If you serve at a church and are involved in communications you'll know by now that you live in a goldfish bowl. Everyone can see what you do. You can't hide anywhere, everyone has an opinion about what you create. Good, bad and in between. Your every communications move is watched, very closely.

It's the same if you make a mistake, the goldfish bowl effect is somehow exacerbated. Everyone is quick to tell you or tell the congregation.

I remember one time when I slotted an advert in our video news for our upcoming sermon series one week too soon.

Yes. One. Week. Too. Soon.

To compound matters as I was shrinking in my seat on that Sunday morning hoping the ground would swallow me up I could see my Senior Pastor who was on stage anchoring in the dimly lit auditorium look over to me while the ad was playing. (I was reaching into my pocket fumbling for my phone in the vain hope that I could get out tech guys to somehow help me out and fix it in the 20 minutes in between services, no such luck)

What was going to happen next? My boss simply said that the ad was a week early and announced what was happening the next week. Phew. But bear in mind, he had to say it in another two back-to-back services that day.

I learnt some important lessons from this incredibly humbling 'gold fish bowl' disaster:

1) We are all human all we all at some time will make a mistake. Get over it. Own it. Move on.

2) Where possible and if at all humanly possible try and fix the mistake.

3) Where your mistake impacts others, apologise to the person who has to take the hit on your behalf.

4) If you are a leader of a team where the mistake has been made at another level below you. Own it. Don't try and say that so and so made the mistake. Own it. Apologise. Move on.

5) Put a process in place so the same mistake won't happen again.

Two questions for you: What mistakes have you seen or made yourself in a church communications environment? What have you learnt from them?

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