Browse
Death by a Thousand Cuts

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Posted April 17, 2019 by Owen Scott

It’s your first day of your new job in church communications.

You sit down at your desk ready to share Jesus with the world and wonder for all of thirty seconds what you should do with your time. Then the requests start.

Kids ministry needs a graphic. Youth needs 25 Instagram stories for their retreat. The Board wants a marketing and advertising plan tomorrow morning. You need to post something on Facebook. Oh and you were told, “since we hired you, we’re going to do Instagram too.” The preschool needs a newsletter sent out, and can it please not be in comic sans?

Very quickly this job could kill you. And it wouldn’t be because of one big colossal failure, or a massive disagreement. It will be a death by a thousand cuts.

This job will slowly but surely bleed you dry, unless you’re careful and intentional about not letting that happen. The pace is frenetic, the demands are massive. You need to set yourself up to not only survive in this ministry, but thrive.

Here are a few things that will help you thrive in church communications.
 

Build Relationships of Trust

You need to be able to build healthy relationships to survive in any career, and it’s especially important in church communications. Invest in your staff relationships so that your team will trust you and your judgement.
 

Create Clear Expectations

Unclear expectations will cut you. A lot. This is a two way street. You need to know the expectations your team have on you. And you need to make clear the expectations you have of them. Establish reasonable timelines so that you don’t get as many “Can you just design this series artwork in the next 2 hours?” kind of requests.
 

Build a Team

Jesus built a team. So should you.

But seriously, you are one person and the demands on you will be more than what you can manage on your own. You need a team to multiply your impact and spread your workload out. You will then have to learn to delegate well and release work to others. But you can do it.
 

Hold Your Ideas Beside You

“Hold your ideas beside you, not in front of you, so when they’re shot down the arrow doesn’t go through your heart.”

I was given this advice from my good friend Jonathan Carone. I wish I had received this advice sooner in my career. As creatives our work is often incredibly near and dear to our hearts. We pour our souls into our art. But communications is not art.

Whether you’re freelancing or on staff at a church, you are making work for a client who has taste (debatably at times), preference, and ultimately, authority on their needs. So eventually they’ll shoot one of your ideas down. In those moments, if you associate your work with your value, you’ll receive a deep wound that will contribute to an early death in ministry.
 

Rest

Jesus rested. So should you.

Resting is important. The hamster wheel of communications never stops, but you weren’t built to run endlessly. You need to schedule regular times of rest.

Make sure you’re taking your regular days off during the week. Keep a regular sabbath, and take your vacations. Like, actually vacation—leave the phone at home.
 

Find Community

I can’t stress this enough. You need a real, like-minded community who will support and encourage you in your ministry. They don’t even have to be in-person friends.

I’ve been lucky to be a part of an incredible small group of communicators that has been transformational. It started as just a group for design feedback, but shifted into a small group for us. This crew of friends have seen me through some of the darkest days of my life, and we’ve been able to support each other with feedback and pastoral care.

If you don’t have a supportive community, a good place to start is the Church Juice Community on Facebook. There are good people in there who would love to support and encourage you.
 

I don’t want you to die from a thousand cuts.

I want you to thrive in communications ministry. If you need a hand, harass me on Facebook. But more than that, take some of these steps to make sure you last. You’ve got this! We’re all rooting for you.

Filed under: Communications, Leadership

About the Author

Owen Scott

Owen Scott is an associate pastor at Prairie Alliance Church. He has managed social media  for churches for 8 years and loves seeing the church leverage technology and effective communication to proclaim the gospel to people who are far from God.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Recent Posts

Death by a Thousand Cuts
Death by a Thousand Cuts
2

Posted April 17, 2019 by Owen Scott

Communications ministry is an always-flowing stream of demands—on your time, energy, and heart. If you’re not careful it could kill you, not in a big show of force, but slowly over a thousand cuts. Take time to set yourself up to thrive in communications ministry.
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
Podcast: What to do When Your Attendance Drops at Easter
0

Posted April 15, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re talking with a pastor of a growing church that sees their attendance drop on Easter. What do they do instead?
Clarifying Your Message
Clarifying Your Message
0

Posted April 10, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We’re all busy. What you communicate needs to be clear, concise, and compelling to be as effective as possible.
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
Podcast: Partnering With Your Community
0

Posted April 8, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Easter is a great time to find new ways to partner with your community. Here’s the story of how one church partnered with their community for an Easter egg hunt.
We’d Love Your Feedback
We’d Love Your Feedback
0

Posted April 3, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your feedback will help make Church Juice an even-better resource for your church.
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
The Ultimate List of 25 Free Stock Photo Sites for Churches
4

Posted March 27, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Sometimes stock photos are needed to fill gaps or spark creativity. Here are 25 websites with completely free photos for your church.
Podcast: Knowing Who You Are
Podcast: Knowing Who You Are
0

Posted March 25, 2019 by Bryan Haley

How to pull off an excellent Easter service while being true to who you are.
Talk the Talk: Basics To Developing A Communications Strategy
Talk the Talk: Basics To Developing A Communications Strategy
0

Posted March 20, 2019 by Sherri Jones

Effective communication is the key to keep people connected and move them to action.
Podcast: Advertising Easter
Podcast: Advertising Easter
0

Posted March 18, 2019 by Bryan Haley

What are the best ways to advertise your Easter services and events?
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
“But No One Told Me!” Tips on Improving Staff Communication
3

Posted March 13, 2019 by Kristen Eleveld

Trying to keep your team in the loop can be overwhelming and frustrating. How do you give people the information they need without overloading their inbox? Read on for some ideas on how to keep your staff up to date—and your day running a little smoother.