Have you ever felt frustrated with someone from another ministry area at church?

Maybe they were late getting in a purchase request and now expect you to rush the approval process. Perhaps the youth pastor left out a few important details about an upcoming event when he needed the information posted online ASAP. Those are moments where you want them to succeed, yet feel frustrated that they didn't communicate sooner (or more effectively).

We've all had moments where communication broke down or didn't happen at all. Some of those moments we even caused ourselves. Since we're all on the same team and truly want to work together to reach people with the Gospel, what can we do to bridge these communication gaps?

Here are a few simple tips to improve communication:

Tip 1: Review the church calendar together

Have you ever been frustrated that your women's event didn't get communicated sooner on the church website or on stage? If so, when did you tell the communications team about the event? If you didn't tell them or if you told them a week before the event, that's an issue.

Instead of getting annoyed by another department, review the church calendar as a staff each month. Discuss what's coming up in the next 3-6 months. Then, address any questions other department leaders may have or actions people need to take.

  • When do you want announcements made about that event?
  • Have you submitted purchase orders for the food and supplies?
  • Do you have the time, location, cost (if any) and other details finalized?

This gives the people who may need to support your event the chance to ask questions and let you know when they need information from you.

Tip 2: Have lunch together

Invite 1-2 people from another ministry department out for lunch. Use this opportunity to get to know them individually and what their job really entails.

  • What does an average week look like for you?
  • How long does it take to process offerings, create an announcement video, prepare curriculum for children's church, etc.?
  • What attracted you to work at our church and in your specific role?

Learning what really goes on behind the scenes in another department may give you a greater appreciation for what that group does. When you gain a basic understanding of what it takes to do someone else's job, you're more likely to remember to communicate with them sooner and with greater detail.

Tip 3: Ask yourself, "Who else needs to know?"

Whenever you start planning an event, preparing a message or making a significant change, consider who else needs to know about it. Go talk with each person who comes to mind.

Maybe they don't really need to know. If not, that's fine. I would rather err on the side of overcommunicating than miss sharing information that will impact someone else.

These tips aren't very time-consuming and can actually save you time and headaches down the road. Invest a bit of time and effort now to improve communication for years to come.