I’m part of a local meetup of church communicators in the Twin Cities. Our group is called Social Media Shepherds and we gather one morning a month in a local coffee shop to talk church communication. We easily have half a dozen people each month, sometimes more and sometimes less. It’s a consistent group, and if anything it’s been an ongoing encouragement for me to hear from local communicators and see what they’re dealing with.
At a recent meeting we were having an open Q&A where anyone could bring questions to the group. We were talking about one person’s question and we kept circling back to how overwhelmed they felt:
- They had set bold social media goals for their small congregation, but weren’t making progress.
- They struggled with apathetic leadership in the face of a shrinking congregation and the lack of a cohesive vision.
- They had finally stepped down from one volunteer role (we cheered!), only to step into another one (we groaned).
- This person knew they would be leaving the church in the not-immediate future due to a spouse’s job change, but they didn’t know if was worth it to keep fighting all of this and work to leave the church in a better position.
The rest of the group responded with ideas and suggestions: Pair back your social media goals (stick to Facebook, ignore Snapchat), offer leadership a framework and process that will work for whatever vision they land on, take care of yourself.
And then some said, “Can we pray for you?”
It shouldn’t have been a surprising moment that in a gathering of church folk someone would offer to pray. But it was. And it was exactly what was needed. Instead of advice or more to-dos, we just needed to pray for this beleaguered, overwhelmed communicator.
There are a lot of beleaguered, overwhelmed communicators out there. If you’re one of them, know that you are not alone.
There’s a lot you can do to avoid burnout. A local group of co-conspirators who understand what you’re dealing with can be a big help. Commiserate together. Share horror stories. Be inspired by each other’s ideas. Pray for one another.
There are a few scattered meetups for church communicators around the country. If there’s one in your area, check it out. If there’s not, start one. It can be as casual as a couple people meeting for coffee.
Let’s make church communication better by supporting one another.