Working as a church communicator is not an easy task. Whether you’ve been in the role for years or just days, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed, overworked, and like your to-do list is never-ending. As we’ve talked to church communicators, we’ve learned that more often than not, these challenges all point back to one foundational issue: a lack of cohesive missional direction within the church.
While this seems to be the root cause, the way this looks differs from church to church. We’ve put together a list of the top five church communicator challenges and have worked to identify how to practically overcome them.
1. Budget Restraints
How can church communicators make things happen and continue to see growth on little-to-no budget? While this is no doubt a challenge, the good news is that you can make your dollars stretch a little bit further with the right tools, goals, and mindset.
From the beginning, know what type of budget you are allotted. This will help you keep finances in check. Next, know that there actually are affordable, free, and near-free solutions to do much of the church communications heavy-lifting. For instance, using an Ekklesia 360 Theme, you can get a responsive design church website for less than the cost of most iPads. Do your research and find affordable solutions that work for you.
2. Time Restraints
Who's got the time? Not church communicators. Whether it's facing the challenge of navigating internal deadlines, a stalled project, or the cyclical Sunday deadline, church communicators nearly always operate under a time crunch. Simply put, there’s a so much for a church communicator to accomplish throughout the week: bulletins, blog posts, posters, signage, emails, editing, writing, designing, announcements, slide decks...whew!
Don’t try to do it all alone. It’s easy to feel like a one-man show, but even if you’re a team of one, know that there are resources, people, and ministry partners (like us) who are here to help. Delegate where you can and prioritize the rest. Know what must get done and what would be a bonus.
3. Lack of Strategy
When we talk to church communicators, the tension they're feeling often comes from a lack of missional focus. Sure, there's usually a vague mission statement in place somewhere, but it hasn't permeated the entire organization (learn more about creating church mission statements here). Too often, church communicators feel like they're trying to hit a moving target. If the mission isn't clear, the communication surrounding the mission won't be either.
Start by creating a mission statement and working to make sure your entire church knows what it is. Then, take that and use it to create a social media strategy, web content strategy, and overall communications strategy.
4. A Lack of Resources That Work Great for Churches
Too often, church communicators fail to employ church-specific tools when it comes to software. It’s critical that your church has an effective church website platform, church management software, online giving system, and live streaming solution (not to mention project management software, graphic design tools, etc.).
Check out the Top 8 Resources for Church Communicators here.
Talk to other church communicators and do your research. Don’t continue to use a specific software system just because you always have. Work to find the best solution for your church, then get started.
5. Too Many Requests from Too Many Directions
As a church communicator, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern where you simply are approving things and putting out fires instead of moving the mission forward. How can you be goal-oriented and missional, yet still get things done?
Implement a communication request form (learn more here) and make sure people use it. Then, measure each request up against your mission, your goals, and your current priorities.
There’s no denying that working as a church communicator is hard, but you have the potential to impact many for the sake of the Gospel so don’t lose heart. Instead, discover seven tools every church communicator needs in the Church Communicator’s Survival Guide.