EuroCom Communication Package
Following the EuroCom meeting 9-11 January 2008 we created the EuroCom ComPak. This is the online version of the intended paper based pack.
Why This is Important
The Story So Far
Loren went and we followed. First in ones and two's and then the hundreds and now the thousands and today we all long for the hundreds of thousands.
In the days of the ones and twos we talked, shared, prayed, wept and cheered each other on in our homes, in cafés, in motorhomes. Relationship was intense and personal. As we grew we settled and built bases here and there but firmly tied together by the friendships forged in the early days and cemented with gatherings and shared international outreaches. In the days of the thousands we cheerfully hold on to the stories of the past, make sure we are clear and in agreement with each other but are now scattered in smaller and larger groups all over the world.
The communication that happened on settees in homes and around tables in restaurants now takes place via Skype, email and the occasional gathering. We are different now and we need to re-think the way we communicate so that we preserve the very best from the past and devise newand creative ways work together, in order to spread the knowledge of God.
There is a current global push re-think the way we communicate as YWAM for the future, to build a "nervous system" for the body of YWAM to grow. There are two main areas to address.
- How we present "ourselves" to the general public. Even though we are more than 1,000 individual operating locations, we consider ourselves to be one organisation, and are perceived by the general public as one organisation.
- How we communicate and relate to one another. This means the ways we express our commitment to the whole body of YWAM; how we listen to God together; how we can help each other; how we inform each other of our joys, sorrows, needs and gifts; how we can listen to leadership; how leadership can listen to each of us.
We have experienced tremendous growth and some of the systems we used in the earlier days, good though they are, might not carry us through the next decades. Some of the ways we communicate are superb and need to continue and be expanded for the future. New technology and cheaper travel gives us an overwhelming glut of options and possibilities that missionaries have never ever had before, but also can leave us bewildered and more confused than ever!
A Strategic Plan
As YWAM in Europe we have the chance to start a process of change. With this pack we want to start a process of re-examining our commitment to communication and re-thinking how we could do communication in this era of potential growth.
Communication in organisations is first and foremost about people and not systems and tools. Systems and tools are there to serve us and not for us to serve them. So when we come to look at how to improve our communications we must start with us...
Commitment to Good Communication
For any improvement we need to start here with reflection on our current communication and attitude to communicate. We might feel isolated due to breakdown above our level or might feel utterly swamped. We may have other problems. We might need to lay aside the current pain to embrace the hope of positive change in the future.
It is time for us to act with Solidarity. Solidarity is a commitment to the protection of the whole. All of us in YWAM need to rise up and stand shoulder to shoulder with each other in a deeper commitment to communicate.
We will have to look at the way we model communications to those up and coming leaders. We will have to examine how we train new leadership. We will have to re-define our Roles to place communication at a much deeper core level.
We have no specific steps here. But if we take a long view (What sort of an organisation do we want YWAM Europe to be in 10 years time?) we will need to develop new ways of training, evaluating and supporting leaders to achieve this goal. As EuroCom we can only point the way; this is something that only leadership, acting in solidarity can change.
Plan to Communicate
With a commitment to communicate we need to develop at all levels our own strategies for our base, team or national body to implement.
We suggest that the best tool for doing that at the moment might be a pen, paper and a proper investment of time to review and plan. In this pack you will find the Communication Matrix (W5H) strategy tool that is a simple starting point to help us review our current progress and ensure that in the future there are no unhelpful gaps in our communicating to each other and to the general public. We recommend leadership teams setting aside two days to review, pray and plan.
Equip to Communicate
Once each of us has a clear idea of what we want to do we will need appropriate training and tools. We are in a good place in YWAM as we have University of Nations schools, workshops and more that can provide the skills we need. However, as we all know, the scope for communication is broad and we have a deluge of new technology and internet tools that tantalisingly offer the possibility of improved communication.
Here in this pack we offer a Toolbox section. But it is not on paper! When we started to look at what we thought might be useful the list became very long indeed. Instead we offer you an online 'toolbox'. It is a toolbox that we can keep up to date, expand easily and is conveniently locate. Plus it is a toolbox that belongs to all of us, anyone of us can improve, adapt and add to. You can find it here at the YWAM KnowledgeBase. (http://www.ywamkb.net/kb/index.php/Communication_Toolbox)
As we start to change and we improve communications we will need to keep a close watch on the improvements. EuroCom will find ways of helping us measure our progress. We are finding and building tools to help us evaluate how well our websites represent YWAM. We have audit tools we can help you run for yourselves. We are at your disposal to help you know how well you are doing and point you to further resources and ideas.
Rising to the Challenge
God has given us a vital purpose as YWAM and we have tried our hardest to act it out over the years. As we look with expectation for future growth can we respectfully urge you to a new level of solidarity together? Fantastic communication internally and externally is vital to our continued success. We hope that this pack will be the catalyst to bring in a fresh ethos of connection together. Let us know how well it serves you; we welcome your feedback.
- The Communication Matrix (W5H) tool and how to use it and examples
- Outline for a Two Day Communication Strategy Retreat
- The Communication Toolbox and resource page
- This page as formatted for printing as PDF