Your Communications Director’s placement within your org chart should help provide appropriate connections, authority and access to information.

Struggling to know where to place your Communications Director in your staff structure? You’re not alone. When it comes to this role, it can be confusing to pick the right spot. The position may not carry the title of pastor, but grouping him or her with your support staff usually doesn’t feel like a good fit either. Ultimately, your Communications Director’s potential success is linked to consistent connections with your church leadership and all of your ministry areas.

As we work with churches, we often find Communications Directors teaming up with the following roles or ministry departments:

  • Executive Pastor/Administrator
  • Lead Pastor
  • Worship/Creative Arts
  • Information Technology

Since Communications Directors help support behind-the-scenes functions, many churches structure this role to report to an Executive Pastor or Administrator. This helps keep the Communications Director closely connected to high-level goals, budgeting, processes, information technology and important updates related to your church facility. The only caveat would be to make sure your Communications Director keeps a close connection to the mission, strategies and tactics being set by your Lead Pastor or leadership team.

It’s also common for the Communications Director to report to the Lead Pastor, especially on small or mid-size church staff teams. Again, this allows a direct connection to high-level strategies related to the church’s mission and ongoing priorities as well as churchwide messaging and sermons.

Strategic church communications leaders should also have close ties to the worship team and the information technology area since its systems will ultimately help support both the internal and external communications efforts. Some churches make the case that these teams are so closely connected in tasks, they should be grouped into one team within the organizational chart.

The bottom line: there isn’t necessarily a “one size fits all” solution. However, your Communications Director’s placement within your org chart should help provide appropriate connections, authority and access to information. Consider the following questions to help you find the right connection on your staff team.

Does your Communications Director’s staff placement provide ...

  • an established connection with your senior leadership, including your board/elders/session leaders?
  • an ongoing connection with all key ministry areas?
  • a high-level understanding of the church’s mission, goals, priorities and budgets?
  • regular support from a supervisor who can guide, encourage, challenge, pray for and support him/her?
  • knowledge of any sensitive church issues/challenges that will need to be addressed by communications in the near future?
  • an empowered voice within your staff (grounded in experience and love for the church)?
  • access to opportunities for learning and development?

As you place your Communications Director in your staff structure, we hope you can answer “yes” to all these questions. It’s also a great idea to encourage him or her to have a regular connection with other church communications staff members.

Those in Indiana can join us at The Table, a free gathering of church communications professionals. We also live-stream these events, so anyone can join! In this “lunch and learn” environment, staff members can discuss challenges, brainstorm solutions, share resources and encourage one another. Many who attend share with us that it’s a place where they feel like they fit.