Effective church communication involves much more than who thinks they are right and who doesn't. It matters much more than who likes what or who is not wanting to change a way they've "always done" something. It also means you don't change things or do away with something because somebody went to a big church conference and that big church that did this or that and to be like that big church you think you need to do exactly the same thing.
Don't look at another church or trend or internet article to know what to change or modify in the communication program in your church. To see what to do for communication in your church, you need to first look at your church.
- You look at lives.
- You look at behavior.
Are these changing or not as a result of your communications? Are the changes you see helping people come to know Jesus or grow in their faith? That is the measure of success.
Keeping score starts by simple counting
This is not rocket science. You create events or ministries to introduce people to the Christian faith or to help people grow in their Christian lives. They have to get there for that to happen. Therefore effectiveness in church communications is determined first by attendance, the simple numbers of people who respond (or didn't) after you created and distributed your communications to market, inform, and get people to the event. This is how you start the evaluation process of what works and what doesn't in church communications. Like success in a game, you take score.
The score is determined by asking questions such as these and recording your response:
- Did you do a mailing? Send a postcard? An email? Web announcement? Pulpit announcement? Share on social media?
- Did you equip your people with communication tools? Connection cards, postcards, website links?
- Based on those actions, then how many people attended event? How many were new to the church?
The simple numbers of how many new people attend the church, why and what brought them there is important because you cannot start the road toward sharing the message of salvation and growing people to Christian maturity without people first getting inside the church and becoming part of the process. Whether your church accepts individuals as believers with a simple confession of faith after one visit or whether becoming a Christian is defined by a series of explorations and classes, followed by a decision and baptism, or any combination of these events, whatever your tradition, it must start with simple attendance.
Be honest in record keeping and evaluation
If you put on a Christmas or Easter outreach event and you spend thousands of dollars, what was your return on investment? Again ask the questions above: how many are now attending the church because of the event? How many have become Christians because of the event?
I suspect far too many churches do Christmas, Easter, and other holiday events because the people currently attending the church really like to put on the events. To decide if this is the primary motivation—track the results. To repeat: how many new people are now attending the church because of the event? How many have become Christians because of the event? Or is it primarily members of your congregation and a few scattered family members who only come to big events who attended?
If you aren't honestly tracking costs and results, why not?
Even without tracking it, if you know the answer is something like "We didn't do a very good job of communicating it to people outside the church and we can't honestly point to anyone who is now attending or who has come to know Jesus because of it," here is how you can change that:
You can learn to communicate more effectively so that your holiday events will yield measurable results in the future. We have lots of articles, ideas, and templates on this site that will help you. Be sure you are signed up for the newsletter to be sure you get notification of new ones. Even more, one of the best ways to do that is to take the Church Communication Training School in-depth course on Successful Seasonal Strategy . The course will help you understand what communications you need before, during, and after your event, how to involve the entire church, and how to honestly evaluate the response. It will show you how Seasonal events can not only grow your church in numbers, but your people in discipleship maturity.
We can't recommend the course enough. You spend a tremendous amount of time and energy on special events, with the proper strategy, you can get a much greater impact from that work.