3 Ways to Better Communicate Your Church’s Vision Blog Feature
Leah Norton

By: Leah Norton on June 18, 2014

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3 Ways to Better Communicate Your Church’s Vision

Leadership | Managing Facilities

Perhaps you know the feeling. You feel like you just preached your best vision sermon...but it fell flat. Your congregation just didn’t get it.

Maybe you’re building or renovating space, starting a new worship service or ministry, going multi-site, planting a church, or supporting an overseas missions effort in a new way. You know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And you try to clearly share this in a compelling manner. Then, you provide all of the supporting details. And you ask people to join this effort through their prayer, serving, and giving.

But they don’t. Why not?

There may be a variety of reasons why your communications efforts falter. But frequently we see communications efforts fall short because church leaders don’t understand what various members of their congregation really want or really need. We don’t take the time to understand people’s situations and what will motivate and move them. And until we know this, we’re not ready to communicate with them.

But we could be! Here are three ways to prepare to better connect and communicate your vision:

1. Sit down for coffee with stakeholders

Consider every person and/or group with which you want to connect. These folks might include:

  • The leaders of your church—pastors, staff, and elders
  • The leaders of your school/preschool/early childhood program
  • Lay leaders and those serving and invested in various ministries of your church
  • Regular attenders and members throughout the congregation
  • Guests and newcomers
  • All age groups throughout your congregation—children, youth, young adults, middle-aged folks, older adults, those who are homebound, etc.
  • Any other special groups throughout your congregation—charter members, long-time members, vocal members, etc.
  • Potential guests or others from the community

Then, invite some of these folks to coffee so you can hear their perspectives firsthand. Ask questions about their family, background, personal goals, hobbies, viewpoint of your church, ideas about the future, etc. By understanding multiple perspectives, you’ll be better able to create messages that resonate and inspire the congregation to rally around your vision.

2. Get regular feedback

Work with a communications review panel at your church. Consider forming a small group of folks of various ages and stages in your congregation. This group could occasionally meet to give feedback about your church’s communications efforts, tools, and upcoming messaging. Their thoughts, ideas, and questions can inform your communications planning.

3. Plan ahead

Work with your church’s communications leader or director to anticipate upcoming communications messaging. Develop a communications plan to consider all of the audiences, what they need to hear, when they need to hear it, and how you will connect and interact with them.

What else would you add to this list? What are helpful ways you’ve found to know your audiences and communicate well with them?

 

Leah Norton is lead communications strategist at Fishhook—an innovative church communications and creative services firm based in Indianapolis. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Leah joined Fishhook in 2005 after working in a public relations firm and corporate communications. You can reach Leah at leah@fishhook.us. Follow Fishhook on Facebook and Twitter.

 

About Leah Norton

Leah Norton is Managing Partner at Fishhook, based out of Indianapolis, IN. Fishhook is a communications team called to work with and encourage churches and ministries to help them communicate in clear, compelling and intentional ways. Leah has been helping to lead the team at Fishhook since 2005. Leah loves the local church and it shows when she, her husband and two teenage daughters are worshiping and serving together at their own church. Leah serves in the Guest Services area at her church and especially loves welcoming first-time guests and helping them get connected.