Editorial note: I found this article when reorganizing the website. It was first written in 2009 and as I reread it I fear I sound excessively cranky. Do forgive me for that, but I think there are some worthwhile challenges in it and of course the purpose of the Effective Church Communication ministry is to solve the issues discussed here.
The church today is the butt of late night television jokes, the target of aggressive atheists, and if not openly attached, seen as irrelevant to everyday life. Why is this happening when....
- We have the greatest message: that Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, rose from the grave, and offers eternal life to all who believe in him.
- We have definitive, historical proof of the truth of our message: in terms of the history of people in the Bible and the textual support of biblical manuscripts, there is no other religion that can make the truth claims made by Christianity.
- We have extraordinary tools: churches today have undreamed of power to spread their message through computer-generated print publications and the power of the internet, websites, and social media.
- We have incredible people: people who work on church communications are extremely committed and dedicated.
- We have an incredible promises: the Lord has promised to be with us in all we do and to give us the power to do the tasks he asked us to do.
So why aren't we getting our message out there clearly?
Sadly, many church communications are not created strategically, with any well-thought-out purpose or plan. We throw things together (like the church bulletin) because we’ve all ways done it that way; we put up a website (great template, little content) because at a conference somebody said we have to have one; we get social media accounts because churches are supposed to have them, but don't have the time to update them or the energy to do much with them.
Finally, because we often work without strategic goals, we have no basis for measurement of how well we communicate the biblical message, how efficiently we use our resources, or how effective we are in reaching people with our church communications.
To remedy this situation, I'll discuss the following:
- Why we are ineffective in church communications.
- A proposed overall strategic goal and approach for effective church communications
Why we are ineffective in church communications:
Reason #1: We substitute spirituality for strategy
Though we k