How Church Communicators Should Deal with Resistance

Church communicators deal with a fair share of rejection and resistance. We are simply trying to do our jobs yet it often seems like we are always fighting some sort of battle.

When your responsibility is manage the communication outlets for an organization everyone will have an opinion on how you should do your job. When it comes from the bottom up it’s resistance. When it comes from the top down it’s rejection.

Dealing With Resistance In the Short Term

I remember early on in my church communication role, every move I made was met by everyone in our organization with great resistance… everyone except for my direct report: our executive pastor. I had the support and empowerment of our executive pastor which meant that when I implemented a new system or standard, it had the full weight of the organization behind it. My boss even followed the standards and systems himself.

Having the support of leadership makes our jobs easier in the short run, but it does not guarantee we won’t meet resistance in the long run.

What Resistance Sounds Like Over the Long Haul

Asking staff to fill out a form was tough enough because they’d rather send me an email. If that was the only resistance I encountered then I would have considered myself lucky. The bulk of resistance came in response to how I managed communication. This resistance would sound something like:

  • Just get this online. Post it the way I wrote it.
  • Make this a homepage banner.
  • I need this to be a Sunday announcement.
  • That’s not what we did last year.
  • This is more important.

I don’t know if any of those are common to you, but to me they represent what I heard every day. Over time resistance was minimized but this only came as a result of two things: undeniable results from a clear communication strategy and relationally dealing with resistance and being told no.

How You Should Deal With Resistance

No matter what kind of resistance you are encountering today, rendering results and relationship management are the two things that will get you through the resistance. As simple as I make that sound, we both know it’s more complicated than that.

That’s why I have created a video training to address this topic head on and give you the equipping you need to see your situation through to the brighter tomorrow.

In the training video you will discover that the best way to deal with being told no is to prepare for it before it happens. Like so many things in life, it’s a mental game and having the right mentality will not only help you deal with “no” but it will also help you minimize “no” over the long haul.

Why You Need to This

Relationships aren’t as sexy as results. If I had a training titled “How to make everyone on your staff happy with your communication strategy” perhaps you’d be more excited to register for it. The truth is the path to communication happiness goes right through relationships. You can’t get around it.

You need to watch this training video if you’ve ever had the thought, “I wish that they would just trust me and understand that I’m trying to do what’s best for our organization.” I know the feeling. Dozens of others on this webinar know the feeling. You need this because you and I can’t do this communication job alone.

3 replies
  1. Adam Witmer
    Adam Witmer says:

    “The bulk of resistance came in response to how I managed communication.” I too have found this to be true – at least from the perspective of, change. I have found that almost all of the resistance I experience is a result of change and how I manage (or don’t manage) it. I have systematically worked to find ways to pro-actively hedge against the resistance such as having one-on-one meetings, pro-active e-mails, and targeted objection solutions. Still, I find that every new change brings new resistance, often from the same set of offenders.

    I am curious, Dave. What strategies have you found to help hedge against the resistance when rolling out a new change?

    • Dave Shrein
      Dave Shrein says:

      That’s a great question, Adam. I had to think about this for a bit but I think the number one thing we need to determine is which battles require relational equity and which battles build up relational equity. From there, make changes in a way that keeps the relational equity in proportion.

      The other thought would be to identify those changes which are quick wins. This can be tough because there are circumstances in many organizations where you won’t experience any wins… but in the event that wins are to be had… go after those!

      • Adam Witmer
        Adam Witmer says:

        Great points, Dave. I agree that relational equity is such an important asset to take into consideration during any decision of change. Also, I love the strategy of capitalizing on quick wins. That is really important on so many levels.

        Thanks for the feedback.

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