In the last few weeks, members of our church have given testimonies about how they found our church, why they came to visit, and the reasons they decided to stay. It’s been fun and encouraging to listen to people talk about the church I love—and to hear parts of my own story in what they have to share.
According to a Faithlife blog post, the main five ways people find churches are:
- Church websites
- Community events
- Social media
I’ve heard these five ways repeated over and over in the testimonies given at our church, and you’ve likely heard them as reasons for someone checking out your own church, as well.
The encouraging thing about this list is that your church has some control over these factors. While it might not be easy to move your church building to a new location, you can work on your website and social media accounts, host or attend community events, and equip your members with ways to spread the news about your church.
The downside to this list is that four out of the five ways to find a church deal with communication. And if you’ve been in ministry for any amount of time, you know how difficult communication can be.
So how can your church office create an effective communication strategy? Here are three quick tips to get you started.
- Create a plan. Sometimes our strengths can also become our weaknesses. You’ve seen the youth pastor who goes to a conference and comes back full of ideas and energy—and then a month later, nothing has changed. Don’t let that happen. Before you start implementing any new communication ideas, it’s important to sit down, do the “boring” work, and come up with a good plan. A good plan includes deciding the tasks that are most important, assigning work to the right people, deciding on dates for the items that need to be done, and creating some form of accountability around your project.
- Consider your audience. Who are the people who go to your church, and who are the people you are trying to invite? Make sure you write all your communications to these specific people. If you know younger audiences are following you on social media, then be sure to focus on young adult and family events on your social media accounts. If you have an event coming up for those who are 50 or older, make sure to communicate that event in ways that audience will be most likely to see the information.
- Build trust with your community. In the end, the goal is that your church community will see your communication and will want to take action and join in your events. People are most likely to come to your church if they feel like it’s a community they can trust, so be sure to create a feeling of trust in your communication style. Use a warm, approachable style so your writing sounds more like a conversation and less like a memo. But most importantly, only share what you should be sharing. If you want to share testimonials or prayer requests, be sure you are doing it in a way that is helpful, not harmful, to your members.
Start your church communications plan today.