Seven Essentials of a Great Church Communications Director

Church communications is a burgeoning field. And the position of church communications director/manager/coordinator has become ubiquitous in many large churches. But it’s not just the large churches that are looking to fill this role. Mid-size and small churches are realizing the importance of having a singular person responsible for their church’s communications and social media.

So what should a church look for when finding a full-time, part-time, or volunteer communications coordinator? These seven qualities should be evident in that person:

  1. An understanding of the church. This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen churches hire people unfamiliar with church dynamics or even outsource their communications work to generic companies. Subtlety is lost, language gets obfuscated, and the message just doesn’t come out correctly. Having someone who knows church life is always preferred.
  2. Grammar knowledge. Typos will invariably still happen, but hiring someone who knows grammar and understands how to write well will raise the level of everything your church produces online and in print.
  3. A desire to constantly learn. Social media is a fast-paced world. Effective communications directors will be on the cutting edge of what’s next in the digital space. They will have a desire to stay informed and to constantly move your church forward with its communications.
  4. An eye for design. Most churches don’t have the funds to have everything professionally designed. Smaller projects will require in-house design and direction. Having at least a basic knowledge of what constitutes good design is necessary.
  5. An ability to adapt. Church life is ever changing—especially in churches that are growing quickly. The ability to adapt when new initiatives are started is critical. You can’t keep doing what you’ve always done and expect to be effective with your church communications.
  6. Social savvy. As the importance and usage of social media increase, so does the importance of knowing what constitutes effective social media content. Each channel has different features, different audiences, and prefers different content. Having the necessary savvy to navigate each channel is invaluable.
  7. A passion for the lost. This quality has little to do with the actual duties of a communications coordinator. But if you’re going to hire someone to serve at a church, that person needs to be invested and passionate about the mission of the church. Kingdom work—no matter the job title—is a calling. Don’t bring someone on the team who doesn’t have that calling.

What would you add to this list? What other qualities have you seen in church communications coordinators that make them effective?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Howe

Jonathan Howe serves as vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee. He oversee all SBC Executive Committee communications including SBC.net, SBC LIFE, Baptist Press, social media initiatives and other media and messaging strategies. Howe was formerly the Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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