Improving Your Internal Church Communications | Jason & Bart

Bart Blair Leave a Comment

Jason and Bart discuss some practical steps and share some insight on improving your internal church communications

Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Hey, this is the Missional Marketing Podcast, I’m Bart Blair, joined by Jason Hamrock. Thanks so much for tuning in today, we know that you have a choice about how you use your time and with a bazillion podcasts that you could possibly listen to. well, we just appreciate you listening to ours. Jason, are you well today?

I am doing great, Bart. I’m excited about our topic today.

Yeah, we’ve got a great topic for you today. We don’t have a guest, we are the guests, we’re the special guests on this episode. Episode whatever of season two, I’m not sure what episode number it is, but we’re in season two, and we’re getting close to wrapping up season two. And I had this idea a few weeks ago based on some conversations that I’ve been having with some church communications professionals, some people that we get to work with, on a pain point, a pain point related to internal church communications. You know, Jason, you and I default probably to ring two and ring three as we define our three different rings. Ring one, your people ring two people in your community looking for a church, ring three people in your community who aren’t looking for a church but need a church. But this ring one, we don’t spend a lot of time talking about ring one. So that’s what we’re going to do today, we’re going to talk about how you can improve your internal church communications. Are you ready to tackle this conversation?

Let’s do it. I’m excited. Yep.

All right, so I’m going to start by defining, using my definition of communications, and then I’m going to jump in and ask you to clarify a few things for us.

Okay.

The way that I define communications is making sure that people know what they’re supposed to know and when they’re supposed to know it. Or at least that’s the objective of communications, right, making sure that people know what they’re supposed to know and when they’re supposed to know it. And so a church communications professional, their responsibility is to discern what people need to know, when they’re supposed to know it, and then on which platforms to distribute that content, so we’re going to break down a few of those different topics today.

But before we start getting into more of the tactical aspects of that communication, Jason, there are a lot of things that prevent us from having good and effective communications in our churches, I’ve just labeled these as enemies of effective communication. Why don’t you go through some of the things that you think would be enemies of effective communication in churches?

Enemies of effective communication in churches? Yeah. So you just said what people need to know and when they need to know it. What do they need to know? When do they need to know it? And what does it we’re talking about? Things that your church is wanting to communicate based on the strategies that your church is wanting to achieve, right, so let’s just start there. And I think sometimes there’s a handful of these that kind of go against our thinking. Number one is assumptions, assuming people actually know when things are supposed to be happening. You can’t assume it. And we’re talking, obviously, people don’t assume that if you are the communication director of a church of like 10,000 people, obviously you need to be really effective in communicating that. But we’re talking more about the church of a few hundred, we just assume that people will know when this event is and how to sign up for that and that type of thing. So do not assume that people are just going to get this through the Holy Spirit, right? We have to actually communicate it to them, that’s the first one.

I would say another thing that kind of that goes against us is maybe competing agendas. And what I mean by that is, first of all, you should take your cues from your lead pastor, right, that lead pastor is saying this is our strategy. The rub on that is, and this is what I had to deal with, I had to have a pecking order of what was the most important thing to communicate to who and when and why. And that pecking order always went what lead pastor, what he wanted, what my lead pastor wanted, yep, he’s at the top of the heap. Next to that, I always just chose the weekend services because that gathering is pretty important that we communicate to those weekend services because that’s where things happen. It’s our biggest fundraiser, it’s when people give. But it’s also our best way that we’re leading people to Jesus and discipling them, it’s one of the core ones, right? Then below that, you got all the ministries and all the events. When we’re talking about the competing thing is when ministries are kind of competing with each other, right, and they don’t realize we have these things going on, and you’re wanting to do this.

