Communication is not as easy as you think. It’s about carefully shaping and controlling words, concepts, and visuals so that you quickly engage your audience(s). If you think people will listen just because you’re invested in the communication (especially if you’re a church), you’re sadly mistaken.
That’s why churches are hiring or appointing communicators to tackle this necessary role.
Your community (and many in your congregation) simple don’t care about your ministry, your vision, your events, and/or your sermons. Most churches are investing time and money into many (important?) things and wondering why the attendance or interest isn’t present.
It’s because you’re not effectively communicating.
Let’s reconnect with our communities and congregations and seek genuine engagement. Here are 5 questions that will help. Ask them EVERY time before you start to communicate:
1. Is my communication truly meeting a felt need in the listener’s life?
People will engage with solutions to their concerns or pains; or a path to their goals. Ensure you understand your audience enough to know what’s top-of-mind and consider dealing with those topics. Name the need (so they understand that you care) and help them understand you love them enough to help lead them to a solution. Still want to communicate something that doesn’t meet this criteria? Establish the need first. Many people don’t understand that they need something. Sadly, “following Christ” doesn’t feel like a solution to any of their needs. Help connect the dots!
2. Can I say it with less words or fewer details?
All of our attention spans are getting ridiculously short. People want everything communicated as succinctly as possible. Period. Too many details will have their mind wandering. Consider stopping sermons before they stop listening.
3. Is there a short story that will make the point better?
Want to expand attention spans? An engaging story will capture and keep attention better than anything. Let stories tell the points of your communication. Even better? SHOW the story through a good video or live drama.
4. Am I the best person to share the information?
Longer lengths of communication needs interruption (to bring people back into engagement). Maybe you need someone else to tell the story, testimony, or lesson learned. More will engage. You don’t have to say it all.
5. Am I relying on someone that communicates for a living?
Many ministry leaders feel that “anyone” can do communications effectively. Even if they have an appointed communicator working in the role. It’s a frustration I hear from hundreds of church communicators. Instead, empower those in the position and let them shape messaging. It’s their ministry! Agree with them on the goal for the communication, and let them do their job. Then hold them responsible and accountable to the goal. The more you allow creativity in their job, the better the outcomes. Encourage and motivate your church communicator, or you’ll end up with an unmotivated mediocre product.
Good communicators want to increase engagement as they advocate for your audiences!