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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 VisionRoom.com and the author of Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement.

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A lot of comments were criticizing types of worship that they didn't like. Remember that different churches meet the needs of different people. You might like hymns, but someone else likes loud praise team songs. You might like in-depth sermons and others might like something lighter. Those differences were not what this article was about. People of various denominations looking for various worship experiences had ten similar things to say about looking for a church. Wandering into a tongues-filled church is far different than wandering into a KJV 1611 church then being disappointed. ALL churches should work on having clean and safe areas for children. My husband and I actually changed churches before we had children because our home church nursery was far from being clean and safe. ALL churches should work to have clear information about service times and directions on their websites/signs. ALL churches should encourage their members to be genuinely friendly. These are things that should be found regardless of one's personal taste in what they want from a church. It would be nice if websites had a sort of "what to expect" page for visitors as far as when services start, what they usually consist of, how children are handled, what to expect for communion or other rituals. This would make people feel welcomed. It's just like when you have someone in your home. You tell them where the bathroom is. You show them where to put their purse so your pet doesn't get into it. You point out drinkware and beverages. I think that many churches EXPECT that people will know what to do, but it can be very confusing going to a new church, even of the same denomination. Not knowing what to do can make people very uncomfortable. There's no reason not to make every effort to make everyone feel comfortable in church. And if a church does ALL it can and a person doesn't come back, it's not that the person is somehow unloving towards God. It could just be that the church wasn't what the person was looking for. This article was pointing out ways that churches could do better. I would like to comment about the whole "this is my pew" problem. A lot of schools have gone to randomly assigning seating from day to day in the lunchroom. This breaks up cliques and helps everyone feel included. Kids get to meet different kids than they might if they just sat at the same table all the time. Just think how it would be at church if everyone was encouraged to rotate where they sat and to never sit in the same pew in the same month. Talk about shaking things up!!
 
— Emalyn
 
A year ago in December we moved from Texas to Montana. At a Christmas Eve service we were told we were in the way and had to move to a back wall and stand the entire service. As we have met new people I always ask what church they go to. This would be a great opportunity for someone to invite us to their church, but no one ever has. We were very active in our church for over 30 years. It is hard being an outsider and being the new person. But I will get there.
 
— Beth
 
I have a lot to say but I will try to condense it because when its long nobody reads it all. I have traveled around the world with my Air Force husband and have attended many churches. The main reason I selected a church to attend was because I felt God had led me there and I heard the Word preached by a man of God. Some people are not looking for the right thing so they are not going to stay at any church. I go to a wonderful church where all people are treated equally and guest are our first priority. LOVE is what people are looking for whether they know it or not and when a church is built on the love of God LOVE will surround them and draw them in its circle. The best way to find the church you are looking for you need to pray about it and go to more than one or two churches to find where God wants you to serve. God love you and wants you to be a happy Christian. .
 
— Barbara Johnson
 

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