They say, “good things take time.” Well guess what, creating a good, and effective, strategy for communicating events at your church takes time too. Timing is not only crucial for creating content that motivates involvement, but also necessary to keep your staff and volunteers from getting overwhelmed. But just how much time do we need? Here are some best practices for making sure your communications timeline is both practical and efficient, leaving your staff and volunteers encouraged, and inspiring people to attend.
1. Practice strategic calendaring
Create a yearly calendar—and stick to it!
It is a good idea to sit down with all staff and key ministry leaders to plan a yearly (or at least 6 months) calendar. Sure, at the surface, this gets major events on the schedule. But these conversations also help make sure every event supports the mission or points to the vision of the church. Doing this will help communications remain consistent throughout the year.
Don’t double (or triple!) book
Even if you think you are spacing events out well, don’t forget to think about how each activity might affect a family. For example, in a given week, you may only have one church-wide service, one women’s group, one men’s Bible study, a children’s choir, and youth small group. Great, right? However, what about the family that has a husband, wife, elementary child, and high school student. This week, you’ve spread this family pretty thin, and this doesn’t extracurriculars or other family events!
Include white space
Remember that a blank calendar doesn’t necessarily mean a bad one. In today’s busy world, there is little “down” time. Even if a church event is Christ-centered, mission-focused, and fun, for some families, it’s just “one more thing.” Schedule times of less activity to allow families, staff member, and volunteers to rest.
2.Set appropriate timelines
Church-wide or Ministry events for your community (4 months)
Your communications team will need to be prepared to begin promotions at approximately three months before. They need to have all graphics, email copy, landing pages, and social post ideas ready. Depending on your team, this may take 2-4 weeks.
Church-wide internal events (4-6 weeks)
Begin telling your members about any church-wide events three or four weeks beforehand. Make sure that your communications team has one to two weeks to create graphics and include content in their weekly communications.
Ministry-specific internal events (3 weeks)
Most ministries in your church should have an email list, Facebook group, or other ways to communicate directly to their audience two weeks before the event. If they need any graphics or information added to the website, inform the communications team approximately one week prior to the start of their promotion.
God is doing great things in your church, and sometimes it can get overwhelming—we want to share it all! Using these best practices can help you share God’s greatness with your church and community without being “just another thing” on the calendar.