Church communications are marked by a huge dilemma: talent without subject.  It doesn’t matter how gifted, strategic, or innovative you are as a communicator if your subject is missing.  Without primary message, you have nothing.  Imagine a hot dog stand with only condiments, not meat. 

Most leadership teams of our effective, creative churches have not articulated the unifying essence of their organization.

  • What is the heartbeat of your church?

  • What can your church do better than 10,000 others?

  • How do we uniquely make disciples in our corner of the world?

Problem #1: When you showed up, the core content probably wasn’t clear.

Problem #2: There was plenty of urgent needs that got you busy pretty quick.

Therefore the church communicator is left trafficking in minor messages. 

  • The next sermon series promotion

  • The top five announcements this Sunday

  • The children’s ministry piece

We spend all of our time on background vocals with no vocalist. Less clutter is beautiful if the core is clear. Less noise is fantastic, if you have a song to sing. Tactics are important, but they are your enemy if the subject isn’t identified.

Today, your subject is in one of three places.

First, your subject may be in clear view but not communicated. This “creative’s quandary” happens by creating new stuff for creativity’s sake. The great American artist, Andrew Wyeth, speaks to this tendency: “Most artists have to find something fresh to paint. Frankly I find that quite boring. I would much rather find fresh meaning in something already familiar.” Solve this dilemma by pushing through to the genius of the artist- think outside the box, inside the big idea. Stay on subject.

Second, your subject may be forgotten. Half buried, your work now is that of the treasure hunter who shows others the location of the lost gold mine. Help other leaders rediscover. Align everything you do to reveal and support it.

Finally your subject may be unidentified. This is common and puts you in the most challenging position. You must “lead up,” encourage, and inspire the team to work a discernment process. Don’t harass leaders about what’s wrong.  Focus on the opportunity to take the church and all communication to another level.

Don’t be a Picasso with a missing subject. You are too talented, life is too short and the mission of the Jesus is too important.

Be on the look out for more content like this in OUTSPOKEN, Conversations in Church Communication