I recently asked our Insiders community how they would describe the state of church communications. The results quickly affirmed what I’m sure we all already know:
There’s a renewed emphasis on communication.
Communicators are tired.
We’ve allowed the urgent to overtake the important.
Sundays happen every seven days, so it’s certainly challenging to take a real break for evaluation time. So let me help. Let’s talk about three moments to seize on right now for church communications as a whole. Then I’ll give some advice about evaluating your own church’s communications.
A renewed emphasis on communications
Nearly a year ago (anyone else find it hard to believe that we’ve been in this situation for a year?!), our world got flipped upside down. Worship services stopped meeting in person. Schools shuttered. Midweek ministries all but ceased. Quickly, everything—and everyone—turned to online. Churches started Zoom prayer gatherings. We promptly started or increased our capacity for live streaming worship services. We turned to streaming services, online shopping, food delivery services—you know the drill by now.
For the state of church communications, this meant that suddenly there was a renewed emphasis on how (and what) the church communicates. All of a sudden, everything became a critical piece to communicate effectively. People in our congregations needed to know how to connect to Zoom; they needed to see when that weekly prayer call was happening; the congregation and the broader community needed to easily access the Sunday live stream.
The role of the communicator became a central piece to the church’s overall ministry strategy. (I’d argue the communicator should always have been an integral part.) Now that we’re here let’s do something with it! Now is a great time to think strategically. Communication is central to the work and ministry of the church. What are you putting in place now to ensure that the state of church communications retains its prominent standing whenever a new normal happens?
Communicators are exhausted
Whether you’re a Communications Director, a volunteer, or the Senior Pastor, I think this statement rings true: As a communicator, you’re tired. You’ve been running, basically nonstop, for the last year.
For many communicators, this renewed emphasis on communications also meant a sudden need without the time to plan or execute a strategy properly. And, for the most part, there hasn’t been time to build that strategy amid the pandemic. It’s been a year of playing catch-up.