How to Prepare a Crisis Communication Plan for Your Church

church crisis communications planAbuse, adultery, fire, flooding, murder, and theft – churches are not exempt from common crises. Nor are churches protected from scrutiny by local, regional, and even national media.

How do churches handle crises that put them at risk? How should church leadership communicate with its members, authorities, and secular media? Is there a plan in place or is everything handled on-the-fly in real time?

My friend, Dr. Meredith Gould, believes your church needs a plan, one that’s crafted in advance so emergencies are handled swiftly, decisively, and competently.

Now you can tap into her 20+ years of wisdom garnered from helping organizations develop crisis communication plans through a new class being offered by NextChurch.tv: Master Class 026: How to Prepare a Crisis Communications Plan for Your Church with Meredith Gould

The class includes a downloadable video which your team that is developing the plan can watch together. And if you need additional guidance, Meredith is available for consulting to answer your questions or even walk you through the planning process if you like.

Turning a Crisis Into an Opportunity

While most crisis planning seems focused on protecting against negative consequences, crises often provide a unique opportunity to inject the love and hope of Jesus into a tragic situation. As I write this, many people in the northeast U.S. have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Many others would like to help them. Churches in the area have the unique opportunity to coordinate aid and volunteers and to do it in ways that demonstrate the love of Christ, but sadly most were not prepared to do so.

Stay tuned as Wednesday I’ll follow this post with the story of how God did amazing things in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina through one church that was ready to turn crisis into opportunity.

Will your church be ready when a crisis hits? Is your church prepared to turn a crisis into an opportunity?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

2 Responses to “How to Prepare a Crisis Communication Plan for Your Church”

  1. Meredith Gould Nov 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Yes, we're friends! And I'm blessed by that. Thanks for alerting your readers to this class about crisis communications planning. I totally agree that crises in general and disasters in particular provide opportunities to reveal and see Christ. I believe this can and should be part of the planning process, although I'd love to believe it will naturally, organically emerge from any community that's deeply anchored in Gospel values.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Meredith, thanks for sharing your wisdom through this class. I hope lots of people take advantage of it and the opportunity to work directly with you. And I hope we'll here some stories about churches that benefited from having a crisis communications plan in place.