A communication strategy for your church is imperative. It helps you stay consistent across communication platforms. To get some ideas about messaging you can read an earlier post here. Related to the message is the audience. They are a critical part of any communication strategy. It is obvious but a reminder is always in order: always be mindful of the audience. We could say that the church’s audience is everyone but that’s not helpful.
I started with two broad audiences but ended up with these four:
- Those who consider themselves Christ followers and are in your church.
- Those who don’t consider themselves Christ followers and are in your church.
- Those who consider themselves Christ followers but not in your church.
- Those who don’t consider themselves Christ followers
Of course, these audiences are more nuanced. We could spend an eternity describing all the possible individuals you could be speaking to. These four audiences should have everyone covered.
The In-Your-Church Christ Followers
By default, this should be your most engaged audience. You have their attention more than the other three mentioned above. This group speaks, to use a cliché, “The language of the house”. They are insiders. In a general sense, they get the Christian terms. Furthermore, they understand your church’s code.
No matter what your pastor or you say, your church has a common language. You’re oblivious to some if not most or all of it. Whether you choose to make it that way or not, it impossible for this not to happen. Since your church has a common language, it is important that you are intentional about it.
Recognising that you have a language unique to your congregation is key for your communication strategy. The communication strategy is partly recognizing your unique and how each audience engages it.
The communication strategy is partly recognising and or developing the langauge while holding in tension how each audience engages it.
The Not-Your-Church Christ Followers
There’s a high likelihood that this audience won’t struggle to decipher your code. Because they are or have been part of a church community that has had its language, they can identify code. Visiting your website or church won’t be struggle compared to people unfamiliar with church.
Those Who Don’t Consider Themselves Christ Followers
For the purposes of this post or series of posts, we’ll assume this audience knows nothing about the church. They’re unfamiliar with the general language most church people use. Church speak is gibberish and doesn’t resonate with them.
This is the group I think churches should be most concerned about.
When we try to communicate with the farthest person we’re likely to be more inclusive.
It is possible to communicate with all these audiences, on the same platform at the same time. Whether it’s a social media post, part of a sermon, you can speak to everyone in one moment.
The challenge of a diverse audience creates both challenge and opportunity. When we wrestle with speaking to clarify our message so that it is understood by most, everyone benefits. Many people get to hear of God’s love in a way they understand and can respond to.
Communicating a message simply doesn’t cheapen it; it makes it accessible. (Click to Tweet)
The goal of all our communication is to make The Message accessible to all. The effort to make our message clear is never wasted. What do you want to communicate? Will everyone get it? Be mindful of who you communicate with.