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3 C’s of Communicating Effectively with Your Church

3 C’s of Communicating Effectively with Your Church

Let’s face it. We live busy lives!

Counseling sessions, board meetings, planning and sermon prep, become the urgent. Leaving little time to communicate the importance of upcoming ministry events.

The success of ministry plans often riding on a single, rushed announcement with the hope people will respond. In the rush, we miss key details, and leave people with unanswered questions.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In this episode of #AskRADIdeas I answer:

What is the best way to communicate effectively?

The secret to effective church promotions is not saying more, but saying less with greater clarity.

When we tell our church or ministry story in a clear, concise and compelling way, people engage. Not only do they engage, but they listen, understand and respond.

This doesn’t happen by accident. You might stumble into it a few times. But the only way to see long term consistent response is with a plan.

Good plans have action steps, a checklist on “steroids” so to speak. I’ve followed a rough one for years but never documented it until recently. I call it the 3 C’s of Communication and I want to share the first one with you.

1) Convey the Details

As simple as it sounds, beginning with a written list of all the details you need to share is huge.

  • What is the event
  • How do we describe it
  • Who is it for
  • Where is it held
  • How do people participate
  • Where do they register
  • Is there a cost
  • Where do people get more information
  • Who is the contact

The temptation is to answer the questions in your head or not bother at all. I encourage you to take the time to write it out and go into as much detail as you need for each step.

When you do, you will often reveal details you’ve forgotten or questions the listener will have. This will help you clarify your message and address potential questions when sharing with your church.

It will also serve as a written reminder of your goals, and a means to share the information with other leaders and volunteers.

Conveying the Details is the first step to consistent success.

2) Connect the Heart

Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus connect with the heart of his listeners. Whether it was one on one, or in a large group he had an amazing ability to get people to listen and respond.

Jesus knew that when a person connects emotionally to what we share they listen differently. Their hearts are open to respond and lasting life change is possible.

With this as our goal, the second part of The 3 C’s of Communication is how to Connect the Heart of your listener to the story you have to tell.

Jesus provided a simple but powerful model for us to use:

• Tell a Story

Jesus was never without a story, and when He spoke people listened. They were short, to the point, and often provided space for dialogue and response.

When you share, find a personal experience, life event or recent news to reinforce the information. Details are necessary, but they seldom are the part people walk away and remember. A story can spark the brain to remember your point long into the future.

• Use Illustrations

Jesus used the things around him as a foundation for what he shared. Landscape, agriculture, economics, if it could point people to God he tied it in. They helped him visually tell a story people could relate to, so they would remember the principle and share it themselves.

As you think of illustrations, consider the community you’re in. What type of imagery will connect with your audience? What type of response will it convey?

Then consider how you might tell it. Verbal story, testimony, interview, video or news clip. It doesn’t have to be flashy, it just has to connect.

• Show Examples of Life Change

Despite Jesus’ requests for people to not share who had helped them, they did. They left to tell friends, relatives and entire communities about how Jesus had changed them.

Why the disobedience? Because a life changed can seldom keep quiet about the difference that was made.

Look for ways to celebrate the changed lives in your midst. Tell the stories, interview the families, share how the Gospel has changed them. It will connect your church to the humanity in others and bring hope to their own situations.

I encourage you to take these “Lessons from Jesus” and find ways to Connect the Heart. As you do, you will see your church grasp the Gospel in fresh ways and respond like never before.

3) Creatively Deliver

The reality is, communicating with your church doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does involve looking for solutions in creative ways. If it seems overwhelming I understand, you are not alone in that feeling.

In Exodus 4:2 God asks Moses, “what’s that in your hand?” and Moses replies he has a staff. Through every objection and question Moses raises, God shows how He has provided the tools needed to accomplish the task.

My question for you is, what’s in your hand? What tools has God already provided and you’ve overlooked until now?

  • A technical institute student who needs web design experience
  • An english teacher who could write an articulate email
  • A college student who lives and breathes social media
  • A high school student with a GoPro who loves to shoot and edit video
  • A graphic designer with a heart for ministry who can create a flyer for you

Take a few minutes and make a list of what God has placed in your hands to help you communicate more effectively. Spend time developing those relationships and you will be poised to help others connect in deeper ways.

