How Should We Pivot Our Communication in This Season?

As the church, we communicate with several different groups at a time. I want to be clear that when I say we communicate it isn’t just written or verbal communication. We communicate by our actions. If your church is always involved in a certain action or practice like ministering to the issues of homelessness or prison reform, you’re communicating what your church stands for and believes in. If your church is active in the lives of students in the community, then that is also what you’re communicating. As we continue to deal with this season of ministry, we need to pivot how we communicate what we do and who we are to our stakeholders. Our stakeholders are the groups of people we serve and those who help us to serve as well.

Pivot No. 1: Be Consistent — During this season, we need to make sure that one of the pivots we make is to have consistent communication to our stakeholders. Those we serve and those we serve with need to be clear on what their church is doing in this season. What is the focus and goal of the church during this season?

We will speak more about the outreach and serving in the next pivot. However, for now, please make sure that you have set up a system to communicate with your congregation about not just what you will be doing about the COVID-19 season, but what you have already done.

Our church sends out a weekly email that highlights the work of the ministry and how they can join us in serving. I previously mentioned that our pastor sends out weekly robocalls to every member of the church as a way to communicate and pray with them before Sunday morning worship.

We also send out an email each Monday to those who visit us online, thanking them for joining us and inviting them to join our daily prayer call, and of course to join us again for worship soon. Whatever way you decide to handle it, the point here is to make sure that your communication is consistent.

Pivot No. 2: Have a targeted plan — Since we have so many different groups in our stakeholder list, we must be targeted in our communication. We have to create clear lines of communication for those we serve. What will they expect during this season, what can they do during this season and when do we expect to shift out of this season?

We also need a line of communication for those who serve with us. What can they expect from us? How can they help us as we serve during this season? Where do we see our church going and what do we need from them? These and several other questions or statements will be needed for us to communicate with clarity as we pivot.

Pivot No. 3: Consider the mode of communication — Simply put, we need to be clear on how we communicate to the guest, those who are visiting or considering visiting our church. In this season pivoting your means of communication might mean that you focus more on your Facebook posts and Facebook groups. It might mean that you post certain information to Instagram and different information to Twitter. You can check out my friend, Nona Jones, and the work she has done on social media engagement for more details on the how. The point here is that as a church we need to pivot how we communicate with stakeholders outside of the church to make sure that it is clear where we’re going.

Don’t let this season pass you by and not make a point to focus in on how you communicate with those who have a vested interest in what God is doing through you. What would you add about communication? How has your church made a pivot in how it communicates during this season?

Read more from Russell St. Bernard »

Russell St. Bernard
Russell St. Bernard

Russell St. Bernard is the director for ministry operations at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the founder of After the Music Stops, a full-service youth ministry company as well as founder of Ministry Pivot, a company dedicated to assisting leaders and churches seize opportunities for growth.