One of the primary goals of every church – every organization, really – should be to communicate its message in the most effective ways possible. And yet, many churches still can’t even reach their members…especially in between Sundays.

However, change is both possible and relatively straightforward. One of the best ways to right the ship is to know the warning signs of bad communicating, so here are six crucial indicators that your church’s communication strategy is unhealthy.

1. A church can’t quickly reach a majority of its people between Sundays. Many businesses measure health by how efficiently they can get a message to their customers, so why should churches be any different? Take a quick poll at your next staff meeting and see how long it would take to reach 51% of your entire church membership. A healthy church should be able to do so in 30 minutes or less.

2. People say, “We only hear from you when you want money.” Getting a note from the church is always exciting…but not when people feel that all of those messages are related to stewardship. Of course, churches need those gifts, but your members are interested in more than just the monetary well-being of their church. Make a list of everything you’ve sent to your members in the last six months. If more than half of that is related to money, it’s cause for concern. Try some ideas like this to balance the scales.

3. Every ministry is communicating with different tools. A scourge on many churches is the dreaded “Silo Syndrome” (yes, we just invented that term), where each ministry has a contact list, but few (if any) are sharing them in a central database with the whole church. This not only prevents info from being up-to-date, but it diminishes the church’s ability to reach as many people as possible, especially in a situation like this. A united church is a healthy church, even with something as simple as email and text messaging.

4. Existing tools aren’t reaching the majority of your members.  Many churches make the mistake of choosing tools that only engage their most engaged members (i.e. the people who already get the message), but have no way of reaching the wallflowers, the casual visitor, or the person who stops attending on Sunday. A healthy church thinks bigger and broader, and starts with gathering members’ most important contact info first.

5. It isn’t easy for members to connect with you. Many communication tools seem promising on the outside, but end up being cumbersome when it comes to members actually signing up. It’s unlikely that a potential member of your church will download even the fanciest app (let alone check it regularly) or log in to your church’s personal social media network, but there’s a very good chance they’ll send a simple text message if that’s all it takes to find out more about your church.

6. The church’s mission is unclear. Websites, emails, texts, Facebook posts, and tweets are all great. But do they collectively communicate what your church is all about? Do those messages feed your (hopefully inspiring) mission? A good communication strategy is deliberate and clear as to what it’s trying to accomplish. Are all of your staff and ministry leaders on the same, clearly identified mission? And is that mission a consistent theme throughout all of your communications?

Do any of these problems sound like your church? If so, you might be interested in trying our free short course: 6 Reasons Church Communication Strategies Fail (and How to Fix Them).

Also, remember that using Flocknote automatically fixes a lot of these things, too. Let us know how we can help!

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