I’ll give you a great example, small groups, small group pastors typically have a focus on trying to make sure their small group leaders are doing what they’re wanting to do. But then here comes, oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s children’s ministries that’s going to have a big kind of an event and they want to connect with the small group leaders. And they say, hey, we want to communicate to that small group leader about our event so they can share with their small groups. Competition, because they’re going to want to be speaking into, hey, we want to connect with your small group leaders and the smart pastor is going, no, I have a focus on them, I don’t want them focusing their attention over here, there’s some misalignment in that, right? So you’ve got to make sure you’re really clear, and you have a plan, and you’re cohesive in that. That’s probably competing…

Let me just comment on that, one note and then you can move on to the next one. As a church communications professional, it can sometimes be very, very frustrating when every ministry director, every ministry leader, every pastor, and every department is vying for headline space, they want the announcement, they want the lead line, they want more social media content. It can be frustrating, but it’s actually a good thing, you want your ministry leaders, your pastors, of all your different areas of ministry, you want them to be so passionate and so in love with what they’re doing that they think it is the most important ministry in the church, which is why you need to have systems and structures in place that make sure that ministries are aligned and that that agenda are cooperative and not competing. And so I just wanted to put a little exclamation point on that as you wrap up that one.

Well, that leads me, so when you do have like every ministry, once that that time, it’s really making sure that…I think there’s another enemy that goes against us is using the wrong channels to communicate whatever that message might be for that ministry, or for that lead pastor, or whatever, the all-church event, whatever, you have to consider the channels that you’re using to communicate. And I think sometimes we go, well, let’s just get it out there and everywhere. Well, if you do that, now you’ve got a whole bunch of noise instead of a clearly defined, we want you to do this because it goes with the strategy. And whatever that might be, we can break that down, but I think sometimes we get lost and we’ll use all of our tools in the tool bag for this one event, but if you do that for every single event, you’ve just kind of created more noise and not necessarily a kind of a cohesive strategy for how you’re going to reach the people you want to reach when you’re supposed to reach them.

And then and then that kind of leads into, hitting the wrong people at the wrong time, right? I just, I was always kind of an, oh gosh, I had to be that person that would stand up and say, you’re not getting it this time, right? So I would get ministries that come to me, here we are like, we’re in May, hey, we have an event coming up in the fall, we want to start planting the seeds to…No, we’re not going to start planting the seeds, that doesn’t make sense, because you’re wanting to plant seeds, but you don’t realize there’s like three other ministries, that stuff going on in the next few weeks. We need to communicate that, right, not your thing that’s coming up. So timing is really important, and I think kind of everything to this. And then how you’re connecting with your people throughout the week, not just on Sunday morning, but you got six other days that you can use different channels to communicate with them. So making sure, an enemy of ours can be let’s just throw it out there without thinking about when we should actually communicate something to somebody.

Yeah. So let me just repeat those four points, things that are enemies of effective communication. One you highlighted is assumptions, assuming that people know what’s happening or they assuming that they know where to get the information. Competing agendas, whether it’s different ministries, different ministry leaders, what have you, all kind of fighting for the same time, but not all pushing the same rock up the same hill. The third is the wrong channel of communication or all the channels of communication, and you use the word noise several times. And to quote the great. Donald Miller, noise is the enemy. Noise is the enemy. We really need to make sure that we’re communicating in a way that we are reducing noise so that people can hear, read, and see exactly what we want them to hear, read and see. And the fourth one, the wrong people at the wrong time. Timing is everything. we’re going to talk a little bit about timing here in just a moment.

But if I can summarize that, I think it’s Dave Ramsey, somebody who says to be unclear is to be unkind, and so clarity in communication is really, really important. To be unclear is to be unkind, so let’s focus on clarity. Now, let me get you to think back way, way, way back in the days before the interwebs. No, I’m kidding, it wasn’t that long ago, but it’s been a number of years. But you did serve in a church as a communications director for a decade, dozen years, somewhere in that in that neighborhood, during the prime of your life. And your church, at the time that you were serving that church, it was growing quite rapidly. It was a very effective church, reaching a lot of people, and growing very rapidly, and so you were building a department at the same time that the church was growing. What were some of the tactics that you used, maybe some lessons that you learned, maybe some things that you implemented, to make sure that communication was clear and that no assumptions were made as you were executing your job as the communications director?

