10 Ways Neglecting Communications Will Kill Your Church

Why is good communications important for a church?

That’s not a rhetorical question. Take 60 seconds to write down an answer.

Seriously, I’ll wait…

I saw that question in a blog post, and to be honest, I had a hard time with it. I was thinking, “Good communications… helps people connect… keeps people informed… promotes upcoming events…”

Not very clear or compelling, is it?

By clear and compelling, I mean this… Image yourself as a part of a church where you’re frustrated with the communications. You ask the senior pastor for a few minutes of his time. You want to convince him that communications should be given a higher priority – more time, attention and resources. You want to say something that causes him to respond, “Yeah, that’s a great point! We need to make communications a priority!”

sometimes the most compelling argument

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That’s when it hit me…

Sometimes the most compelling argument to DO something is describing in vivid detail what would happen if you DON’T do it.

(Feel free to tweet that)

So, let me describe…

10 Really Bad Things That Happen in Churches that Neglect Communications

1) People lose the vision. As Pastor Bill Hybels says, “Vision leaks.” Over time people forget what the vision is, lose focus or get distracted. For your church’s vision to remain clear, it must be repeatedly communicated from the pulpit and every other form of communications.

2) People turn inward. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Churches are supposed to be light in their communities – sharing the gospel, serving and giving. But when that is not communicated, churches become about meeting the wants and desires of their members.

3) People don’t feel welcome. If your web site looks terrible and the all the content out of date or written for members, visitors who are looking for a church and see your website are going to keep looking.

4) People miss out on opportunities. When communications is neglected or done poorly, people don’t hear about opportunities to serve, to get involved in ministries, to pray and study the bible, and they miss out on those opportunities.

5) People stagnate spiritually. When people miss out on those opportunities mentioned above, they miss out on opportunities to experience God and grow spiritually.

6) People feel like they don’t matter. When people miss out on opportunities and then find out about them after the fact, they feel out of the loop, like the church doesn’t think they’re important.

7) People think God is absent. One of the important aspects of church communications is sharing the stories of what God is doing in the congregation. God may be answering prayers, healing people, restoring relationships, providing for people and changing lives, but if these stories are not shared people may think He’s not there at all.

8) People lose trust. When communications is done poorly, stories are not told, opportunities are not communicated, and folks don’t know what’s going on, people will think the church leadership is either hiding things or incompetent. Trust is lost.

9) People leave the church. When trust is lost, people are stagnating spiritually and think they don’t matter, they leave the church.

10) Your church dies. When people leave the church and visitors don’t feel welcome, the end result is obvious.

That would make me say, “We need to make communications a priority!”

How about you?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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