Oftentimes when we think of praying for people in our church, we think of the folks who are struggling with "larger than life" issues. You know who I'm talking about.
The addict whose marriage is being torn apart at the seams because he can't win the battle against alcohol. The overmedicated college student drowning in a sea of depression and anxiety. The father of four whose wife was tragically killed in a car accident. The young millennial who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder for life. Or the family who just lost everything in a house fire.
It might even just be the missionary who knelt at the altar during your worship service last week as the church rallied around him in prayer.
But, my guess is that your Church Communicator(s) didn't make the cut. For whatever reason, you didn't jot their names down on the list. If anything, you only included your pastoral leadership and maybe the elders/deacons. (I'm assuming a lot here.) Volunteers, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, secretaries, administrative staff, media team members, worship band personnel, janitors/maintenance crew — These people probably didn't even cross your mind. Let's face it: Behind-the-scenes often equals out-of-mind.
I get that it might initially seem weird to pray for our pastoral leadership, church staff, and volunteers. After all, aren't they the ones who are supposed to be praying for us? Serving us? Aren't they the ones feeding us spiritually on Sundays and all throughout the week? That's how this whole thing works, right?
While it's true that our leaders do pray for and encourage us, it's as equally true that they need prayer from us. And your Church Communicator is no exception. Moreover, Scripture commands us to do so. (James 5:16) The Enemy would love nothing more than to sabotage, eradicate, and ruin your church's digital and social media ministry. The Internet is a dark place and Satan longs to stamp out what little Gospel light remains there.
With that in mind, here's eight ways you can [and should] specifically pray for your Church Communicator [in no particular order]:
#1. Pray for their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual endurance.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating here: In full-time ministry, there may be no other role — excluding that of the senior pastor — which faces the probability of overwhelming burnout more than that of the Church Communicator. This person juggles multiple responsibilities, tasks, and projects simultaneously and is constantly under intense pressure to please, encourage, and inspire other ministry leaders, the congregation, and even faceless visitors who land on the church's website and social media platforms. Sure, you can sit there and say, "Oh, well all of that pressure is self-imposed." But for those of us who understand marketing, audience demographics, web design, graphic design, social media engagement, video editing, and public relations — and the standards for all of these things in 2023 — we know that every single person who visits our building, our church's website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram page, podcast platform, or glances at our in-service print and digital media, has officially become one of our judgmental and opinionated bosses. That's not sarcasm or snark. And it's not even necessarily a bad thing. It's just simple human nature. It's just reality. And we want as many of those people as possible to:
For any or all of this to happen, Church Communicators must go to exorbitant and arduous lengths to create a presence and a community in the digital space where people engage with the Gospel and receive regular encouragement, truth, humor, and much more. This is no easy undertaking. This is not a "whenever and however I feel like it" hobby. This is a divine calling from God. Ministry is hard. The call to serve is one of suffering. (2 Timothy 2:3-7) Church Comms has a way of inducing exhaustion that cannot be easily explained. Some Church Communicators will see the fruits of their labor. Others will not. And even the ones who do see fruit will often long to see more as they grow weary of the infinite demands.
Pray that your Church Communicator(s) would endure through the rigors of ministry and that God would inwardly renew them on a daily basis. Pray that they will see most (if not all) suffering as a normal part of ministry. And, perhaps most of all, pray that they would be "strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience;" (Colossians 1:11)
#2. Pray for their marriage and/or relationships.
Pray that your Church Communicator(s) would thrive in all of their relationships. If he's married, pray that he would love his wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25) If she's married, pray that she would unconditionally love her husband and/or her children. (Titus 2:4) If they're single, pray that they would display Christlike love in their friendships at all times. (Proverbs 17:17) The burdens, strains, stresses, tensions, and intense pressures of ministry life impact Church Communicators and their families in unimaginable and often untold ways. Spouses and children are thrust into "the glass house" and forced to live their lives in public view of the church. Crazy work hours means crazy family life. It means canceling plans and rescheduling vacations. It means juggling who's picking up which kid on which day in-between what ministry requirement. It means family drama and conversations you'll never hear about this side of Heaven. And, furthermore, the nature of this ministry role — as with many full-time ministry roles — is such that building close relationships and friendships within the church can be difficult, perhaps even awkward at times. Pray that your Church Communicator(s) would develop a tight group of friends both inside and outside the church. (Both are needed. Both are healthy.)
