2 critical communication errors (and how to overcome them)
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
There have been many times while working on my house, when I was seriously in the middle of fixing something, that I realized I'd made foundational errors that would not allow me to complete the task.
The church has a serious task in front of us: to share the love of Christ to our communities and fellowship opportunities for our congregation.
Many churches today trust their communication systems while they're seriously flawed because of two serious errors that must be fixed before they can complete their communication task:
1. Saying too much
Everyone understands that most are only half-listening. More and more, people are listening less and less. So what does the church do to get their message across? They try to talk twice as much. What an error in judgment!
Solution: Churches need to actually say less and ensure everything is directed to specific audiences. Never say anything unless it's critical to them. Then, edit your message to let the hearers understand the benefit of what you're saying. Tell stories. Short stories that make people beg for more.
Both of these strategies will help people seek out the details so they can participate. Don't tell them everything, but ensure they know where to find it. Your information needs to be easily found on your website. But read on ...
2. Expecting people to use untrusted communication methods
It's pretty obvious that digital communication is leading the world while print materials diminish. So why do churches rely heavily on print?
We've regularly used print in the past, so we have strict parameters to ensure that the information is always correct. Print just works and is accurate. People trust the worship guide. As church leadership, we then suggest that our congregation use the church website since we're saying less in the print materials.
What happens? They rebel. They go to a website that has errors, typos and organizational issues, and the integrity of the communication becomes in question. What an error!
Solution: Don't point people to your church website until the site is simplified and organized, and uses a process to guarantee the accuracy of every detail. Ensure events "expire and disappear" when they're over. Only have edited (nonparagraph) information that's presented simply. Once that's complete, start slimming down the print material while verbally supporting your website.
Important: Make sure that your content looks great on a small smartphone (responsively) and doesn't require left and right scrolling.
Once these two errors are taken care of, you'll be surprised how much easier your communications will become. Why? You'll make it easy and trusted to find simple, short information. That's everything that a congregation and community wants. And needs.
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