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Communications Department - Roles & Responsibilities

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church Manual specifically outlines all the official roles within the Church Organisation.   The following extract outlines the duties of the Communications Department.

Importance of Effective Communication
Through the years divine instruction has come to the church concerning the importance of using contemporary communication media in spreading the gospel. We have been counseled:

"We must take every justifiable means of bringing the light before the people. Let the press be utilized, and let every advertising agency be employed that will call attention to the work." -Testimonies, vol. 6,p. 36.

"Means will be devised to reach hearts. Some of the methods used in this work will be different from the methods used in the work in the past. . . ." - Evangelism, p. 105.

The organization of this ministry calls for the enlistment of support from every denominational worker, layperson, and Seventh-day Adventist institution. The Communication Department promotes the use of a sound program of public relations and all contemporary communication techniques, sustainable technologies, and media in the promulgation of the everlasting gospel. It calls for the election of a Communication secretary in every local church and, where needed, a Communication Committee.

Communication Secretary's Work
The church Communication secretary is responsible for the gathering and dissemination of news. As opportunity presents, the secretary will place on the air persons of interest in interview-type programs, and arrange for news features on such persons. Every effort will be made to maintain a friendly, cooperative relationship with editors and other communications/media personnel. (See Notes, #16, p. 139.)

The Communication secretary will cooperate with the conference/mission/field Communication secretary in carrying out the plans of the conference/mission/field and reporting as requested and will also present periodic reports to the church business meeting.

Communication Committee
In a large church a Communication Committee may more adequately handle the many facets of the public relations and communication program of the church than can a secretary working alone. This committee, with the Communication secretary as chairperson, will be elected at the time of the general election of church officers. Individual members of the committee may be assigned specific communication responsibilities, such as working with the press, with media producers and online personnel, and with the internal media of the church. Where there is a church institution in the area, a member of its public relations staff should be invited to sit with the committee. (See Notes, #17, p. 139.)

The pastor, who is primarily responsible for the communication program of his church, will work closely in an advisory capacity with the Communication secretary and/or the Communication Committee.

Relation to Other Departments of Church
To serve the church properly, the Communication secretary should be alerted regarding plans and scheduled events. Any auxiliary unit of the church organization may appoint an individual to provide the Communication secretary or Communication Committee with news of that particular department's activities.

In Large Adventist Centers
If several churches in a city arrange for a central Communication Committee, each communication secretary should be a member and should work in harmony with any general plan that will better coordinate the handling of news and other media activities for the several churches. The establishment of this committee would be initiated by the conference/mission/field Communication director. Meetings of such a central committee would be called and presided over by a chairperson selected by the group.

The Communication Departments of the division, union, and local conference/mission/field provide detailed instruction for Communication secretaries and, by their printed materials, correspondence, and other means, give constant help and inspiration.

The Communication secretary should be carefully chosen for (1) the ability rightly to represent the church, (2) sound judgment, (3) organizational ability, (4) ability to put facts down on paper in attractive and persuasive grammatical form, (5) willingness to carry out an assignment, (6) ability to meet people.

Walthamstow Seventh Day Adventist Church. 78-80 Boundary Road, Walthamstow E17 8JU. Tel: 0208 520 2760