Managing Internal Communications in a 26 Location Multisite Church with Kent Richardson
Welcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m so excited to talk today with Kent Richardson, the Communications Director of New Life Community Church.
Kent is part of the central services team at New Life and his role includes trying to resource, support, and equip New Life’s twenty-six locations, as well as overseeing the websites and social media presence and internal communications between the staff.
Kent is with us today to talk about how his role as the Communications Director works within New Life Community Church across so many locations.
- Listen to what each of the locations need. // When Kent first came into his role three years ago, one of the first things he did was meet individually with each of the location pastors. While familiar with the location where he was, Kent did not have that same insight everywhere. So he began asking questions about what the broader church looked like. What are the values? What are the pastors talking about, concerned about, needing? That helped Kent discover internally who New Life was, what they value, and what they were doing from a ministry standpoint. As a result, Kent knew his audience better and what communications would resonate with them.
- Get to know the differences at each campus. // Kent also learned that each location had their own style of communication. Some used more formal written communication, while others tended toward oral communication, such as storytelling. It can be chaotic at first, but try to learn to work within those differences and discover a method that works well for everyone. Kent also learned about the strengths and weaknesses of each campus. If one location was struggling in one area, and there was another location that was excelling in that same area, Kent worked to discover good ideas and best practices from the different locations, tapping into the skills of each pastor and sharing resources.
- Develop a central place to disseminate information. // Consider the idea of using a WordPress site to share with your pastors in order to offer ideas for sermons, freebie resources, videos, and other items they could use in prepping for weekend services. Kent originally sent out files through email to his pastors, but there were always files that were too big and it cluttered up people’s inboxes. Deciding there could be a more fun and efficient way to share resources and communicate to the many campuses, Kent built a WordPress site where he made everything easily available for download. Now he updates the site on Mondays to allow the team to have the week to work through the resources. Also, consider offering tips on how to use the available tools in sermons. The tools are great, but having tips on how to use them is beyond valuable.
- Develop communication tools easily. // Previously if various ministries needed a postcard, flyer or other communication tool, they would send Kent an email and let him know. But this always created a lot of back and forth as Kent tracked down all of the necessary information for the marketing piece. As a result, Kent developed a Communication Request Form where people were able to submit information for a creative project all in one place, which helped streamline the process. As part of this process, Kent created the “ABC” system to help people understand the information they needed to provide: A – Attention-Grabbing Headline. B – Brief Paragraph. C – Call to Action.
You can learn more about New Life Community Church at newlifecommunity.church.
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Helpful Tech Tools // Microsoft To Do App
Ministries Following // Church of the Highlands
Influential Book // Fired Up: Kindling and Keeping the Spark in Creative Teams by Andrew Johnston
Inspiring Leader // Elon Musk
What you do for fun // Spending time with family