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Fostering the Right Kind of Communication

Meredith Mahon Morris September 29, 2016

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Reaching church members with the right message at the right time is tough, quite frankly. As our society becomes increasingly mobile, churches have a great opportunity to reach people where they are. But as technology continues to advance, new challenges can, often times, rear their ugly little heads. How can pastors and small group leaders stay on top of the numerous messages while still juggling sermon preparation, lesson planning, social events and outreach?

Churches have a lot to say. They are constantly communicating to members. With constant communication, the primary challenge is providing transformational messages that still relay details. Reaching members where they are with messages they value is extremely important. The end result is increased engagement, assimilation and deeper relationships within the church. If communication is not done the right way, what are meant to be meaningful messages are merely reduced to white noise.

Pairing the right communication tools with the right strategy is a must if a church wants to ensure their members are in the know. A key component to a solid communication strategy is recognizing the importance that small groups play to ensuring people are being communicated with effectively. Simply calling or emailing someone in your church on a whim isn’t enough. And it’s definitely not okay to treat group members like a mass audience. There has to be two-way communication for it to be effective. The communication strategy should be built on a well-thought out process that includes multiple levels and ways to communicate, including email, phone calls, static and dynamic messaging around the church, texts and more.

So what are some ways to keep communication personal?

1)    Call key leaders and influencers and encourage them to communicate with their groups on a regular basis.
2)    Regular communication to your groups through email or text with encouragement, updates and prayer requests.
3)    Send direct messages or post on people’s Facebook walls. Include asking them to share events, post pictures or share posts.
4)    Listen to what people have to say using surveys and targeted questions. This will only help you get better.

Beyond that, make sure that the communication you are sending is clear and specific. Not everyone needs to be part of every conversation.

1)    Create groups in your church management software platform so you can easily message specific people who are relevant to what you are sending.
2)    Reminders, notifications and requests to specific groups work great. Not everyone will respond to the same kind of message, so keep that in mind.
3)    Group texts work well for collaborating with a small number of people about a project or event.
4)    In order to foster discussion within certain groups, limit your communication to the key leaders and influencers.
5)    Use social media for both broadcast messaging and messages tailored to specific groups. Chances are they’ll see it there first.

By creating systems, processes and tools that empower your leaders, staff and members to communicate, your people will become a conduit for all the great things your church wishes to communicate. As your groups connect, expand and communicate better, so will your church. For more communication ideas and solutions, download our new guide, “Grow with Good Group Communication.”

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