Church communication can feel daunting at times, even for the most experienced church communicator and pastor. Thriving churches communicate in ways that simplify this process and focus on getting the message to their audience with ease.
With so many church communication tools to use and channels to manage and monitor, it is crucial to avoid getting overwhelmed and to stay focused on sharing the most important messages. There are successful strategies and tech tools that thousands of thriving churches use to enhance and improve their communication. These strategies can actually help take church communication to a whole new level.
Here are the top 10 ways thriving churches communicate:
#1 – Thriving Churches…send targeted messages that are relevant to the people receiving them.
Families without children do not need to get messages about the youth trip next month, but they would be interested in upcoming small group opportunities. Making sure your messages are sent to the correct audience is vital. Set up text groups based on affinity and life stage to avoid sending the wrong message to the wrong person.
#2 – Thriving Churches…provide multiple sources for people to check in on Sunday.
Everyone in a congregation is going to prefer a different method of communication. Providing multiple options for people to get their messages is also an opportunity to gather accurate information. By offering text messaging, phone, email, and even print communication in some situations, you can communicate with your members in the way they prefer to receive their communication.
#3 – Thriving Churches…boost their attendance by text-inviting their members to church.
Text reminders are received at the source nearest to every person – their smartphone. The process is super simple too. Just send a quick message on Wednesday and Saturday inviting people to the new series so they can keep your service in mind as they plan their week.
#4 – Thriving Churches…follow-up with their guests for six weeks.
Do not let guests slip through the cracks after they visit your church. Guests need multiple follow-up messages over a six-week time frame to keep your church in focus and to build new relationships. One or two messages after a visit are not enough. Dedicate communication time to guests.
#5 – Thriving Churches…send thank you messages to their volunteers.
After an event or even just a Sunday service, send a quick message to your volunteers saying, “Thanks for using your gifts and spending your morning serving at City Church! You are appreciated!” This goes a long way toward helping members feel valued.
#6 – Thriving Churches…prioritize communication with the future generations of the church.
Youth are constantly on their phones staying connected with their friends. Make sure your church is reaching out to them too. This is an easy way to stay connected and let them know they are an important part of the life of your church. Share brief messages of thanks or support, and ask if there is anything your team can be praying about for them. Texting youth members before youth group meetings is another quick and easy way to share reminders, which are especially useful if they are supposed to bring or prepare something for the meeting.
#7 – Thriving Churches…keep parents in the loop.
One of the most powerful ways to keep your church thriving is to help foster a healthy relationship between parents and their kids. Families look to the church for guidance as they raise their children, and what better way to help connect them. Send a quick message to the parents in your congregation about what topic you are studying in youth group and perhaps suggest a few questions they might talk about with their kids at home. As a bonus, if you really need your youth to bring something to the group meeting, or arrive on time for an outing, keeping the parents in the loop can also help avoid any hiccups.
#8 – Thriving Churches…send personalized messages.
Make your messages personal. Not just by using people’s names, but in the message as well. If you are writing to one person in your congregation, then write your messages like you are writing only to them. Avoid too many overly formal or wordy messages.
#9 – Thriving Churches…use digital check-in systems at events.
When a digital check-in system is used at an event, it is a prime way to gather accurate contact information for members and guests. With accurate information, follow-up invitations can be easily sent in order to welcome people back. Prompt follow-up can make it easier to create deeper connections and build better relationships.
#10 – Thriving Churches…send short messages that promote follow-up action.
Churches can promote action by sending short text messages that drive people to access more information on the church website or in follow-up email messages. Send a short, intriguing message with a link to your website or tell people to check their email for more details. This keeps text messages short and informative, and also shows people the other ways they can learn about your church to stay connected.
Communication Builds Trust
Churches do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to communicating with their congregation or guests. Think about building relationships in your personal life and what makes them successful. How did you earn trust, build rapport, and make people feel important? Thriving churches communicate using the same key themes needed to build lasting relationships in our personal lives:
- Asking Questions – People tend to tune out if they are always asked for things or told them to do something. Conversations are enhanced by asking good questions and truly listening.
- Keeping it Short – Give people options to learn more and ways to find additional information so they can digest it in their own time. Try not to overwhelm people with too much at one time.
- From the Heart – All communications from your church, whether written or spoken, need to feel like a one-on-one conversation with the other person.
- Say ‘Thank You’ – Showing gratitude, even for the little things, goes a long way toward building trust and cultivating an atmosphere of appreciation.
Text messaging has become a must-use tool for the church. Text In Church’s Text Messaging Playbook is full of effective, yet simple, text messaging strategies and ‘copy and paste’ templates to help you better connect with your community.