It’s time to assess your rhythm for church communication and establish next steps toward a new rhythm that’s effective for your local church.
By Mark MacDonald
Church communication has a rhythm. It’s a regular, reliable pace and pattern of required content. But it may be time to establish a new rhythm. Stop wasting time on church communication that is out of step with what those you want to reach actually want.
In music, someone needs to establish a consistent rhythm so the instruments and vocalists work together. If that rhythm isn’t correct or the beat isn’t clear, the ensemble fails. Your communication is the same.“Stop wasting time on church communication that is out of step with what those you want to reach actually want.” — @markmac1023 Click To Tweet
Here are five ways to assess your current rhythm with suggestions for establishing next steps toward a new rhythm that’s effective for your local church.
1. Conduct a communication audit
Look at your existing online and offline communication channels (i.e. website, social media accounts, print materials, announcements, email newsletters, etc.). Do you have a consistent pace for each? Are you neglecting some? Is your content created with controlled guidelines that make it your church’s material (fonts, colors, design, logo, etc.)? Is there content that’s outdated or irrelevant?
Establish: List what’s working and what’s not. Star the channels that are required to keep most engaged and informed.
2. Engage with your congregation
Are they posting, interacting, liking, and reposting your church’s content? Are they reading your communication? Aware of it? Why not? Is the content wrong? Do they use other channels you don’t? Ask them. Seek members who have larger social followings and ask for suggestions for a new rhythm for church communication. Use surveys, informal discussions, or listening groups.
Establish: Define who your church is talking to in your church and community. List their needs, concerns, and goals. Star the channels they rely on. Are there channels you can drop?
3. Consider what you want to accomplish
Ask the senior pastor (if that’s not you) or other leadership what needs to be accomplished for your communication. Do they expect a better rhythm or outcome to your communication? How would they improve it? Do they know other churches doing communication well?
Establish: Expectations of the leadership for each of the communication intents (information, inspiration, education, community-building, and transformation). Ensure your content guidelines fall in line with your church’s vision and mission.
4. Assess who is in charge of communication
Whether it’s an individual (you) or a team, ensure everything is done with excellence. If you don’t have enough people producing the communication content, you’ll get out of rhythm and your content will feel sub-standard. Fix this. You either need to change the expectations, reduce the channels, or increase your team.
Establish: Prioritize and assign doable tasks. Having too few and attempting too much will always feel out of rhythm. It may be the perfect time to create a volunteer team from the engaged members you listened to.“Having too few and attempting too much will always feel out of rhythm.” — @markmac1023 Click To Tweet
5. Develop a written communication plan
Finally, like an orchestra preparing to play a song, you’ll need a conductor, a trained team, an itemized plan, and lots of rehearsal.
Establish: Prioritize what’s important, because you can’t do it all. Set goals and guidelines that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed. And become aware of the tools and technology that will help accomplish your goals. That plan will set the pace for a new rhythm for church communication.
For permission to republish this article, contact Marissa Postell Sullivan.
Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and Executive Director of Center for Church Communication, empowering churches to become known for something relevant throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.