relationship education workshops. 

3. Draw in new members through community-wide outreach: 

Communio equips churches to build customized marketing audiences to run micro-targeted outreach positioning the right ministry offer to the right person, in the right way, at the right time.  This allows churches to effectively draw in those from the community to outreach events, which are the first rung on the ministry engagement ladder.  Communio serves these churches in creating ongoing engagement strategies that move these first-time participants onto a growth journey that leads to healthier relationships.  

Ultimately, through the City Platform, Communio “teaches churches to fish” so that they are not dependent on our staff for long-term support. Once trained and supported during the platform period, churches are able to continue with our model long into the future.  Communio can then turn its focus to catalyzing a relationship health movement in new cities. 

For more information or to explore bringing Communio’s model to your city or church, call us at (703) 347-7800 or email us at platform@communio.org.  Or visit our website – www.communio.org – for more background on our work.

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