Yeah, If Churches Would Stop Doing These 4 Things That’d Be Great…
I used to work about 6 feet away from a guy who cleared his throat as loud as he could every 2 minutes after lunch.
“Ok, let’s get this graphic made (uhhhruuggghh) and drop in this great quote here (aurhhrrhhahhgghh) and see how our last post did (URHUURRHHHGGGHHH) and I’m going to take a walk.”
Dude, take a drink of water.
There were times I wanted to just ask him politely “Hey man, would you please stop doing that so loud?” but who wants to work with a jerk like that, right?
It’s not just the office space where things happen that should really stop, there are things like that that happen within the walls of our churches too. Honestly, they really aren’t that big of a deal, but after a while they just grate on your nerves.
There are several churches who didn’t get the memo about 4 things we should really stop doing, so I’m gonna go ahead and make sure they get another copy of that memo. Greaaat…
Please Stop Drowning Your Bulletin in Copy
If you still produce a bulletin, hear me when I say this: I don’t think every church should just kill your bulletin. Not everyone’s the same and you might actually get some great mileage out of yours both in service and after.
But if you’re going to keep making one, then stop trying to cram as much text into them as you possibly can! Bulletins should be used as a place to try and peak their interest and give them a way to connect somewhere else.
Don’t try to put everything about your events in the bulletin space with an 8 point font. Sorry to tell you this, but ain’t nobody gonna read that. Give the basics, give a link, and get out.
Please Stop Ignoring Your Social Feeds
Consistency is a very important factor in having a social feed full of followers who will engage with you. If you aren’t able to post to the platform just about every day, then scrap it and focus on one platform (or get a better plan).
You can make this much more doable by using a scheduling tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Grum, so it’s not impossible. Remember, document, don’t produce. Your people want to know what it’s like inside the church and social media is the window, not the showroom.
Please Stop Sending a Ridiculous Number of Weekly Emails
I have a kid going into middle school and one still in elementary school. That’s two email newsletters right there I’ll be getting each week in addition to the all-church email. If I am part of a class that sends emails and also volunteer as a camera operator on Sundays, now we’re up to 5 emails each week from the church.
But I like to go to the Men’s breakfast (not really, those guys meet at 6:30am. Are you crazy) so that’s 6 emails I get each week.
Now imagine that they ALL COME ON MONDAY.
Get coordinated, consolidate emails, or take some of your newsletters to a bi-monthly or monthly distribution, but you gotta stop sending ridiculous amounts of email to the same people every week.
I’ll just unsubscribe if you annoy me too much with it and then I won’t see any of the info, which means I won’t come to anything.
Please Stop Giving Me Useless Info from the Stage
When you’re telling me the date and time of summer camp from the stage at 90mph because you only have 5 minutes to give 10 announcements, what exactly am I supposed to be doing with that information?
Memorizing it? Typing it into my phone? Writing it down with the pen I don’t have because I’m not an elderly man that carries pens around but instead I have a smartphone?
Giving information during live (and also video) announcements is pretty useless when you think about it. The only thing I’m going to vaguely remember is 1. Hey, there’s this thing I wanted to go to about something, and 2. I need to sign up somewhere to do that. Where was that again?
So just make your announcements about that. Inspire or motivate your crowd about your event and then tell them where to go later to get the info. I vote for putting the info on the website. Create a landing page or something like it that’s easy to remember that they can go to later.
This might even be a great use for the bulletin since they can take that home with them. You know, if you haven’t burned your bulletin yet.
Just think about the amount of information YOU can remember when someone rattles a bunch of details off at you in 90 seconds while your kids are crawling on you and you’re exhausted anyway.
Pro Tip: Post video announcements to social media later during the week so that visitors and regulars alike can go back and reference them if they are interested. Then all of your information can be useful.
Of course, I’m poking at you a little, but these are real issues to address in your church. What else should we stop doing in the church? Keep it civil and sound off in the comments.
Think someone should read this? Share it and tag them. Nothing says “You” like a passive-aggressive article share! Who’s with me?
Subscribe to The Seminary of Hard Knocks Podcast to hear me talk church communications with some of today’s pioneers in the trenches of church comm ministry!