Gone are the days of weekly bulletins listing announcements and events. Churches are moving away from printed information and moving more exclusively to digital communication. This transition is not always easy and many people struggle with the change.
The world is becoming more and more digital, and churches must make that transition as well if we are going to stay relevant.
Communication, however, is still vital to church community and growth, and as leaders, we need to continue to make it a priority. This means leading our members in understanding and using new forms of communication to make sure we all stay connected.
Instead of looking at this change as overwhelming or uncomfortable, we can help members understand how exciting it is that we have so many ways to communicate in this new digital age. We now have the ability to communicate in real-time with people all over the world. This increases dramatically the ability to stay up to date with what is going on in each other’s lives, in our city, and in the world. It also gives us access to so many more powerful ways to share the Gospel, even internationally.
Some churches are actively using digital and online platforms, while others are still figuring out how to make the transition. For those who are just introducing some new forms of communication to their members, here are 3 ways to begin using these platforms to stay connected as a church.
- Use Mass Text Messaging: Although text messaging is not face-to-face, it is still a more intimate way to communicate than email. It feels more personal to receive a text message on your phone, rather than an email message. However, through mass text messaging you can effectively communicate one message to 6 people in a group or to hundreds in your congregation. This is a great way to communicate prayer needs, event details, or announcements. And you can also use autoresponders. Autoresponders are a great way to send out information to guests and new members or send out daily devotions to a large number of subscribers.
- Use Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are amazing tools that can be used in so many ways to connect members and non-members with what is going on in your church. It is important to remember that pictures and short videos are much more effective than typed text in grabbing someone’s attention when scrolling through their feed. Another useful tip is, when you post, look to be personal, positive and helpful. People want to know more about the individuals who make up the church and who the staff are over what time the service starts. Use social media to share a bit about your staff and your church community. People also respond to posts that are considered helpful to their lives, whether it be a short inspirational thought or information about something positive going on in their community.
- Use Realm: Realm is the perfect platform to use for planning events, registering, and allowing people to pay for attendance. You can also communicate through Realm any changes to those who have signed up for events. Your staff members and your church members can have the Realm app downloaded right onto their personal devices so they can quickly and easily have all the information they need about events right at their fingertips. Want more? Realm also has great group communication features that allow you to have ongoing conversations in the proper context in a secure environment.
Just beginning to use these three ways to communicate will allow you to immediately reach more people both inside and outside of your church. It may take a bit of practice, but you will find that they quickly make communication easier.
How is your church doing with utilizing digital communication? If you don’t use these forms of communication, what is stopping you from starting today?