20 Jun How to Build Your Church’s Communication in 3 Simple Steps
No matter what kind of organization you are trying to manage, streamlining communication is an important part of keeping a group united. In the case of churches, community organization and interaction are of the utmost importance. Frequently operating as community centers on top of places of worship, there are many reasons people become involved in church happenings and would want to stay up-to-date on events. To keep your congregation, and any others who utilize your church’s resources, “in the know,” you’ll need to establish consistent communication with them. One of the best ways to let your congregation know that their needs are your concern is by keeping them frequently updated. By staying in touch with your congregation, your church community will blossom and feel more connected with each other and their church leaders. A well informed and united church community is key to maintaining a safe and active space where people can comfortably worship and engage in other social activities. Here are three ways you can improve the communication in your church to help ensure a happy and healthy community.
1. Find the right emailing service for you.
Electronic newsletters, especially ones sent out on a consistent and reliable basis, are a great way to get information to a large group of people at scheduled times. By keeping your newsletters scheduled, people in your church community will come to expect details about the comings weeks or months at the same time. It’s easy to get old-timers and new additions alike to join an e-newsletter. By simply offering up their email with no added commitment, a church member can feel safe sharing their information knowing that their contact information will be respected and used only for church related content. Choose a trusted platform that allows members to opt out of the emails at any time (maybe they move and join another church), and everyone on your list will feel more comfortable being included in your internet interactions. Mailchimp is one popular listserv platform with lots of free options and templates. It’s a secular site, but very easy to use with tons of design options. Flocknote is another newsletter site that is geared specifically for churches and their needs. Tutorials and pricing options are available on their site, and they even offer easy step-by-step instructions that help you figure out the plan most appropriate for your congregation’s needs.
2. Stay active!
Email newsletters are a simple, scheduled way to get messages out to your community, but there’s a good chance that a lot of the people in your congregation are active beyond a monthly email. Create a Facebook page! Create a Twitter! Allow your congregation ways to both engage with you and spread your messages even farther. A great way to get your flock to grow is by allowing your current members outlets to share their missions, and passions, and love of their church with their friends, family, and extended community. Post articles on Facebook about religion related issues, charity events, or other causes your church would find pertinent. Create Facebook events and actively invite your Facebook followers to “join” these events online, further showcasing church involvement online. A Twitter account is a great way to put out quick and frequent messages that express your church’s mission. Are you reading from a specific religious text at the next service? Tweet out some verses. Encourage a conversation to happen amongst members of your congregation online while they are away from their place of worship. This tightens the bond of the community and actively engages people who may not attend your church by letting them see how excited members of your church are to interact with you online. Social media is a very easy way to start bigger conversations and is very low-risk as you develop your presence since no money is involved. Plus, it’s 2016 — social media is the go-to platform for reaching younger audiences and older, alike. The upkeep is simple and the payoff can be really fun!
3. Remain Mindful of Your Style of Communication.
Are you providing people ways to communicate back to you? Are you moderating online conversations for positivity and focused values? Is everyone actually being treated as equally informed? Are people having fun? These are important questions to ask yourself when establishing a more formal mode of communication between your church its community members. A church is a space to grow and expand in your faith and with your community. It’s super important for people to know they are being treated equally and that their contributions matter. No one wants purely one-sided communication that limits the ability to ask questions, present challenges, or offer new ideas. Always remember that the words of your congregation are equally as important as the messages you want to share with them. Without them you’d have noone to talk to! WIth that being said, in community discourses, both online and in real life, disagreements can occur. Make sure that all communication amongst members that you are facilitating is being moderated for polite language and behavior. Not every utilizes identical communication skills, and what feels normal for one person may feel too blunt or overbearing to the recipient. Remain present and open to conflict resolution. Also, a few jokes never hurt! People are far more likely to follow you on social media or sign up for newsletters if they know they have something to look forward to beyond a calendar of events.
With these tips you can radically alter and improve the way that your church interacts with its leaders and its community. Most people do not attend events at churches every day, with some only attending a traditional once a week service. By implementing and encouraging active communication between you and your congregation you can increase attendance while also simply keeping everyone informed.