church communications

Less Clutter, Less Noise: 11) Rewrite Your Job Description

swirl art
Written by Lee Ann

swirl artI’ve read this chapter over more than a few times.  Kem does an excellent job reminding us of the work before us – in whatever capacity we take in leading our communications department.

As an Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, my view of this chapter is this:  BE FLEXIBLE without losing your purpose.  Be flexible with our co-workers, with the various ministries or departments that we work with, with our various audiences, with our personal life and even with our job title.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed on multiple counts over the years of service in one or more of these areas.  We are ALWAYS learning.  However, as we flex we must keep on the path where our passion lies, in sharing and revealing the truth through creative communications.

The importance of getting the message across with integrity and purpose is vital.  Know what you do, why you do it and get to work.  In her example of the sermon series on sex, Kem reiterates that the motivation NEVER changed.  It didn’t change in the eyes of those communicating to the church audience through billboards or print media and it surely didn’t change in the Pastor’s eyes.  It was about reaching the people with the truth.

Kem’s writing is on point, conversational and enjoyable reading.  I admire someone that can tell the truth without insulting the audience.  As I make the work that I do my own, some of the key points I continue to refer to are:

1.  “Many times our M.O. is the culprit; we take ourselves too seriously trying to get the job done our way.”

2.  “It’s not the title that makes any difference; it’s the perspective you have in your existing role that makes the difference.”

3.  “Comfort the disturbed – disturb the comfortable.”  (I want this t-shirt.)

4.  “Even with the flurry of buzz – local, regional, national – communication isn’t complicated.  The old rule still applies – less is more.”

Questions to consider:

1.  What does your communications environment look like when it comes to planning the promotion of an event?  What ways are you involved in helping your staff prepare for change?

2.  Has there been a time when outside sources “buzzed” over your promo?  What steps did you take to ensure the message remained the same?

3.  Are you running in circles trying to convince others to go with your idea?  How do you step back and see the “you” others see when developing a concept or idea?

10) Untangle The Web <– Less Clutter, Less Noise –> 12) Ask, Don’t Tell

About the author

Lee Ann

I'm a native New Englander transplanted in the South. I'm happily married over 18 years to a marvelous man and have experienced the joy of parenthood through adoption. I've recently re-discovered an interest in graphic arts and get to dabble in this creative art as I serve. How cool is that?


  • Great article Lee Ann,

    I have another view. I don't necessarily think that communication needs to express a 'truth' but rather point people to an experience where they can see or hear the truth.

    I think the communication needs to poke, prod, provoke a response so a person can take a next step.

    • Great post Lee Ann!

      Steve, I agree on this point. (I think, got to think about it some more) I like that idea of communications prodding people to the next step.

  • I'm really drawn to the idea of preparing for change. That's something we've tried to do with our newsletter and blog, keeping a series of reminders out there. However, the matter of flexibility is something that I think falls into the camp of ideas I love from this book but struggle to put into practice! How easily we get stuck in ruts.

  • Lee Ann, I like the 3 key points you listed. Question 3 is where I am at in my ministry – not having much in the way of happenings yet. I learning baby steps before I crawl so all of this is good for getting to a better start place. Thanks.

  • All of these comments, rock. Thanks, guys. Steve, I love what you said about poking, prodding and provoking people to the next step. I've been working on that balance between sharing too much info and sharing just enough to get a good response…Wayne, if you have any advice, I'm all ears!

  • I wonder if sometimes people feel being prompted by the Holy Spirit for a change in a communication piece mixes in with the idea of being flexible. I think when planning and prayer has been established, there is the ground work for good communication. Before our communication dept didn't have a communications manual or job descriptions lined up,we didn't know how far to be flexible and boundaries were crossed too far sometimes. Now we have a clear idea of where we are going and within that framework and it allow us to flex with comfort. Make sense?

    • Sarah, that's a great point. Flexibility is important and the framework/manual provide boundaries, so it's clear what's fair game for creativity and what's not.

    • Sarah, I can completely see that. Having experienced both sides of this equation (having boundaries laid out and not having them laid out), it is challenging to see through the lack of clarity sometimes. And mistakes happen. If we truly see what we do as a ministry, having prayer and the Holy Spirit's guidance is in important facet.

      The book is excellent…covers SO much. In my ministry role as Pastor's Assistant, the "consumer advocate" resonated well with me, too, Paul. That's what I aim for.

      I appreciate everyone's insight!

  • The concept of being a "consumer advocate" was very impactful for me in this chapter. It really comes down to self-centeredness vs other-centeredness. Do I assume everyone sees the world as I do, or do I really seek to understand both the ministry team leaders and what they're trying to communicate and the audience they're trying to communicate with? Am I completely focused on my own agenda, getting people to do what i want them to do? Or do I genuinely care about both the ministry team leaders I'm working with and the audience? Am I passionate about helping them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals?

  • […] 11) Rewrite Your Job Description <– Less Clutter, Less Noise Russell is worship leader and communications director at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. He is married to his wonderful wife and has 4. He writes about music, worship, and communication on his blog, fork in the road music. He and his wife also blog about their adoption process, to family and friends informed, and to encourage others in their own adoption journey. church, communications ask, dialogue, Listen Check out January’s Top Commenter, Keywords, Posts and Funky Keywords […]

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