Now that all of the New Year’s resolution smoke has cleared – let’s face it, it’s February and 99% of those pipe dreams are already in the garbage – I want to challenge you to think about setting some very real, very tangible goals to improve your church’s communication in 2016.
More than ever, communication is one of the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of your leadership. We live in the golden age of communication, and if you’re not doing it well then your message is getting lost in the noise and clutter. But don’t worry, you’re not alone and it can easily be fixed.
I consult with a ton of churches on this subject and going into 2016 I found myself having the same conversation over and over again with each client. After about the 5th one it occurred to me that these goals were universal and applied everywhere and needed to be shared big time. So here we go.
- Create a Master Event Calendar and Communication Schedule – Most churches keep some kind of master calendar, but from what I’ve seen most of them are incomplete. Sure they have all of the big events, but more often than not they are missing the smaller ministry specific stuff. It’s important that everything is on there so that you can then create what almost no church does – a master schedule of how and when you’re going to communicate everything. With so many channels of communication available to us, we must be strategic in how we’re using them. Otherwise it becomes a gigantic and confusing mess that overwhelms your people to the point that they tune out and don’t pay attention to any of it. You have to lay it out so that the right people are receiving the right messages via the right channels at the right time. It’s not rocket science, but it is a process that takes some real thought and effort.
- Purge/Update Your Database – When is the last time you updated your database? If it was more than 12 months ago, it’s been too long. This is something that must be done on a regular basis to insure that you have the most current information on your people. How can you communicate to them effectively if you have the wrong email address? Or if you don’t have the email address at all? What about their phone number, address, etc….? This is vital information that you have to stay on top of.
- Increase Your Social Media Numbers – How many followers do you have on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? If you don’t know then you need to go look right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. OK, now I obviously haven’t seen your numbers, but the odds are that they are low. Really low. The fact is in most churches, less than 25% of the people are connected to their church via social media. 75-90% of them are on social media, they just aren’t connected to you.
- Start Doing Your Announcements via Video – Or if you’re already doing that, then find a way to continue to improve on it. Video is the gold standard in communication today. It’s everywhere and available on almost every communication platform. But very few churches are using it and using it well. The easiest place to start using it and using it well is by doing video announcements. When done right they are crazy effective. They address most learning styles and once done those videos can be shown live in your service, on screens around your campus, on your Facebook page, your website, in emails, via Twitter and Instagram…everywhere. And if you don’t have the bandwidth to produce them in house, simply outsource it. You will be amazed at how easy and inexpensive it is to do that. Start with VideoAnnouncements.TV. I’ve heard they are incredible
- Review Communication Needs of Your Individual Ministries – This is something that should be done about once a quarter. A quick meeting with the heads of each ministry, asking them if your overall communication system is working for them or not, how it can be improved, what their challenges and needs are, etc…. That face time will go a long way in helping you communicate better and will win you some major points with your staff.
I know this can seem overwhelming, a lot to take in. But like anything else, it’s totally doable when broken into a system of very simple steps. Stay tuned in the coming days as I continue to share more about not only what to do, but how to do it.