Moving church to an online platform has led many churches to consider creating or modifying a Communication Director role on their team. Many churches are developing strategic communication plans for the very first time or fine-tuning their systems and processes. It is more important now than ever before to communicate well with your congregation and community, but with so many channels and messages during such an uncertain time, it can be difficult to know exactly what the Communication Director’s responsibilities should include. To help you as you discern what is best for your church, and what this role can look like for you, I spoke with a few panelists to discuss strategic communications and the role of a Communication Director. The panelists included:
- Ryan Wakefield, Co-Founder, Church Marketing University
- Haley Veturis, Director of Digital Engagement, Bayside Church
- Jeremiah Bartlett, Communications Director, Southside Church
- Aaron Mamuyac, Pastor of Discipleship, Outreach, & Connections, Sunlight Community Church
Knowing that each church differs in its size, outreach, goals, and values, the responsibilities for the church communications team will look different across the board. During COVID-19, many churches have seen the importance of having a solid church communications team. From communicating plans to their church community to engaging their online audience, communications teams have played an important role in staying connected during a time that can feel isolating. As churches closed their doors and moved online, they’ve had to take the leap to digital worship services, virtual small groups, online giving, and many other changes. So now, communication leaders are determining what this looks like moving forward. Overall, communications teams are vital to making this transition as they communicate updates, information, and changes to their church community.
The Structure of Communications Teams
- Due to the onset of COVID-19, for the communications team, job descriptions have shifted, new systems and processes have been implemented, and there is a need to outsource for tasks to be completed.
- Responsibilities can often include, but are not limited to social media posting and monitoring, unique media creation, platform management, community engagement (serving as an online host to engage people throughout the day), content creation, photography, videography, and much more. Depending on the church, some of these tasks are managed by staff members and some by volunteers.
It is important that your communication leaders ensure all messages are consistent with your church’s brand to deliver your church’s vision successfully, especially in a virtual setting.
- If it is fiscally possible, try to invest in your communications team with individuals who possess varied communication skill sets. One church mentioned they added a new team member to handle media requests and communications. This person will be able to focus all their energy on serving those who reach out to you, especially in times of high demand such as now. This is an example of structuring appropriately and using staff member’s strengths to serve your congregation well.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Holly Tate