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Communicating Clearly About Your Ministry

By September 20, 2022September 22nd, 2022Resources

“What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.” — Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

Have you ever felt like a church, an agency, or specific people within your community seem to not care about the foster care community? Maybe you’ve come to believe that the church will never mobilize people, the agency will never stop turning over staff, and you’ll never have people to help you lead a thriving foster care ministry.

I’ve been there. I have felt this way many times. The problem with this belief is that we tend to forget what we know is true and why we started leading in the first place. 

  • Churches care about kids and families in crisis. 
  • Agencies care about their families receiving needs and services available to them. 
  • People care about the vulnerable within their communities. 

Starting from that assumption, when I face resistance in the area of the church, an agency, or my team, here’s what I do:

  1. I take a breath.
  2. I say true things about the church, the agency, and the people out loud.
  3. I assess for clarity.

If the church cares, the agency cares, and people around me care, why then is this not generating movement? Why isn’t action happening? That’s where the assessment for clarity happens. Could it be that people aren’t resisting because of a lack of desire or empathy but because the path to action is not clear enough? They don’t know how to engage in a way that makes sense to them. 

Three simple questions that can help you assess for clarity: 

  1. What do you do as a ministry?
  2. How do you communicate what you do?
  3. How can people participate in what you do?

Let’s look at them a little further.

What do you do as a ministry?

If what we do isn’t clear to us, it won’t be clear to others. 

Take some time to list the 3-5 ways your TFI ministry serves the Foster Care Community. Then, try to picture yourself communicating with a church or agency about what you do. You should be able to share what you do in 30 seconds. Remember, less is more when communicating clearly. 

How do you communicate what you do?

What you do is essential; we want people to know about it. 

What mediums of communication are you using currently? If you’re facing resistance right now, maybe it’s not the work someone is disinterested in but the medium it’s being communicated through.

Here are some great ways to communicate information:

  • Your Website | Your website allows for clarity & can provide ways for people to respond in action, such as giving or filling out a form.
  • Email | Communicating through email can be great for reaching out to start a relationship, connecting about ongoing projects, or following up with people interested in your ministry.
  • Social Media | This meets people where they’re already spending time and makes way to share stories about your work.
  • Text Message | Use this carefully, but texting can be the most direct way to communicate with someone and prompt the response or meeting you’re looking for.

How can people participate in what you do?

To be clear, we’re not asking how someone can provide something for TFI. We’re asking how someone can participate. Make a list of the volunteer positions someone could help with or specific ways a church could engage that meet the ongoing needs of the agency. An example might be a bi-weekly drop-off to the agency, packing something for the agency, delivering items to a family, or running a drive. 

Whether you’ve been an Advocate for years or are just coming out of training, may we continue to clarify the things we do, how we communicate, and how we engage others. In doing so, I think we’ll find that churches care about kids and families in crisis, agencies care about their families receiving needs and services available to them, and people care about the vulnerable within their communities.