My 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?