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 Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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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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