Church Communications: Taking Inventory
As church communicators, we have but one purpose: to share the gospel — the good news of Jesus Christ, so that God is glorified and His people edified.
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For churches that are either looking into creating a comprehensive communications strategy, or planning for an overhaul of that strategy, this report will offer valuable insight.
Christians in this country have a public relations problem.
The problem isn’t about publicizing Christian faith. One cannot live in or come to the United States, without hearing of Christianity.
The problem is recognizing how the general public perceives Christianity, and improving methods to show how the good news of Christ – how the gospel relates to the daily challenges of all who fall short of God’s glory daily, which includes church-goers.
In other words, the challenge of church communications is how best to employ 21st century methods, to separate fact from perception.
Truth from fake views.
The first step, before employing 21st century methods, is to build upon the 1st century basics, established by Jesus and Paul. Public relations are about relating to the public.
If Christianity is about a personal relationship with Christ, then Christians should develop personal relationships with the public.
The New Testament Template
As practitioners of communications, we must remember communications have only two parties — the sender and receiver. As church communicators, we have but one purpose: to share the gospel — the good news of Jesus Christ, so that God is glorified and His people edified.
Thus, the New Testament illustrates this two-pronged principle of church communication being on two levels: External and Internal. Jesus spoke to the external – the needs of the people; Paul the internal, the methods of the church.
While wrestling with technology and questions such as how to engage those in the building, and encourage certain demographics to come to the building, it’s important to find the intersection where external and internal meet. How to determine the needs of the people and so they are willing to come to Christ. Such as when Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus: A bright light, an amplified voice, a presentation, a mission.
Jesus: The Master Publicist
The edict for gospel communications was Jesus’ final command to his disciples: go and tell.
Jesus’s entire physical ministry was no more than a 50-mile radius, . generally less than five miles a day.
We know of the reports where so many people sought him, and Jesus needed to withdraw. Yet, all that existed was word of mouth.
What was it that Jesus did to create the buzz, where people pursued him? What can you do?
To ponder: What does the immediate community by your church – the people, the businesses – know about what happens in your building? What do you know about the people? Who are your neighbors? Like the woman at the well, the man who was lowered through the ceiling, what needs might exist that your church may address?
Studying those passages provides the first challenge to improve Christ public relations: look at needs around you, look at yourself, look beyond yourself. It’s a missional approach.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.