August 23, 2023
The Surprising Benefit I Wish I Had Known
In the church world, it is so easy to be in “get it done” mode and lose track of the benefits of strategic partnerships.
Website management. Design. Messaging. Communication strategy. Social media. Video storytelling.
There is an endless amount of tasks that can occupy the time of a communications leader in the church. On top of that, the most impactful communication tactics today are evolving at a faster pace than ever before. It’s no wonder burnout claims far too many leaders in the church.
When I was a church communications leader, I had the benefit of a great team around me that also had communication responsibilities. While other churches are thankful to have one part-time leader thinking about matters of communication in their church. No matter the situation at your church, it’s easy to allow the tasks to stack up, and then you fall into “get it done” mode.
I’d like to share something I have learned from my years of experience in the church and now at Fishhook … Having a strategic partner in the area of church communications is a great option for any church.
Still, you might be thinking some of the same things I was in a communications role at a local church. Let's discuss.
Objections to a Strategic Partnership
It will cost too much. This objection was always on the forefront for me. Where are we going to find the money to pay an outside source?
They won’t have time to really “know” us. It was hard for me to imagine an outside source truly knowing our ministry. How could they support us if they aren’t on-site with us?
We don’t have enough margin to plan ahead.Sometimes I felt so far behind that I couldn’t see being organized enough to partner with an outside organization. How would I have enough time for a partnership?
It is easier to handle tasks “in house.” When everything feels last minute, it gets harder and harder to collaborate with others. Handling tasks internally does seem better when there is little margin to plan ahead. If we don’t have the money, time and margin, won’t it be easier to handle tasks in house?
It’s one more thing for me to “manage.” I always felt like I had plenty on my plate in my role at the church. Do I really have extra time to manage one more thing?
Do any of those objections resonate with you? Maybe they all do. For me there was one common denominator. Planning.
In terms of essential tasks for a communications leader in the church, I’d put planning near the top. In hindsight, I now see that strategic partnership with an outside organization like Fishhook would have helped our church to solve this problem.
The Benefit I Wish I Had Known
Oh, if I had only known! Now that I’m part of the Fishhook team I can see what I didn’t see then. A strategic partnership can unlock the potential for your communications ministry.
This can go a long way to solving the planning problem that I couldn’t quite solve in my ministry role. All of my objections were real, but they didn’t tell the full story. Let me explain.
It will cost too much. Planning to build a partnership into the budget at the beginning of the year is a huge benefit for your church. Concerning cost, having access to an entire team of communications leaders, designers and web programmers might be cost prohibitive through internal hires. But hiring a strategic partner like Fishhook can give you access to all of these skill sets at a fraction of the cost.
They won’t have time to really “know” us. Again, creating a little margin to have intentional, strategic conversations on a regular basis can go a long way to being sufficiently known, even by a team on the outside. If I’m honest, those conversations would have helped me to be even more clear about my role and my church’s mission, vision and values. It’s hard not to place a value on that for a church.
We don’t have enough margin to plan ahead. The solution to this objection is not always in the communications leader’s direct control. I have to say though, having an accountability partner for planning deadlines would have been a game-changer for me. Also, a strategic partnership would have helped with other ministries and their accountability to the communication needs of the church. Planning is essential for ministry events and initiatives and any added emphasis in this area is always helpful.
It is easier to handle tasks “in house.” I realize now that this way of thinking came from a scarcity mindset. An abundance mindset would have helped me to know that some additional planning would create moremargin through a strategic partnership with an outside organization. What kind of Kingdom impact would this additional margin create for you and your church?
It’s one more thing for me to “manage.” Something I have learned about working with volunteers and freelancers is that managing another person or team seems overwhelming at first. But, as they get going in their roles I’ve found that they often take a load off of my plate. What they provide in terms of talent, a fresh perspective, and time savings is such a benefit and ultimately gave me more time to focus on other things
A strategic partnership can take a few different forms, depending on your most pressing needs. At Fishhook, we love to offer services that match your needs. If you’re ready to start the conversation, we’re here to help!