#3. Pray for their safety.
Anyone in ministry has a giant and unmistakable target on their back. Your Church Communicator has been called by God to bring your church's message of hope, redemption, and salvation through Jesus to your community, city, and, ultimately, the entire world. Satan wages a bloody, gruesome, and unrelenting war against such men and women. This is spiritual warfare. And this is as real as it gets, people. Pray that your Church Communicator, like the Apostle Paul, would "not be outwitted by Satan," always aware of the enemy's designs and schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11) Pray for their spiritual walk. Pray for protection against "the fiery darts of the enemy." (Ephesians 6:16) Pray that they will stand firm against attacks on every front. It's not a matter of if they will come. It's a matter of when.
#4. Pray against discouragement.
In the midst of criticisms, complaints, declining attendance, paralyzing stress, and suffocating pressures, it can be easy for any Gospel laborer to begin drowning in hopelessness and pessimism. I can personally assure you that your Church Communicator has or will battle discouragement more than once. It's easy to take things personally in ministry. And it's hard to watch people and families you've known forever walk away from the church, even when it's God-ordained. Pray that your Church Communicator remains optimistic and grounded in the security and hope of his/her ministry calling.
#5. Pray that they will be invisible.
Ask God to keep your Church Communicator(s) hidden behind Him and behind the cross at all times. When people see your church's digital and social media and marketing and print materials, they need to see Jesus. Your church — which is your people, not your building — will play a neat little role in the middle of all that. But, at the end of the day, everything in and about your Church Comms ministry should be designed to point, guide, and lead people to the Savior of the World and His unfathomable grace.
#6. Pray for their financial situations, concerns, and needs.
It's not exactly breaking news that most church leaders — from pastors to other miscellaneous full-time staff — are either underpaid or completely volunteer. Most of them are not in this for the money. Most of them are not chasing fame, status, and glory. In fact, your Church Communicator may be bi-vocational. They may be freelancing or have a side gig in addition to their ministry position and their full-time job. They may even be scrambling for income in ways you can't imagine. There may be months where — like many of us — it's all that they can do to make ends meet. Pray for the financial obstacles and hardships that they will inevitably encounter. I once heard a churchgoer declare that, "Ministry leaders shouldn't get paid at all because it ensures they rely solely on Jesus and it keeps their egos in check." (True story, bro.) And, to be honest, I couldn't believe my ears.
#7. Pray for their humility.
Speaking of egos, ask God to keep your Church Communicator far away from the Enemy's trap of pride. (Proverbs 16:18) This ministry niche involves a great deal of creativity and opportunities to display and exercise talents. Those of us who serve in this field often receive compliments, praise, and applause for our work. Pray that your Church Communicator always remembers that these talents are gifts from the Lord to be used for His eternal Kingdom. We are servants of and for Jesus Christ. (1 Samuel 12:24; Colossians 3:17; Colossians 3:23; Joshua 22:5)
#8. Pray for their ability to multitask.
This is a skill that does not come natural to every Church Communicator. For some, it must be learned and developed over time. Juggling several projects simultaneously throughout the day, week, and month is an ordinary part of this role. Pray for your Church Communicator's sanity and their ability to eventually slow down and rest somewhere in the midst of hectic schedules, deadlines, and tasks.
Do you want to see your church take the Gospel into the culture in ways that previous generations never could have conceived of doing? Do you want to shine the light of Christ into the darkest corners of social media? Do you want your church to develop strategic ministry partnerships and relationships throughout your city that will bring the message of hope and salvation through Jesus to men and women of every age and lifestyle?
Pray for your Church Communicator(s). A healthy Church Comms ministry is an essential, fundamental, crucial, and indispensable part of a healthy church.
Take 10 minutes somewhere in the course of your day and send up a prayer for your Church Communicator.
You just might have an impact that will last for Eternity.