3 Ways To Build Trust Through Church Communications
By: Anna Baker
We know trust is vitally important for thriving churches. Churches are institutions that provide hope, comfort, and unity to their communities, but because we’re human and prone to error, this trust can be easily distorted, even unintentionally. When this happens, a church can lose its unique ability to reach our hurting world. While all organizations need an element of trust for their message and purpose to make a difference, churches have more complexity to consider. They need trust amongst their staff, trust between the staff and congregation, and trust between the church and its community. With all of this to consider, how can church leaders work to build and maintain trust in all three spheres?
Pastors have a certain calling - they are called to love, serve, pastor, and shepherd their community. That leaves little time to consider much else if they’re serving whole-heartedly. We’ve been talking about the rising need for churches to invest in a Communications Director for this exact reason. While in the past, Communications roles were seen as the person who runs social media, writes and designs bulletin, and emails weekly updates, the recent and swift shift to online operations has quickly rewritten the importance and responsibilities of this role.
Yes, managing video, email, and digital platforms is important, but what a Communications role really does is build trust and create a persona for your church.
Building Trust Amongst Church Staff
A Communications Director serves as the glue that can cut through the differences between staff members to unite everyone on a common ground: the church’s mission.
Of course each staff member will have a different outlook, unique strengths, and perhaps even different theology, but when it comes to the principals and mission of your church staff, alignment is critical. A Communications Director serves as the glue that can cut through the differences between staff members to unite everyone on a common ground: the church’s mission.
It’s the Communications Director’s job to ensure all of the unique ministries within your church are tying their focus back to the heart of why your church was created and where you’re looking to make an impact. Whether service, connection, or evangelizing is the heartbeat of your church, this leader would ensure that value shines in the efforts of every ministry.
Building Trust Within The Church Community
In order to build trust with your congregation, it’s important for church staff to present a united front on matters like purpose, mission, and theology.
In order to build trust with your congregation, it’s important for church staff to present a united front on matters like purpose, mission, and theology. However, aligning on all of these matters is difficult when each ministry is focused on bringing their unique goals to life.
A Communications Director acts as a liaison between the staff and congregation by playing a part in each communication presented. This person helps each ministry leader plan campaigns, missions, and messaging to ensure anything seen by the congregation is in alignment with one another. From the worship team, to the kids ministry, to discipleship, the congregation should feel like each team is running in the same direction and pursuing the same goals. This will provide comfort and trust to those receiving the work of your church.
Churches are also adding online services and other unique ways to gather and worship while we navigate social distancing guidelines. A Communications leader would help ensure these plans are clearly communicated to your congregation for maximum impact.
Finally, communicating crises or celebrations, such as deaths, divorces, pregnancies, marriages, and new hires, within the church often falls on the pastor. While the pastor should be involved in the shepherding aspects of major events, a Communications Director would carry the load of communing these changes to your congregation. They would take time to ensure news is delivered with transparency and empathy.
Building Trust With The Outside Community
Every church wants to be a beacon of hope to their community. Pastors want to impact the people that sit next to them at restaurants, attend the same movie theaters, and shop at the same stores. Who better to lead a community than someone living in it? However, many churches don’t have the resources to put effort into how they present themselves to their neighbors.
That’s where a Communications Director comes in. Especially as churches continue to develop and place more emphasis on their digital experience, more people will be watching from the outside. A Communications leader not only ensures that you have an online presence that represent your church well, but they manage incoming messages on social media, engage with the users in the online community, and are the voice of your church to the outside world.
In a world starving for institutions and leaders we can trust, a Communications Director is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have. Their daily tasks are helpful, but their ability to align teams and develop trust is critical. We’ve outlined job descriptions, templates, and even who to hire for this role in our Ultimate Guide To Church Communications. Investing in this role will form stronger connections between all levels of your church internally and externally, growing your impact in powerful ways.
In a world starving for institutions and leaders we can trust, a Communications Director is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have.
We’re passionate about helping churches find leaders that can take their mission farther, faster. If you’re looking to grow your staff, we’d love to help you find the person who is the right fit for your unique culture. Connect with us to take the next step building your best team.