Church communicator, what if I told you that you—yes, you—are the most integral person to the success of your pastor and the long-term, sustained growth of your church? Well, it may be hard to believe, but it’s absolutely true. Your role is vital. Unfortunately, I know this from a personal and painful experience.
A Personal Story
I began my fifth and final year of pastoral ministry at a new assignment. After five weeks in this new church, I scheduled a vision meeting with the ministers, church officers, ministry leaders and all parties interested in moving the church forward. I called this meeting, “Preparing for the Harvest.”
I didn’t come in with grandiose plans to massively overhaul everything the church had been doing for generations. I simply wanted to identify potential growth opportunities and implement strategies to take our church from good to great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t seen that way.
I started the meeting by laying out a vision for the ministry and inviting discussion around those growth opportunities. I received positive feedback from several members who were in agreement.
The conflict came a few minutes later, as a senior member of the church accused me of calling us a bad church—simply because I dared to mention some needed growth areas. Many others began to agree with this person.
Five tension-filled minutes later, the meeting room was divided. Half agreed with me, understanding I had nothing but good intentions for the ministry. The other half agreed with the senior member who had protested.
This division was indicative of my entire time there. I never had the support of more than half the church. What I thought was a message of hope and progress was misconstrued as one of negativity and arrogance. But looking back, I now know that having an experienced, prayerful church communicator on staff could have helped me refine my message, fill in any gaps in communicating vision and leverage my influence. This would have made all the difference.
Communicator as Visionary Liaison
It’s likely over the last few years, you’ve seen the #PrayForYourPastor hashtag all over social media, especially accompanying Instagram images highlighting jarring statistics regarding pastor burnout. Few professions are more demanding than that of pastoral ministry. God’s leaders are under constant attack and could certainly use the fervent, sincere prayers of the people they serve.
Having been a pastor myself, I know all too well the issues that keep pastors up at night and present potential pitfalls to true kingdom building. Now being a church communicator, I know my colleagues and I are charged with strategically and creatively communicating the ministry’s vision and mobilizing people toward the execution of that vision.
But the communicator can potentially have an even greater impact on the life of the ministry. The church communicator is uniquely positioned to be the visionary liaison between the pastor and the congregation, the strategic voice bringing the pastor and people together. This happens when the communicator surpasses being just an employee and becomes an integral part of the church community.
When the church communicator is fully involved in the life of the church, completely understands and embraces the vision for the ministry and has a strong grasp on where the pastor needs prayer, this person is uniquely able to assist that pastor by both effectively communicating the ministry’s direction and the pastor’s need for support.
How to Pray for Your Pastor
As a church communicator, you serve best when you pray for your pastor’s:
Pastors needs clarity at all times, so pray they are always self-aware of personal shortcomings and of any potential roadblocks (negative people, processes or situations) to the church’s ministry.
As busy as your pastor’s schedule is, pray nothing gets in the way of his or her focused personal devotion and sermon prep time. Pray the people hear with their ears and hearts what’s being preached and that they apply it. Nothing does a pastor’s heart better than watching the people becoming the Word that’s preached weekly, carrying out the vision in their daily lives and seeing the evidence of evangelism and discipleship throughout the church and community.
Few professions, if any, are more transparent than that of pastoral ministry. Pastors interact with people constantly and thus are always on, no matter how they feel. So many things in a pastor’s daily schedule can suck them dry. Pray your pastors are able to carve out small moments of physical and spiritual rest and renewal so they are far less likely to burn out.
A church filled with people committed to praying consistently for their pastor is less likely to lose their pastor to burnout than a church who is not. A church and its pastor can benefit just as much from the prayers and skills of a communications director who is completely locked in to the vision of the ministry and the heart of the pastor.
Church communicator, pray for your pastor (#PrayForYourPastor) in these ways and watch wondrous transformation take place in your church.