Talk the Talk: Basics To Developing A Communications Strategy
Why Isn’t A Sermon Enough?
There’s no doubt that Sunday mornings are “The Big Day”. It’s the day where the worship team sings their best songs, the announcements give the rundown about all the current happenings, and the preacher delivers a sermon that brings people one step closer to Christ. Sundays are also when we have the biggest audience in-person to share how God is moving in our congregation. But what happens when Monday comes around? None of these things can be executed well without some type of communication taking place during the week.
Embracing the value streamlined communication adds to ministries—both internally with staff and externally with the people who entrust us with their spiritual growth and development—will improve the overall health of your church’s culture, not to mention the added benefits of spurring growth.
Perks of Communicating
It can be extremely difficult to articulate the importance of communication, especially in scenarios where some of the major roles are volunteer positions. When it comes to communication tools and strategies, many know they should be doing more, but don’t necessarily know the why or how behind it.
Excellence In Leadership
Let’s start with how your church talks internally—with pastors, staff, and volunteers. Every ministry leader has a different preference for how they’d like to communicate with fellow staff or ministry teams. Some prefer emails, others prefer text messages, meetings, carrier pigeon, smoke signals—the list goes on. Imagine a world where every ministry leader was connected where they could all communicate in real time in the same way. There are many platforms available that can create an online environment where communication can seamlessly happen internally (for example Slack, Glip, and Microsoft Teams are all great options). The benefit of streamlining internal communication is that it can help leaders stay engaged and organized when files, conversations, and ideas can all be shared in the same environment. Rule of thumb: wherever there is good communication and organization there is even better execution.
Tell Them Something Good
When it comes to communicating to your congregation and potential guests you would be doing them all a disservice by only communicating to them when they show up on Sunday morning. How would you feel if your significant other only sent you a text message once a week and then went silent? Not very good I assume. Keep this in mind when developing a strategy for what you’ll communicate to your external audiences and how to communicate it. By making a conscious effort to communicate to your audience at least one to two times per week (on a day other than Sunday), you will begin to develop a rapport with your congregation. Make sure you are sharing information that is valuable to whomever your church is trying to reach. Position your communication to provide a benefit to their everyday life.
Don’t get intimidated at the idea of needing to create a communication plan! Yes, building a communication plan can seem like a daunting task, but send your anxiety to the backseat and start with the resources you already have. There’s no need to run out and purchase $800 worth of software or coaching programs. Do what you can with what you have and start scaling up as time goes on and as the needs arise. Take these first steps in establishing clarity so that you don’t get overwhelmed:
- Define your church’s vision
- Define your church’s mission
- Define your church’s core values
Everything you communicate should be filtered through the lens of these three areas to ensure you are staying true to the identity of your church’s brand. Once clarity is achieved, people’s buy-in to events, initiatives, and other agendas that senior leaders want to push become the easy part! By establishing clear communication systems and strategies, leaders will see a dramatic shift happen that will raise staff and volunteer excitement, create a wider brand footprint, and see doors of opportunity open for even more resources to take your ministry to the next level!