By Jonathan Howe
Bigger. Stronger. Faster.
It’s a mantra you hear from professional athletes and coaches all the time. Successful athletes and teams are often the ones who simply can do more than their opponents. That typically works in sports. But does it translate to other areas of life? Not always.
When it comes to business, efficiencies are often more important than being the biggest, strongest, or fastest. It doesn’t always matter if your sales are the greatest or if you have more customers. If your margins are low and your overhead is eating away your profits, efficiency can mean much more than size.
But what about churches?
More specifically, what about church communications?
I would suggest that instead of being concerned with simply communicating more, churches should be focused on communicating more efficiently and effectively. These four steps will help your church determine what efficient communications look like in your context.
- Determine what works best for your people. There’s no one-size-fits all communications plan for any church. Different churches need different methods of communication. If you listen to your congregants, ask for their input, and pay attention to what seems to resonate with them, you can determine what you should stop doing, keep doing, or start doing.
- Don’t be afraid to try new methods. Unsure if your congregation would respond to an email newsletter? Try sending one per month for a few months and see what the response is. Find champions for new technology in the church to help you spread the word about the benefits of different communications methods.
- Be persistent, but not stubborn or wasteful. Give a new communication initiative a few months before throwing it out. But don’t be afraid to kill something if it doesn’t take, even if you like it, or if you want people to like it. Don’t stick with a communication method just for your own benefit or pleasure. If it isn’t working, don’t continue to waste time and energy on ineffective communications.
- Use tools that foster efficiency. Software—both online and computer-based—is widely available for communications. You have templates in Mailchimp, design templates for Canva, and social media auto-schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite, dedicated social media apps for on-the-go posting. Use tools that work for your workflow and messages. Finding the right tool, or even a better one, can make a huge difference in the efficient use of your time and your message’s effectiveness.
Do you feel your church communications are efficient and effective? Or are you just trying to outshout the world to get your message out? What tools have helped you communicate more efficiently and effectively?