Aside from the staples: theology, doctrine, compassion, and etcetera communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy congregation. The saying “Communication is Key” rings true for marriages and business, but in a community of believers, it’s not just true- it’s the catalyst. The means, methods, and efficiency of a church’s communication strategy can draw congregants to unity, can improve community outreach, and can effectively improve stewardship.Contents
A Church Communications ministry functions much like the human brain, sending messages to each member of the body and equipping it to do the tasks necessary. A communication team will vary in size, appearance, and responsibilities depending on the congregation size. Many times the church communication team will consist of people with a variety of skills capable of passing messages down many pipelines. These pipelines might include social media, a church bulletin, text messaging, email messaging, blog articles, media slides, announcements, and more. As technology changes, so does communication. A communication ministry’s role is to identify the most effective means of communicating to the congregation and community, and then craft media and messages to keep the recipients best informed.
A Church Media team assists in crafting the message to be communicated. Sometimes the Media Team and the Communications Team are one-in-the-same. Sometimes, they serve as teammates. Media Teams specifically craft and publish the message to be communicated in the clearest and most accessible way. Let’s take a look at a couple of specific examples.
The pastor and church wants (and needs) to broadcast the sermon. From a Communications team perspective, this is a prepackaged message ready to push out, but for the Media Team, there are decisions and actions to be taken. Often times, the media team is responsible for capturing the message (digital recording, taking notes, etc.), editing as needed, and publishing it.
The church has decided to host a fall festival event for the community. They will need to advertise it internally and within the community. The Communications team has put together the details, and they have passed it to the Media Team to publish. The media team crafts graphics for social media and the local paper, they develop a video to be shown on Sunday mornings, and they develop fliers to be given out on the day of the event. The Church Media Team is the publishing arm of the Communications Ministry. They make sure the congregation and community are able to receive the message that is being shared.
The Communications Director position is typically one of management. The director oversees and equips the Communications Ministry in remaining effective. As a director, they will help provide the needed vision and promote and encourage the best practices to achieve that vision. Often, the director is responsible for more than just the people and volunteers, though. A director or ministry leader is often charged with the task of budgeting, tools, and resources to lead the ministry well. For example, the Communications Director might find themselves shopping for a new computer for the Front of House Audio/Video Team. They might be the contact for local advertising. This position can contain much diversity, but also a great responsibility. At Visible, this is one of the ministry positions that we specifically train and prepare students to serve within. As a college for creative Christians, we welcome a number of students who are inclined and able to serve as Communications Directors. Many of these students earn a Creative Leadership bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. If you’re interested in Creative Leadership or Communications ministry, you might also find our Creative Leadership Certificate program helpful.
As mentioned above, the strategy in which a church communicates is crucial. If a church is reaching mostly senior adults and isn’t on a specific campaign to change that, Twitter and Instagram might not be the most effective strategy for outreach. Church communication strategy needs to be derived from the church’s ministry philosophy. How a church does ministry and who they primarily reach should be the most important factor in building and outlining a communications strategy. While a Communications Director helps instruct and influence this, it needs to be a team effort and involve key ministry leaders across the congregation. Strategies are also intentional. To intentionally communicate, the Communications ministry needs to know, understand, and be able to communicate quickly and effectively to the people that they are called to reach.
In short, the Communications Ministry, though it may consist of one lone ranger, holds the responsibility of collecting all the information and things of interest and then deciding on the most effective way of sharing that information. In today’s ever-technological world, those means and methods of communication are transitioning and evolving.
If you want to learn more about Church Communications and how to use creativity to minister to others, you can get started today at Visible.