The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live, interact, and even how you communicate to your congregation. As masks have become in-vogue and social distancing has become mandatory, churches have had to respond with creative solutions that still reinforce a sense of community, belonging, and hope.
Church leaders have reaffirmed that communication is the key to maintaining an active congregation during these trying times. Communication is also paramount as we recover this year.
Reformulating operations for communication may feel overwhelming. However, an advanced Church Management Software (ChMS) solution can help you keep in touch with your congregation via their preferred methods of communication. A good pandemic recovery plan should include communication through text, email, direct mail, and social media.
Communicate Through Text Alerts
When you need to send quick information, there’s no better way to reach your congregants fast than by using text alerts. Studies show that 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes.
Text alerts are best for emergency prayer requests, sudden service updates, e-giving, and even as a way to deliver easy access to church bulletins on Sunday mornings.
Congregants should be able to opt-in to their preferred alerts. For example, parents can receive information about children’s services, but those without children won’t receive those alerts.
Communicate Through Email
Of course, email remains a tried-and-true method of regular communication. Because of email overload, emails aren’t always read. However, they’re almost always seen, as people tend to rifle through their emails each day like a regular to-do list. Sixty-one percent of people say they look forward to emails from brands they like.
Sending detailed information about upcoming events, regular prayer requests, or even a subscription newsletter allows congregants to stay in touch with what’s happening at the church. Keys to email success include a subject line that encourages opening the email and offering a singular call-to-action within the body of the email that opens the dialogue with your congregants.
Like text messages, people should have the ability to opt-in to what information they want. You also should enable them to exclude themselves from email messages that don’t apply to them or interest them. It may seem counterintuitive to not send all information to all members. However, the more control you give members to choose what they want to receive, the higher chance you have of your emails being read—because your emails become something readers want.
Communicate Through Direct Mail
Though direct mail has been regarded as “dying” for years, it’s still a very viable method of communication. Receiving physical mail can often break through the noise of the digital world and get a message to a mass audience. Seventy percent of people find direct mail more personal than online interaction.
Key direct mail pieces include the news you want to deliver with a “large net” such as special events for the entire community. But equally effective are handwritten letters to individuals. Many churches still prefer to reach out to visitors with snail mail because of its ability to feel personal in an impersonal world.
Communicate Through Social
Social media can feel overwhelming: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, Clubhouse…the list of players continues to grow. But one thing is for sure: People have used social media to stay connected during the pandemic. That’s why it’ll continue to be a strong method of communication for churches.
Help your congregation stay informed. Communicate to your congregation with status updates regarding church events, videos, photos, and unscripted thoughts about what’s happening around your ministry. Encourage interaction in comments and respond to every question with helpful information.
Communicate With a Strong ChMS Solution
Using various methods to communicate to your congregation is the key to maintaining connection during the pandemic and the recovery from it. Using today’s most popular means—whether it’s text, email, direct mail, or social media—is critical for church leadership. Thankfully, you don’t have to hire a communication team; you just need a robust ChMS like FellowshipOne to do the heavy lifting. Research the best ChMS solutions today so you don’t miss a beat.