Do you remember the early days of your church? Do you remember waking up at 5:30am on a Sunday morning to pick up the doughnuts, unlock the doors, print the bulletins, and then get ready to preach your Sunday sermon? Maybe you were the other person. The Associate Pastor that taught Sunday School, Youth Group, and lead the church in worship. Either way, at some point in your church’s history, very few people were responsible for quite a few things.
If you’re new on your staff in the last few years, you may not realize this, but the Lead Pastor used to do everything. Every church has to start somewhere. There wasn’t always a whole team of men and women backing the pastor up; at one point or another, the Lead Pastor sent out personally written thank you cards, condolences, emails, and congratulatory gifts. Back then, the work was more cumbersome, but it was easy to figure out when and why to send something on the Lead Pastor’s behalf. After all, they were all being sent by the Lead Pastor themselves anyway.
things are different when you have a team
Having a team of leaders besides the Lead Pastor can confuse things in terms of “who things are from.” Obviously, you want your growing church to continue to feel a personal connection with the Lead Pastor. Yet, you also want the church’s staff to build personal connections with the church that allows them to develop their own leadership influence. Both of these elements are very important to church growth. So how do you decide when to send something on behalf of the Lead Pastor, and when to send something on behalf of yourself, or another team member?
we made a chart to help you figure this out
There’s no way to get this formula perfect, but we think we did a pretty good job here. This is a variation of what we do at everything.church, and it seems to work very well.
all church generic
When you’re sending out a generic all church communication like a snow cancellation, the weekly newsletter, or marketing materials, you don’t even need to sign a name. However, if you feel like there needs to be some kind of tag, sign it from the entire team at your church. (ie. The Team at Trinity) For heaven’s sake, though, don’t sign these things by the Lead Pastor’s name. It makes the church look rinky-dink, and everyone knows he/she wasn’t sending it out anyway. So it just seems silly.
all church personal
Whenever you’re sending out a mass church communication via snail mail or email, it should generally be signed by the Lead Pastor. Sure they are a few minor exceptions to this, but things like vision updates, church-wide encouragements, or announcements about big future things, should all come from the Lead Pastor. They don’t need to be the one writing it, but this a way to give your all church personal communications the best possible results. Remember: Big Announcement + Lead Pastor = Bigger Announcement
This one can go either way. If the group is close and familiar to the Lead Pastor like the Elder Board, the communication should come from the Lead Pastor. If the group is Youth Group, the Youth Pastor should be the one contacting the parents and kids about youth related stuff. Likewise, if the Lead Pastor just spoke at an amazing men’s conference and you, as the event planner, want to thank everyone for coming, it’s best to send the correspondence on his behalf.
This one can also go either way, but for the most part, it’s going to be staff members covering individual contacts. The Lead Pastor couldn’t possibly have a personal relationship with everyone in the church, so you’re not going to get all that far sending a heartfelt thank you card from your Lead Pastor to your Pre-School Coordinator who helped you put crafts together late one night. If you interacted with the person, and you have the most relationship with the individual, correspondence related to life events and issues should come from a staff member as a leader and a friend. That being said, the Lead Pastor does care for a ton of people! So if your good friend in the church just had a baby, it can’t hurt to offer your own congratulations and also send something on the Lead Pastor’s behalf too.
when it’s all said and done
You need to use judgment in all cases, but the best name always wins. The best name is different depending on the situation, but who something is from is just as important as the message that it contains. Lead Pastor contacts have an air of seriousness and excitement surrounding them, while staff contacts have the feel of personal connection and relationship. Sure, this isn’t always the case, but in most instances, this is how your church perceives communication. So at very least, it’s a great place to start.
Most importantly, take note of the trend here. When it makes sense, communicate with your church and community on behalf of the Lead Pastor themselves. Their title, name, and reputation carry a lot of weight. Your name probably means a lot more to you than it does the community in, and surrounding, your church. So while you probably have an awesome reputation, remember that the mission is more important than popularity.
P.S. Don’t send anything out that makes your pastor look stupid. It’s a hard mistake to live down. Haha!