When Larry Kramer, founder of the successful MarketWatch website, took over as the new publisher of USA TODAY he made some comments that provide a challenge to communication ministries in churches when he talked about how he wants to give people the news. He said, “The paper will build ‘closer relationships with our readers’ through new uses of technologies. ‘We’re going to give people what they want, when they want it, where they want it. You want it on your watch, I’ll give it to you. Or inside of your sunglasses.’ ” (http://wapo.st/Jw8EBg ) In the church, we may not have all these options to communicate through all the channels available to Kramer, but we have a world to reach with the gospel, so what can we do?
We don’t have the money, but we have the resources
Individual churches don’t have the money to provide communications in the multitude of channels—print, digital, and every variation imaginable in both these areas—in the ways that USA TODAY can. But that doesn’t mean churches can’t keep up with this constantly changing communication revolution with the resources that make them successful in every other ministry endeavor. That way is to realize that the task of providing communications in every channel needed for the church, isn’t a one-person job, but a challenge for the church body. No one person can keep up with technology; no one person can create all the communications needed for a church communications that ministers to all the people at all the church. In practical terms this means:
You need a communications team made up of people who are proficient with the various channels
Quit looking for one person who can do it all. You need a team made up of some who love print; some who dream in HTML code; some who love images; some who love type and words in order; some who can create a great postcard and others who can text with their eyes closed, some who love the discipline of a monthly newsletter with consistent columns and articles, others who gravitate to the free-flowing forms of social media. You need people who are good in person-to-person communications, people who love the web, and people who manage databases effortlessly.
Please reread the paragraph above. Many churches today think they only need to work on what they consider "cutting-edge communications" and that they need to get the youngest, most tech savvy person available to do them. But the church is made up of many people of many ages and skills, of many degrees of access to different technologies. As a church body, we must be committed to serving all of them.
As you do that, here are Four Suggestions on how to create and manage multi-channel church communications: [Read more...]