A Simple Strategy for Church Communication

Most churches don’t think strategically about their communications efforts. Many times, communications practices are passed on from staffer to staffer without any regard to what is effective. And often, the responsible staff member or volunteer has other duties that take precedent in ministry.

Regardless of your staffing structure or size, church communications can be done effectively and strategically if you consider the perspective of your audience. Church communication isn’t for the benefit of the church; it’s for the benefit of members and guests. So when considering what to say, when to say it, and which channel to use, keep in mind these three essential elements:

  1. Engage the audience. Your church communications should be engaging. Putting out a tweet or Facebook post just so you can check that item off your to-do list is rarely going to engage your church members and potential guests. Content should be sharable, memorable, and relevant. The difference between engaging content and content that is not typically involves thinking through the messaging. Start with the goals of your communication in mind and work backwards: consider the desired result, decide the best platform to reach your goal, and word your message accordingly.
  2. Inform the audience. Once you’ve engaged your audience, keep them informed. Consistency with your communications is important. Try to plan out your church’s communications week by week and stick to the plan as best as possible. Once you have your weekly schedule set, then you can move to monthly, quarterly, and annual planning. By planning out what you want to communicate to members and guests on a consistent basis, you can more effectively integrate major church events into your communications plan.
  3. Inspire the audience. Informing and engaging your audience isn’t enough. They should be inspired to share. Graphics aid in this area more than words. People are more likely to share inspiring graphics than inspiring paragraphs. Both have value, but one appeals visually. The graphics you choose can be the difference in someone sharing your content and not sharing it.

Over the next few week’s, I’ll be digging deeper into these three elements. So if you have any questions about the specifics, share them in the comments section below, and I’ll be sure to touch on those items in future posts.

Does your church plan its communications strategically? Do you engage, inform, and inspire your church members and guests with your content?


Want to learn how to be strategic with your church communication? Contact an Auxano Navigator to start a conversation.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Howe

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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