Church Leaders, There is No Community Without Communications

church-communications-communityMy fellow church leaders,

We tend to think of community and communications as two completely separate things.

Virtually all church leaders recognize that relationships are critically important to spiritual vitality. We need other people – to love and be loved, serve and be served, celebrated and be celebrated. That’s the way God made us.

So, we invest a lot of time, energy and resources into organizing worship services, dinners, bible studies, small groups, mentoring programs, service teams and more.

But my observation is that after all that investment in building community and facilitating relationships, often communications is a afterthought.

Bad Communications Destroys Community

Think about the last time you experienced a miscommunication in your church. Perhaps…

  • There was an activity or event you missed because you were unaware of it
  • People didn’t show up for something you put your heart and soul into because it wasn’t communicated well
  • You realized you hadn’t seen a particular paid staff member for a while. And when you asked a friend about it, they said, “They left the church 3 months ago. Didn’t you know?”
  • You tried to get in touch with a ministry leader concerning an important matter only to find out they were out of town the next 2 weeks.
  • A meeting or event was cancelled, but you showed up anyway because no one told you.
  • Your small group was left off the calendar or list of available small groups.
  • Your name was misspelled in an announcement

How do you think these communications mistakes make people feel?

Disconnected. Out of the loop. Like someone didn’t care enough about you to let you know something.

When we fail to give communications the time, attention and resources necessary to do it well, it undermines all of the efforts we’ve put into building community.

Good Communications Builds Community

Now think about how people feel when…

  • They hear the vision for the church cast in an exciting way
  • They hear a person’s story of how God did something awesome in their life
  • They are given the opportunity to share the story of what God has done in their life
  • They receive a thank you note for serving
  • They are asked for their ideas and listened to
  • They are personally invited to be a part of a small group or ministry team
  • People from church reply to their Facebook post

They feel pretty good, don’t they? Connected. Like they matter.

That doesn’t happen when communications is an afterthought.

It only happens with time and intentionality.

It only happens when we see communications as a ministry equal in importance to our other community building ministries.

What priority does communications have in your church?

What can churches do to ensure communications is building community and not destroying it?

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 “Church Leaders, There is No Community Without Communications”

  1. hiwaychristian Aug 9, 2014 at 6:14 am

    I feel caution to post this reply. Man will do as man perceives is right to do. And I will not desire to obliterate the work of God among my brothers and sisters.

    With that said, I remember how many times the church has tried to rope the endless strength and wisdom of God. I'm not saying that you're trying to do that with an article that can lead a man to "better" things. I'm only pointing out that the early church did not have the benefit of modern man's methods. They relied entirely on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    I will admit, as I am forced by history to do, that they too had their problems. The Apostle Paul's ministry is replete with pleadings for unity and understanding. But I do not see the modern church raising the dead, as one falls out a window. I do not see our methods providing astounding conversions of thousands in one standing. And, sadly, I do not think our Methodism will provide the same strength as was theirs, if and when another severe persecution were to fall upon us.

    May God bless you with what He desires to become within you. I am not a source of all answers. But I thought this addition might be useful to all.

    By His Grace.

  2. Mark Steinbrueck Aug 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Lisa, glad that this resonated with you. I hope it helps develop some good ideas for your team.