9 Secrets of Dynamic Weekly Team Emails for Ministry Leaders

Sending out a weekly email to your team is an effective way to make sure that your people are focused on the same thing going into the weekend. A good weekly email is part logistics reminder part talking points and part motivational propaganda. If you don’t currently send out weekly emails to your teams it would be a great practice to start getting into! Here are some critical factors to consider when sending out weekly team emails to people at your church:

  • Predictable Time. // Pick a time during the week and try to stick to sending it then. For me, I think sending these emails out on Thursday mornings fit well into the rhythm of our work flow. Everything is (generally) settled for this coming weekend and it gives people time to digest it before the weekend.
  • Lead With Vision. // Make sure a piece of the email points back to why we are doing this work. Remind people about the reason for the church’s existence. Share a quick “win” from the weekend before. The more you can draw direct lines to what is happening this weekend to the “big picture” the better.
  • Use Pictures. // We live in a post literate world … communicate with pictures.  😉
  • High Information Density. // People are going to be receiving this email every week and so you need to make it worth their while to open it up.  Avoid lots of fluff but rather attempt to pack it full with as much helpful information as possible. Write it and then edit it to find ways to say the same thing but with less words.
  • No Surprises! // Make sure to focus on things that might be different or out of the ordinary for the team so they aren’t caught off guard. Look for “variance” in your weekend experiences and take extra time explaining those details to your team.
  • Skimable & Deep Dive. // Format the email in such a way that people can quickly skim over the topics and then pause to dive deep into those areas that impact them the most. Provide links and attachments for people who want to go even deeper with more information. The team should be able to quickly gather the “big ideas” for the weekend but those people who want more details can access those as well.
  • Track the Usage. // Find a way to track if people are opening your email and clicking on the links provided.  For me I use Boomerang for Gmail to do this … it let’s me “secretly” track how many opens each email gets and what people are clicking on. (Email systems like Constant Contact, Emma or Aweber do this as well.) Keep an eye on the usage patterns of your emails and adjust what you are doing so more people open and use it.
  • Leave Some Gifts. // Occasionally leave some development resources for your team as a “P.S.” to your email. Even if your team doesn’t download them and use them it’s a simple way to show appreciation to your team. The keeners on your team will download those resources and will love checking your emails to see what new goodies you have every week!
  • Mix it Up. // There is a balance making your emails predictable so your people know “how to use” them and also making sure they don’t get stuck in a rut. If every email was so different it would make it harder for your people to find the information they are looking for but it’s also fun to add some different elements every once and a while. Put in a cartoon from something that made you smile about church leadership. Shoot a “selfie video” talking about what’s coming up on that big weekend. Include a free MP3 with a song that inspired you about what your church is talking about.

Here some examples of weekly emails that I’ve sent to my team: [This one was from a month ago.] [Here is the one I sent the week after Easter … always a tough weekend to keep people motivated!]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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