The way we communicate has changed. No longer are we limited to the phone and mail to disseminate information. Now we can communicate through several mediums, utilizing their individual strengths and weaknesses to communicate effectively. Church is not immune to these changes. Although it can feel confusing and frustrating to change the way we communicate, these new avenues open up a world of possibilities! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you assess how your church communicates.
Say more with less. In this digital age, people have access to a plethora of information literally at their fingertips. This access can easily turn into information overload, so people pay attention to pertinent information communicated concisely. In written communication, be sure to edit not only for grammar and punctuation, but also for conciseness.
Develop a brand. As ministers, we often cringe when we think about communicating the Gospel using marketing terms. However, in order to make sure your voice is recognizable in a world with so much noise, it’s important to develop a consistent look. Choose a logo, 2-3 colors and a text and heading font that all complement one another and stick with it. Keep it simple and consistent. The more you develop your brand, the more clearly your voice will be heard.
Remember your manners. Although in some ways the rules for communication have changed, some things have not. It’s still important to use correct grammar and proofread. With the ease of digital communication, sometimes we are able to communicate too quickly for our own good, so be sure to read what you write before posting or sending. In the world of visual communication, USING THE CAPS LOCK IS THE EQUIVALENT OF YELLING, AND IT’S EVEN MORE SERIOUS WHEN BOLD! Avoid using the caps lock. Instead bold important dates or pieces of information for emphasis.
Consider new avenues. Nearly 85% of visitors will check out a church’s website before actually going to church. It’s important to have an online presence in your community. If you don’t have the time or resources to develop a detailed website, you can put together a church website for free here. Provide information about your staff, service times, location and a brief overview of what you believe. Keep your communication simple, clear and up-to-date. Setting up a Facebook page, Twitter account or moving your bulletins to an email service like Mailchimp can add to your online presence. Remember to keep your branding consistent with your online communication by using similar colors, fonts and language.
Although the way we communicate has changed, our message has not. We have the unique opportunity to utilize so many great resources to connect people with a Father who loves them!
This blog was originally posted at the brand new IMN Communications Blog where you can get information about church communications.
You can download the fall conference videos today! You can get the Convoy of Hope Vision Video here and the Fall Conference Teaser here. In order to download these videos, you’ll need to create a free account. Once your account is created, click on the blue “Download this video” text beneath the “about this video tab on the right (see below).
Also, we have a screen ad available for you to download and use to promote fall conference in your church and youth group. You can download it by clicking here. Keep reading to for more information about promoting fall conference!
By now, you should have received a packet with all the information you need to spread the word about the Fall RedCulture Conference! (If you haven’t received yours, please contact our office at (515)276.5493.) But how do you know what you should do with all the information you receive?
In your packet, you will find a number of great resources including a conference booklet, maps, registration information, posters and sign-up forms to help you publicize Fall Conference with your students.
The conference booklet is a great resource for you as you organize your trip. It includes a note from Heath, things to know about the RedCulture Conference and Convoy of Hope Outreach, a suggested promotional timeline to help you plan to get the word out to your students, a conference schedule, hotel recommendations (with reduced rate information) and a concierge list with things to do and places to eat in Des Moines. It is a wealth of great information, so you’ll want to make sure to read it thoroughly and share the information with your leadership team.
The map will help you get around downtown Des Moines. It outlines the skywalks, parking, and free shuttles available. It also has detailed directions to Hy Vee Hall and the Events Center.
The registration form is for you to fill out and send to the Iowa Ministry Network office. This form needs to be postmarked by October 24th and accompanied by a church check for the amount of the deposit in order for you to receive the early bird rate of $47. In all of your communication with your students, you will want to make sure that your in-church registration deadline allows plenty of time for you to gather the information you need to register with IMN before October 24th to ensure that your group gets registered at the reduced rate. (For example, you may want to make your in-church registration deadline Wednesday, October 19th, to allow time for students to get their deposit in so that you can get your registration and deposit in the mail by Monday, October 24th. See the promotional timeline in your conference booklet for more information.) Students can still register after October 24th, but the registration cost is $60. Keep in mind that any registrations received after November 9th will be considered walk-ons and charged the full $75 registration fee. Please be sure to send one check for the entire deposit (or total fee). Personal checks (unless written for the entire deposit amount) or cash will not be accepted. Fees will be the same for both youth and adults. Before you mail this form into the IMN office, you’ll want to make a copy to keep for your own records. Unchurched/unsaved students are welcome to attend at no cost. If you have any questions about registration information, please contact Vanessa at email@example.com or (515)276-5493.
The poster is for you to hang around your youth room, lobby and church. It will help to build excitement with your students and offer important information for parents. Posters are included in your promotional packet, but can be easily reproduced on 11×17 paper. If your church doesn’t have a color copier, you can make copies through your local office or copy store.
The sign-up forms are for use within your church. It will help you to know who is interested in going, how to contact them and who has paid. You do not need to turn this form into the IMN office.
Again, if you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Schaad at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515)276-5493. We are looking forward to an incredible weekend and all that God is going to do in and through the students of Iowa!
You may have noticed that he IMN Newsletter (among a few other things) looks a little bit different this month. We are working to refresh the newsletter in conjunction with several communication upgrades.
Soon, our website will be completely new (we hope by October 1). Our new site will be more interactive and serve to help us to truly network together more effectively.
We also invite you to join the IMN via Facebook and Twitter. If you are unfamiliar with these social networks, our team will offer coaching during the e2 Conference, September 26-27. We will also have people available to assist you in developing your church’s website and social media opportunities.
For those of you who still like to hold a piece of “real” paper in your hands: do not fear! We will continue to offer hard copies (paper) of our IMN News, but we will also offer an e-newsletter version with interactive links and media for those of you who prefer that format.
Our goal with these changes is to communicate more effectively with you and to help our Iowa Ministry Network to connect and function more fully as a network of ministers and churches reaching Iowa. We hope to help you discover and share more resources with each other as we work to expand the Kingdom of God in Iowa!
If you’d prefer to receive e-newsletter or have any questions about social networking and how your church can utilize these great free resources, contact Ashley Knepper by filling out the form below.
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