I’ve worked with a lot of leaders, and I’ve seen all of them struggle to communicate. I saw one leader send one email to call his people to an unplanned meeting that started in a few hours. He wondered why 50 of 150 people were late or absent. Larger and more complex the organizations demand direct, clear, and effective communication.
Consider 3 things when communicating: Your Members, Message, and Method.
Leadership. Keep your leaders in the loop. Don’t assume they know what you’re thinking or where things are headed. Things that are obvious to you won’t be to them. Leaders perform better when they’re informed.
Internal. Keep your church informed too. These people love you, and they love the church. They deserve clear and concise communication. Don’t make them hunt information down. Make it easy to find.
External. Control your external communications. You church says something to the outside whether you like it or not. You can control what it says and how loud it is by developing and implementing a strategic communication plan.
Why? People want to know why you’re doing things so you should just tell them anyway. Keep your “why” upfront; it helps people “buy into” the things you’re doing.
Share the big picture to inspire people and keep them moving forward. Share the details to to empower people and reduce their anxiety. People need both so give them both.
Many Times. Say things over and over again. You can never say things too much. People won’t hear or understand things the first time you say them, so say them clearly and say them often.
Many Ways. Communicate in person, on the phone, videos, text message, on your website, in your ChMs, and on social media. Different people are tuned into different channels, and leaders have to reach them all.
Quickly and Concisely. Share things the second they can be shared, and keep the messages short. People don’t have time to read a 14 paragraph rambling email. Share your message, but stay on message.