Some Types of Communicators Serving YWAM

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Some Types of Communicators Serving YWAM

Over the last several years it has been heard in YWAM meetings in various places, "We need a communicator to ..." and the speaker goes on to request a communicator. When a group responds in the affirmative it sounds good, until some time later when we find out that the different people in the room understood different things by 'having a communicator'. The confusion or ambiguity puts the proposed communicator under great pressure to be what they are not, while limiting them from being all they can be.

Each person who is recognized as a communicator has an important skill to share!

Each type of communication may overlap any other. Grace must be granted for this to happen. Communicators may and should at times help each other. Yet each communicator must understand their primary focus and give concentration of effort to that calling. Communicators may serve in several differing communications roles, but must keep the distinct function of each role separate.

The most typical communicator titles have not been used so as to concentrate on functional priorities and avoid stereotyping. Others may wish to organize this differently -- that is fine. (The use of the term 'executive' --just relates to leadership).

Administrative Communicator:

Passing out general information, notices, dates, meetings, and everything of which our YWAMers should be aware. This person will not only handle direct communications but often disseminate info in cooperation with other types of communicators, where appropriate, i.e. the Publications and Web Communicators. An administrative communicator may also work closely with leaders/chair people in setting up programs, and maybe minute taking. The administrative communicator is likely also to gather information and data used by leaders and other communicators.

Executive Communicators:

Finalizing meeting minutes, clarifying of issues, disseminating "need to know" concerns, handling more confidential info within proper circles, deciding which info is only for certain people and which is for the broader group; (for example discipline or policy enforcement issues) The executives in charge at each level of leadership, be it base, national, or regional, should be coordinating with administrative communicators as to what should be disseminated to whom. Often an executive officer may also be an administrative communicator.

Publication Communicators:

Gathering and reporting of stories both within YWAM and beyond: helping YWAM to be known to one another within; presenting an YWAM image internationally; relating YWAM happenings to a larger more global audience. Publications may or may not handle special project publications (like YWAM prayer). Publication communication is generally high-pressure involving deadlines. Much of the work of publications is dependent on the cooperation/ feedback of others. Reporting, journalism, and story telling are often sub-set skills of publications communicators.

Web Communicators:

Presents accessible information about YWAM; advertises who we are and what we do; links locations and ministry visions to the whole; creates a big picture out of all the smaller pieces; helps locations learn how to present themselves. This ministry also presents an YWAM image globally but through the medium of the internet. There may at times be need to create more resources using other media or print.

Media (A/V) Communicators:

TV, radio, and video communications are vast communications spheres that have tremendous possibilities as well as a huge variety of possible foci. No one of these can handle all that is possible. Media Village is at present doing an excellent job of serving the Body of Christ as a YWAM ministry. Individuals who are/were working under YWAM have served Christian radio broadcasters well. Both of these ministries are primarily focused on serving others outside of YWAM, even though they may at times serve our own people too. Many more ministries are likely to arise that use the same skills set, but target different types of service!

Trauma Communication Coordinator:

This will come up under the development of a Trauma Response Team. This person coordinates on-the-ground happenings with members of a Trauma Response Team, and the various communicators that may need to be involved. In most cases of trauma a Trauma Communications Coordinator will be the link with the Executive and Publications Communicators. This person asks & ascertains who should be communicated to, how fast, and what should be communicated. This person will work as the liaison between the Executive, the Publications and the Local YWAMers. This person may most often be an executive communicator or a publications communicator, but takes on a distinct role when serving in this capacity.

Crises Communication Coordinator:

This will most likely be an executive appointed person for any specific crises and is likely to function similarly to a Trauma Communications Coordinator mentioned above, and perhaps draw from the same pool of people.

Educational Communications:

This also may embrace many different communications tools that enhance training. A basic example is the Staff Developments E-zine with a target to reach basic staff needs. Future training tools may be correspondence courses for the YWAMers who cannot get away from their locations. Interactive training CDs are another means to bring well prepared training to our bases. Similarly correspondence mentoring may be a future way of follow-up on workshops and other training which will likely combine printed and electronic communications. Globally YWAMers have contributed to major professional journals in missions, leadership, and theology.

Book Publications:

This is another largely untapped potential in YWAM. YWAM Zimbabwe for some years had Disciple Publishers that was beginning to make a big impact before circumstances caused it to close. The success of YWAM Publishers globally has not gone unnoticed.

Public Speaking Communicators:

The world of electronic and media connectivity brings with it new levels of skills required for presentation. Even public presentations are affected by these mediums. No longer is casual preaching and teaching good enough for many audiences. Even basic announcements are affected. New skills in various types of 'scripting' and 'staging' are required. This may seems worlds away from much of YWAM, but it is overtaking us fast.

Special Presentation Communications:

The increased demand for quality presentations leaves many YWAMers behind. This is especially so across Africa. Most communicators will have some of the skills to contribute in this arena of service. Those with the proper communication skills are encouraged to help one another develop in these areas.

Special Note: Overlap of Foci Versus Maintaining Responsibility

YWAM's Team Three has addressed the error of some location leaders who have no room for other ministries, thus creating 'closed' nations, or limiting the diversity of what God will do. All areas are to be brought under God's kingdom and we are not to limit other ministries. The same goes for domains. The same goes for any type of ministry. We must never embrace a spirit of 'my territory'. The constant in missions is 'the laborers are few." We must rather rejoice that several people or teams have similar visions to address similar spheres, and honor each other accordingly.

The overlap of vision, ideas, or burden to address a ministry or location may be sign that God wants to be more thorough in addressing that need. Our response must be to graciously see how we can facilitate multiple approaches and embrace each other, while maintaining the primary thrust of our own calling.

A Place for All Communicators

Every type of communications has its own distinct purpose, intent, and audience targets. Each requires a knowledge of that target and its communication medium to have the most effective impact. While there is overlap in the type of information dissemination used and very similar goals, the main emphasis or the priorities of each ministry remains distinct. Their differing audiences require differing styles of writing. Communicators who may be involved in multiple areas must understand which role they are addressing.

But to do good and to communicate

forget not: for with such sacrifices

God is well pleased. Heb.13:16 KJV