Think you need a communications director at your church? My friends at BELAY Solutions and eChurch know a thing or two about church growth and have some great resources for you. On today’s blog, you can get one of their resources!
(NOTE: This post was excerpted from the ebook “The 8 Strategic Hires That Will Grow Your Church” and also appeared on the BELAY website.)
When it comes to running a church, it’s easy to make decisions haphazardly. Many churches set up a system that works well enough, maintaining that system until they reach a pressure point that demands a change in policy or procedure. This makes complete sense.
One of the most important things you can do to stimulate growth is to get out of the stimulus-response rut. Once you develop a culture that thinks about change as something you do to facilitate future growth—and not something you put off until it’s just too uncomfortable maintaining the status quo—you can start seeing a change in momentum.
This kind of inspired change requires a great deal of faith because it’s adapting to opportunities that have yet to materialize. Growth requires effort that’s proactive and often feels counterintuitive to the present state of affairs.
This is also true when it comes to staffing decisions.
Generally, the first three roles filled in a growing church are a lead pastor, a full- or part-time administrator, and a music director. As a church continues to grow, a children’s pastor or youth pastor are often the roles that get filled next. Maybe a small groups pastor, a full-time bookkeeper and a missions/outreach director after that. In many churches it often isn’t until much later that the search begins for a dedicated team member to manage the church’s communication and messaging.
It’s time we flipped this script. In order for any church to establish a distinct and consistent voice—and to maintain its growth momentum—it is essential that there is a specific individual on staff who has a vision for why, what and how the church should communicate. Given the critical role they play, a Communication Director should be among the first roles you hire as opposed to one of the last.
What does a Church Communication Director do?
Just as the title suggests, this person is in charge of your church’s communication both inside and outside the church.
- Optimizing website communication
- Keeping website events and information up to date.
- Governing all church communication, both print and digital
- Developing and facilitating a strategy for social media channels
- Creating and constantly fine-tuning a process to collect visitor information
- Overseeing church platforms like a blog, podcast and/or church app*
- Managing the use or creation of design assets
The communications director doesn’t need to do the actual work; he or she just needs to be responsible for making sure that it all fits the church’s message and brand. For instance, this person doesn’t have to have design experience. But a director needs to be able to adequately lead someone who does—and recognize inadequate design! I know it can seem strange referring to your church as a brand, but this is an important element of how to look at your ministry in order to make it inviting to new people.
One of this position’s biggest responsibilities is ensuring that people who discover your church’s website, social media or other digital platforms have a positive experience and leave with an understanding of the church’s culture and vision. These are the core principles that any great brand is built upon and thus are important ones to keep at the center of your ministry.
It’s important to remember that your church has “hosted” many visitors that you’ve never seen. These people go to your website or visit your Facebook page to get a sense of your culture before they ever decide to visit your actual church. The communications director is responsible for ensuring that they’re experiencing the best representation of your church.
What does an ideal Communication Director candidate look like?
The ideal communications director candidate has a marketing background. Most of the communications this position will be responsible for are intended to encourage specific responses, whether it’s signing up for a potluck or increasing giving to meet a budgetary shortfall. A strong candidate has learned how to communicate information in a way that prioritizes the benefits to the reader.
Look for people who:
- Are articulate and have excellent written communication skills
- Have proven leadership experience
- Are comfortable making decisions
- Have exacting attention to detail
- Possess a background in marketing
- Have an understanding of good and bad design
- Can provide thoughtful and important feedback about how to optimize your website and social media accounts
This article originally appeared here.