How to Write Emails that Your Team Will Actually Read

Communication is the cornerstone of any good relationship, team, and organization. Whether you lead a group of volunteers or a paid staff, it’s crucial that you impart what they need in a way that is going to be meaningful to them. Here are three elements that I use to A.I.M. my communication pieces at my team:

Affirm

I’ll tell a story of life-change, pass along an email from a parent, share a letter from/conversation with a child, etc. that shows their appreciation for my teams ministry. Sometimes these things just come my way but often times I have to go looking for them. When I get them they are worth the chase; not just for my team but for me as well.

Inform

This is where I communicate upcoming events, changes, birthdays, meetings, what we’ll be teaching on, our volunteer schedule, etc. I try to keep this as short and to the point as possible. Whenever I write this section I try to filter it through these questions from Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change (Andy’s book is geared for preaching, but I have found these questions are a great filter for just about any kind of communication):

  • What do they need to know?
  • Why do they need to know it?
  • What do they need to do?
  • Why do they need to do it?
  • How can I help them remember?

Mentor

I work hard to try to hit different learning styles for this part. Sometimes I’ll use a blog post that I like, a podcast that impacted me, or something that God has been teaching my in my quiet time. Click here for a list of good links that can help you do this well. This isn’t the only training that my team gets from me but I like to pass along a little something each week.

Really, the only other rule that I follow after A.I.M. is to communicate consistently (every Monday afternoon) and concisely (it should be no more than a one side of a page if it was printed). Regardless of the method, your team should have regular communication from you that they can count on to affirm, inform, and mentor them to do the amazing work that is children’s ministry.

Here’s a sample communication piece I recently put together for my team:

 

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8 comments

  1. I’ve been trying video training available on our teachers page of the website. I try to be uplifting and encouraging along with informational. I let them know what’s coming up and what’s been going on. At this point I haven’t really promoted them properly. That’s my next step.

    1. Thanks Bill. We’re actually starting to do that here at HDC as well. Each month I’ll record a short video (no more than 5 minutes in length) designed to encourage our volunteers and give them some training on the go. The emails are more informational (curriculum, upcoming events and other important info) and the videos are more inspirational (relationship with God, why CM is important, how to connect with kids, parents, and leaders, etc.). Here’s a link to some I’ve done already: http://resources.highdesertchurch.com/kids/volunteers/leaders/

      We’re changing our website so this link might not be valid in October but I’ll probably start posting them on the blog once our church’s website face lift is done.

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