5 Tips to Improve External Communication
As leaders, we sometimes forget to view our church through the lens of an outsider. From new believers and first-time guests to non-churchgoers and casual attendees, we must acknowledge that the view of our church is different from the outside looking in. To better reach and attract these people, we need to think before we speak. Here are five tips to improve external communication and make these groups of people more comfortable and help them understand your vision.
1. Think of Your Audience’s Needs
The way that you address the details of acknowledging the needs of your guests and members is what communicates the loudest. Show churchgoers that you care about and appreciate them by thinking of them at every step. For example, put up signs at your services that instruct first-timers on what to do and have your team wear identifiable shirts or lanyards to mark them as staff. That way, attendees know where to go and who to talk to if they have questions.
2. Watch Out for “Churchy” Language
If you’ve been in the church awhile or were raised in the church, there’s some language we take for granted that we all know and understand. However, this isn’t a strategic way to make people who are new feel loved and welcome. You want to avoid insider language or practices that feel cliquish. For example, the phrase “worship with us” may intimidate the non-believer who doesn’t truly know what it means to worship.
3. Provide Clear Next Steps
Going to a new church can be a very intimidating experience and can leave a new guest unsure of what they should be doing. Communicate clarity of what to do next on your print media, in your videos, and with the team members that encounter those guests. They should be invited to fill out a contact card, to sign up for the intro class, or to go to the certain table for getting involved more in the church. Whatever it is, make it a clear next step.
4. Cast the Vision
Anyone who has been coming to the church or is new to the church should be able to know or point out where they can find the mission statement of the church. Having it in print on the website, posted on a wall, or stated in services just lays it out there. It communicates that this is what we are about. If you agree with us, then join us! This needs to be communicated succinctly (two to three sentences) and visibly so that all may know.
5. Implement Branding
Every person has a story. Stories connect people and your church can connect with people by communicating your church’s story. This is where branding comes in. From the colors and logos to wording and media, show people your church’s personality and people will become more likely to engage with it. It all comes together to communicate an unspoken message to everyone.