How to Improve Church Staff Communication
Although today's church leaders are doing a great job of implementing new ways to connect with congregants, there's one thing that many still struggle with – poor church staff communication.
It's a common issue, and one that tends to worsen as churches increase in size.
Because as teams expand, leaders tend to forget that they need to adjust and adapt. The church communication process originally created for a handful of people doesn't work as well for a large group working in separate departments.
Yet, leaders often continue to operate in the same way they always have…
Being focused on communication and the improvement of it should be a top priority for church leadership – not only because church staff communication itself is important but also because it can have a wide ranging impact on your ministry as a whole.
Why Church Staff Communication Is Important
Effective church staff communication is a key element of any healthy church.
When you share information with church staff members, demonstrate your trust in them, and ensure that everyone is on the same page, you set a solid foundation for growth.
There are a number of moving pieces when it comes to planning weekly services, organizing community events, and marketing your church. To ensure all of these activities run smoothly, every member of your team must know…
- What tasks they're responsible for
- When tasks must be completed
- Why certain activities/projects are prioritized
- How they're meant to relay information to congregants
When church staff communication is handled properly, your team members will be able to get the information they need to serve the church. Moreover, they'll begin to function as a unit rather than individuals, using their shared mission and insights to move the church forward.
Problems That Can Result From Poor Church Staff Communication
However, when church staff communication isn't up to par, it can lead to a number of problems, including…
If you're not communicating with you staff (and vice versa), it can cause disorganization within your church. Projects may not be completed on time, information may not be passed along to your congregation, and even financial obligation may not be met.
All of these things can have a larger impact on your church, resulting in serious issues you'll need to take time to address.
Poor or nonexistent church staff communication can lead to stagnant growth within your church.
When your staff members don't understand the why or how behind the tasks they've been assigned, they're unable to complete such tasks to the best of their abilities. As a result, the number of new congregants you bring in donations you receive can come to a standstill.
False assumptions and misunderstandings often arise from poor church staff communication.
When there's a lack of clarity, staff members can end up sharing incorrect information with your congregation, forcing you to scramble to correct the error.
It's not uncommon for church employees to grow unhappy in their positions when there's a serious problem with communication.
If you don't take steps to improve communication among your staff, you could wind up with low performance or even loss of employees.
With poor communication comes decreased momentum. As your team expands, it becomes easy for lines to get crossed. As a result, the speed and ease with which you can carry out projects intended to grow your church can decrease.
How else can poor communication affect your team, your church, and your congregation?
Problems such as the ones listed above can make you and your staff frustrated and even confused as to which steps to take first.
Your church is on a mission to communicate truth. Internal communication isn't just crucial to the life of your church – it's crucial to the lives of those you serve.
7 Ways to Improve Communication Among Your Staff
Now that you understand just how important church staff communication is to the overall health of your church, it's time to take steps to improve it.
1) Set expectations early and revisit them often.
Right off the bat, you need to ensure every member of your staff understands what is expected from them. Aim for clarity in describing each person's role and outlining the way in which everyone should work together. This is key, as it will encourage communication between you and your team.
Further, make it a point to revisit expectations often, especially as your church grows and changes.
2) Establish an effective communication process.
To improve church staff communication, it's in your best interest to set up a process. Internal communication becomes more complex the bigger your church is, so you need to look for ways to keep everyone informed.
To stay organized and encourage open communication, try…
- Assigning information sharing to department heads
- Scheduling weekly team meetings
- Using project management software
- Setting up texting or instant messaging
- Giving employees the opportunity to ask questions
3) Make sure your team understands your church vision.
When your team understands your church vision, they know where they're headed. They know that everything they do plays a part in seeing that vision come to life. And they're inspired to share ideas, thoughts and information that will further your vision.
So, make sure that every new hire understands and supports your vision. Moreover, make it a point to repeat your church vision so it's solidified in the minds of everyone who works at your church.
4) Encourage team members to communicate with congregants.
In addition to encouraging communication among team members, you should also be encouraging communication between your staff and your congregation.
Let your team members know what information they should be sharing, when they should be sharing it, and how they should be sharing it. When internal expectations and responsibilities are made clear, connecting with congregants becomes a much easier task.
5) Don't be afraid to share difficult information with your staff.
Even though it may be uncomfortable to discuss some topics with your staff, it's crucial that you do so.
In addition to making your team members feel included, it can also spark new ideas to help your church through challenging times. Sharing difficult information can actually provide you with a new method of problem solving, making your church even stronger.
6) Break down ministry silos.
Ministry silos – the walls between departments or team members – can be caused by…
- Separation by room
- Separation by building
- Separation by personality
To ensure effective church staff communication, you must make every effort to break down those ministry silos. To do this, you need to have strong leadership in place and staff members who are more focused on the overall mission than individual goals.
7) Foster a culture of trust.
Trust plays a huge role in communication. When your staff members feel trusted and valued, they're more inclined to offer up ideas, speak freely, and ask questions.
Put trust in your staff members – and encourage them to trust one another. Start delegating tasks so you have more time to focus on your calling, and show your team that you have the utmost confidence in their abilities to serve your church.
Effective church staff communication is vital to the health of your church. That's why you need to encourage trust, transparency, and communication among your team.
When you do, you not only ensure that your church is operating at the highest level but also set a solid foundation for growth.