Communication IS an important tool both in and out of the Church body. God used it. Jesus used it. Holy Spirit used it and all 3 still use it. Communication involves more than one person. It’s not an ‘I’ thing. It’s a ‘team’ and that’s what leaders are. They are a team, working together to make their Church function to the best it can be.
We live in a culture where a majority of people have a ‘NEED TO KNOW’ culture. In the old days, people spread things by word of mouth and got excited about reading a newspaper and finding out all that was going on in the world. Now we can spread a message across the whole world within seconds.
So everyone is on the same page.
So everyone knows what is going on.
Communication is where every leader needs to communicate and every staff member needs to communicate, so that the net of communication keeps strong and keeps information flowing. Unfortunately when a leader doesn’t communicate or share information needed to a staff member, it creates break down in the ‘net’ and causes friction. I have come into this situation and it caused friction and particular leader held tight onto the event that they were running, not sharing the information with admin, so this caused friction and breakdown within the team. This then became a ‘their event’ not a team event.
Important points to communicate:-
- What the Church believes
- When are events/meetings happening (with all the information)
- Where the Church is heading (vision)
- What’s happening behind the scenes
Today, we have the thrilling internet that spreads news and information in an instance and this is what our current generation thrives on and expects. It’s important to keep information ‘fresh’ and ‘moving’.
TIPS IN THE BIBLE ON COMMUNICATION
~Quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19) – Not only with one another, but with the Holy Spirit as well.
~Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt. (Colossians 4:6)
Ways a Church can communicate are:-
– Text messaging, phone calls and visits. I have never felt so disconnected when I moved from a Church that is always connecting this way with their congregation, to a Church that doesn’t. It is encouraging to have someone take the time out to spend time with you. Send a simple encouragement, even to your leaders, and let them know how important they are to you. Thank those who helped in the morning service or even those who stand alongside you in prayer.
– Sending out e-newsletters, as long as they are kept short and simple. Have links so people can click on if they require more information. Most people are busy and don’t have time to read, so they just skim.
– Create a closed Facebook group for Church Members only that people can post information that only Church members need to know such as prayer requests and a place where members feel safe enough to ask questions. Even a worship team group, leaders only group etc are great ways to make sure everyone gets connected and gets updates on things that are happening.
– Letters are a dying thing, but the ‘mature’ members still love to receive cards and notes in the mail, especially ‘Get Well’ cards.
– Newsletters…well…..I have mixed reactions on this one, but it does depend on the Church size and people. Sometimes they work and other times they don’t. I’ll let you decide on this one.
– Have a Church App. Most people have smart phones these days. There are some great apps available to Churches that can have information about anything to do with your church. For example, sermon notes, prayer requests, events, podcasts, videos, online tithing…anything goes these days when it comes to apps.
– Webpages are where visitors come to find out all about your Church. Members usually visit the Church website to get event details or listen to a sermon. It’s important to keep these updated (and I know it can be hard).
– Have a Facebook page for the Church (not a profile, as this is against Facebook terms). Create events through this page (encouraging members to easily add friends to this event, to help spread the word).
One of our dominant ways of communicating, in our current times, is the through the internet, Social Media (one of my favourite topics to speak on). Yes it has its bad points, but there are so many great points to using it, especially for a Church! Check out my Social Media posts!
- If leaders are contacting younger members, say under 16, by phone, it would be best if they ring their parents FIRST and ask the parents permission if they could speak to their child about……
- SMS information to all members in the group or to none at all. If someone gets missed out, it can lead to offense.
- Send Group Emails.
- Social Chat in groups NOT one on one.
- Staff communicate through Church email or work email NOT personal email, so evidence is there if need in the future. If you do receive any personal email to do with your position at Church, then forward it onto your Church email address and reply from there.
- Contact under 16’s through their home phone or parents mobile and ask the parents permission if it is ok to speak with their child about………
- SMS information only to youth. Ring if the SMS turns into a conversation.
- Don’t message through Social Media.
- Keep writing on Social Media Walls to minimum light message.
- Don’t give out any phone numbers or addresses of others without their permission.
- Stay away from video chatting, on any device, with a minor.
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Karen Stuckey has been a Virtual Assistant to many Pastors and Churches in Australia since 2011. It was birthed out of her relative and friends, who were Pastoring in Churches, asked her to find out information on where to get this or that, or what’s the best so and so to use. From this she saw a need and began supporting Pastors and Leaders from around the nation.
Prior to this, her and her husband Gavin, ran home groups, healing meetings, soaker services, kids ministry, hospital chaplain (Karen), playgroup (Karen), hospitality services etc. They have 3 children, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law and 2 grand children.