Church communication is more than announcements, handouts, signage, and social media. It’s the big picture message of your church. The value your church places on communication directly impacts how you’re perceived by both your current members and unchurched people in your community.
When you think about it like that, everything changes. Communication isn’t another thing your church does, it’s everything your church does. Whether you’re a senior leader or a communications director, here are six ideas that will help you improve your church’s communication in 2014:
- Focus on creating engagement, not noise. It’s easy to turn communications into a process of 'checking off the boxes'. When all you do is make sure a message is shared in the bulletin and on Twitter, you’re not engaging your audience and your message probably isn’t being received. If your communication goals are based on connection outcomes, you have a good chance of driving engagement with people. If your goals are based only on making sure your message has been shared, then you’re likely to fall into a rut of creating noise.
- Explain the difference it makes in their lives. Until people know why the thing you’re sharing makes a difference in their lives, they’ll rarely follow through with what you tell them. The most critical element in any church’s communication strategy is to communicate that they care about their members.
- Realize that how you communicate is more important than what you communicate. The effectiveness of your communication as a pastor, leader, staff member, peer, boss, or employee is directly related to 'how' you communicate your message. Here are two ways to ensure that the 'how' you’re communicating connects with your audiences.
- Become a life preserver. The goal isn’t to drown people with information. It is your job as communicators to remove as many barriers as possible between your guests and Jesus. The best way make sure you’re not drowning your members with messages is to create a plan and curate information based on that plan.
- Share more stories. You can begin to inspire people to do more and be more for the Kingdom. For example, your volunteers want to know how a person they said 'hello' to decided to come to your church and then give their life to Christ. Stories are powerful. Start capturing and sharing them more in 2014.
- Leverage technology for discipleship. Communication tools can be used for more than just sharing information. They can be used to help your members become more like Jesus. Here are a few ways you can use communication technology to enhance discipleship this year.
What are some practical ways your church has implemented these ideas in the past? What’s the biggest communication barrier you are trying to overcome right now?