Intentional Communication

Every day, your church stewards thousands of moments of truth. Every time a member talks to a neighbor, someone drives by the church facility, a ministry email goes out, or Facebook page is liked, some interaction on behalf of the church has transpired. Every time these events happen, the church’s vision glows brighter or dims in the tiniest little increments. The leader’s role is to crank up the wattage. The visionary cares too much about the message to let it just blow in the wind, unattended. Rather, he grabs his message and affixes it to a kite for all to see.

This can happen only with a tremendous amount of intentionality in the complex discipline of church communications.

There are three places I recommend church leaders to start:

First, remember that you either grab attention or hold nothing.

Today we have more secondary screens than ever: iPads, and smartphones (in addition to our computers and TVs). Each of these digital portals, has multiple channels that each reach for attention. They wave at you, scream at you and entice you. If your church has something to say you have to compete with attention scarcity like never before.

Second, we must communicate vision visually.

Churches today pump out communications all day long and miss the opportunity to constantly reflect and reinforce the vision. Yes, your church needs to brand — it’s not a four-letter word imported from the corporate world. Branding is about taking your Kingdom Concept and Vision Frame, and communicating them with consistent consistency across all communication platforms. The baseline of your visual brand contains three components: Logo, tagline and graphic identity.

Third, church leaders can broadcast their position.

The use of organizational communication and marketing should never replace the essence of a missional heartbeat: a life-oriented, conversation-driven, love-lavished pursuit of those whom Jesus misses most. But Jesus’ famous sermon was not “ in the valley ” but “on the mount. ” Jesus positioned himself to broadcast his message. If we propose to advance the gospel in and through the culture, we can’t afford to see the cultural use of communication as an enemy but as an ally. Use of social media and even traditional marketing tools can be a powerful support to personal evangelism.

These are exciting times to steward the most important message to be heard.

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Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of and the author of Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement.

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This resonated strongly with me. My pastor, a strong, wise, intelligent, and compassionate woman in her 40's, made the decision to take on my church almost 3 years ago. We were a very small, struggling congregation, facing closure. In our interview with her, we were very clear about the reality of our situation, and offered her an interim position, thinking that we would be closing very soon. She chose, instead, to be our called pastor, despite the odds facing her. She has gone over, above, and beyond in helping us stay afloat, but this has come at a great price, emotionally and physically. Because most of our congregants are older, they have limited energy and resources, and so many of the things which could be delegated by our pastor, she ends up doing herself, and so she faces burnout regularly. She has gotten better at taking personal time off, but I can still see that her spirit and energy are frequently flagging. And, even though we are relatively stable financially - due to renting our spaces to others - the added issues that come with renters occupy a lot of her time and energy. As her assistant, I do what I can to help ease these burdens, but I have limitations, as well, which prevent me from taking on more responsibilities. My fear is that my pastor will one day reach the end of her pastoral rope, and we may lose her. I will be sure to pass on this article to her, and continue to encourage her in her self care. Thank you for your frankness and insight.
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Even short mini retreats witb a group of colleagues is helpful... just sharing how it is withyour soul can move mountains of despair into the sea...
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Oh yes -- and were the mountains not five long hours away... but the occasional day when I just plain do not get out of bed is good -- and going to the movies is good -- OUTDOORS is good...all closer to home and not so much with the carbon footprint, you know?
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