Over time, working with hundreds of churches, I’ve heard the following excuses from many Senior Pastors about Social Media.
Excuse #1 - “I don’t understand it.”
Excuse #2 – “I’m not technical.”
Excuse #3 - “I’m too busy.”
Excuse #4 - “It’s a fad”
Here is my response to those excuses …
With over 845 million active users each day, Facebook reports an unbelievable 4 billion posts, likes, comments, and photo uploads every single day. If it were a country, Facebook would be the single largest country in the world.
Twitter has over 140 million active users each day, with one billion tweets every 3 days.
Meanwhile over 85% of churches are plateaued or declining, and 4,000 churches close their doors ever year.
Learning to use social media to reach the lost and to extend the influence of the church isn’t just a good idea, it’s a must. This is the environment where many, if not most of your church people interact during the week.
Think of it this way. In the past, Church Leaders would typically interact with their people once or twice a week from the pulpit and in the foyers. But with social media, you can connect relationally with people any time of the day or night. It provides you a way to connect with your audience and get feedback, allowing you to strengthen relationships with people within your church.
Let’s face it. Connecting socially through the internet is not a fad. It is going to continue to grow and expand as technology continues to grow and expand.
As a church leader, you learn the basics of Social Media, not so you can have the biggest following on Twitter or the most number of likes on Facebook. You must learn the basics of Social Media because it is a great way spread the gospel and establish community digitally.
How is your church responding?
Wow. I received a ton of submissions to my recent Church Communications Challenge survey. Honestly, I was not shocked to receive many entries. Why? Because I know the majority of churches have many Church Communications and Marketing challenges. The challenges are consistent across the board – lack of resources, lack of leadership understanding, lack of strategy, lack of vision, lack of content and more.
Read what people are facing on a daily basis and be encouraged -
Having a vision to drive Church Communications.
It is impossible to meet all the needs of all the ministries.
Effectively engaging, informing and activating three very different audiences (visitors/unchurched, attendees that are not very involved, and member/leaders who want depth).
The Communications Department has always been a support ministry at my church. The other ministries have final say on designs, deadlines, focus, what goes up in our Welcome Center, what the copy for the website says. I almost need a sign outside my office that says “I’m not Kinkos.”
Timing – knowing when to launch a campaign, how long it should run, and meeting proper deadlines when working with a creative team.
Recruiting, envisioning and empowering volunteers.
Developing & implementing a communications strategy.
Old people not wanting to change.
Church lay leaders attitude towards marketing for the church.
Communications is not valued by the leadership. It’s always the 2nd or 3rd hat for some staff person.
Resources and training materials.
Strategy. Developing a master plan for all the different areas of communication. Finding examples.
Prepare yourself. Here comes a shameless sales presentation. Seriously, I created Sayge Church Communications Training Program because of these challenges. I resonate with every single challenge submitted because I face the very same challenges on a daily basis. That is why I spent hours upon hours researching and learning the essentials of Church Communications by writing over 300 blog posts, giving away eBooks, interviewing hundreds of church leaders and more.
These challenges drove me to create an affordable resource I wish I had years ago, that you can have today by subscribing. And it is the only Church Communications Training available to church leaders. The resource is perfect for any church leader in any context because what the church communicates matters.
Video – Why I Created Sayge?
Sayge will help you do the following -
- Identify and Communicate God’s Unique Vision for Your Church
- Evaluate Your Sunday Morning Guest Experience to Ensure a Great First Impression
- Develop a Social Media Strategy and Content Map to Share Inspiring Content
- Review Your Website to Develop Not Just a Website, But a Web Experience
- Create a Communications Strategy that Helps You Communicate What Matters
- Learn How To Recruit, Train and Mobilize Volunteers to Give You Time to Be Creative
- Establish Project Management Systems Helping You Meet All of Your Deadlines with Excellence
- Connect with Your Audience(s) to Learn How They Want to Receive Communications
- Design Brand Standards That Help Protect Your Identity
- Master Storytelling Principles to Inspire People with Emotional Stories
- Understand How to Lead-Up to Other Leaders and Provide Information on Why Communications Matter
- Build a External Marketing Plan to Engage Your Community in Relevant Ways
What subscribers are saying -
Limited Time Offer -
Until April 15, 2013 we are offering people the opportunity to tryout the Sayge Training Program FREE for 30 days. What do you have to lose? You will receive the following by subscribing before April 15.
Access to First Training Essential – Vision Identification Coaching Video, eBook and Action Tool. This essential will show you how-to identify and integrate the unique vision God has for your church. You will receive hands-on-tools and exercises to guide you along the process.
Plus by subscribing today I will give you the following for free -
Church Communications Assessment to evaluate every area of your Church Communications
Eternal Perspective Bundle with Coaching Video, eBook and Retreat Guide. This free bundle will walk you through a process to regain your eternal perspective. Remember, when you lose your perspective, you lose everything.
Unlimited Email Access -Direct communication with me to receive additional help and support.
