If you’ve been called to communicate in a small church, that doesn’t mean you’ve been given a small task. God works through you and your church to make a difference in the world. But often, the role of informing the congregation is all-consuming since “regular attendance” has dropped to less than “regular.” How do you let people know about everything going on in ministry when they’re only attending once or twice a month? It’s difficult. Small church communication can be challenging for sure.
But be careful you’re not just focusing on your internal audience. Part of the complexity of church communication is realizing you also need to connect with your community (external audience) as an act of evangelism. That’s why God’s uniquely placed you in your community. He wants to use you and your members to share the love of Christ and make disciples—a very important church communication role.
When you communicate in a small church ministry, it must be a combination of internal and external communication. Caution: A church that mainly focuses on internal communication will usually stay small or shrink in size.
There are three steps to achieve great things as you communicate in a small church. I’m not talking about the preaching time—you do that well. I’m talking about church communication that’s expected before and after services, throughout the week.
Table of Contents
Essential #1 – Understand Your Small Church Communication Pipeline
Effective communication rises and falls on how well you know your audience. It’s easier to know your congregation since they attend services. But you need to discover as much as possible about your community too. They’re your pipeline for growth and discipleship.
Tap into that possibility by following Jesus’s admonition: Don’t just get to know facts about them; fall in love with them. And if you love them, you’ll want to provide solutions for their needs or paths to their goals. Doing that will get their attention. And in that engagement of satisfying your community’s needs, introduce them to what they really need. Jesus is the solution. They just don’t know it yet.
Essential #2 – Improve Your Website for Small Church Communication
To communicate in a small church, resist the urge to print communication material because getting print materials in your audience’s hands requires their attendance (or expensive mailing). Instead, invest in a trusted online area where anyone can discover the benefits of your church.
Most people in your community (and therefore, your congregation) generally prefer digital communication. Why? It’s conveniently discovered in their pocket or purse (on their phone browser). It’s searchable so they don’t have to read or scan everything. And it’s easily kept current.
On your website, be sure you show pictures of what to expect when someone walks through the church doors as well as pictures or videos of people enjoying your ministries. Continue to build the online presence you began during the pandemic, allowing people to view your sermons. But also create a friendly online place so someone can participate or sample all ministries before they decide to attend in person (have your physical address on the home page).
Websites have become an easy on-ramp to ministries. But you may want to consider building a digital ministry area for those who don’t want to come in person since they feel safer enjoying ministries online.
Essential #3 – Control Your Keywords for Enhanced Small Church Communication
Since choices and decisions are made based on what you’re known for, start controlling the words you use online to describe what you’re offering in ministry. What are best practices? Use words for ministries that people are seeking. How can you know? Do online keyword research.
Google will suggest phrases based on one word entered into their search bar (as grey dropdown suggestions). And there are other “keyword research tools” that will help you identify keywords being searched for online. Adopt the regular use of those keywords or phrases to enable Google to be your biggest evangelist.
This article was originally published on LifewayResearch.com.