That’s a great question. I had to really, we were growing so fast, so we had our base, our core people, which I didn’t have to work very hard to communicate to them intentionally because I knew they were going to search to find what they were looking for. I had to make it available, but it wasn’t, my target audience, wasn’t our people if that makes sense, they already knew, they’re already bought in, they’re already following, now I just need to make sure they had what they needed, and they may have to click a few times to get to what they needed, or I might not communicate as frequently as something else. What I tried to focus on were people that were brand new, they needed to know, they didn’t they weren’t asking this question, but what’s the strategy around here? Like what do I do? Should I serve? Should I get in a small group? Should I just come to the weekend? What should I do? And the answer is, yes, but we had to have some kind of order of sequence with that. So we used all the different mediums, it didn’t matter what the mediums were you were using, right, if it’s traditional or it’s digital, making sure that you are clear to the people who are first visiting your church to keep that front door wide open and making sure that the tools we use were effective in their communication was really, really important.

But it wasn’t me setting that, it was our leadership, our leadership was clearly defining what the strategy was for us to follow, and so all I needed to know was, what’s important around here. And when that was communicated to me, this is what’s important around here, it made my job a whole lot easier because it wasn’t just me that was falling in line with the strategies, it was all the other ministries that had to fall in line with the same strategies. So we really, for a while, it was a lot of competition and we were butting heads. Once we figured out that we needed clarity from the leadership down, of this is what we’re about as a church, it made building those strategies and those communication channels a lot more effective, a lot easier. And that’s what we went through, I mean, it wasn’t like we arrived there overnight. We were growing fast because we had a really, really solid pastor who was amazing at preaching, we had a phenomenal worship band, and we had great children’s ministries, and we had nice clean facilities, and we had a friendly welcome people, our greeters, were really friendly. If you got some of those ingredients, you’re going to grow, I mean, it’s just you’re going to get more people to come to your church, that’s what happened. That wasn’t anything that the communications team did, but what we wanted to do is when people would come in, we wanted to communicate to them what we felt like, this is how you get plugged in around here because we got that from the leadership down. And so I think if you’re not in that space and you’re not exactly crystal clear on what that is, that could be a little bit of a problem.

Yeah, that’s really interesting. Now, you used the word strategy there about 28 times, and you’re a very strategic thinker, and I think that I lean towards that direction as well. We had a call with our team of coaches a few weeks ago, and one of our team members used this description, and I thought it was gold and I wanted to share it. He tried to describe the difference between a church that has a strategic plan versus a church that has a buffet model of ministry, right? And I just absolutely love that, Robert, shout out to Robert Rizzo on our team who, I don’t know if he coined that, but that was the language that he was using. And I got a really big kick out of that because we do see a lot of churches with buffet-style ministries, we’ve got a whole lot of stuff going on, but it’s not all connected and it’s not all moving everyone towards the same end goal or the same objective.

Yeah, my pastor, and you’ve heard this and seen this illustration before, we did a thing where we set a kitchen table on stage and we had different chairs, right? We had like a high chair for a baby, and then you had by the time you got around, you had an adult chair. And he explained that the Christian faith is not the church’s responsibility isn’t to feed you, the church’s responsibility is to help you feed yourself. And why I say that, is sometimes as churches, if we don’t have that, here it is again, that strategy for how are we discipling people, and first of all, how are we helping people understand they’re welcomed and invited here to get the help they’re looking for, and eventually at some point they have to deal with the cross. Right, once they make that decision and they say yes to Jesus, now there’s a path. Okay, if you have a bunch of doors to choose from, maybe that’s okay, but behind that door needs to be a strategy for how you help your people become fully developed followers of Jesus, and that’s not a destination, that’s a journey. And so I think as a communication director, my job was to try and figure out how to articulate that, right? Not just we’re going to promote this event, promote that event, yeah, that’s part of it, we going to use this channel, that channel, that channel, but go deeper than that. And that’s the goal, and that’s the role of a communication director is, again, aligning with what our mission is, what our strategy is, and how do we do that. So I don’t know how that helps, but I do, I appreciate Robert, yeah, we just have this, like, buffet style, there are 30 things to choose from, just choose one, and pick a door and go.

