The third strand of a strong, weekly communication plan is accountability. Even with the best intentions, people just plain forget. So we added a feature to automatically send out a reminder e-mail two days after the first e-mail with the link, and a third one if both of the others were ignored. Having a software system that automatically did this for each leader each week took a tremendous strain off staff and got our response rate up to about 70 percent. The capstone to getting 100 percent response to weekly communication from leaders was a fourth e-mail reminder sent to the coach or staff person who oversees the group. All the staff member had to do was call one or two times to ask if the group was okay. Then the leader would quickly respond and get on board with the application.
What Shepherds Do
Getting weekly feedback from leaders is hard, but it's not impossible. In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of a shepherd counting his sheep. Why does the shepherd count? It surely wasn't to brag. It was to notice each sheep and to find the ones that are lost. He counted because he cared. That's what shepherds do. It's in their job description. In John 10, Jesus pointed out that the Shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know their shepherd's voice. Your leaders need to know your voice. Share your heart and vision for the ministry in multiple ways: blogs, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, postcards, newsletters, handwritten notes, and marketing products. But remember, if your leaders are to follow you, they need to know that you know their heart and voice as well.
—Boyd Pelley is co-founder and president of ChurchTeams; copyright 2012 by Christianity Today.