Oops, you just broadcasted an important announcement to your entire congregation. Oh no! What are you going to do now?
Well, many of us don’t see anything wrong with this situation. We share announcements and notifications to our entire membership all the time. In fact, many of our habits as church leaders involve routine mass communications in every program we lead. Here are the five most common.
- Verbal announcements during service
- Printed announcements in the bulletin
- Digital announcements on our website
- Posted announcement on Facebook
- Mailed announcements in newsletters
By mass communicating through these common practices, we attempt to get the message to as many people as possible at the neglect of getting the message to the right people. And, as a result, we miss out on getting the message in the hands of those members who can impact the most change.
Here are three tips you can start using today to begin intentional communication with members, inspire action, and stop overlooking them in an attempt to reach the masses.
Step #1 – Who Needs This? Think carefully about which group of people in your church need to hear about or take action on the announcement or message. Making this determination up front will help you best route the message to those people who can benefit and most effectively fulfill the call to action you have from your announcement.
Step #2 – How Can I Reach Them? This is the million-dollar question. Most churches have not set up a communication plan to reach specific sub-groups of their members. Instead, they rely on ineffective email communication to the masses. If you happen to fall into the “emailer” category, check out our “Greater Than Email…” post about the brutal facts of email communication. Conversely, some of you spend hours on the telephone trying to call specific members individually. Stop taking these ineffective routes and start correcting this problem in your church by asking yourself…
- “Who are the most influential and active groups within my membership?”
- “Do I have telephone and mobile numbers, emails, and addresses for those members?”
- “If I had to get an important message out to one of these groups quickly, how would I do it?”
Step #3 – Make it Personal! A sad trend with electronic communication is how often we skip personal remarks and caring comments. We are too quick to get to the point. When you have important messages to convey, add one or two simple lines in your announcement (text, phone message, or email) to acknowledge that you are interested in how each recipient is doing or at the very least thank them for their contributions to ministry and their faithfulness. A quick personal touch will help you build relationships and open your members’ ears to what you have to say.
Today’s Take Away
Don’t try to cast the widest communication net possible and hope the right people get it. Target the right groups of people and deliver a slightly more personal message to them directly. You’ll be surprised at how much engagement you will get.