Communication is Key
Donald Freeman Jr.
Effective communication is vital to the local church’s mission in its community. With the ever changing methods, the church must stay at the forefront in utilizing all means possible to reach people with the gospel. Here are a few communication avenues that churches should consider.
* Web Sites – Eighty-two percent of Americans use the internet. In today’s culture, your Web site is the front door to your church. Make sure your site is current, well-maintained and offers basic info on your church such as: When and where are your services? What do you believe? What ministries are available?
* Blogs – A blog is basically an online journal published for the world to see and respond to. Pastors should blog about a subject they’re passionate about. Inherently, that will involve items related to helping grow the reader’s relationship with God.
Visit these church/minister blogs:
* John VanPay, Gateway Fellowship Church (http://vanpay.wordpress.com/author/jvanpay/)
* Mark Batterson, National Community Church (www.evotional.com/)
Easy to use software to get you started:
* TypePad (www.typepad.com/)
* WordPress (www.wordpress.org/)
* Blogger (www.blogger.com/)
* Podcast – A podcast is like a radio show, except you listen at your convenience by downloading it either to your computer or to an iPod or MP3 player. Many churches are employing this method to make their services and other resources available to all via the Web. Sample podcasts: (http://ag.org/top/Media/Podcasts/index.cfm)
Getting started requires:
1. A Microphone – (www.founderstelecom.com/cocohectosow.html)
2. Recording Software – Audacity, free (www.audacity.sourceforge.net/)
3. Hosting – PodShow Network, free (www.podshow.com)
* Social Networks – Social networking sites allow users to create a profile about themselves, share photos, journals, videos and interests with a virtual network of friends. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.
For churches, these networks can strengthen relationships, maintain contact with members who may have moved, and make the pastoral staff more approachable. Examples include: MySpace (myspace.com), Facebook (facebook.com), and Circle Builder (circlebuilder.com).
* E-Mail – The majority of Americans have e-mail. E-mail is an inexpensive means of communicating to large groups of people at one time. Free e-mail options include: Gmail (gmail.com) and Yahoo (yahoomail.com).
* Video Conferencing – Skype is software that allows you to speak over the internet with anyone in the world for free. Key features include video calls and video conferences. Contacting a missionary on the field for a live video interview during a service is one example of Skype’s potential use in a church setting.
Getting started requires 1) a Web cam and 2) Skype Software (free at www.skype.com).
* Communication Systems – Iris™ (Immediate Response Information System) acts as an emergency crisis response system or a routine message distributor to send announcements or even emergency messages to church members. The system will reach recipients by all devices at virtually the same time: telephone, cell phone, digital pager, fax, wireless PDA device, email, computer system tray icon, Amber alert and LED signs. Visit www.techradium.com.
* Print – Print communication options include: 1) local newspaper (ads, articles, opinion pieces or letters to the editor), 2) newsletters and 3) flyers.
* Church Logos – Brand recognition is one of the best ways to promote and spread word of your church. An effective way to establish brand recognition is by creating a logo. For example, when you say the word ‘McDonalds,’ a picture of the golden arches comes to mind. The same goes for the bell in ‘Taco Bell’ and the cowboy hat in ‘Arby’s.’ While the goal of local churches may not be national recognition like food chains, a well-made logo can gain awareness with local residents and media. Remember that for many, the logo will be the first impression they have of your church, so it is important to have a good quality image, cohesive color scheme and to be consistent in usage.
1. Quality: The quality of a logo says a lot about the quality of the product it represents. The quality of a church logo says a lot about what a visitor might expect from your church. For example, a highly pixilated or stretched image makes for a sloppy finished product and might send the message that you do not put much stock or pride in the service you offer. On the other hand, a sharp professional image sends a message that you are proud of the message you offer and want to share it with others.
2. Color Scheme: The color scheme of a logo can make or break the effectiveness. Avoid overwhelming the reader with too many colors. The name and message of your church can get lost in an overly colored, overly designed logo. Choosing two colors that work well and complement each other is very eye appealing and cost effective.
3. Consistency: Once you have established the design of your logo, including image and color, remember to be consistent as you begin to use it. Confusion may arise if the logo is always changing in size, color and placement. Repetition, on the other hand, is the best way to establish brand recognition.
Your mission as the church is to reach out to the lost in your community and spread the message of Christ. A well-designed logo accompanying the materials coming from your church office is a great way to establish brand recognition and respect. As they associate your logo with the ministries and outreaches of your church, the community will be drawn to the message you offer.
* Multimedia – Multimedia includes TV and radio spots, billboards and media campaigns such as Nothing’s Too Hard for God (nothingstoohardforGodcampaign.ag.org).
* Final Note – While technology is making great advancements, there’s still no replacement for the personal touch communicated through a handwritten note, phone call or personal visit.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Communication is Key” by Donald Freeman Jr. was excerpted from: wwww.ag.org web site. November 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.