As a Pastor or church leader, you probably feel like you are inundated with information, promotional materials, new program ideas etc. Well, your congregation may have a similar perception. They are inundated with church stuff, school stuff, hobby/interest stuff, social media, text messages, etc. This makes it challenging to communicate effectively with your congregation. Here are some basic keys to success:
• Communicate to whom you need to communicate.
• Communicate in a style/format that appeals to your audience
• You drive the message, leave no room for people being unclear
Understand your audience.Respect your segments. Congregations are generally a broad demographic. Communicating to that broad group is challenging. You simply cannot be all things to all people and you shouldn’t try. On the flip side you can’t choose one group over the rest of your groups. Embrace their differences and meet them where they are.
Target your segments. Everyone is not interested in everything. When you have a message to share, determine who needs to hear it and target that group in a communication form they prefer. Example: Your youth group probably doesn’t need to know about the retired member’s pot-luck next Sunday.
It’s not about you. It’s about them. This is often the most difficult tip for people to wrap their minds around. As a Pastor you are the leader and you have the message(s) that need to be shared. However, to be successful you can’t create and deliver the message in the format you like best. Communication is about reaching people where they are.
Make it relevant. Over sharing is a common problem. Be smart about what you share. Make sure it is crafted in a way that people find it helpful.
Write to be scanned. In this day and age people have trained themselves to scan articles so they can receive as many messages as possible. If your message is long, complicated, verbose, and generally intimidating in it’s length you may as well save your time and not send it out. People will not get it and most won’t even try.
These are some basic tips. While you may only be able to focus on a couple of these or identify a few areas you struggle these tips should help you communicate much more effectively than you are currently.
Just remember, you may really enjoy using a mega-phone because, hey, that is a lot of fun. However, what will people remember of what you said. Probably very little, but they will flood the inter webs with social media posts about their crazy pastor that used a mega-phone for announcements. How productive is that?