I am often accused (rightfully so) of mumbling.
My wife asks what the plan is for the first day of vacation.
I think I respond with: “After we get off of our flight to Denver, we drive to our condo in the mountains with no stopping because I want to get there before it gets dark.”
What she hears is: “Aff we giff fight to dinner, we dive our dough mountains with no stopping bis I want together four its ark.”
My brain often thinks faster than my mouth can move to communicate what I want to say. That is a problem if I want to communicate something.
Most ministries have the opposite problem. Their mouth moves faster than their brain. They communicate without having a clear idea of what they want to say. Their mission and vision are unclear. As a result, they communicate events, initiatives, and weekly news without considering how it fits into the big picture. For many churches, this is unintentional. It is the result of just “doing church” and not taking the time and energy to clearly define what their mission is to their community. With no central message to serve as a communications filter, a “shotgun” approach to communications develops.
Fire - Aim - Ready is a poor approach to communications.
You need to clearly define your mission (Ready) and your message to your community (Aim) before you attempt to communicate your message (Fire).
You know from experience that bombarding people with numerous unrelated announcements is not effective. People tune you out. Our brains are wired to tune out random, irrelevant information. We need context for things to make sense and our brains to make them a priority. It is an effective survival skill, but a challenge for communicators.
In January 2017 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world. His presentation lasted over an hour and a half and was full of technical information about a product no one had seen. A difficult task. He was able to introduce the product effectively by anchoring all that he said around one simple message: "Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone," Jobs proclaimed. That was the message of the day. It was the headline that anchored all of the information that he communicated. He repeated that exact phrase five times during his presentation. Apple’s press releases that day contained the same headline. The banner on their website displayed that same text. Their subsequent commercials focus on how Apple was reinventing the phone.
The message mattered, not just the product.
What is the one message that you want people to hear and know about your church?
What does your ministry want to be known for?
Our church connects people in our community to Jesus.
Our church helps the poor.
Our church cares.
Our church is focused on young people.
Our church is focused on old people.
We are a traditional church.
We are a modern church.
We wear skinny jeans here. :)
Our Christian school has excellent academics
Our Christian school will teach your kid about Jesus.
Our Christian school is a place to belong.
Our Christian school is safe.
Before you decide what gets communicated and how you are going to communicate, you need to determine what you are going to communicate. Read that last sentence again. It is important.
What are you communicating?
You should be communicating things that advance your core message.
Need help figuring all this out? Let’s talk about it.