*Plus, I will give you a 35-page eBook (Maximize Your Digital Front Door) teaching you how to create web experience, not just an eBook.
A huge majority of churches who submitted challenges to survey were related to resources and volunteers. That means you probably have limited budget dollars and time! And the cost to attend a conference is expensive when you add in travel. And hiring a consultant will cost you thousands of dollars.
That is why I always wanted the training program to be affordable at $29.99 per month. Less than a dollar a day you will have access to everything you need to master Church Communications and Marketing. Please say “yes” to the program and do not miss out on this limited time offer to try my training program for FREE.
As a ten-year Church Communications veteran, I understand the day-to-day grind of managing Church Communications. I know what it’s like to want to generate great church marketing and communications when you are up against deadlines, and lack resources and support. But never forget what you do matters.
Though I may not know you personally, I do know you, because I’ve been you.
What I Know About You
You want to -
- You want to make a difference.
- You want to help your senior leader dream about the future and craft ways to bring it to reality.
- You want to meet deadlines, produce great work and meet the needs of passionate ministry leaders.
- You want to produce emotional and inspiring social media content to expand your reach.
- You want a clear communications strategy that produces results.
- You want more than a website, you want a web experience that attracts new guests.
- You want to help your church create a memorable guest experience that brings back first-time guests.
- You want to develop a team of volunteers to help enhance your marketing and communications.
What you want is what I want for you. That is exactly why I created Sayge. I created it for you.
Sayge will show you how to -
- Regain an eternal perspective, igniting a new and fresh passion for your role in the local church.
- Lead up and help your senior leader identify, articulate and integrate a unique vision that excites your church.
- Develop project management systems to manage the madness of church communications and produce great work.
- Create a social media content calendar to connect you with your church throughout the week.
- Craft an intentional communications strategy that helps you determine what, how and when to communicate.
- Design a brand standards guide to help protect and reinforce your unique communication message.
- Launch a web experience that attracts website visitors to go beyond clicking to actually visiting your church.
- Evaluate and improve your guest experience to a memorable and satisfying visit for your guests.
- Recruit, train and mobilize volunteers into action as they contribute their special gifts and talents.
- Share life-change stories in a clear and compelling way.
At the end of the day I understand your position. I live out your situation everyday and have for years. It is one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs.
I want to encourage you to keep going. What you do matters. If no one else tells you that, I want to tell you. What you do matters.
We want to partner with you because the resources at Sayge were created for you. We believe in Church Communications because what the Church communicates matters.
Phil Bowdle – Communications Director
Phil is the Communications Director at West Ridge Church in Atlanta, GA. He is passionate about creating high-impact experiences through communications that lead people to Jesus Christ.
Video Notes -
Question - What is the greatest challenge you face as a church communications leader?
- The ability to find clarity and simplicity in the chaos. Repeat messages.
- Identifying the “barriers” keeping people from connecting with church, events and ministries.
Question - How do you manage the daily madness of church communications?
- Create a great systems for staff to use in submitting information.
- Link on website to submit project requests.
- Develop one way to gather project information.
Question - What ways do you “lead up” to other senior leaders?
- Remove the attitude of “entitlement”.
- Be humble and learn from senior leaders.
- Present solutions to problems.
Question - What one piece of advice would you give a church communications leader?
- Removing the clutter of communications and clearly communicate the story of your church.
- Be active in finding and sharing stories.
In researching why people love their jobs, we discovered a statistic that was not too surprising. In every single survey we read (50 of them to be exact), among the top 5 reasons listed for why people loved (or hated) their job was “their boss.”
As a Church Leader, it is easy to become so focused on the day to day life of the church; ministries, budgets, planning events and services, that it is easy to overlook your staff. I know this was the case with me, when I was a Church Communications Pastor. I had a great team, one I deeply valued, but one I often overlooked. I can make the excuse that I was busy, and I was. But I quickly learned that if I didn’t care for my team, they weren’t going to be my team for long.
Here are 6 Easy Ways to Show Your Team You Care -
#1 – Recognize their work via Social Media
Tweet it, Post it, Pin it, Instagram it. Put it on the Vine if you have to. But get the word out that you have great people on your team.
#2 – Remember the details of their lives
Know their spouses and kid’s names, remember anniversaries and birthdays and celebrate with them accordingly.
#3 – Randomly send notes
Don’t wait for a special occasion to encourage them. Handwrite a note telling them why you’re thankful they are on your team. I had a boss that would periodically leave a sticky note on my keyboard. Not a big deal, but it was nice to know he took the time to show he cared.
#4 – Regularly Pray
Pray for them, Pray with them, Pray over them
#5 – Reach out in times of crisis
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember. Yes, they might have a big extended family and an army of friends, but you still need to take the time to reach out to them in times of crisis.
#6 – Respectfully challenge and encourage
Take the time to help your staff grow by encouraging them in their strengths and challenging them to live up to their God-given potential.
Do you want to be the kind of leader people will follow? Be a leader who cares.
