Developing an Effective Church Communication Strategy
It’s no secret that when it comes to your church, there’s a lot more communication happening than what comes from the pulpit. Whether it’s your online community, your staff and volunteers, or the physical community you serve, you’ll want to make sure that sending and receiving information is a breeze and have a solid church communication plan.
What is a Church Communication Strategy?
So what even is a church communication strategy? Well that’s simple — it is the intentional and effective plan that you use to send and receive information to the people who engage with your church. And yes, you want to have an effective church communication strategy because the message you and your church shares is the most important one of all!
Types of Church Communication
Remember when we mentioned that there are different types of communication happening at your church? Well, that would be internal and external church communication. Although these are different, they are both essential to your church.
- Internal Church Communication includes the platforms and methods you use to share information with the people who serve or work at your church. Think of the way you get a message out about staff meetings, details for serving at events, or updates regarding the operations for your church’s mission.
- External Church Communication refers to the ways that you share information with people who exist outside your church. Whether this happens digitally, or in person, External Church Communication happens whenever information travels beyond the four walls of your church building.
How to Develop a Church Communications Strategy
So how do you build an effective communication strategy? Easy! You’ll want to identify and prioritize the right tools to get your message to the people who need it.
Decide What You’ll Say
Whether it’s intentional or not, your church is always sending a message. The next time you meet with your team about communications at your church, decide together what information is being conveyed. What exactly are you saying? What is your mission statement? What do you want newcomers to know? What information is crucial for your staff and volunteers to be aware of? Your website, Sunday announcements, lobby volunteers and even your church’s name sends a message. Don’t leave it to default. Decide what you’ll say!
Decide On Your Audience
It’s so important that you sort your information before it all goes out. Do newcomers need to know about construction happening at the office entrances, or is information about how to join a small group more important to them? Simply put, get the right info to the right people. Each time you make a plan to send out information, decide where it’s going first. Ask yourself, Which audience needs this info most?
Decide How You’ll Say It
After you’ve established what it is you’re saying, and who you’re saying it to you’ll definitely want to focus on the ways you get the message out! You can craft the best phrases, or have even have soul-saving details like the gospel, but the platforms you use is the difference between whether or not people ever hear what you have to say.
Platforms like Subsplash and Planning Center are great for managing the way you communicate with the people who attend your church, or even newcomers who are looking for a place to connect. These platforms specialize in methods like smartphone apps, and website management so that when partnered with your traditional means for communication, you can be sure group goes unreached.
Decide How You’ll Listen
When considering which method of messaging works best for your church, don’t forget to plan out the ways you’ll receive information, too! You can conduct a quarterly survey, or advertise an email address that is designated for hearing what your community has to say. Platforms such as Facebook and YouTube provide real-time interaction with your community members. Communication goes both ways, so be sure to pave a listening lane on that two way street!
Decide to Strategize
Developing an efficient communication strategy is not a one time event. I mean think about it — at one point in time, the most modern and effective means for communication included a feather and ink. Simply put, meet often! Schedule a meeting each year, or even twice annually so that you and your team can strategize and consider whether or not the tools and resource you rely on are still the best for communicating internally and externally.
Obstacles and Challenges
Strategy takes time, people and money. But in an attempt to keep you from counting your church out, you can’t afford not to strategize. Whether your team is just not used to strategizing, or you’re short on the funds or time, I would say it’s well worth the investment to make sure that you’re effectively communicating what we believe to be the most important message there is.
Going the Distance
When we look at Scripture, Jesus was intentional about the message he was sharing and the tools that he used to get it done. Some of his methods challenged him to use the elements in his surroundings. Other times, he strategized with the people on mission with him so that their communication was most effective. Today, your team and your mission are just as important!
So there you have it. Five quick and easy steps toward developing a church communication strategy. Whether internally among your staff and volunteers, or externally to those who need the message of Jesus, effective communication is just one planning session away.
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