Most churches communicate as though getting people to attend events is the primary goal. And when they do, they create all sorts of problems … and even end up, at times, working against the purpose of the mission they are trying to serve.
In our culture, most organizations have what I would call a lower purpose and a higher purpose. In the for-profit world, the lower purpose is always making money. The higher purpose has to do with the “why” behind the “what.” (For more on that, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk on the topic.)
The same is true for churches, but most of them don’t realize it. For churches, the lower purpose has to do with attendance and giving. If we get people to attend our events … and if they give enough to keep the budget going, then we’re fine.
But that’s not the church’s higher purpose.
Every church is trying to serve the higher purpose of sharing the message and life of Jesus … and inviting people to experience that life. They all have unique ways that they express the life of Jesus, but at their core, the higher purpose is the same.
The problem is that most churches … and church communications … are designed around the lower purpose.
When that happens, ministries elbow each other out of the way for time on stage. The weekly bulletin has to contain every item that will take place at the church. Even more importantly, each event or program is measured as a success purely by attendance.
What happens when the higher purpose shapes the church … and church communications?
Implementing The Higher Purpose Strategy To Communication
Any announcements in the service are framed as next steps of engagement with the mission of the church. The bulletin contains a few prioritized next steps, not a menu of options. Ministry leaders are not simply concerned about getting people TO a program … they want to get people THROUGH an program.
What are inviting people to move into when they show up? And how are we making that easy for them?
If you’re answering these questions about each event or program at your church, your church (and your communications!) will remain stuck in the lower purpose.
When that happens, you won’t gain significant ground toward your mission to invite people deeper into life with Jesus, you will simply gather a crowd. You don’t want to settle for that, do you?
You’ve probably noticed something. This isn’t just about church communications. This is about every ministry leader and every ministry environment.
Your overall strategy as a church should be to move people THROUGH your different ministry environments to deeper levels of engagement with your mission. When that happens, communication becomes easy—all it has to do is clearly match the strategy and it will be exponentially more effective.
Don’t settle for the lower purpose of attendance. Strive for the higher purpose of mission engagement. That’s when lives and communities are truly changed.