If anyone were to approach me on the street and ask, “I want to change my world, what should I do?” I’d respond in two ways: First, I’d wonder why I’m actually walking on a street—I never do that. Second, I’d tell them I’ve observed three things about all world-changers. I’m old enough now to look back at the vast landscape of people in my life, recognize the ones who really changed their worlds and sort out what those amazing people had in common.
Church communicators are world changers. Or at least they should be. They should aspire to be, because that’s the heart of the great commission.
So pay attention. Because these world-changing activities are exactly the thing that church leaders and communicators need to be doing.
My observations come in the form of three tasks. These three tasks are not accidental, and are not based on their personalities. They are intentional and forced into existence each and every day. They come from the hands of the introvert and the extrovert, the bold and the fearful, the artistic and the formulaic.
World changers do three things with regularity. Effective church communicators need to do them too:
1. They Build
World changers build things. They build programs, business solutions, and church and nonprofit structures. They build themselves professionally and personally.
They’ve learned the difference between building and tweaking. At the heart of building, they’re bringing a new (or borrowed) idea into an existence that can live and breathe in their unique organizational model. Tweaking fixes things. Building creates them.
Young leaders in their early 30s builds things naturally. When I was a young leader, that’s all I wanted to do—build things.
Church communicators and leaders who are breaking new ground and changing their worlds need to be building things. Yes, we need communicators who can tweak and maintain what already exists. But whoever is leading your communications needs to be building.
2. They Love
The second task world changers intentionally throw into their weekly routines is loving. While building comes naturally to many leaders, loving does not.
If you ask the people who serve around world changers, they’ll tell you (in one way or another) that they feel loved. And the cream-of-the-crop leaders are mastering the ability to communicate love not only for what their team members bring to the organization, but for who they are as humans. God loves. Period. World changers are learning to love with no strings attached.
Loving the people around them comes in the form of encouraging words (email, text, phone calls, hand-written notes), gifts (a gift card to an employee’s favorite restaurant, iTunes downloads, an unexpected financial bonus, a day off), or quality time (a coffee or lunch with the leader, a 5-minute pop-in to employees’ offices to check how they’re doing).
3. They Communicate
The third thing world changers do is communicate. Almost everyone I know thinks they’re a clear and accurate communicator. But just because it makes sense in their mind doesn’t mean it makes sense to everyone else.
World changers have learned to clearly express the day-to-day expectations of the people around them.
There are three questions world changers are trying to answer every day in their communications with their people:
- Question 1: Do the people around me know what’s expected of them?
- Question 2: Do the people around me know (as much as I know) where we’re going?
- Question 3: Do the people around me know milestones and deadlines on the calendar?
Not all church communicators can actually communicate well. We know everything there is to know about marketing, but that doesn’t mean it translates to how we work with our team. If you want to be effective, if you want make a lasting impact, you need to communicate properly with your team.
All three of these tasks do not come naturally for anyone. But the implementation of all three is extremely important for everyone.
If you don’t build, they won’t feel inspired.
If you don’t love, they won’t feel valued.
If you don’t communicate, they won’t feel anchored.
World changers are doing all three, increasing in all three, and forcing all three. Not just once in a while, but every week. It’s part of their job. It’s part of their routine. As church communicators, you’re working to change the world. If you want to be effective, you need to intentionally build, love and communicate every week.Photo by andynash