Communications: Engagement is the Key to Sustainability by Kim Deal

Smoke Signals

Communication – the imparting or exchanging of information or news.

In this definition, 2 words jump out at me, “imparting” and “exchanging.”  I believe, that in order for communication to be successful, it can’t just be “inbound” or for your consumption.  Why share something if we don’t intend to make an impact somehow?

We have concluded the Landscape assessment tool from Holy Cow Consulting, and are working through the interpretation of those responses.  When I look at the areas where more communication is desired, the following two areas are far and above the most requested:

  • Support Systems – this includes inspirational/educational/training/personnel support, local congregation resources and resources regarding financial needs and stewardship.
  • Building Community within the Presbytery – including communication of events, individuals in the Presbytery and sharing ministries/projects/success.

Of course there are other common themes that are emerging from Landscape, but these 2 themes for communications rose to the top and, in and of themselves, are huge tasks to undertake.  We need to determine, what to share, how to deliver it and who will “own” the continuing responsibility to make this happen.

In order for these priorities to become a reality, it will take ACTIVE engagement in communication activities.  Consuming the resources and information is not enough.  In order to build a sustainable plan for sharing and exchanging information, you need to actively share and exchange information!

How can you become more engaged today?

It’s not as hard as you might think.  Let’s start with the communication channels you are most comfortable with:
Presbytery & Committee meetings
Come and participate in Presbytery & Committee meetings. Participate in person or via Internet Technology such as Skype.  You need to plug in somewhere, and often face to face interactions, even via Internet technology, can be incredibly effective.

Write Something to Share
Contribute to our existing communication efforts.  Take a moment to share a little about your ministry, committee work, upcoming events.  Share thoughts, experience and wisdom on current events.  We have multiple channels to leverage whatever you are willing to share, such as the Albany Presbytery E-News Newsletters and Blogs on our website.

Website
Connect with us.  We can share something as basic as your website web address/URL, and we can add your events to our calendar.  We heard loud and clear that you all want to know more about events that are happening within our Presbytery and Denomination.  Send us your dates so we can share them on our Presbytery Calendar and beyond.

Social Media
Many of you are Social Media Channels such as Facebook, Instagram (albanypresbytery), YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn.  Have you connected with us?  Have you asked us to connect with you?  If you notice something positive, ENGAGE!  Like it.  Share it.  Every time you “Like,” “Share” or “Comment” on a post, you help to increase engagement.  These are easy ways to be supporting each other and spreading the news on the many good works and activities happening.

Working Together to Further His Kingdom
Acting, sharing and working together as the Body of Christ, we can build our support systems and build community.  Not only can’t the Presbytery do this on its own, but we aren’t meant to.  Communications to further His Kingdom is meant to be done together.  We are all called to Kingdom work, but in the context of working together.

We used to say, “Communications is a 2-way street.”  That is actually outdated.  Communications is multi-faceted and global.  In order for Communications within an organization to be successful and sustainable, the members of that body need to find a way to engage.  Engage with your Presbytery, your peers, your friends and your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  Reach out to me and ask me how you can share in our communication work.

Kim Pres Blog PicKim is the Communications Manager for the Albany Presbytery.  Outside of this role, she is passionate about her family and inspiring people to grow and contribute in meaningful ways.  You can reach Kim at [email protected].