by Gay Wall/ July 12, 2022
Communication—good or bad—affects the atmosphere and environment of your ministry. It can determine your ability to keep a great team together. In church work, where a leader is more dependent on volunteers than in most organizations, the need for great communication is even more critical.
Someone said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” but I believe it should say, “It’s how you say what you need to say.” When you communicate well with those you lead, it helps eliminate confusion and encourages an exciting, healthy, and peaceful ministry environment. Recruiting volunteers is easier in this kind of atmosphere.
Here are a few ways to help us communicate better with our teams and volunteers:
1. Meetings—Yes, meetings! I know that we all have too many meetings, but it is easier to communicate our passion and feelings to our teams in an open meeting. In a meeting, they will not only hear what we are saying, but also the feelings connected with it.
2. E-mails, Facebook, Texts, Instagram, and Tweets, oh my! Yes, in this day of multiple ways to communicate, we should use them all. It enables us to pass messages to our teams without disrupting their busy days.
3. Show confidence and seriousness with a dash of humor. It is okay to laugh while we are being serious! If we can show confidence and seriousness with some humor, we can captivate our team, lower any tension, and create an effective atmosphere. Just make sure the humor is appropriately communicated. Sometimes it is harder to see humor in a text.
4. Can you hear me now? Speak plainly and share clearly, what we want others to do or know. It is good to write on a whiteboard the key points of what we are communicating and ask if what we wrote is what our audience heard. If there is some misunderstanding, then reframe what was said so that everyone can be on the same page.
5. Keep it pleasantly simple and use body language. We want to show that we are passionate about what we are communicating. No, we do not have to dance, but we can show excitement! A change in our delivery tone can amazingly redefine the words we are using.
6. I can hear you; can you hear me? Yes, we have to listen also! Let us encourage our teams to share their thoughts and be open about disagreements. Listen to what our teams have to say and consider all that they share. Feedback will also help us measure how we are communicating.
7. A little one-on-one here! Sometimes a team member may need our one-on-one attention. Our time is limited so this one is more sacrificial, but we do not want to leave any team member behind.
8. Express your thanks often. A thankful and appreciative leader affirms their team and lets them know that their time, energy, and work are important. Showing appreciation is crucial in keeping team members from burnout.
How well do you communicate with your team? Which areas of communication do you need to strengthen?