Valuing Communication While Serving Your Pastor

Valuing Communication While Serving Your Pastor

April 18, 2016 by

I have been a champion for church communicators for years now. But sometimes I wonder if we’ve gone too far.

Championing Communications

I’ve argued that communicators need a seat at the table. Without access to the conversations where decision making happens, communicators can’t effectively do their jobs.

I’ve pitched the difference between communications as PR vs. DNAGood communication is more than just execution—it’s strategy, planning and forward thinking.

I’ve reminded senior pastors to let people do their jobs: “You don’t know a lot about accounting so you don’t backseat drive your accountant. You hired a great designer [or communications director], please don’t backseat drive here, either.”

I love church communicators (it’s my job, too!) and I think we have a crucial role in helping churches tell their story.

But sometimes I wonder if those of us trying to “elevate” the role of church communications have instead been doing church communicators a disservice.

Too Self Involved?

Have we created a sense of entitlement among church communicators?

In our struggle to get others to see our contributions, our work, our calling as important and significant, have we created a sense of entitlement among church communicators?

Have we moved from a spirit of humble servanthood to a place of pride? Not the I’m-really-satisfied-with-my-work kind of pride or even the I’m-really-good-at-what-I-do kind of pride.

I’m talking about the kind of pride that creates resentment and prevents us from fulfilling our God-given calling.

I’m talking about the kind of pride that makes us feel like the vision God has given us is more important that the vision he has given the pastor he’s called us to follow.

Friends, hear me here: Your calling is important! The vision God has given you to do great communication is very important!

The work you and I get to do is vital. I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing this if I didn’t believe it to be so. But our vision is not more important than our lead pastor’s vision. Our calling is subservient.

We’re Translators

The greatest marketing in the world is a failure if it’s not serving our pastor.

To be clear, I still think the communications director is a very important role. I still feel it’s important for lead pastors to bring church communicators in to the decision-making conversation as early as possible and as often as possible

I still strongly believe that church communicators have the ability to be culture shapers, strategic partners in ministry and a valued resource.

I believe a church’s reach and impact in the community and the world can be significantly enhanced—even sometimes driven—by a great church communicator.

But we still answer to our pastor.

Our church leadership teams, pastors and supervisors are the ones God has entrusted with the direction of our church. Our job is to serve them. Our job is to translate their vision into action. It’s their vision (and ultimately God’s), not ours.

While I still firmly believe in the value we communicators can bring, if we’re not careful we can undermine our own role.

If we let our ego get out of control, if we become too prideful, if we think we’re all that—then we’ve failed.

  • The greatest marketing in the world is a failure if it’s not serving our pastor.
  • The most beautiful design is made ugly if it comes from an attitude of ego.
  • The best strategy is pointless if it’s not going where God is leading your church.

Take Heart

My worst day on the job at church is better than the best day doing anything else.

For some of you looking to find your place in the church communication world, I know this is hard to hear. You feel disrespected with the barrage of last-minute requests and unreasonable demands. Believe me when I say I’ve been there.

Our job is difficult. We need to have confidence and advocate for methods our leadership might not understand. But we need to do so as servants.

If we’ve become rock stars, then we’re doing it wrong.

I’m in the enviable position of being on a church staff with leaders who respect me and with a lead pastor who believes in the importance of church communication.

Yet, there are still days when I get frustrated in doing my job. But what I’m learning is that I get to serve my church by doing the things I love to do.

My worst day on the job at church is better than the best day doing anything else.

  • I want to encourage you to join me in counting our blessings.
  • I want to encourage you to continue be passionate about your role.
  • I want to encourage you to work hard to earn a seat at the leadership table by serving your pastor’s vision first.

Become so valuable an advocate for your leader’s vision that they wouldn’t even consider making a decision without you. It is a privilege to come alongside a godly leader and help them implement their God-given vision.

Lean into your calling to humbly support your pastor.

If we church communicators become known as enablers and supporters instead of entitled obstacle-makers, I’m confident the local church will become a place where our skills, talents and influence are more welcome than ever.

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Post By:

Chuck Scoggins


Chuck is passionate about serving the local church. Hit him up on Twitter or on his blog, ChuckScoggins.com.
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