Yeah, I always use the Cheesecake Cafe, no offense to the people at Cheesecake Cafe, but if you ever…The Cheesecake Factory, the Cheesecake Factory, yeah. You go to the Cheesecake Factory and the menu is so dense and so thick, and there are some people that absolutely love it, and there are others of us that, you know, you and I went to a Cheesecake Factory one time. We were out in California with some of our church leaders, and I was like, oh, it’s just paralyzing to me, there are so many different options. And this is not unique to me, I didn’t coin this phrase, some church leaders, or some books that I read, or some podcasts that I listen to said, really, the difference between the strategy and the buffet model of ministry is thinking steps versus programs. The programmed church is really much more of a buffet model of ministry, whereas a strategic model is designed to move people along some kind of pathway, taking steps in their journey with Jesus from being a skeptic, to being an explorer, to actually becoming a sacrificial saint, right, and moving them along a pathway. And so as we build a strategy, the communication then becomes how do we communicate what a person’s next step is and how to communicate with them, how and when to take the next step.

Now, this leads me to my next question for you. If we have a strategy, and we have clear next steps for people, there are a variety of different ways that we can communicate those things to people. And personally, I use this phrase with communications directors that I’m coaching all the time, which is to say you need to make sure you’re delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right timing, on the right platform. And it’s that on the right platform that often seems to confuse people because you’ve got everything from literally the platform on Sunday morning, which is the announcements, to email, to social, to bulletins, to text messages, and the website, and all different things. Why don’t you take a few minutes to kind of drill down on a few of our primary platforms or mechanisms of communication and talk about what you think the strengths and the weaknesses are for each of those? Why don’t we start with email? Because that’s one that I think is often undervalued but really important.

Yeah, I’ll go through those. I’ll talk about a mistake we made, so I’ll be vulnerable here. When I was the communications director at my church, we used to just, we had the pendulum swing so far to one side that we just communicated everything. And we had all kinds of print material on our web, digital, we had it all, we had pre-service slides, we had everything. And you could get into all kinds of stuff, and I think a lot of our people felt like that was too much noise. I said, yeah, you’re probably right. we probably need to swing that back a little bit. And about the time that I left, they had swung that pendulum so far on the other side, it was difficult to find anything and they were not using a lot of these tools. And they’re going, nope, less is more. Well, no, it’s not, sometimes less is just less, and you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t think that people don’t read this stuff. And I think the people that stepped into that spot were thinking of themselves, 20-something-year-olds, 30-something-year-olds, they weren’t also thinking about the 40s and the 50s and 60s, the older people like you and me, Bart, and how that affects us and how we can communicate.

So I’ll start, when you think about communicating to ring one, your people, I still think email is really powerful. It’s very powerful, I mean, I read my email, now you might have multiple emails, I have multiple email accounts, But I still read, if I want to hear from you, you’re my church. It’s like why would I give my bank a fake email? You wouldn’t do that, that’s your bank, that’s where you do business. In the same kind of a sense, my church has my most popular email that I look at because it’s my church, right, I get my giving statements, I get notifications, all my stuff from that email, right? And I have several emails, but I think if the church wants to get ahold of me, they email me. I mean, it’s just one of those things.

Do you still have an old AOL email account that you use?

No, I do not. You might, but I don’t.

I don’t. Okay, all right.

Now, I think the second most powerful one, I’m going to switch us up a little bit, I think is texting. Because I don’t know about all of you, but I have one cell phone, one. Now some people say they have two or three, okay, fine, whatever. I have one, and most people have one, and if you want to communicate a message to me, text me, right? I’ll see it, at least I’ll see it, right? So I think you have to be really strategic between emails and texts. By the way, if you’re talking about unchurched people or people looking for a church that ring two, ring three, some of the best stuff you can get is an email or a cell phone from people who are not yet part of your church because you can use that as a strategy to connect with them and invite them eventually, right? But we’re talking about ring one, cell phones, and email, there’s a strategy between using those two. And I think you have to have, you have to talk about the rules. What do we do? What do we don’t do? Right. We don’t just blast out everything, it’s not like everybody gets to text. I don’t receive, from my church, I don’t receive every day a text from them, from different ministries, I would be unsubscribing as quickly as I possibly could. So you’ve got to be careful in that strategy with emails and cells.

