January is a natural time for leaders to take stock of what’s working and what’s not … and make a renewed commitment to leading well. For example, many church leaders wrestle with making week-to-week decisions about communication. Does this sound familiar?
What ministry or event gets a stage announcement? Or, more importantly, which ministry or event does NOT get a stage announcement? What should be cut from the weekly bulletin? Who gets the prime spot in the lobby to set up a table with information?
These nagging questions plague many church leaders because they come around week after week after week. Not only that, but every decision results in people—usually key ministry leaders—not getting what they want.
How do you decide what gets communicated and how?
How do you communicate effectively so that people engage with the mission of the church?
There’s hope. Use these three resolutions to get ahead of the never-ending, life-draining challenge of week-to-week communication decisions.
3 Resolutions for Clarity-Based Communication
1. Start with clear vision including specific shared milestones. Clear vision is a leader’s best friend. It points the direction and brings reassurance when you face all kinds of challenges. Good communication always starts with vision clarity, including specific shared milestones. What are the key things your whole church is trying to accomplish this year? Do all of the key ministry leaders know what those things are? The grid of clear vision and specific milestones will make week-to-week decision-making a lot easier, especially if everyone is on the same page of what you’re trying to accomplish together.
2. Build and maintain a weekly communication calendar. This may be the easiest thing for planning communication that most churches don’t do. Build a spreadsheet that is based on each week in the calendar. Make columns for each communication tactic (sermon series, website, social media, e-newsletter, weekly bulletin, stage announcements, etc.). Fill in the items that are most important first, remembering to use multiple tactics for those items so that people get the message in different ways. It’s much easier to be strategic when you can see the whole communication landscape in one glance.
3. Stay consistent...even when it's difficult. Inevitably, you'll run into a week in the calendar when ministry leaders disagree about what should be communicated and how. Stay committed to making decisions based on vision...even when it's difficult. Although people may not agree with every decision you make, at least they will understand the grid you're using to make those decisions. Your consistency is critical in these kinds of things. If you play favorites or give in to the loudest voice, you'll only perpetuate the problem. Stay Strong!
If you’ll commit to live out these three resolutions, you can significantly reduce the number of times you’re faced with no-win communication decisions … and dramatically increase the effectiveness of your communication. Make it happen in 2016!
by Steve Finkill, Chief Management Officer and Brand Architect, ID digital