We live in a crazy loud world. A world that’s decided it doesn’t “need” a church. That’s perhaps understandable for your non-churched community; but our congregations are also slowly deciding to attend only occasionally. Most local churches are experiencing a decline in attendance.
In our loud world we know most are choosing what to listen to and what to ignore. The louder everything gets the more (for our sanity) we block what we perceive as non-essential.
The way we decide what’s non-essential? It’s based on how we perceive something. What something is known for (perception) allows for quicker decisions! And we know that most people (we’re busy!) are wanting to make decisions quickly.
A thread. Controlled 3-5 words that describe what you’d like your perception to be. You need a thread! Here are 4 reasons why:
- It reconnects with your community. Effective communication rises and falls on how well you know your audiences (internal and external). Concentrate on your internal group only and you’ll almost always decline in attendance. You need to reconnect with your community (your pipeline). A good thread understands the community needs and provides a benefit of attending. Since few realize their need for a spiritual solution, a church thread should focus on temporal issues (like Jesus did when He engaged with the woman at the well about water before spiritual matters). Letting the community know you understand them (concerns with solutions) will get them to pause and pay attention to your communication. They may not choose to attend immediately but when they do decide they need solutions they’ll probably choose you.
- It gives words to your congregation. Your internal group has many reasons why they attend. A good thread simply provides an important reason that will be easily recalled when someone asks them “why do you attend your church?” Don’t control the words? The average person will answer “it’s where I grew up” or “that’s where I’ve been going for years”. Neither is a compelling reason for someone to attend.
- It gives a foundation to your brand. Your thread (the perception of what you’re known for) IS your brand. And that thread needs to be woven throughout your ministries and communication (website, emails, social media, print materials, sermons, etc.). And also attached to your logo as a tagline to remind everyone about your brand promise or story. Your visual brand will simply become a reminder for the brand thread.
- You become known for it. The control and repetition of the thread will aid in the recall of why you exist. Internally and externally. And since it’s based on THEIR need, it’ll be relevant to them. Over time your church will become known for something very simple, very relevant, and very needed.
Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and Executive Director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.