As church communicators, one of the fundamental lessons we must learn is how to clarify our message. Your church has something valuable for people to hear about and participate in. But, if I’m being honest, our churches can be terrible at communicating how exactly we’re meeting the needs of the people we’re called to serve. If you want to craft clear and meaningful communications, here are three simple questions you should be asking yourself.
Who Are You Talking To?
Let me start by anticipating the most common objection I hear to this question. “Bryan, isn’t the gospel for everyone? How can I possibly put a limit on who I’m talking to?” I get it. The gospel is universal, but that doesn’t mean your church’s purpose is to reach everyone The reality is, your church is located in a particular area, with a particular culture, and specific demographics, needs, and characteristics. Knowing exactly who your church is reaching can only help you reach them better. So yes, we all like to think our church is for everyone. But in reality, there are certain types of people that attend your church and make up your community. You need to figure out who those people are.
Without knowing who you’re speaking to, you’re bound to try to talk to everyone, and then you’ll end up reaching noone. Your message will be so broad that nobody will listen because your message is not appealing. In his book Building a Storybrand, Donald Miller says, “People don’t buy the best products; they buy the products they can understand the fastest.”
You may not be selling something in the traditional sense—but your goal is to craft the most compelling message about why someone should care about your church, your ministry, or your event. Do they understand what you’re telling them?
What Problem Are You Solving?
We’re all busy. It’s not uncommon today to feel pulled in multiple directions at once. And on top of this persistent busyness, we’re also bombarded with countless messages each day—on our phones, through social media, via e-mail, on billboards, at your mailbox. People only have so much time and capacity to process the messages they encounter each day. Stop making them figure out how your church or a particular event is going to help solve their problem. Before you craft your message, ask yourself what problem is your event (or ministry, etc.) solving for the people you’re trying reach?
Then, tell that message. Don’t make your audience work to make a connection between what they need and what you’re offering. Clearly tell them what problem you’re going to solve, and how they will be helped by your ministry or event. And, for the record, the better you know who you’re talking to, the better you can convey what problem you’re solving.
What Do You Want Them To Do?
The whole premise of clarifying your church’s message is to take the guesswork out of things. Once your audience knows who you are, what you’re about, and how you’re helping them or the community, tell them what you want them do next. In all of your church’s communications—whether you’re broadly communicating about your church or about a special event—always include one clear call-to-action. Tell them how to sign-up, when to show-up, or how exactly you want them to help. Be clear and lay it out there.
When your church clarifies your messaging, it helps your listener understand exactly how their life will be impacted. Not only does it force you, as the communicator, to be more articulate, but it increases the chance that your message with resonate with your listener, and in turn, fulfill the mission of your event, ministry, and church.