A lot of my learning I gained from reading books and learning from others. I created this list of books for anyone involved in not only church communications, but ministry in general. Each of these books will definitely help you communicate your church’s vision and message with intentionality, with simplicity, and overall with effectiveness. I know they have definitely helped me.
Anything people read, touch, or click is considered communications. Maybe there is something to add to that, but I haven’t really found that yet. When it comes to church communications I think this is crucial because:
- Read would include any written messages communicated from or about the church…be it in print or electronic form.
- Touch would include a weekly bulletin, newsletter, brochures, mass mailings/postcards, or anything else that represents the church or has the church logo on it…in print form.
- Click would relate to any form of web or email based technology, as well as new social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, etc.
The role of church communications is changing…it’s no longer about a church secretary typing announcements into a pre-printed bulletin shell. Church communications now involves a lot of planning, strategy and people who are focused on directing the different communications channels of a church. In 2 words, hard work. There are some churches that have started to see the need and importance of having a full time staff member as a communications director. The director of communications is responsible for managing and directing a church’s internal and external communications. They work to create communication strategies and (depending on their role or level of authority) serve as the key spokesperson and media contact for the organization. The director of communications typically reports to an executive pastor and/or lead pastor. They handle all messaging in the church outside of the Sunday morning messages and work to build teams to support all facets of church communications (print, media, web, etc.). They are passionate about the church’s vision and care about how it translates to people inside and outside of the church. They defend it. They design it. They care about it.
The local church is the hope of the world. I believe it has the greatest message that’s out there, the message of the Gospel. And with that, the greatest message deserves the greatest marketing, creativity, and storytelling. If there is one thing I am learning from school is that marketers spend millions of dollars every single year to tell us that our lives would be better or enhanced with the products, services, or ideas they are selling. I know that we are not about selling salvation as a product. The goal of the church is not to try and woo people to our ‘services’ (haha) or trying to convince them to convert or whatever….we are about seeing the trajectory of people’s lives changed. Seeing hearts surrendered to Jesus. Being a young person, I have the privilege and curse of being part of the generation that has made it harder and harder to communicate with. The cool thing is…with that comes the challenge of communicating the unchanging, timeless message of the Gospel in way that is relevant and compelling to the culture of its time.
Watch this video:
That commercial was for a WEB BROWSER. Google Chrome. What? Wow. Why didn’t they focus on the features and explain why Google Chrome is better than the rest or the best for you to use? Because Google understands the power of storytelling. They focused us on the story of Sophie and her Dad. They wanted us to watch it, get attached, say a few “aww” and “how sweet!” and emotionally connect with it. Less product. More story. Well, it worked for me.
What message are the experiences people have with your church communicating?
What does your marketing say about you and your church?
Is there a disconnect between what you say and what people experience?
What if Starbucks marketed like churches do? Watch this video: