A Simple Way for Ministry Communications Teams to Preserve Their Sanity

Earlier this week I referenced an interesting chart that illustrates the complexity of ministry communication today. I think we are intrigued by this because it confirms what each of us sense already and in many cases fuss with on a daily basis—servicing a truck load of communication connection points.

This post is for each of you who struggle to keep all these plates spinning and to do so with excellence and intentionality. For what it’s worth, I don’t know a single person in the communications field who doesn’t battle this on a daily basis.

Over the years, in working with and leading various communications teams, we’ve tried to develop simple yet effective tools to help us become more effective in our work—without losing our minds.

The simple recommendation is this: Make a list that identifies every communication connection point in your ministry.

I’m sure that recommendation was not as profound as you were hoping, but there you have it.

Here’s a sample short list to get you started:

– Web presence
– Facebook
– Twitter
– E-mail
– eNewsletter
– Print Newsletter
– Bulletin
– Sermon notes
– Worship lyrics
– Announcements
– Direct mail
– Guest registration
– Children’s registration
– Small group registration
– Promotional flyers
– Regional billboards
– Event advertising
– Outdoor signage
– Indoor signage
– Indoor environmental graphics

To be honest, I banged out this “top of mind” list in about 2 minutes to quickly show how many communication connection points exist in most ministries and churches. I didn’t intend for the list to be exhaustive (though you may be exhausted after reading it), but to simply jump start a conversation. When I’ve helped ministries identify this list for themselves, it’s usually 2 – 3 times longer than this sample.

You will be stunned at how many items are on your list.

The point of this simple exercise is to wrap your mind around the sheer volume of communication connection points vying for your attention (and more importantly, the attention of your audience) and to help you track your efforts. It also helps you communicate with your team(s) and prioritize your objectives.

In the ideal world, this will convince you (or arm you with what you need to convince others) to drop a few things and focus better on doing a few things really well. Let’s face it, if you are like most people, you wrestle with this because you are so fragmented from doing too many things.

I hope to bring you some recommendations for optimizing your communication connection points in the next few days.

Could you please post other items from your list or ways that you keep your sanity? I think it would help our readers to see what other people are doing and it might spark some ideas for them.

Note: You can see a followup post to this one here.

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12 thoughts on “A Simple Way for Ministry Communications Teams to Preserve Their Sanity

  1. Great post, Kerry. This is so simple, and yet I know I've never actually done it! Seeing it all in black and white really goes a long way towards helping us make decisions about how to spend our resources and time in the most effective way. Here are a few more:

    The dreaded phone tree (one of my personal pet peeves)

    Ministry brochures

    Voice mail and/or receptionist (often the first contact a person has with a church)

    Fair-style ministry booths

    The list could go on and on…

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  3. Thanks for your input, Whitney. Yes, I'm surprised we all don't just choke on "the list." ;)

    I'm glad this is helpful. There are other things I've done (with the help of some great team members along the way) like this to help manage production. Think that would be helpful for the Ministry Marketing Coach readers? If so, I may do a few more posts on it.

  4. Kerry-

    Definitely would be great to see some more posts on this subject. managing communications can be extremely overwhelming without a clear picture of what's needed/not needed, etc.

    Keep 'em coming!

    Great post!

  5. I appreciate your post, Richie. I'll definitely look at some additional posts on this topic.

    Do you have items you'd like to add to the list?

    With appreciation!

  6. great idea kerry.

    something else that has been helpful for us is a list of every single ministry that our dept supports. this includes every class, group, etc. at last count, we were over 160! it helps to have this list when talking to leadership. they generally have no idea. no one does!

  7. Kerry: Yes – definitely yes! – to more posts on this subject.

    Mitch: Love the idea of listing out every ministry you support. Not only does it give your leadership an idea of how much you do, it can help you set some priorities as well. Great blog, BTW. Just had time to glance at it but already walked away with a fantastic way to organize our emergency info. Thanks!!

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