Social media, that’s an ever-changing thing because some people are not on social media. I have a Facebook page, I don’t really get on Facebook at all. I don’t have Instagram, I don’t use Snapchat, I don’t use TikTok, I don’t use any of that stuff, that’s just me, right? So I think it’s important to communicate, but don’t use social media as, hey, that’s how we communicate to everybody. No, you don’t, because not everybody’s on social media. You’ve got to be careful what you’re going to put on social media, it’s a phenomenal strategy to connect with your people and reach a lot of people outside your church.

Yeah, let me just double-click on social media for a second. I think it is the most misunderstood and misused platform for communication. I believe in the value of social media, but I also recognize that there are extreme limitations to what social media can do as it relates to communications. I really don’t see personally, I don’t see social media as a communications tool. I don’t think that the owners, founders, and inventors of social media consider what they have, a communication tool, it’s supposed to be a community engagement platform. And so I’ll just give you a prime example, at Missional Marketing we have a Facebook page with over 24,000 followers on our Facebook page, which, by the way, if you’re not following our Facebook page, please go to Facebook and follow our Facebook page. We have an Instagram account as well. We post content pretty regularly on our Facebook page, whether it’s reposts of blogs, or quotes from our podcast, or links to a podcast. On average, of our 24,000 followers on our Facebook page, the average post is organically distributed to about 100 to 120 people out of 24,000. So if we were relying on Facebook to communicate to our audience organizationally, no one would ever know anything, and they certainly wouldn’t know it in the timing that we needed it to be in. Now, this doesn’t mean that you ignore social media, it means that you just need to have realistic expectations for what you can accomplish with social media. I believe that you have to have an active social media platform, I think it’s important to be regularly posting content, relevant content, content that really helps people understand who you are and how you as a church can move the needle in their lives. But you have to understand the limitations as it relates to posting events and activities and registration links and things for your ring one audience, because you’re assuming, here’s a problem with communications, you’re assuming that your audience is going to be on Facebook, that Facebook is going to deliver your post to their feed, and that they’re going to see it and respond in the timing that you want them to, and that’s one of the biggest assumptions that I think that can kill communications as it relates to social.

Yeah, I think there’s a good rule of thumb. You don’t own your Facebook page, Facebook owns your Facebook page, you don’t own your Instagram page, you don’t own your Google My Business page, they all do. You own your website, and your website is controlled by you, and if you choose not to pay your hosting bill, it’ll come down, but it’s yours. Those emails that you have, you’ve collected, well, they’re not your emails, but you get what I’m saying, nobody can kind of take that away from you, they’ve opted in to receive your emails.

You own the list.

You know that if you send an email to somebody, that’s going to be delivered, text messages, if you send a text to somebody, it’s going to be delivered. If you post something on social media, maybe you’re maybe not. So don’t have that assumption, like you said, it’s not your property. Your website, your emails, your text messaging, those are things that you can control, and so utilize those tools as a way to communicate to your ring one audience.

Okay, let’s talk about a couple of other things that you do own, but these are only things that really impact those that are physically in attendance on Sunday, or I guess maybe they’re watching online, and that’s bulletin and announcements. Let’s talk a little bit about how you prioritize bulletin and content for the bulletin? What do you see of value in a church having a bulletin these days? And how do you prioritize announcements in the context of the church as it relates to effective communication?

