Send monthly emails to church leaders

By Jim LaDoux
During any change initiative, it's essential that all leaders within the church are kept informed of key decisions, short-term wins, recent learnings, and plans for the next 30-90 days. Listed below are a few suggestions for what might be included in a typical monthly leadership report.

WHO creates the monthly update?
  • A number of people are involved in the process. Typically one person is assigned to develop the email distribution list and create the template that helps create a consistent look and feel of the monthly update.  
  • Content may be gathered from pastors, program staff, the Vision Team chair, the Board chair and other ministry leaders.
  • The creators and content providers decide on a consistent time in which the monthly email will be sent. Most churches choose an end or the month or beginning of the month date while a few decide to send updates immediately following a Vision Team/Leadership Team meeting.

WHAT kinds of content is usually shared?
  • Provide content that not only informs leaders, but also increase their  buy-in and engagement.
  • Share not only what's happening but why it matters and how it's aligned with your mission, vision, and values. 
  • Note key decisions that have been made and provide talking points so that leaders are equipped to share information with other leaders and members.
  • When highlighting key decisions that were made in the last month, describe how they will impact the church and its next steps. Be sure to explain the why, not just the what.
  • Share ministry bright spots, short-term wins, and recent celebrations. 
  • Provide updates on goals and key projects.
  • Thank people to have been contributing to the church's mission.
  • Share a spiritual practice that helps people grow in faith.
  • Share a link to a Youtube or leadership article to develop the leadership capacities of your paid and unpaid servants.
  • Share recent learnings or data related to ministry that help others with their next faithful steps.
  • Share where you've seen God at work in people's lives and ministries.
  • Provide a summary of upcoming action items (30-60 day window) and who's the point person for each project.

A few suggestions & ideas:
  • Use a program like MailChimp or Constant Contact to send emails so you'll be able to track open rates, know who opened the emails, see which links were clicked, better manage distribution lists, create customized templates, include links and pictures, and allow multiple people to add content.
  • Write content that is easily shareable with others. Bold Items that you think are important and should be shared with others.
  • Use bullets to keep content concise. Make it easy for people to read and understand content quickly.
  • Invite a few people to read the email and to offer suggestions on grammar, content, and overall clarity of key messages before sending out the email.
  • Set a limit on the length of the email. It should be long enough that you're providing essential content for people to know but not too much where people set it aside and a later date (and most likely won't read it later).
  • Discern how frequent your emails should be. Many churches find that 1 or 2 emails are sufficient.  Create a consistent schedule to sending the emails so that you know what content needs to be compiled and sent, and so that leader know when they can expect to receive updates.

Before you launch ongoing leadership updates, take some time finding out what types of information they'd like to receive.  In addition, consider what skills do you need to help them develop so that they can best serve the church and its mission.


  1. Do you have a current process/system for keeping all leaders abreast of the most pressing details at the same time?
  2. Do you have a current, accurate list of your leaders that makes it easy to contact them quickly if a need arises?
  3. How could you email updates be used to provide ongoing leadership development for both paid and lay leaders?
  4. Who could you envision overseeing this project so that it doesn't fall upon paid staff or pastor to do it?
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