In the last posts I started with a list of four “sins” we commit when planning and communicating at local church level (if not more levels):
- A planification of activities centered in our needs or “according” to our internal “standards”.
- Lack of Communications department or responsible.
- Lack of coordination of activities between all the departments or ministries (beyond the distribution of weekends so none steps anyone else’s toes).
- Lack of strategy to coordinate with social agenda.
We already reviewed point #1. Planification of activities centered in “our” needs or “according” to our internal “standards”. #2. Lack of communications responsible. Today we will see #3.
3. Lack of coordination of activities between all the departments or ministries.
As I already said in the first post, we do a lot of work and we prepare many activities that could be really very interesting to our neighbors and community, but the lack of vision in how to prepare it and the lack of means and bridges to reach-out our community with this info, brings the results already known.
It is not a matter of doing the war in our own, each one on his or her corner. We can work together and have synergy among departments. It is already known that when we have series of evangelism we ask the Children Ministry to take care of the kids so the guests may enjoy the conferences about prophecy. Just saying. But, have we ever thought about coordination between all the departments and the Personal Ministries area? Communications department is the vertebral column that goes through all those ministries with the pastoral team.
When each ministry prepares one activity, they should count with the advice of Communications Dept. and Personal Ministry. Why? Because with the help of each one, they will find a way to transform any activity which could be at the beginning an internal activity, something different, interesting for the non adventists. The next post we will talk about the strategy with the social agenda, not today, but you need to keep in mind that an annual plan could be set up and each ministry must have a part in it, coordinated and programmed. Personal Ministries should board this with Communications Ministry.
Sometimes there are many activities that are prepared and at the same time are unnoticed, that could have been improved and empowered by the work in coordination with others. Others just are burned out because they constantly prepare many small activities, trying to find their space in time and in the church. I have seen in some cases real wars trying to capture the attention of the church members, competitions to see who does the activities better than others, who has the biggest attendance, and oftenly, focusing only in church members.
I feel sad when I see those things, because that is not the aim of our church. We are called to serve, not to compete among ourselves. We are called to help each other, not to undermine our spirits. The results are churches divided, people upset, those who does not want to re-take te position the following year, and a great loss at the end.
By coordinating all the church activities, or most of them (there will always be exceptions), we could have 5 or 6 great activities per year, one every 2 months, for example, designed for non adventists, targeted for different audiences, relevant for our neighbors, and relevant for the media as well (that will be the next and last post of this series). In this way we could coordinate from Communications Department and Personal Ministries area the calendar for the major activities of the church, and, strategically assignee them to different Ministries. Each ministry might continue with some small or quotidian activities (always needed) but focused in preparing that major activity for the neighborhood.
Other departments might help taking care of small portions of it, while preparing their own “major” activity for another moment of the year. By doing this, we give to each ministry one goal, one topic to work on, one plan of action for the year, so they focus in building something instead of competing with others. They assume a set of mind of collaboration within a bigger project, a common one. At the same time, all the preparing is constantly setting in the mind of the participants that they are working to “serve the community”.
Another advantage of working in coordination is to soften the pression of “creativity” in each leader. We will avoid the “burnout” in those valuable local leaders, since they are not in need of being the “star of the show” each month, but to soften the level of exigence during the year and yielding to a spirit of collaboration which will result in a cheering mood when everyone has its turn. it will be a common plan, a common goal and a church working together for the community.
The next post, and last of this series will give us the key of how to develop the strategy.