Well, a bulletin, back in the day, it was always at least when we were doing it, it was because our pastor was going through an outline. And so it was kind of fill in the blanks, you could write with pens or pencils in the pew backs, you could write stuff, you know, that kind of thing. That’s all changed, right, with apps and just going that route. And when COVID happened, everybody stopped because nobody was coming, so they were able to kill that sacred cow a little bit. I still think that I like the idea of an outline, so I’m not going to talk about that. But from the standpoint of a bulletin, I think it’s overkill, I wouldn’t have a bulletin. What I would replace that with, though, are invitation cards because just think about this, like, if you want to communicate something, I don’t think you need to hand somebody a piece of paper direct to communicate it. It can be said, there are lots of different channels to communicate things, we’ll talk about that, that’s just expensive. And by the way, printing has gone way high in this era we are in with inflation. So I think you should get rid of the bulletin, right, and replace it with tools that you can give to your people to further your mission of inviting and bringing more people, in my opinion. So I love little cards, like literally, we used to do this all the time, we’d have an event or something we’re going to invite somebody to. I’d literally mirror it, so like a five by five or something like that card or something, I’d perf it right down the middle, so it’s identical information on this side to this side. And we literally would say, we would tear that and say, this one’s yours, it goes on your fridge, remember to come. This one goes to that person that’s on your mind, that’s on your heart, that you want to invite, that neighbor, that coworker, that relative, that enemy, whoever it is, right. You’re going to take that card and go invite them and bring them to this thing. And I think too many churches only do that like once or twice a year, that’s not how you condition, you condition by doing it all the time and you get your congregation in the habit of that’s what we do as a church, we always invite and bring people. But you’ve got to give them tools, digital tools, yes, but I think a physical tool. I love that when our church does that for us because I literally walk across the street or I’ll find someone, and I’ll be like, hey, I want to give this to you, right? I’d love to invite you. You know, they may or may not come, but it’s an easy tool. Yeah. So I’m not a big fan of using bulletins, I’m a big fan of using print material in the building, and in the worship service to help further our ministry.

I’m going to pause you on that for just one second. I might disagree with you a little bit, depending on the context. You and I agree on like 99% of things as it relates to this stuff, but I will tell you that most of your ministry background has been spent in very large churches, most of mine have been in church plants, smaller churches, or what I would call normal size churches. And I still have the opportunity to do coaching with a lot of normal-sized churches around the country. I do see, in some cases, value in a printed bulletin if your church is consistently seeing new people on a regular basis, and you’re a smaller church, or a normal-sized church, that can actually encapsulate in a bulletin the primary next steps and engagement opportunities for a person who’s new. Your people will not typically read the bulletin, and you can give everyone a bulletin when they come in every week, but new people are looking for a place to hide, and one of the best places for them to hide is to walk into your worship center, your sanctuary, your auditorium, find a seat somewhere towards the back and off to the side, and bury their face in a bulletin for 5 minutes and read all the content that’s in there so that you don’t come and talk to them. A lot of new people are looking for that opportunity, and so in my last church that I pastored, it was a church plant, and we printed a bulletin every single week, but we knew for three straight years we had new people every single Sunday. And we viewed the Bulletin as a promotional piece for new people, it wasn’t a bulletin so that our ring one people, who are already ring oners, it was for the ring tower’s who were taking the brave step of attending one of our worship services, and so everything that was in the bulletin was written through the lens or through the filter of a person who didn’t yet know our church.

So in a sense, I think it’s, which I’m totally cool that, it’s sort of turns into somewhat of a brochure about your church. So it’s not really a, it’s sort of a bulletin, I guess it could be printed each week, it’s totally up to you. Yeah, but you’re right, I think if its intentions are for new people to take that next step, or to learn what the next step is, I’m all for it.

Okay. We have like 2 minutes left before we’re going to stop this, and I have two more questions for you. One of them is related to something I kind of pitched in that last question, which is announcements. What gets announced on Sunday morning from the platform?

Oh, gosh. Well, you know, I think the biggest mistake you make is when you have like seven things to run by you today, church. I heard nothing, right? Instead, I think it should be one or two, and then it’s got to be, I think it should impact the whole room and be very focused on that. Maddie, one of our coaches taught this where she used to, ministers came and said to her, hey, we want to have an all-church announcement for our event. And Maddie is like, you want to reach all these people to funnel down to get like 30 people to your event. And she would just shake your head and go, no, we’re not going do that, we’re going to turn that funnel upside down. We’re going to impact the 30 people that are tied to your ministry, to double to 60, right? You don’t do that through announcements of the whole church, you don’t announce everything, otherwise, you are just a bunch of noise. You want to be really strategic in what is that even that’s going to reach most of this room, and as an outreach event to bring somebody with them, that’s my opinion on a verbal announcement. When you talk about pre-service slides, that’s maybe a little different, a little bit more open, that’s just kind of a rotating thing. But when it comes to an on-the-stage announcement, if the lead pastor wants to announce it, hey, get out of his way because he’s going to make an announcement no matter what and you’re going to support that. But if it’s up to you to decide, what should we talk about, in that sense, less is a whole lot more.

