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Communications Isn’t Just For Big Churches

Communications Isn’t Just For Big Churches

Posted January 29, 2013 by Jerod Clark

Talking about church communication strategies is not a big church versus small church issue.

It’s not uncommon for someone to tell me they appreciate reading about church communications but don’t think it really applies to them in their small church setting.  Or they’ll say the advice we give is good, but it assumes there’s a full time staff member working on communications.  The wording is usually different from person to person, but the sentiment is the same: small churches with small staffs are exempt from being intentional communicators.

Friends, you’re using your size as an excuse to not make the tough decisions that come with creating a communications strategy. The truth is in our current society every organization, regardless of size or sector, has to think strategically. 

Your members live in a world where they interact with other companies and organizations that have coordinated marketing, branding and communications efforts.  They can tell the difference between that and something that’s randomly thrown together.  Will they give their church some leeway?  Probably.  But think about how much more engaged they could be if you were being more intentional in planning how you communicate?  If you’re not communicating effectively, people will eventually give up on trying to find the information they need if it’s not easy for them to access.

Of course a large church with a bigger staff might be able to do more than a smaller church, but the key is scalability.  Are you doing the best with what you have or are you giving up because of your size?

Doing work in communications isn’t easy.  Often times it falls on an already busy staff member who has no formal training in communications.  Or sometimes there are so many people and volunteers in charge of little individual pieces of communications it’s hard to have any control over the cohesiveness of your message.  And I get that trying to bring order to communications leads to tough conversations and confrontation.  But we have a major motivation for making it happen.  We’re tasked with helping people grow closer to God. 

I recently read an article by Karl Vaters, a small church pastor and writer.  He was talking about how younger generations are more open to going to smaller churches because they are looking for a more intimate, genuine experience.  The caveat is they aren’t willing to give up quality to gain that intimacy.

Don’t write off being intentional about communications as a “big church only” kind of thing.  Look at what you can do in your setting.  Take the advice you read and pick a piece you can implement.  Small steps can lead to bigger change. 
 

Filed under: Communications

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

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Comments (5)

  • Karl Vaters
    4:13 PM
    Tue, Jan 29, 2013

    Thanks for the shout-out in today’s post. You and I are on the same page that small size does not mean lesser quality.

  • Jerod Clark
    4:16 PM
    Tue, Jan 29, 2013

    No problem.  Really loved your post.  Good stuff.

  • Laurie Neumann
    4:13 PM
    Tue, Jun 4, 2013

    I like a smaller church because you feel like you know who everyone is and it’s more of a family atmosphere (not that larger churches can’t be a family, but they may need to take some steps to encourage that.)

    I think any size church should do what they can to communicate with newcomers what you’re all about and with their members on what’s going on during the week, prayer requests, etc.

    Communication is good for everyone! Think of a smaller sized family (like three people) - they need to communicate just like any other family or soon they will drift apart.  So it goes with churches too.

  • Cindy McCracken
    3:52 PM
    Wed, Nov 8, 2017

    Hi - I’m very interested in this topic. If you don’t have volunteers with the time to do a newsletter and maintain all aspects of a website, what are some suggestions for manageable communications in a very small church?

  • Bryan Haley
    8:32 AM
    Thu, Nov 9, 2017

    Hey Cindy - in a “very small” church, I think communications may look a little different, because the demands are quite different. The first step would be to identify the needs of your church. What do they need, and how can we accomplish that effectively?

    Shoot me an email, I’d love to talk more and help you out! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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