It’s Monday morning. You open your email inbox and it is flooded with requests from ministry leaders, members, and volunteers. “Don’t forget to tell people about the food drive!” “Can we get a Facebook event for our Christmas luncheon?” “Did you put the giving information in the bulletin?” “We need to launch the new mission focus.” The list goes on and on. So many requests, so many ways to share it. How do you know what goes where? Well, it depends.
Here are a few simple tips that will help you determine the best way to communicate with and for your church.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you can decide where to share the information, you will need to determine who needs to know it. Is this event or news relevant to church members only or is it something that would benefit your community? It is tempting to want to share everything the same way, but then we run the risk of overwhelming our members and confusing those we are trying to reach.
2. Refine Your Audience
Once we know who needs to know this information, we can decide where to put the information. Broader church or community events will need more widespread communication. Smaller ministry or committee events will need a more targeted approach. Information or stories about the mission of your church is something that should be shared with both members AND community.
3. Reach Your Audience
Now that you know whether or not your information is for church members, for community, or both, it’s time to organize your communication. Here is a list of typical channels used by churches to communicate their messages and how we can use them to communicate well.
Though this chart is helpful, it is not the only thing to consider. It is important to think about your target audience demographic when choosing where to share the information or message. Email, social media, and other digital tools are best for younger audiences while print media is often preferred by older audiences. However, certain social media channels are beginning to be used by multiple generations of audiences, so be sure to consider that as well when determining your sharing strategy.
One more thing about external communications:
When sharing information or inspiration with the community, be sure to be honest, real, and let them know who you are and how God is working in and through the people of your church. Communicate that you are for your community, that you don’t want something FROM them, but FOR them.