« A near miss; it can be hard to remember to share | Main | Know your workplace drive-bys »

When you throw the communication doors open,

you get ideas, comments, dedication and energy. My two primary goals as the lay leader at church are to communicate and to promote civility. I strive to involve many, to make others feel seen and heard, to consider all ideas and not react negatively. That keeps the ideas and comments coming. As you may guess, there are some terrific ideas coming my way that makes that congregation far more vibrant, focused and possessed with a spirit of community that I could ever generate on my own.

Sharing information and responsibilities
Some of my actions since taking office in January
• Seek out members who are not on church boards to serve on internal committees and task forces as well as be our church representative on outside boards.
• Upgrade the monthly newsletter from come-what-may announcements to planned articles. I ask others to write on specific topics and I write to produce a true “news” letter.
• Post the agenda and minutes of executive board meetings on a primary hallway bulletin board.
• Share decision-making and abide by those decisions. I gave the executive board a list of candidates that fit the profile for a transition team and asked them to vote. I asked the executive board for ideas of qualifications for task force members; they gave me qualifications and names. Several of those task force members told me if was one of the most exciting and meaningful things they’d ever done for the church.
• Provide information and opportunities to ask questions and make comments on important matters that will come up for congregation vote. Information goes out in the newsletter, it’s in worship bulletins and special information sessions so anyone who wants to learn about what we’re voting on has the opportunity.
• Delegate and set expectations for roles and responsibilities.

There is always room for improvement
I am asked pointed questions about what am I doing about this or that. That’s good; it shows people care. I still get kidded about the Sunday we had cake after worship to recognize two members but neither of them were present; slight communication breakdown between two boards and I’d not paid attention….obviously. Even the failures can provide a spirit of vitality.

Sharing lots of information
It’s gets buy-in. It’s a matter of civility to communicate and involve others. It’s a whole lot of fun to energize others. It creates community.

Comments

Thank you for the excellent example of the importance of buy-in and inclusion. When we feel we're part of the process, ideas and suggestions flow freely. It's so important to remember that everyone has something to share.