Part 2: Tips for Church Communication Leaders

In this second of a two part series, I’m going to share with you what I learned as a 1st Time Communications leader; giving you some practical tips and insights I gained along the way.

I’ve already covered  the first two tips; Being an Expert and Master the Basics.  Let’s take a look at the these three:  Saying No Well, Leading Up, and Training the Whole Team

#3 – Saying No Well

“If you say yes to everything, then nothing is important.”  As the leader of the Communications ministry of your church, you’ll find out very quickly there will be a very large number of requests from your fellow staff members every single day.  The requests might be simple to do, and easy to say yes to, but you must also be sure they advance the mission of the church.  In short, you’re going to have to say no often, so you have to say it well.  Here are some simple guidelines:

  • Be For Them  - Your teammates want to feel heard and valued.  Listen well to their ideas, talk to them as collaborators and they’ll much more readily accept your no when you have to say it.
  • Given Them Options – Just because you have to say no to their idea doesn’t mean you can’t give them other options to accomplish their goal.  Maybe you have to say no to a stage announcement but you could recommend a social media message.  Giving them options tells them you are for them.
  • Have a Posture of Yes – A posture of yes means simply that you are saying yes to their ministry, yes to their ministry goals, yes to being on their team.    They know you are approachable and ready to listen.  So, if you have to say “no” to a communication idea, they’ll still know that you are for them, their team, their ministry.

#4  - Spend Time With Your Senior Leader

I could write an entire post about this one topic, but I’ll make it simple and to the point.  Your primary responsibility is to advance the mission and vision of your church.  That mission comes from God through the heart of your Senior Pastor.  If you are going to communicate his heart, you have to know his heart.  And to know his heart well, you will have to spend a good amount of time with him.

But if he is like most Senior Pastors, his time is a rare commodity, and he must be wise as to how he distributes it.  Help him to see why you need his time (to know his heart) and he’ll readily make time for you.

#5 – Training the Whole Team

As the Communications Pastor, you’ll tend to be focused on the people on your immediate team, your creative team.  If you’re like I was, you’ll think that if you can get them on board with the Standards, Strategies and Systems, then your flawless Communication plan will work.

The one flaw in that notion is that your immediate team is not your Whole Team.  Your Whole Team is comprised of Administrators, Pastors, Volunteers and Members.   Keep these ideas in front of your Whole Team and you’ll find your ministry will stay on track:

  • Keep the vision and mission primary.
  • Have a plan and communicate it to the whole team.
    • Don’t expect the team to read your Communication Standards
    • Find easy ways to keep the plan before them that doesn’t involve reading your handbook
    • Have a Communication Calendar that prioritizes events (does it advance the mission?)

That’s a lot of experience packed into two blog posts.  But take these ideas one at a time, implement them well, and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

I’d love to hear from you.  As a new Communications Leader, what has been the most challenging aspect of your job?

 

 

  • Carrie

    I am the communications intern at a church of about 1,000 people. I am the only one in the office with a communications degree and that is the main communication person The hardest part so far has been prioritizing between all the different parts that play into a communication ministry. Also, there’s often feelings of frustration when people don’t seem to respond to our communication efforts. I am trying to convince our senior leadership to allow me to conduct a church wide communication survey.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Carrie -

      Thanks for the comment. Hope the internship is going well. Yes you absolutely need to survey your audience. Keep the survey simple and to the point. The data will help you communicate more effectively and save time and money.

      Here are two posts I wrote for more support -
      http://timpeters.org/general/and-the-survey-says/
      http://timpeters.org/general/simple-simple-simple/

      • Carrie

        Thanks, Tim!

        • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

          Absolutely. Thanks for stopping by the site.