Kem Meyer, communication director from Granger Community Church is doing a blog tour for her book, Less Clutter, Less Noise. It's a great read and will seriously impact the way you think about communication in the church or any setting. I've got a copy to give away to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this post. Most churches are small, and I was really curious to hear Kem's perspective on communication outside of a large church.
My question for Kem:
In a smaller church setting, where most of the communication material is from volunteers, what can be done to coach all of those volunteers to reduce clutter?
Coaching principles are the same whether you’re in a large church, small church, working with staff or volunteers. There’s no sliding scale or different approach, although a lot of people think or wish there were.
Besides sharing articles, links and BOOKS (ahem) with the things you’re reading and learning, the next best thing is to create space for conversations. It is in those conversations where the vision-casting and coaching takes place.
If we’re not leaving time on our calendar—the white space—for impromptu conversations with the people we work with (paid or unpaid), then we can’t expect to see organizational and relational change anytime soon. You see, momentum advances over time through a series of conversations; it is not a one-happy-chat or email event. Bummer. It’d be so much easier if it was. Am I right? If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking this to yourself “I can’t afford the time for that.”
But, the reality is, we can’t afford not to. Every conversation we invest in on the front end makes the next project go smoother. At the end of the day, it’s all in our perspective, isn’t it?
My pastor, Mark Beeson, talked to a group of church leaders last year about what we need to promote forward movement, progress and next steps as an organization. Interestingly, everything he shared starts with an individual’s personal habits, not his or her accomplishments. He reminded us that we can’t get what we “could” have until we let go of what we “do” have. We all need to work on our:
• Attitude—without this, you will hurt yourself.
• Relationships—without these, others will hurt you.
• Persistence—without this, problems will defeat you.
• Priorities—without these, the insignificant will hamper you.
• Credibility—without this, no one will follow you.
So, that gave me a little bit more perspective and courage to put down some of my workload to create the whitespace for coaching and relational investments. Although it felt like I was losing ground at first, it didn’t take long for me to see the difference. I went from adding individual value to multiplying team value. Conversations. White space. That’s your secret weapon.