Clean Up the Clutter of Church Communications with Tiers

Every ministry leader that I have ever encountered thinks their event and ministry is the most important, and I suppose that’s as it should be. But when it comes to Church Communications and these leaders, sometimes their requests can be challenging.  If your ministry is anything like mine was, they are probably constantly knocking on your door or filling your inbox with requests for postcards, seat cards, t-shirts, announcements, toilet seat covers, and who knows what else.

 But if you communicate everything, you communicate nothing.

So how do you determine what, when, and how information will be communicated?  If you don’t know the answer to this question, then it’s likely you have no internal communication structure in place; a fact that will leave you struggling to meet expectations, unable to meet deadlines, and frustrated in your role.

But more importantly, because you have no systems in place, the very audience you are communicating to will also be frustrated.  They are being asked, via communications, to do everything, typically resulting in them being overwhelmed and taking no action whatsoever.

The solution?  Communication Tiers.

Follow these steps to develop Communication Tiers that will bring clarity to your team, your audience, and your communication plan.

#1 – Assemble a Team

  • This team should include the Communications team, the Senior Pastor, and other key leaders.

#2 - Define Your Communication Tiers

  • A communication tier is a group of events or ministries that hold a certain level of importance.

Level One: Easter, Christmas, Giving Campaign, Vision Celebration, Life Change Stories, Impacts 80% of the church

Level Two: A Major Ministry Event which Impacts a significant amount of an audience (VBS, D-Now Weekend)

Level Three: Low priority, reoccurring ministry events like Wholly Fit, Divorce Care, Men’s Barbeque, etc.

#3 - Identify Tier Channels

  • These are the ways you will communicate the event or ministry based on it’s tier grouping.  There is so much to be said in this category, it’s just too much for a blog post.

 #4 – Determine Which Ministry Falls Into Which Tier

  • List every ministry event, campaign, and directional statement on a white board.
  • As a team, determine, based on all whiteboard content, what tiers each event, ministry, campaign and statement falls into.

You can expect this part of the process to be very challenging. I’ve been in several meetings where I have helped many churches walk through this and you need to know that I have not been in a single meeting where this was easy (or pleasant).

After you have developed these tiers and channels, have the Senior Pastor alongside the Communications Pastor, communicate this cohesive decision to the entire church staff and volunteers.

Conducting this one exercise will make your professional life so much easier because everyone has the same expectations about what is being communicated. As a bonus, this exercise might be a good time to determine ministries you want to stop doing because they don’t connect to the vision of the church.

How does your clean up the clutter of Church Communications? 


  • Dave Shrein

    This is great. Our current heat map was a good start but ultimately too confusing. This simplified approach is next on our stop to communications bliss.

  • Tim Peters

    Very good to hear. Love how you are on all this stuff and executing.