How do you communicate with your congregation? Are you aware of how they like to receive information and where they hang out? These are important details to know as a church trying to reach a certain group of people.
Where is Your Congregation?
You will want to know where your congregation is during the week when they are not at church. Do they spend a lot of time on Facebook? Do they check their email regularly? Do they prefer to receive updates by text message?
We clearly live in a different age. It used to be people consumed information through phone calls and bulletins. Not so much anymore. Now, they are plugged into their phones 24/7, and much of that time on social media. So, it makes sense to send them information where they are.
What Does This Mean for Your Church?
If your church is having an event coming up and you want to get the word out, you can of course, announce it on Sunday morning and put it in the bulletin. However, if you’re like us, we may (or may not) hear it on a Sunday morning. The bulletin gets put in our Bible and we don’t really pull it out again. But we do check our email regularly, so if you want to get information to us, email is the best resource. But that’s us:-) We don’t keep our phones with us constantly, and aren’t on Facebook constantly. But I don’t think we’re the norm.
Many people in our congregation frequent Facebook, and carry their phones with them all the time. So, it would be a good idea to post information on the event on Facebook, on the church website, plus send out an email and text message about it. Then all the bases are covered. I’m beginning to feel sorry for church secretaries, as they have a lot of work to do to deliver information in different formats!
You cannot keep doing what has been done before and assume your congregation is staying informed. Today, with all the different options that are available, you have to do a little researching and find out where they are and how they best receive and consume information.
Utilize the Website
If you have a designated area on your website where you post updates and the week’s event information, then people can easily pull up the site and find what they need to know. Just be sure to make them aware of what you are doing and where they can find updates. The day is (most likely) coming where the paper bulletins will be a thing of the past. At our church, we currently need to sign up to receive a hard copy of our monthly newsletter, otherwise it is posted on the website and sent to our email. As more and more opt out of “paper,” it will probably cease to be an option.
So, let’s recap. Times, they are a changin’! You need to know where your congregation is and how they best receive/consume information. Here are some of the more popular venues:
- Text message
- Sunday morning announcements
- Bulletin or newsletter
Stay current and keep your congregation in the know.