3 Communication Mistakes Most Churches Make

3 Communication Mistakes Most Churches Make

Have you ever gotten off the phone, thinking one thing about the conversation, only to realize later that the person you were speaking with understood the conversation differently?

You have both been talking about the same thing, but what was communicated was very different.

Unfortunately, church communications can be this way too.

It often goes something like this…

“We spent a bunch of money trying {insert great idea} but it didn’t work.”

“I can tell you what doesn’t work, but I have no idea what does.”

We’ve got great ministry ideas, and we’re working hard to connect people, but something isn’t working. We assume the issue is the event  or a lack of interest by the congregation.

The interesting part is, the “great idea” is seldom the problem. Other churches are doing similar things and having good responses.

More often then not, the issue is actually a communication challenge. What we think we’re saying and what the listener is hearing are two different things.

Thankfully, there are simple fixes to these communication challenges.

Here are 3 Top Church Communication Mistakes and How to Fix Them

1) We say too much

Please understand me on this. I’m not talking about saying less about the gospel. I’m talking about the volume of information we throw at people each week.

Our congregation and guests have limited bandwidth. We spend all week thinking about our ministry plans, but they haven’t. When we throw everything at them at once nothing sticks. A typical listener can only take in so much information before they shut down and stop listening.

Solution:

Be intentional about what we share.

Pick the top 3-4 things in the life of your church and share about them well. This is best done with a calendar so you aren’t caught off guard as events approach.

A good rule is… a ministry opportunity needs to relate to 50% of those in attendance for you to share about it. If it doesn’t, you should find ways to share with just the people who need to hear it.

Example:

Women’s Retreat – relates to 50%+ of Sunday morning attenders = Share

Men’s Woodworking Class – doesn’t relate to 50%+ of Sunday morning attenders = Find other ways to share with interested people

2) We only talk to insiders

I recently found a “secret menu” for In-N-Out Burger (a California based fast food chain).

The menus includes creative ways to take their basic ingredients (burger, fries and drinks) and switch them up.

I’ve been going to In-N-Out for 20+ years and had no idea these options existed. I can get grilled onions on my burger and my wife can have a Lemon-Up (combo lemonade and 7-Up).

Why didn’t we know?

Because they haven’t printed the information on the menu board. The menu is so simple, you have to know what to ask for or they will serve it like they always have.

Unfortunately, we treat our church guests much the same. Assuming they have context and understanding about our church that they don’t have.

We announce events in ways insiders understand but guests don’t…

Join us for Bible Study on Wednesday in the MPR.

Guests need to know more.

Solution:

Answer the questions guests would be asking

  • Who is this event for for?
  • What time is it occuring?
  • What is the full name of the location?
  • Where would I find this room on campus?
  • Can my kids come too?

Example:

Life can be confusing! Join our adult Bible study as we talk through practical ways to gain wisdom and understanding. Wednesdays, 7pm, Main Office Lobby. Child-care is available by reservation.

3) We share details with no heart

The power of the Gospel is it’s ability to connect people to God. Broken people with real troubles, challenges, hopes and dreams. People who want something more from the life they are living and don’t want to waste time on trivial things.

Our guests come to church each week and we fill them in on all the “exciting ways to get involved.” But they don’t connect.

Why?

Because they approach every opportunity, subconsciously or not, with a mental question…

“What’s in it for me?”

They want to know what makes this opportunity something worth considering, and boring announcements with event details aren’t enough. Our guests are hungry for the solutions God offers. It’s our responsibility to show them.

Solution:

Highlight the benefit of attending and participating.

Go beyond the details and present examples of life change in your ministry. Look at: previous attenders, congregation members, your community. Share the way God has used the ministry in the past and the difference it can make for those in similar situations.

If your church is struggling with these church communication mistakes don’t worry. There is hope.

You can reverse the trend by doing one thing…

Say Less + With Greater Clarity + In Ways That Connect With People

Do it consistently and you will see growth in your congregation.

Neglect it and you will struggle to connect and retain new people.


What ways has your church wrestled with these or other communication mistakes?

What is your biggest communication challenge to keep at bay?

How can I help you increase your effectiveness?

Let me know in the comments below.