Our culture has time issues! Most attention spans are getting shorter, and as a result we need to be mindful of not allowing church services to get too long. This, coupled with the attendance trends where "regular" church attenders aren’t coming weekly. So, when people do arrive, time must be managed effectively so that people will hear the message of Jesus Christ - and how He can change their lives.
A church service still is the best time to establish why your church is important; how you’re different than other churches; and the benefit offered when people attend. This is called your brand!
You must utilize your service time effectively to reinforce that brand. Communication must be carefully controlled without extending service times or infringing on the essential teaching and worship time. Here are 5 communication components that are essential to EVERY service (and must be controlled):
1. Connection Card.
Print materials are being used less and less but they require a solid website to access your information. Bulletins should be shrinking as you move people to your website. But don’t forget older people and guests/visitors. At minimum you need a welcome or connection card: something that a guest can save to remind them of your website and basic information. Or they can fill it out to interact with your leadership (this can be done online or in an app too). Your brand thread (message), design, fonts, and colors need to be controlled on this!
2. Branded Welcome.
The first minutes of a service (or welcome time in the worship set) are critical. People have anticipation of getting something (your thread) that you can deliver. The welcome time is the perfect time to create anticipation for it, be welcoming, and feel open to the needs of your audience. It doesn’t have to be long and it can utilize screens to let people know who’s the welcoming host of the service and direct them to your website or social media.
3. Offering Introduction.
Often, the offering becomes a continuation of the worship time (because it is!) — but regularly it’s not explained in a way that people understand how the money is used. The more you tie your offering explanation to Worship and the ministries of your church, the more people will feel its importance in their lives. Again, don’t make it long, but maybe a short ministry video before a quick “we can’t do this type of ministry without your generous offerings”.
4. Sermon Thread Connection.
The teaching time is critical. You want to preach what God has spoken to you. However, you need to tie your sermons together with your thread (the larger benefit that your church is offering). This is much bigger than a sermon series. It’s a unifying benefit or solution that answers the question “why do you attend our church?”. You need to control the language so everyone knows the answer AND sees the teaching time is tied to it.
People have just experienced your church - and hopefully God. Now you are releasing them into their world. You must transition them and remind them the church is available throughout the week.
On your website (calendar) and social media (events and encouragement) — and through your online contact form. Again, a great way to tie your brand to your ministries and events!