We talk to a lot of faith formation volunteers and professionals in our work in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching
. One pattern we’ve noticed over the past six months or so is that formation folks are being asked to take on increasingly significant roles in parish communications. Often they are asked to serve as part of a team, writing newsletter articles or contributing regular content for the parish website or Facebook page. In more extreme situations, they’re asked to do double duty as both director of Christian education and director of communications. (We do not envy this latter group their challenging task.)
Wherever you fall on that spectrum, your work as a communicator and an evangelist will benefit from a study of Speaking Faithfully: Communications as Evangelism in a Noisy World
by church communication specialists
Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson.
It’s important for educators to be somewhere on the communications team, because the work of faith formation, in its fullest sense, should be one of the best sources of stories any congregation can tell about the work God is doing in their midst. The great contribution of this book is to refocus church communications on telling those stories – to the audiences who need to hear them, in ways those audiences can understand.
Naughton and Wilson write that reaching outside audiences means going beyond the "'member services' approach to communications" (so no homepage banners for signing up to acolyte on Candlemas) and telling your stories "where the people are" (social media, in case you were wondering, though the authors do not neglect more traditional outlets).