With more and more churches becoming savvy in all areas of digital, mobile, and print communication, if not carefully orchestrated, it can be easy to over-communicate with the members you care most about. The last thing you want to do is to allow technology to get in the way of ministry. If you’re sending too many text, email, and voice messages along with occasional snail mail, all that communication can sometimes have the opposite effect—it turns people off to your church.
Below are three dangers of over-communication the Church should avoid if at all possible:
1) You say too much
As Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Communicating just for the sake of always being in front of your members is by itself not a great reason to communicate. Choose to communicate carefully all the while respecting the valuable time and attention of the people you are here to serve.
- Within a voice message sent to people’s homes or mobiles, don’t talk too long, keep it short and sweet.
- In your email, keep it to the point, use short paragraphs and bullet points when you can. If you have a long story to tell, include a paragraph with a link to the rest of the article online.
- In your text messages, keep it very terse and use simple language that can’t be taken out of context.
2) You communicate via too many methods
Honestly, nothing is more annoying to most people than sending the a barrage of messages throughout the week. Try not to text people one day, send a long email newsletter another day, then hit them up with a long-winded voicemail message later in the week. Streamline all the important touchpoints of communication and be strategic about how and when you reach out.
- Group together folks who prefer text messages to email or voice; reach out to them with short messages or reminders of events that they would be interested in or are already signed up for.
- Aim to send specific ministry news to members who have opted in or volunteer in that area of ministry instead of to the entire congregation.
- Avoid reaching out to the entire congregation through mail, email, and voice all at once unless there is a real emergency, time change, or some other really important reason.
3) You communicate too frequently
It’s easy to forget something in the church-wide email and decide send a second email with an update, but you run the risk of annoying people with too much frequency. Same goes for text messaging. Unless you’re the high school pastor and are constantly in personal communication with kids, there’s usually not a good reason to text people more than once a week. I typically remind my Bible study group of our Thursday morning get together the night before and send one email a week with details on our lesson sent in enough time for them to prepare. When you reach out too many times, people begin to tune you out.
- Limit text messages to once or twice a week.
- Limit church-wide email to once a week, or once every other week.
- Limit voice communication to one voicemail a week.
- Limit your Facebook posts to one or two a day.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a church technology communication expert to help you develop a plan for your digital church communication strategy, I invite you to check out One Call Now, a leader in faith-based messaging. They have a whole division devoted to assisting churches in communicating with the members through voice, text, and email.
How frequently do you communicate with your members via email and text?