Have you ever felt bombarded with messages?
Perhaps you are so over communicated with that you have had it with communication. You refuse to send even one more email, text, or phone call in fear of people actually responding directly to you with even more messages. Having our inbox fill up, or phone sounding off with text message responses continually can be exhausting and distracting. But, you are caught between a communication rock and a hard place.
The devil on one shoulder suggests turning off all communication in favor of letting them come to you, should they need to talk. The angel on the other shoulder is saying people love to engage with you and two-way communication with your members is vital to your ministry.
Three Easy Ways to Begin Two-Way Communication
Here are three introductory ways your church communication strategy can let your church members talk back and transform you from a one-way communicator to both a one-way and two-way communicator.
#1 – Provide Controlled Responses
Have you ever hit the ‘accept’, ‘deny’, or ‘tentative’ button on a calendar invite? Have you ever RSVP’d for an event through email? These are very controlled responses that quickly and efficiently provide two-way communication.
Using controlled responses to gather event/meeting attendance allows you to not only know how many are coming and how many are not, but you will also know who is coming and who is not. You can also see who has not responded and only target them with follow-up invitations, thus avoiding sending invitations to those that have already responded.
In your mind, don’t relegate this form of communication to just event invitations. Your communication strategy should include the capability to collect responses on any message you send to your members. Many standard communication tools might not provide you with this option. However, there are tools available that allow you to collect responses for all variety of messages.
*** Special note for our QuikKast churches, here’s a tip for you. Make sure you use the “Collect Response” feature every time you send a message. All email and text recipients can respond, and QuikKast will collect the response details in a single location and not overwhelm you with individual responses.
#2 – Give Frequent Chances to Respond
Start building in a simple response to selective messages. Make it a part of your standard messaging routine for interacting with your members. For instance, if you send mid-week messages to encourage small group leaders, ask them if the note encouraged them and give them an easy way to respond with:
- I needed this today!
Look for opportunities to allow people to respond, and if responding is easy they likely will. People like being a part of conversations, especially when they feel their thoughts, feelings and/or position on a topic are valued.
#3 – The Key to Success – Make it Fun / Publish Results
Design messages that ask interesting questions that get people talking. For instance ask members the following:
What do you think of skydiving?
- I would never do it!
- I would try it!
- I’ve done it!
Once the results are finalized, publish them for all to see. It will spark conversation amongst your members, and you will discover who are the risk takers amongst your members and those who are not.
Our communications tend be bland and uninteresting. Creative and fun messages keep people interested and coming back for more.
Maintaining two-way communication is possible. Controlled responses, even when done frequently, do not have to overwhelm your ability to receive the information in a very manageable way. And, when messages with controlled responses are done well, they get your members more engaged and talking amongst themselves.