No church wants to hurt momentum while seeking to save money, and no one wants to waste God’s money. Most churches are looking for a productive communication strategy while striving to stay within a budget.
Is that possible? Here are 5 ways I’ve discovered over my decades of helping churches.
Save in communication: branding. Church branding allows you to say less so they’ll listen more. In the long run, this investment will save money as your communication becomes more effective.
A good branding process will define audience potential and help your church find its niche in your community. A brand guide will also help you design things faster, speak in unison across ministries with a calming and unifying messaging, and get better community engagement.
Save in communication: teams. Establish a volunteer team structure to allow talented people in your church to participate in ministry and use their God-given gifts.
Each team needs a leader to ensure that volunteers follow a plan and process. The conductor can motivate and encourage the team.
Save in communication: tools. There are so many free (or almost free) tools available for the church. In fact, one of the biggest ways to save in communication?
Stop budgeting for paid tools when freebies exist. I’ve compiled as many as I know here: www.beknownforsomething.com/freebies/
Save in communication: websites. Having an online church presence can be expensive.
There are 3 components you need: a domain, hosting servers and a content management system. Once you have those set up, remember these tips: check around when your domain is up for renewal to make sure you’re getting a good price; search for shared hosting packages and keep in mind hosting should cost around $100 per year; and finally, find a content management system that works for the skills of the staff or volunteers setting up and maintaining the website. (Click here to read more about affordable and user-friendly website solutions from Hosted Church, a service of TAB Media Group.)
Ultimately for an online presence, ensure you’re getting enough speed, storage and service. Small churches may want to consider only using a Facebook page. It sounds crazy, but most website content can be delivered in a very believable way on this free platform. You can even redirect your URL (domain) to your Facebook page for free.
Save in communication: print materials. Reconsider print materials with their high price. If you have a website with the right content, you can really reduce your print footprint and save money.
Many people got used to digital-only communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use that momentum, and don’t restore what you stopped, or at least consider reducing the number of print materials you utilize.
Many churches have redirected a portion of their print budget to their website budget as a cost-saving measure. Just ensure your information is easily found on your website or on social media before reducing print.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.