What ways do you care for your team?Creative Leadership is just one of The 12 Essentials of Church Communications addressed by Sayge. Sayge is a monthly Church Communications training resource for any church leader wanting to reach and mobilize their audiences to Kingdom action. The monthly resource is available at www.saygeresources.com
Kyle Kutter - LifeChurch.tv
Kyle is the Digerati Church-to-Church Team Leader at LifeChurch.tv. His role is to oversee creation, development and support of the resources LifeChurch.tv gives away for free to the global church. To find out more about the tools and resources LifeChurch.tv gives away for free visit http://lifechurch.tv/resources
Video Notes -
Question: What systems do you use to manage projects and meet deadlines?
- Try different methods and systems. Find the right systems for your style.
- Strategically spend individual time identifying what is priority.
- Consistently meet throughout duration of project for updates and adjustments.
- Applications: Things and Basecamp
Question: How do you take an idea from birth to launch?
- Ask questions and listen.
- Take answers to questions and convert to action steps.
- Constantly evaluate action steps and development of idea.
- Set hard deadlines. Meeting deadlines allows opportunities to celebrate progress and create momentum.
- Regularly talk about idea with others within your team and outside your team.
- Pray over the execution of big idea.
Question: What are the best way to lead creative people?
- A creative person is a problem solver. Everybody is creative.
- Be consistent with creative people.
- Hype up vision, mission and values of organization and idea.
- Allow “blue sky” moments for dreaming.
- Regularly have “fun” with your team of creative people.
Question: What is your new role at LifeChurch.tv and how can churches benefit from your resources?
- Build and develop new free products for church leaders around the Nation.
How do you lead creative people? What ways do you take an idea from birth to launch?
I am excited to announce the launch of Sayge Resources. On January 15, 2013 any church leader responsible for or passionate about Church Communications will have access to an online monthly training resource helping leaders master the basics of Church Communications. I decided to capture on video why I created Sayge -
Sayge is an intentional, all-in-one, church marketing and communications training resource that is designed to help Church Leaders master the basics of church marketing and communications.
This monthly training product will help you -
- Achieve Vision Identification that will unite your congregation and move people from complacency to action;
- Create your own Communication Strategy that aligns budget dollars with desired results;
- Enhance your Guest Experience that will help you move your guests from visitors to members;
- Learn to leverage Social Media to build ongoing relationships with members beyond Sunday mornings.
And much, much, more.
It’s a total package for anyone leading Church Communications within the church; whether it is a Communications Leader, a Senior Pastor or a Church Planter.
THIS is the resource I WISH had been available when I was working in the church.
On January 15, 2013, after years of research and development, Sayge Resources will launch a training resource designed for anyone who is responsible for the Church Communications of your church. Mark your calendar and be sure to subscribe in January to enjoy free bonuses and a first month free offer.
From my family to your family, Merry Christmas. We pray your Christmas season is filled with love, peace and joy. May you and yours have a great Christmas.
“We need to stop saying World, discover me, and start saying God, develop me.” – Perry Noble
“You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.” —Bill Hybels
“It is better to make a difference than make a point.” – Andy Stanley
“God does not give ambition, he gives you a burden.” – Tim Ross
“Delivering compassion is the work of people who believe that every life is worthy.” - Condoleezza Rice
“Quit whining. You’re sharp. You have the Holy Spirit. Fix it. Do what leaders do – lead!” – Craig Groeschel
“God did not make you a leader to respond to stuff. He made you a leader to move stuff ahead.” – Bill Hybels
“At your church, the week is more important than the weekend. Empower people and send them out for the week.” – JD Greear
“God will not be handcuffed by your failures or unleashed by your success.” – JonAcuff
“You don’t change the world with the ideas in your mind, but with the conviction in your heart.” – Bryan Stevenson
At Catalyst I interviewed Pastor Herbert Cooper on why church communications matter. Herbert grew up in Wewoka, Oklahoma, sixty miles east of Oklahoma City off I-40. He graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, MO in 1997, with a Biblical Studies major and a Psychology minor. As a scholarship athlete (football) and full-time student, Herbert still found time to preach revivals and youth camps across America throughout his collegiate career. Herbert is the Founding and Senior Pastor of People’s Church.
Why do church communications matter?
Because, we are in the communication business. Ultimately the goal is to effectively communicate the Gospel through every tool to see lives changed. That means sermons, social media, website, video, everything.
Why is it important for churches to communicate effectively?
Because the outcome of people’s eternity is at stake. Additionally, the DNA of church must be communicated regularly to sink in the hearts of people. We need to communicate the heart of our church until people are sick of hearing it.
How can churches communicate better?
Maximize stage time. Every weekend you have your church sitting and listening. Leverage this time to creatively communicate the mission, strategy and vision of your church.
Beyond Sunday the church must leverage all the technology available to engage people during the week. Use a strategic mix of social media, technology, etc.
As a Senior Pastor, how important are church communications to you?
Important enough to have a full time creative arts team and have an Executive Pastor of Creative Arts whom is a part of our Executive Team. Every Senior Pastor should value and empower great marketing and communications.