Episode 168: Beyond Bulletins: Reaching Hearts Through Strategic Church Communication

Today’s episode is all about communication. From social media strategies to storytelling tips, we’ll unveil secrets to engage your community, both inside and out.

Full Show Notes

  • What should EVERY church be doing with communications?
    • Have a system! You need a clear plan and strategy in place. Be clear about who owns what. Also, who needs to know what and when do they need to know it? Then figure out where the gaps are and work to improve those areas.
    • Be very intentional about the methodology of communicating! Announcements at the beginning of service often miss a large percentage of attenders aren’t even in the room at the beginning!
    • Other simple ideas:
      • Have an up-to-date website!
      • Post consistently on social media (that is where people are!).
      • Have a regular email going out.
      • Use slides and announcements intentionally.
  • Many churches are ONLY focusing on people inside their church. Others are ONLY focusing on potential guests. But both are needed! And social media is a great way to engage with both at the same time.
    • Also, do research to discover which social networks your target audience uses.
  • One example of a church’s approach to being intentional with different channels:
    • Social media are primarily snapshots of what it’s like in our community.
    • Our website is primarily for people who are new or newer to our church.
    • Weekly newsletter to keep the main things the main things:
      • Family Ministry
      • Worship (weekend gathering)
      • Missions
  • Consider your church’s culture! What needs to be maintained? How can you make small shifts that preserve this culture while moving towards better communication practices overall.
  • Communication styles might be context-specific, but the need for repetition is not! You have to repeat yourself a lot! Even when you feel like you’re over-communicating it, communicate it more!
    • EXAMPLE: If you have a flyer, you need to distribute it more than one week in a row. BUT, don’t just hand them the same sheet. Make some slight changes to the layout and colors so that it looks different but contains the same information. This will draw more attention.
  • 7 Questions every church should ask about their communication:
    1. What do we want people to know about?
    2. Who needs to know it?
    3. Where are we nailing our communication? (What events does EVERYONE know about?)
    4. Where are we missing it? (Which events are lacking engagement?)
    5. What social media posts are getting traction and engagement?
    6. Are our emails too long? (Don’t bury the lead!)
    7. Is your website optimized for potential visitors? (Consider the use of insider language, the layout, and questions guests will have.)
  • If you have to or want to use insider language, make sure to give simple on-ramps for people who are new or newer in your context. It can be a simple sentence or even just a few words of explanation to give people a better understanding of what’s being said.
  • Stories are vital in communication! Give examples of what God is doing in your ministry and connect that to what you want people to hear and understanding.
  • For social media, use a pillar content strategy:
    • Create a list of pillars you want to share, then put yourself in each box: e.g., a worship highlights, a scripture reflections, a community spotlight, behind the scenes (these are often surprisingly well-received), prayer requests, milestones.
    • Then when you need content, go to those categories. It helps you create new ideas because they serve as prompts for your creativity.
  • Contact Adam Johnson: adam.johnson@ministryarchitects.com
  • Contact Brandi Kirkland: brandi.kirkland@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Brandon Collins: brandoncollins.orgbrandon.collins@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Renee Wilson: renee.wilson@ministryarchitects.com