Avenues for communication and promotion are constantly changing. Is your church shifting with them? No longer does the church have to rely on people visiting a building, getting a church bulletin or driving by our signs.
Through the internet we can slide into search results, become part of a personal podcast ritual or appear on a social media wall. But we must have the right content to get people’s attention.
Here are three must-learn church communication lessons to ensure content gets discovered:
1. 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 listen for what you are about to say.
A church needs to know what name to say. Saying everyone’s first name is out of the question, so you need to understand the persona group you’re trying to engage. Perhaps it’s “young moms with school-aged children” that need your ministry.
Learn to get their attention by showing pictures of them, interjecting the word “moms” or asking questions with their name (i.e. “Are you a young mom?”). They’ll listen.
2. Learn to speak to their pain.
Once you know the group who is in your congregation and evident in your community, learn as much about it as you can.
God wants us to go further. He wants us to love the people. We need to understand their needs, concerns and seemingly unobtainable goals. That’s where they’ll need your 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 their pain and makes them 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.
3. Learn the solutions to proclaim.
Don’t say their names unless you want their attention.
And don’t speak their pain unless you have solutions. When you do offer solutions, you’ll get your targeted audience to lean in. 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? Not necessarily. But every conversation should be mindful of your persona’s spiritual needs.
And the temporal thread you become known for should easily connect to the eternal scarlet thread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Your church needs to discover its thread (a solution), making sure it contains keywords your persona is seeking, then educating your congregation so they know how to use the thread to attract people in the community, engage them in 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. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.