If you are involved with church communications, you will be required to say no. Personally, I find that difficult. I don’t want to hurt feelings or seem like a ministry is unimportant. But the success of our communication depends on saying no. Saying no moves the mission forward and allows people to take their next steps toward Jesus. It also means avoiding the Cheesecake Factory syndrome of church communication.
Here are three ways you can make your no feel like a yes.
1. Offer alternatives.
I might say no to an on-stage announcement but yes to a social media post. I may deny a request for a special bulletin insert but suggest the ministry leader make personal invitations in their small group. I’ve found that many ministry leaders are open to other suggestions; they just need someone to point out alternatives to the Sunday bulletin or an announcement from the pastor.
2. Establish clear guidelines.
This is where your communications manual comes in handy. It outlines your strategy and priorities that you can point to and share with your ministry leads. Take the time to educate your leaders on how you prioritize communication exposure levels. If they understand the strategy, they are more likely to understand your reasoning.
3. Encourage your leaders.
Let them know you are for them and their ministry. Ask them about their goals and offer ways to achieve them. Be available and help them evaluate along the way.
What about you? How do you say no well?
What is good? It’s subjective term and difficult to define. For example, I may think that $60 is a good price for a pair of jeans but my husband would not.
“Good” communication gets trickier to identify in church communication. How do we determine good communication? Does it mean more people signing up for events? Does it mean an increase in Facebook likes? Maybe.
Here are three ways to identify good communication:
Good communication clarifies mission.
The mission should be your communication filter – everything flows through it. It if doesn’t support or move the mission, do you need to communicate it? Your mission should be backbone of your communication strategy.
Good communication helps people take next steps.
Good communication helps people grow deeper in their relationship with your church, others and God. Poor communication produces stagnation. Good communication reduces barriers and creates pathways.
Good communication moves the mission forward.
Does your mission statement hang on your wall or does it flow through the lives of congregation, volunteers, members and staff? If your mission is not moving forward, evaluating your communication system may be an appropriate first step.
What about you? What do you think are ways to identify good communication?
Yesterday, I received a card in the mail from a member thanking me for my help while he was traveling on a missions trip. It completely brightened my day. Why? It was special. It was hand-written. It wasn’t a typed form letter. In other words, it was personal.
Communication has more impact if we make it personal. I’ve never framed a form letter, but this card is now pinned at my desk.
In the digital age, churches still need to create opportunities for personal communication. How can you make it personal at your church this week?
Here are a few ideas for personal touches:
1. Write (actually, write…with a pen and paper) follow up letters to first time guests.
2. Call a volunteer at staff meeting to thank them.
3. Offer name tags on Sunday morning.
4. Have your Connections/Welcome Team deliver a gift basket to recent guests.
5. Learn names! (A tough one for me 🙂 ).
Your turn. How do you create a more personal church experience?