Effective Church Communications (ECC) is the ministry behind the website: www.effectivechurchcom.com. ECC was founded by me, Yvon Prehn. Helping staff and volunteers who work in churches to create effective church communications is the goal of the ministry. I define effective church communication as:
Church Communication that fully fulfills the Great Commission
The Great Commission consists of the last words of Jesus to his followers:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt: 28: 18-20).
The way I summarize the Great Commission and apply it to church communications is to define effective church communications as communication that accomplishes two purposes:
- To help people come to know Jesus as Savior.
- To help people become mature disciples of Jesus.
Because fully fulfilling the Great Commission is how I define effective church communications, though other aspects of church communication are important, they are not primary.
For example to me effective church communication may not necessarily be:
- Cutting edge in technology
- Perfect in design and execution
- Always use the latest and greatest tools
Please don't misunderstand me. I love technology and am fascinated by what it can do. I greatly admire and strive for good design and execution. I don't ignore design and efficient execution, but these goals remain secondary to the vision of the Great Commission which strives to change the destinies of eternal souls.
What changes the direction of a soul is often different from what makes a secular marketing successful. From what might seem from a secular viewpoint a poorly designed, inefficiently created communication ministry that uses outdated software on barely functioning hardware, can have a tremendous effect on people. People come to know Jesus; hearts are healed; people grow in Christian maturity. God brought people to himself and grew them to Christian maturity long before the computer and web were created and He will continue to do it no matter what tools we do or don't use.
Though we have extraordinary tools today and they should be used as best we can with thanks for them, these tools and their mastery are not the most essential requirement for effective communication. (So don't feel bad if you don't have a new computer, a degree in design, and fancy software!) The essential requirement for effective communications and upon which I base my ministry is the desire to fully fulfill the Great Commission through every available communication channel.
Who the site is for:
When I'm working on materials for this site, I keep a variety of people in mind because in the church people in various positions, plus those who work as volunteers, are involved in the communication ministry. From my seminars and online interactions, here are the groups I create materials for:
- The church secretary who wants to create quality church communications, but who doesn't have formal training in design, typography, or communication creation.
- The church communicator who needs inspiration for a communication piece that's been done the same way since the founding of the church.
- The pastor who has no idea where to start in dealing with church communications, especially in this computer age. When you went to seminary, the computer wasn’t even invented, let alone things like blogs and websites.
- The pastor who grew up with computers and but doesn’t know how they mesh with a biblical view of communications or how to gently communicate with people who don’t tweet or text.
- The trained designer who can’t figure out why church people don’t appreciate her brilliant work, who still wants to serve the church, but doesn't know how.
- The church business administrator who must balance the budget with the communication needs of the church, if he could just figure out what they are.
- Anyone in church communications who is tired, worn out, and wonders if all the hard work is worth it.
I put all this together with people like the ones above, people like you in mind. You have all come to my seminars. You email me; you like me on Facebook. I see your faces. I remember our conversations, your frustrations, successes and sometimes tears. I pray for you often and fervently. I want to continue our conversations on this site and start new conversations with church communicators I haven’t met face-to-face.
I believe the ministry of church communications is worth all the hard work. I do believe heaven will be different because of the work you do. I want to help make the time when we all meet Jesus one of great joy because the communications you created helped people come to know Jesus as Savior and serve Him as His disciples.
For more about Effective Church Communications and Yvon Prehn
YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/yvonprehn
Postscript: a historical note about Effective Church Communications
For years I called my ministry The Lions Voice—that name was inspired by this verse:
The lion has roared—
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
so who can refuse to proclaim his message?
(Amos 3:8a, NIV and 3:8b, NLB)
I loved the name and it meant a lot to me. You'll still see it on some of my older material. I still legally have the name and website URL and may use it someday as the name of a publishing company.
But regardless of future use, when search engines became the primary way we find out about anything and everything, I realized that no one was going to google "The Lion's Voice" if they wanted to find out about church communications.
What to do? I decided to take my advice that I give to people for clarity in church communications and that is to listen to yourself—how do you explain things, how do you refer to ministries in your church if you are looking for a new name? When I listened to myself, I found in my seminars and writing was I was constantly challenging people to become effective church communicators. My seminars and much of the content I teach online are organized around the Five Steps of Effective Church Communication and Marketing. I define Effective Church Communication as church communication that does not stop at simply bringing people into church on Sunday mornings, but that works to “fully fulfill the Great Commission” and much of my website and ministry is about how to do that.
It seemed obvious that I needed to change the name of my ministry to Effective Church Communications. So I did the various legal things that needed to be done and the ministry has been Effective Church Communications ever since.