At some point of being in ministry, you have probably told yourself that you had no idea it could be like this or that you wished somebody was there to teach you about the things you experienced on your first day. As a communication leader, there is so much more to our role than what our job title implies, and it would have been great to know what communication leaders wish they knew on their first day.
A lot of people get that feeling. Being in communications, many things that happen to you on your first day or even your first year may not be what you expected in the beginning. So now, we’re going to make it easier and speed it up for people who are just starting to do what we are doing and help those who are still on their way to figuring things out. Here are things communication leaders wish they knew on their very first day.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Establish early on what to expect for your role, and set what this role entails you to do. As Michele Crater suggests, “Establish early on what expectations for your role are from your direct supervisors… and negotiate those with your own expectations for your work so you aren’t off mowing one side of the yard while they expect you to be pruning the bushes.” Lay down healthy boundaries, and have a space for your personal life aside from work.
Manage Your Time
You will have a lot on your plate as a communication leader. Set your goals and timetable with the church accordingly. Mendie Skarp states that “They (goals and timetable) help make your job more manageable and give others time to adjust and buy into the change you are trying to affect.” Therefore, enabling you to have time for your other tasks outside your job.
Plan Your Strategies Ahead
Planning is an essential part of our role as a communication leader. Lack of planning could lead us to more work and could consume more time from us. Never start a project without a strategy planned first, and see that everyone who needs to be involved is informed about it.
Build Relationships with Your Team
As a leader, you also have to admit that you need your team to make everything work. Having lots of obligations is just another reason you accept that you cannot do this all on your own. And for you to lead your team well, you need to build a good relationship with them. Educate them. Learn from them. A thing Eric Kidwell does is “Don’t underestimate your 1 on 1 time with the people on your teams. Those times are not only relationship/trust-building but times where you can really invest in people to bring even greater value to their ministry.” Developing a relationship and trust with your team will benefit not only you but the entire ministry as well.
Familiarize Yourself with the Tech Side of Your Job
A lot of your job has to do with streamlining communications and ensuring that you have all the tools your church needs to make tasks easier. Educating yourself on this matter will surely benefit everyone in your ministry. Knowing how to build and develop websites, where to create your graphics, what software to use on your presentations, among others, will lift a lot of burdens and help you do your job well.
Your Role is Vital
Leading the communications of a church plays a very vital role in its success and smooth operation. It comes with great responsibility, and we always have to remind ourselves of that. What we do is not easy, and it comes with a lot of difficulties at times. Just like what Max Lyons said, “Realize that you have one of the most challenging roles on a church staff (because every department wants their thing communicated). Focus on building, empowering, and developing a world-class team around you & you’ll be fine…”
The role that we have taken requires a lot of time, effort, and passion. We still have a lot of things to learn along the way as a communication leader. What we can do for now is set a good example for our team, exude confidence, set a clear vision for everyone, and continue to learn every day.