Throughout human history, voyagers in the Northern Hemisphere have used the North Star, that one fixed point in the sky, as a reference for navigation. And though in the church office, you don't rely on a physical star and though not all communicators throughout the world can even see it, it remains a good analogy for all of us that we need a fixed point to keep our eyes on so our work accomplishes the goal our Lord wants us to reach.
For church communicators that fixed point, our North Star, is the Great Commission, where Jesus told his followers and says to us today:
“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.” Matthew 28:18-20
We can summarize this command by saying we are tasked with:
- Helping people come to know Jesus as Savior
- Helping them grow into mature disciples
Both are commanded, but unfortunately many churches today stop short of developing their people into mature disciples. That is incomplete obedience.
As a corrective to this, for Effective Church Communications, our North Star and the one strategic and practical goal we have for all church communicators is:
To create communications that will help your church fully fulfill the Great Commission
The key phrase here is fully fulfill. Your communications should not stop at just bringing people into the church and involving them in uplifting worship services. They must help people become disciples.
How to do that?
Through The Five Steps of Effective Church Communications and Marketing
The Five Steps is a progressive way to organize and order your communications to take people from outside the church to mature discipleship. Here they are:
Step #1: Invite
Step #2: Inform
Step #3: Involve
Step #4: Instruct
Step #5: Inspire
The progression in evangelism or discipleship is not always obvious or explicit. An invitational postcard or social media post doesn't say "This is Step 1 and we are inviting you to an event where you can consider Jesus."
A clear podcast and notes on How we got our Bible and why we can trust it doesn't say, "This is Step 4 and you are being instructed in the Christian faith so you will become a mature disciple." But prayerfully progress is being made and lives are changed bit by bit.
I've been working on this system for decades and it has proven to be effective and inspiring to the people who have seen it in books, seminars, and online.
As part of my recent reorganization and updating of the ministry, I simplified the chart that illustrates it and following is the result. Following that is a link to the online class that explains and goes through the chart, though I trust the chart itself will make sense and help you see how you need a progression of church communications created with the goal of continuously moving people to the next step of Christian maturity.
Please download and share the chart. In the coming months I'll be adding additional online articles about it and I am redoing the book on the Five Steps of Effective Church Communications and Marketing (still a helpful book as it is, CLICK HERE to get a copy) to reflect the simplified chart.
The Five Steps of Effective Church Communications and Marketing Chart
Click on the image to download a copy of it.
To learn more about the Five Steps
Our training course that explains The Five Steps, identifies key communications for each step, and gives you tips how to make each one most effective is at our Church Communications Training School. Click the image below to go to the class.