Church communicators are being constantly challenged to meet the needs of their staff and congregations to present information effectively and appropriately. This is no small task. Communication tools and techniques rarely stay the same; tactics continually change. Yet, while tactics can change, good communication skills are essential and it can be beneficial to step back, refine, and grow as a church communicator.
Below are eight excellent books that tackle various aspects of church communication (in no particular order):
#1 – Rethink Communication by Phil Bowdle
In Rethink Communication, Phil Bowdle walks through the new reality for what attendance, engagement, and attention look like for the church. Then he offers a practical communication playbook you can use to communicate anything in your church—and actually connect. These practical tips and proven strategies will work regardless of size, staff, or budget.
#2 – Less Chaos. Less Noise. by Kem Meyer
Do you ever wonder why people aren’t getting your message? You email, tweet, hang signs, create video announcements, send newsletters, and boost your posts … and the response isn’t what you want. Is anyone even listening? What if you could cut through the chaos and the noise and find the direct route to your audience? It’s easier than you think. Less Chaos. Less Noise. delivers proven “now” strategies for church communications–practical solutions and best-practice principles that build trust instead of walls.
#3 – You’ve Got This: A Pep Talk for Church Communicators by Kelley Hartnett
We get it: Church communication can be a challenge. You feel overworked, overwhelmed, and overloaded. Honestly? Some days you’re just over it. More than the bulletin bloopers, greeter goofs, and crazy calendar, it’s the stuff behind the stuff that’s really taxing: unmet expectations, perfection paranoia, and demoralizing doubt.
#4 – PR Matters: A Survival Guide for Church Communicators by Justin Dean
Is your church prepared to handle a crisis well? Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with negative comments on social media? Are you afraid to try new communications methods? In PR Matters, Justin Dean provides practical advice on how to communicate the gospel well and reach more people in a world that wants Christians to be bland.
#5 – The Comeback Effect: How Hospitality Can Compel Your Church’s Guests to Return by Jason Young & Jonathan Malm
The key to growth as a church, youth ministry, or a business is getting first-time guests to come back. And as any good manager of a hotel, a store, a restaurant, or an attraction knows, the key to getting guests to come back is not actually the rooms or the product or the food itself; it’s how guests feel when they’re there. It’s about hospitality. No matter how much effort and time we spend on excellence–stirring worship time, inspiring sermons, a good coffee blend in the foyer–what our guests really want when they come to our churches is to feel welcome, comfortable, and understood.
#6 – The Social Media Gospel by Meredith Gould
f you are responsible for managing digital communications in your parish, staying current with trends in the rapidly changing world of social media can seem like an overwhelming task. Which social medium platforms make sense for your church community? How can you make them an effective tool for ministry? As a veteran social media expert, author, and sociologist, Meredith Gould has helped answer these questions and more in her best-selling book The Social Media Gospel. In this second edition, Gould provides an easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide to digital ministry for those wishing to embrace new technologies to build community and deepen faith.
#7 – Church Marketing 101 by Richard L. Reising
Over 90 percent of all Christian churches in the United States have fewer than 200 members. While they vary in shape, size, ethnicity, and denomination, they have one thing in common: the desire to grow. So why is it that some churches fail to grow for years, while other congregations in the same community increase exponentially? The problem, says church marketing authority Richard Reising, is that most churches should not be doing promotion. Instead, they should focus on the preparation that will make members eager to invite others. In ChurchMarketing 101®, he demystifies basic marketing principles for the church, evaluates them against biblical principles, and illustrates how simple changes can remove roadblocks that hinder members from reaching out.
#8 – Streamline: How to Create Healthy Church Systems by Michael Lukaszewski
You are confident of your calling. You are leading a church with an important mission. You’ve got a carefully worded vision statement, a set of core values, and leaders who say they want to make it happen. But does it feel like you’re not making any real progress? Does it feel like you’re stuck solving the same problems over and over again? Does it seem that you’re always talking about potential, or tomorrow, or after the next hire? After twenty years in ministry, I’ve learned that passion isn’t enough. You can have a clear mission, but without organization, you won’t get everyone moving in the right direction. You can preach about the vision, but if you don’t have a clear path ready for people, your vision talk will be just talk. I bet you don’t have a mission problem, or a facility problem, or even a volunteer problem. I know it’s trendy to talk multi-site, and popular to run a 40-day campaign. New service times, new programs, and new websites are like candy that captures attention in the checkout aisle. But it’s likely these aren’t the issues holding you back. You can start new services and hire a branding company to create a new website, and three years from now you’ll likely be in the same place. That’s because you’re knee-deep in a system problem. Streamline will help you create and implement healthy systems across all the departments in your church.
Other helpful articles on church communication: