Now that we know what a church communicator is and why you need one, what’s next? It’s time to find a church communicator that best fits your congregation. Follow these five steps to successfully hire the right person!
1. Recognize Your Specific Needs
First and foremost, does your church need a church communicator?
Some questions for reflection:
- Are your ministry and office support staff stretched thin because they are completing communication tasks that are time-consuming and distracting?
- Is ministry information dropping through the cracks?
- Is there a need to bring your church communication into the 21st century?
- Is your mission and vision being communicated effectively? (Define vision through strategic planning and allow your vision to lead your communications.)
- Are you strategically planning what you are communicating?
2. Define a List of Goals for Your Church Communicator
Pull your ministry and office support staff together and make a “wish-list” of goals you have for a church communicator. Be specific. Dream big. This isn’t a time to discuss what’s realistic or not, just brainstorm.
Here are some ideas:
- Develop a communication strategy for each ministry
- Grow your church's online presence (website, social media, search engines, etc.)
- Help your audience see the big-picture
- Create a brand for your church
- Start a blog
- Improve communication among staff
- Stream sermons and/or worship services
- Build or enhance your church website
- Improve the use of technology, both behind the scenes and in worship
- Create an enewsletter
- Communicate church vision clearly with church leadership and congregation
- Create print materials for first-time visitors that tell your church's story
By any estimation, this is not an inclusive list, just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing!
3. Determine Employment Options
The role of a church communicator will be different in every church. What works well for one church may not be the best solution for yours. There are many options for designating communicators.
Employ: Discover what financial funds may be available to hire a church communicator, either part-time or full-time.
Contract: Many churches do not have the financial resources to hire someone full-time or part-time, but they may be able to contract with a church communicator. You can work closely with a contractor to discover how they may best partner with your church in developing a communication strategy, implementing that strategy, and maintaining it long-term.
Did you know that there is a Facebook Group for LCMS Church Communicators? This may be a great place to start in your search, as many of us do contract work on the side.
Volunteer: Maybe your financial resources do not allow you to offer compensation for a church communicator. Look around your church! You may have a gifted communicator among you. Maybe there is someone who is gifted at using social media. A marketing and communication professional. A web designer. A writer. A graphic artist. A photographer. An event coordinator.
Approach these professionals and start a discussion. Ask them what they are passionate about and how they see themselves partnering in ministry. Tell them how you can see their specific gifts and passions furthering your church’s mission, and ask them if they’d be willing to share their time and talents.
4. Finalize Responsibilities: Make Realistic Goals
In step 2, you created a “wish-list” of the things you’d like from your church communicator. Now it’s time to be realistic. Once you’ve discovered what financial resources you have to offer, ask yourself, "What are the essential goals that can be realistically achieved?"
Please keep in mind that many of communications tasks can be quite time consuming. Just to give you an idea, some of the tasks that take up the most of my time each week are: weekly and monthly communication strategies for each ministry; planning, preparing, and posting to social media; compiling, writing, and editing weekly newsletters; and maintaining church website content.
There are additional tasks added in, like: sermon series, seasonal projects (Easter/Christmas marketing campaigns, fall kick-off, etc.), office support, weekly staff meetings, and special projects (starting a blog, devotional series, video series).
When choosing your goals, number them. Which will have the greatest impact? What is the timeline for each goal? What can your communicator accomplish in the specified hours whether paid (full-time, part-time, contract) or volunteered?
5. Redefine the Role
Once you hire, contract, or assign (volunteer) your church communicator, review the list of goals you have with them. Help them think of big ideas. Express how you see them fitting into the ministry and mission of your church. Inform them of the top priorities, then ask them what tasks can be completed within their available time. Ask them if they see goals that you may have missed. This is a fluid conversation. Come back to it every now and again.
This is an exciting time for your church! I pray that the Lord blesses your ministry as you consider partnering with a communicator.
Does your congregation work with a church communicator? Tell us in the comments below!
Download some helpful job description guidelines for hiring a church communicator. Hopefully they will help inspire you as you seek the right person for your congregation!