Creating a digital discipleship ministry or infusing your current ministry with greater intentionality can be a powerful force in helping your church get its message out to the people you’re trying to reach.
One of the ways you can do this is by creating a team or by giving your existing team more specific roles.
In this article, we’ll explore possible team members you may want to engage. As you’re reading, think about those team members who will make a real difference to your ministry.
(Please note that we understand many church communication teams are either small or sometimes non-existent. This article is being written in encouragement for you to think about different tasks that can be completed, different people you can invite to join your team or different areas you may like to work to expand.
Within a church or organisation, you can think of digital discipleship as being the combination of:
- church communications,
- digital marketing,
- hospitality ministries,
- personal ministries,
- stewardship and
- pastoral ministries all rolled up into one.
So, while the communications and media team at your church might be considering how the broadcast looks and sounds, there is (should be) another group considering how to engage with the people who have connected to your broadcast.
How to get started with your church’s media & communications team
Perhaps you’ve been nominated by your church to run your church’s media ministry team and you don’t know where to start. You know your church has a website and some social media accounts, but you’re struggling to get the full picture of what’s involved in the ministry.
We’ve listed a variety of roles below to show the possible roles your church can fill, however, we understand that many church communication and media teams are small or sometimes non-existent.
We encourage you to choose those roles that are useful for your church, help you achieve your goals and match the current skill set within your church.
In this article, we’ll detail out some potential positions your church may consider. However, remember to survey the talent you have in your church and use this information as guidance.
Most importantly, keep your church’s “why” at the forefront of your mind and then build a team to help you fulfil your church’s mission.
The Communication Director holds a key position in the church’s media ministry. This person’s role will be to help establish and revisit the church’s mission and to align it with the mission of the media ministry.
Understand your church’s mission
The first thing the communication director should do is understand the mission of the church he or she is part of. This will give clarity and direction to everything the communication director leads his or her team to do.
Understand why your media ministry exists
It’s always import to begin with “why”. If the media ministry hasn’t determined it’s reason for existence, this would be a useful first exercise to run through with the members of your church’s communication team after they understand the church’s mission.
Another role of the director is to develop a policy for photography and communication within the church. For example, what’s your policy around photographing children, obtaining permission from church members for recording and posting on social media? Additionally, it would be useful to have an agreement with team members about where and how images and videos will be stored.
Setting up guidelines or policies will help your ministry run more smoothly in the long term.
Engage the team
The Communication Director should see the big picture of the media ministry or the communication department within the church and understand how to engage various members of the team in the ministry. This may involve recruiting volunteers, providing training, getting feedback from the group and rostering team members in the schedule.
Develop relationships with the other ministries in the church
One of the most important roles for the Communication Director will be to build relationship with the other ministries in the church as well as the pastoral team. In building these relationships, they will begin to understand what each of the ministries in the church is trying to accomplish and why. This will give clarity to the work the communication and media ministry are doing.
When you think about the communication within the church a portion of it is external and another portion is internal. Internal communications will include different conversations than those you would have with non-church members.
There are many options for communicating messages amongst church members, such as:
- Facebook group
- Whatsapp group
- Outreach to members
You may wish to specifically give this role someone or include it in the duties of another role on the Communication & Media Ministry team.
It will be important to have a graphic designer on your team, whether you hire them on a contract basis or you have a volunteer on your team. You will find it’s useful to have someone to think about your posters, social media assets, logo and church presentation slides.
If having a graphic designer is out of your reach, you can use services like Canva, Fiverr and church resource websites.
One position that could be highly effective is a digital pastor. The position can be used or internal and external outreach as well as for on-camera engagement during services.
Internal engagement could include online-pastoral visits, follow-up on member online requests, like prayer requests, spiritual support and providing feedback and response.
External engagement could include running online small groups, Bible studies and prayer with the purpose of engaging people from the community.
While this position isn’t yet popular, the future could see more of them in the church’s lineup.
The hospitality team is responsible for making your members and guests feel welcome both in person and on your online platforms. This can be done both in-person and online. Another special role of the hospitality team is their ability to assess people’s experiences and understand where they are in their member or visitor journey to sense what else the person might need.
(You can learn more about the online journey of members and the online journey of visitors in the linked articles.)
It will be useful to have some photographers helping out your team. Photographers should work with the communication director to understand the photography policy for the church to understand who can be photographed and where the photos may be posted.
Photos are a powerful tool in communicating to the community what your church is all about what what it would be like to be a member at your church.
To get more people involved, you can offer a training days to get more photographers on board and then have a schedule to roster photographers for various events.
It’s awesome if you have this skill on your team, but truth be told, the average church won’t have it, but don’t worry if you don’t because on the occasions you need a video editor, you can contract them for your specific job.
It may be possible that your church has a team of people monitoring the sound and the images being shown during the service an mixing the video and images for any videos that may be shown later. This team has a very specific skillset that if done right is hardly noticed and if done wrong creates a big distraction.
Similar to the team of photographers, this team can also be rostered and scheduled. Also, it is useful if this team is continuously training others within the church to develop the skillset to do their job so there is a continuous stream of talent in this area.
Social Media Team
One of the teams that is very visible is the social media team. This team should work with many of the other team members you have to tell a clear and compelling story of the church. The policy of the communication and media ministry team should help inform what platforms your church would like to be on and the mission of the ministry will help your team understand the type of content that should be posted.
Your church’s website can be simple but should be kept up to date and messages sent through the website should be checked regularly. These duties can be performed by the website team.
If you find your team’s skills extend beyond this, they can enhance your church’s website to meet the needs determined by the team and the other leaders in the church.
While often not considered part of the communication team, the way the outside of the church looks communicates a big message! Though it may not be the job of the communication team to pick up rakes and clean the lawn, they can give the exterior of the church a once over to see the message the exterior of the building is communicating.
Additionally, the outdoor team can manage the signage of the church to make sure it’s up to date and that it communicates to the community how they can get in touch, by phone, on the website or on social media.
Additionally, some churches choose to use welcome signs to greet their visitors and members when they come on campus.
How to Set-up a Digital Discipleship Ministry at Your Church
In this guide you’ll be presented with a series of questions to prepare you and your team to set-up a digital discipleship ministry at your church. You will also learn how a digital discipleship ministry can help your church fulfil its mission.