It’s a great time to learn church communication lessons in order to get your congregation and community listening again. For years, the church has been talking in such a way that so many ignore our important message.
No longer does the church have to rely on people visiting a building, or getting a church bulletin or driving by our signs. With the internet, we can slide into search results, become part of a personal podcast ritual or appear on a social media wall. But we have to have the right content to get their attention.
Here are 3 must-learn church communication lessons to ensure content gets discovered:
- Learn to say their name. In our noisy communication world, the church needs to cleverly engage. Saying their name is the best way. Like a crowded room where everyone is talking, most will ignore you — until you say someone’s name. Then that person will look to you for what want to say. A church needs to know what name to say though. Saying everyone’s first name is out of the question, so you need to understand the persona group that you’re trying to engage with. Perhaps it’s “young moms with school-aged kids” that need your ministry. Learn to get their attention by showing pictures of them, interject “moms” or asking questions with their name (i.e. “Are you a young mom?”). They’ll listen.
- Learn to speak their pain. Once you know the group who are in your congregation and evident in your community, learn as much about them as you can. God wants us to go further though and to love them. That means we need to understand their needs, concerns and seemingly unobtainable goals. That’s where they’ll need you to help. Identify those pains and speak solutions to them. A picture of a young mom with a toddler at her feet and a baby in her arms will attract a specific group of people. A headline like “Need a personal break?” speaks directly to her pain and makes her want to listen for more. Become their pain expert and demonstrate you understand. Love them enough to help solve their needs or give them an achievable path to their goals.
- Learn the solutions to proclaim. Don’t say their names unless you want their attention. Then don’t speak their pain unless you have solutions. When you do offer solutions, you’ll get your targeted audience to lean in for proof. What a great time to offer stories and testimonies of success. Make your persona the hero of each story because they turned to the church to discover the solution. Should every communication be spiritual? No. But every conversation should be aware of her spiritual needs. And the temporal thread you become known for should easily connect to the eternal scarlet thread of the gospel of Christ. Your church needs to discover its thread (a solution), making sure it contains keywords that your audience is seeking, then educating your congregation knows how to use it to attract people in the community, engage them to fellowship and weave it into the gospel story.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and Executive Director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.