I like this, here’s my philosophy, and that is one announcement that gets made every single week for sure, and that is the first step for new people, I want that to get announced every single week. So if you do pizza with the pastor, or Starting Point, or next steps, or whatever it is every single week. And then, the only other announcement that gets made every single week is something that is a church-wide, we need everyone to know and to participate, with a call to action. Any other announcements, if they can’t be incorporated into the sermon, are probably not connected to the mission and the vision of the church, and the strategy of the church. Like I like to do that a lot, when I would preach, I would often, okay, we really have a couple of things that we need to announce, hey, small groups, we have small groups starting up. It really could be a church-wide announcement that we’re starting small groups, or I can build that in as a call to action in my sermon to make sure that everybody knows that your action item from this week’s teaching is to get engaged in the community, it’s to join a small group, it’s to find accountability, and this is how we’re going to do that. So I’m a one announcement a week guy, and that one announcement is for new people who are trying to figure out what their next step is.

I totally agree with that. I agree with that.

We’ve got to wrap up, but I’ve got one more question. And you’ve already alluded to this a little bit, and that is the timing of things as they get communicated. You said, hey, you had a ministry leader that wanted to promote something in May or June for something that was going to happen in the fall, we want to plant the seed so people know that it’s coming. All right, give us a quick overview of what you think the right timing is for most church initiatives and ministry initiatives.

Oh, several weeks out, you know, 2 to 3 to 4 weeks out, is really when you’re starting to communicate things that are going to come up. Obviously, if you have like, you know, registrations for summer camps are coming up, right? So you probably should have been communicating summer camp registration back in Marc if you have an early bird deadline. and then the rates go up, so you want to communicate those kinds of things. But if it’s an event you’re going to have an I’m new here class kind of a thing, you might want to do that two weeks out, right? And then do it another week out, and you’re kind of there in that space. So I think it depends on the size and the reach, if you’re going to have like a fall festival, you know, that’s going to be October 31st, let’s say we are going to do it the. When are you going to start communicating that? Probably around the first week of October, you’re going to start talking about, hey, save the date, we’re going to have this thing, and make sure you bring a friend, this is what we need, we need to bring candy or whatever it is. You know, it’s like 3 to 4 weeks out is typically the all church kind of things, and if it’s a ministry thing, it’s usually like 2 to 3 weeks out.

I don’t think most people plan their personal calendars and their personal lives any further out than that unless it’s a big vacation or something, right? I’ve always operated on the six, four, two rule. Six weeks out, it’s in print, and in an email, four weeks out it starts getting a verbal announcement, two weeks out, we start accosting people about it because we want to make sure that everybody knows, right? So six, four, two, put it in print, make sure it’s on your website, if you’re printing a bulletin, make sure it’s in the bulletin six weeks out. You don’t need to start verbally communicating it until probably four weeks out, and even that can probably go to three weeks out. Two weeks out, it’s got to be everywhere, it’s social, email, newsletter, printed bulletin, Sunday announcements, whatever it is that you’re trying to do if it’s a large-scale event like that.

Yeah, and if you use a thing like Asana as, like a management tool, a project management tool, you can, you can outline all that stuff. And now you know every single week, okay, what are we putting in there? What’s coming up? And you can start filling that in, and it makes it a lot easier to manage it.

Yeah, using a project management tool like Asana, we use Asana. We like Asana, Slack, and you can use Base Camp. Implement some sort of tool and some sort of strategy for mapping that stuff out, and you’ll do a lot better in managing and maintaining effective communications. Jason, this has been a great conversation, thanks for taking the time with me today.

For those of you who are tuning in to the podcast, maybe this is your first time or maybe you’ve been listening for a while, if you haven’t left us a rating or a review, wherever you’re consuming this content, we’d absolutely love for you to do that, it’ll help more people find the podcast. And if you haven’t subscribed, make sure that you do that, that way you don’t miss any future episodes. We’ve still got a few more episodes in the can here for season two. some of them are really good, some really great leaders that we’re excited to introduce you to.

So once again, thanks for tuning in, if there’s anything that Jason and I can do to serve you, there’s a link in the show notes about how you can contact us personally. Thanks, Jason.

Thank you.

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