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Faith in the Media Leadership Interview: Rick Dunham – By Elaine Welcome

Welcome to our Faith in the Media interview series on Christian Media Leadership. Here, we have the privilege of delving into the minds and experiences of influential leaders in the field of Christian media. Throughout this series, we aim to explore the unique challenges and opportunities faced by these leaders as they navigate the ever-evolving landscape of media and technology, all while remaining steadfast in their Christian values. Join us as we gain insights, wisdom, and inspiration from these remarkable individuals who are making a profound impact in spreading the message of faith through various forms of media. In today’s installment, we have the pleasure of checking in with Rick Dunham, Founder+Chairman of Dunham+Company.

For over four decades, Rick Dunham has been at the forefront of marketing and fundraising for Christian nonprofits. In 2002, he founded Dunham+Company, which has become a global leader in providing multi-channel strategies across some of the world’s most influential sectors. Through radio and television, local churches and overseas missions, medical relief and philanthropic initiatives, Dunham+Company is multiplying the reach of the gospel. The company currently serves nearly 100 clients in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand – whose collective effort is reaching nearly every corner of the globe.

Rick holds a BA from Biola University and a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. From devotionals to blogs, webinars to books, Rick’s personal faith in Jesus and his biblical training are the driving conviction of his communication. Rick is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom and If God Will Provide, Why Do We Have to ask for Money? He serves as a member of the board of The Giving Institute and is a former chair of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes the most widely respected annual report on giving in the U.S. He has been published and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post and more.

Rick is married to his childhood sweetheart, Judi. Together they have 3 children and 9 grandchildren.

Elaine Welcome recently sat down with Rick Dunham.

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Q: As a leader in Christian Media, why do you do what you do?
To help organizations increase their reach and impact for the Kingdom.

Q: What are your thoughts on AI and how it might impact Christian Media?
There is obviously a dark side to AI, but that shouldn’t make us run away from it. Already we are seeing it leveraged to translate content into different languages using the voice of the originator. This is a game changer for being able to take current content that is only available in English and see it distributed to other ethnicities. In addition, using Large Language Models (LLMs) we are beginning to curate content more rapidly. 

Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for Christian Media in the next 5 years?
Two things jump to mind. First, Barna research shows that 72% of adults in America are spiritually open. That means we need to focus on the creation of content that will engage not just committed Christians but reach those who are on the fringes. Second, with the continued shifts in the way the audience consumes content, it’s imperative we deliver quality content across all channels.

Q: What advice do you have for mid-level leaders who desire to grow to Senior Leadership roles in a Media Company?
First, be an avid learner. You have to be a student of the industry and understand where things are headed. Second, tap into the seasoned experience of those who have gone before you. Third, understand your giftedness. I’ll never forget the conversation with a colleague as we were talking about his role when he said, “I make a great number two.” That self-awareness is priceless. Finally, as Holly Tate from Leadr recently shared, understand that successful development is never a straight line, it’s a journey. So be patient.

Q: As a leader of a Christian Media organization, how would you define success:  1. as a leader 2. for your organization?

  1. Creating an environment in which people can thrive and perform/achieve at their highest level.
  2. Seeing organizations we serve expanding their reach and measurable impact as well as achieving a sustainable and scalable funding base to support that ongoing expansion.

Q: What should the #1 priority be for Christian leaders in media?
Stay ruthlessly focused on the mission.

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At FaithSearch Partners, we drive executive searches with passion and purpose. We understand the importance of these qualities in effective biblical leadership and strive to help our clients find the right candidates who embody them.

FaithSearch consultants bring more than 130 years of cumulative experience in faith-based executive search. If you’re looking for leaders who can make a difference for the kingdom throughout your organization – people who will positively impact your people and community – reach out to us. FaithSearch excels in securing leaders for Christian media, nonprofits, higher education, ministries, and faith-driven organizations.

Contact the FaithSearch team today for more information.


Check Out Previous Faith In Media Leadership Interviews:
Chris Lemke
Jason Sharp
Matt Austin
Joe Paulo
Ty McFarland
Paul Martin

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