Most churches have much to offer that benefits members, those in need, and the community – with Bible studies, softball teams, outreach activities, youth groups, senior citizen programs, and more. Churches are beehives of activities.
Bees have phenomenal ways to communicate. Not all churches, however, communicate well. Some congregations still communicate in ways they followed 50 years ago. How do you get information to all those people?
Focus on these issues:
- Don’t assume everyone is interested in everything. Find ways to segment or target communication to the many different people in your church.
- Target information by e-mail. Those without the Internet receive a limited print version on a table in the lobby.
- As a church grows, more activities stretch the bulletin larger and larger. Unfortunaltey, “more is less”: the more content, the less likely people will read it.
- Some churches have done away with bulletins. The information to help navigate the worship service appears on a screen. Yes, there are still a few who object to screens in worship. However, considering Jesus’ effectiveness as a communicator, He would likely use a screen today.
- Church bulletin boards will someday be electronic. They will be colorful, provide motion, and be programmed from the church office. Now, a television monitor can serve as a bulletin board.
- The monthly church newsletter is being replaced by weekly sound bites by e-mail, via Twitter, or on the website. They can be printed in hard copy for those not using the Internet.
- Those who lead groups can communicate by texting or phoning. Information is processed quickly and easily.
- Facebook works well for small groups, Adult Bible Fellowships, youth groups, ball teams, Scouts, service groups, and missional communities.
- Your church mission team in Central America can use Skype to bring a visual update to the worship service, showing their real-time enthusiasm. YouTube updates can be posted on the church website.
- Begin a media team to document various ministries in action. This team can also interview “people on the street” to connect with an upcoming sermon topic. Use the video clip as part of the sermon.
- Train church members how and when to choose forms of communication. Sometimes Christians (including pastors) use e-mail when a telephone call is more appropriate. E-mail does not provide opportunity for dialogue, particularly on sensitive issues. An angry e-mail is a mistake in the choice of communication. To respond in the same form just multiplies the mistake. Sometimes a personal face-to-face visit is most appropriate for sensitive communication.
We live in a highly sophisticated world of communication choices. Properly approached, technology can be a major asset to the work of God’s Kingdom. If the Apostle Paul would have had access to e-mail, the New Testament might be twice the size!
How have you improved communication in your church? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.