Editor's Note: Scott Vaughn, a church communications consultant, recently posed these questions in a discussion forum for church administrators. Vaughn, whose firm helps churches and faith organizations, is quoted extensively in "Bringing Joy to the World: A communications strategy to reach more people at Christmas—and beyond," which appears in our current issue of Your Church magazine. We thought the questions serve as a helpful, quick assessment for church leaders and administrators; many of the themes addressed here also are covered in other articles of our current issue, including best practices for websites and using tech and nontech approaches for communicating with members and the community:
As you approach 2010, consider these 10 questions to discuss your church's communication efforts:
1. How does our current communications methodology compare to what we were
doing five years ago? Are we changing with the way people in our church are
2. Do we talk about a communications budget as an expense or an investment? Are
we strategic in using our communication to advance our mission to make
followers of Jesus? (Remember, a successful communications strategy leads to increases in participation and giving to the budget).
3. Are we talking with, and listening to, our members and attendees and making
adjustments in how they want to "receive" information from us?
4. Is more than 50 percent of our communications budget needlessly paying printing costs?
5. Who do we visualize as the primary user of our website? Is the website
streamlined for that user?
6. What are the technological competencies of our communications staff? Are we
investing in that?
7. Are we making knee-jerk and last-minute decisions related to
communication that could lead to over-spending and poor spending?
8. Are we budgeting $100 per household to reach and keep families? How much are
we investing, through communication, to strengthen relationships with each
family? How does that compare to the world's investment to keep families
away from us?
9. What inexpensive or no-cost ways are we exploring to communicate with
10. What systems are in place to quickly build one-on-one and one-to-few
relationships with people at the front doors and ministry entrances to our
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