What is the best way To build up your church communications team? How can you bolster the entire church technology community? There are many approaches you can take to these problems. I suggest by helping your weakest links first. This article delves into why.
According to Malcom Gladwell, there are two strategies to building up a team. One is the basketball approach. This is where you bring in the biggest superstar possible, and they carry a team to victory. The other is the soccer approach. Here you build up your weakest players to prevent talent gaps.
I propose that church communications is a weak link game. Why? Because weak links really matter in this arena. Churches have a bad reputation for having outdated websites. We appear not to use social media well. Unfortunately, when one piece looks bad, it all looks bad. Thanks to screenshots and social media, our blunders can be shared with the world in seconds. Let us find those weak links and build them up!
Your communications team might just be you. Or it may be a large group of people. Regardless of the size, everyone needs to have sharp skills. This includes your volunteers. Everyone touching the technology should have a good understanding of how it works. I documented several education sources in a previous article. Plus do not overlook the strong links on your team. Have the HTML expert train everyone else on basic editing. Also, your team may need encouragement or inspiration. For that I would suggest looking to conferences and meet-ups. To get an idea of what you might encounter, check out some recordings An Event Apart 2013 on Jeffrey Zeldman's Vimeo page.
Your church most likely has several ministries. They probably have their own sections of the website. They may have their own social media presences. Or at the very least, they submit content for someone else to post. Not to stereotype, but leaders in your seniors ministry may not be as tech savvy as those in the youth ministry. What may help here is hosting a church-wide workshop for all ministry leaders. Ask them to bring questions as well as their biggest successes and failures. With guidance from the communications team, they will share their way to success. They can learn from each other and sharpen each other's skills.
This will be the most difficult to do. Some churches not have the technical skills to have great digital ministries. Yet others do not have the people and time. This is not an impossible obstacle. But it does require a humble attitude. Churches need to realize their weak points. Then find other churches that seem to be doing it well. Conversely, you might have a great system working for part of your digital ministry. Host a workshop at your church, inviting others to join you. In either situation, it requires a humble heart to be effective.
Recognize that digital ministry is a weak link game. If you rely on superstars, they will burn out and want to leave your team. Build up everyone and create a well-rounded group. Then use your team to help round out your various ministries. Help and coach leaders to provide you with quality content. Finally, look around your city for churches that appear to have great digital ministries. It can be a good website, thriving social media presence, or well-produced podcast. Exchange ideas, share stories, and build each other up. In the end, the kingdom will reap the harvest.
This article was inspired by Malcom Gladwell's podcast episode "My Little Hundred Million"
Photo courtesy of Phillip Rothe