As a child, I remember in the summertime – when I had plenty of free time on my hands – I enjoyed watching the TV show Family Feud for a season of my life. I loved seeing the duels between families. I loved trying to guess the answers correctly and watching the families miss the “obvious answers”. I loved the funny moments with the host talking to the families and the information he drew out of them in conversation. I just loved watching the show. If you ever watched Family Feud, you undoubtedly remember the host pointing to the board and saying “And the survey says…”
The survey was what all the correct answers on the Family Feud were based on. The survey doesn’t lie. On the Family Feud, they did the proper research. They asked the right questions to the right people. They generated the results and then asked the contestants to give an answer based on the survey. The host would say “And the survey says…” and then the ding would indicate the answer. This is not a lie, this is what the survey says.
We’re not thinking enough or we’re thinking too much.
I bring this up today because I see a lot of pastors and leaders in communication ministry guessing about what their audience thinks. They guess about the way their audience wants to receive communications. If they’re not guessing then they’re relying on the words of experts on blogs, in magazines or at conferences. They allow these people to tell them how they should communicate to their audience. These are the new trends, the best patterns, and the strategies that you need to use.
Sometimes communication pastors are simply too busy and they’re just living with status quo. They’re so busy working and trying to finish other projects throughout the week that they don’t stop and think about what the survey would say if they asked the right people the right questions. We’re either under thinking or overthinking how people want to receive communications. We’re listening to other thought leaders or we’re not listening at all.
It can be as simple as surveying your audience
Within the church, we’ve got this network of people, this cluster of people, who come to worship on a weekly basis. That is your group. You don’t have to go out and find these people. These are your people you communicate with on an ongoing basis. You already have their eyes and ears.
If you want to have an effective communication ministry, if you want to communicate effectively to your church audience, why not ask them the right questions? It can be as simple as surveying your audience. That way you have accurate results telling you know how to communicate to your audience based on what they think is the best way to receive church communications.
How to create and implement your survey:
We have worked with several churches and we have done a very simple survey. You print it off on a card. What you’re looking for is –
Then you ask your question –
Select the top two ways you wish to receive communications from the church:
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
(Those are just some examples. You can list out all the options you want to offer people.)
You allow your audience to tell you the way they want to receive church communications. Then you take that data and study it to find a consensus amongst the survey results. You try to find the top 3-5 ways the general population wants to receive communications. When you have your results, your team goes to work. You start using those tools, those channels, to communicate to your audience knowing that’s the way they prefer to be reached. It’s what the survey says.