July 17, 2013
Five church communications strategies for change - (that I learned from a kitten)
Sometimes church communicators need to look small. Here are five things you can do this week to improve communications in your church.
Sitting in the next deck chair, my wife looked at me and said, "Ollie is looking small. At everything." The moment she said it, the image was clear for me. Sometimes church communicators need to look small.
Ollie is our kitten. Maggie is our cat. Since arriving at our house, Ollie has been a burst of excitement, play and wonder. Maggie's life has become miserable as she is pestered and pounced-upon at every turn. Looking at the kitten's day gave me fresh inspiration. Here are five things you can do this week to improve communications in your church.
Look small. As we introduced Ollie to the yard, my wife called it. Ollie was looking small. He was checking out every bug, flower, leaf, breeze, puddle and sound. He noticed things the rest of us, especially our older cat, had become accustomed to. So, grab your weekly bulletin or pull up your website or wander your lobby and hallways and look small. Look for the little details (good and bad) and give a fresh, curious look - and then make a short list of things you'll tweak, adjust, remove and update.
Challenge the way things have always been. As you take a fresh look, consider whether some of what you see is a result of doing things the way they've always been done. The new kitten is shaking up our family routine. And we're all hoping, in the end, it's for the better. Ask, "Why do we do this or that?" If the answer isn't sound, consider a change. (And see #4 below.)
Be relentless. How does such a small cat make such a loud meeeeooowww? It's annoying, but it works. Doors are opened, food bowls filled and toys played with, all in response to Ollie's relentlessness. Is there a change you've wanted to make but you've given up? Make another run at it by having the hard conversation. Be heard. (And see #4 below.)
Be playful and adorable. I swear, not a kitten (or puppy) would reach adulthood if it were not that they are so darn playful and adorable. Just when you think you can't take any more, they win you over. As you relentlessly challenge, remain likable and keep a sense of humor.
Respect and move on. While Ollie commands a lot of attention, he still knows the pecking order. Humans are first. Cat is second. Kitten is third. If you realize things aren't going well as you challenge, poke and work to drive change, then respect the feedback you're getting and move on. Vow to make another run at it when you sense the time is right.
Your thoughts? Reactions? Other lessons about church communications you've learned from the pets in your home?