By Darrel Girardier
Forty years ago church communication was much simpler. A church may have only communicated to their congregation through printed bulletins or weekly newsletters. Today, churches communicate through social media, email, bulletins, instant messaging, websites, streaming, podcasts, and more.
The Need for a Plan
So how do you determine what content gets communicated through what channels and when? Without having a plan, church communication becomes scattered and confusing.
Creating a communication calendar will help determine where you want to go as a church as well as how you can get there. A communication calendar allows you to prioritize the messages you want to communicate. When mapping out your calendar, keep in mind your top three priority messages within the next 90 days.
For every message that you want communicated, write down the communication channel that you will utilize and how you will utilize it for each different message. By documenting these details, you will gain a clear understanding of how much each message is being communicated across each platform. Mapping out your communication also allows you to determine gaps and to fix them before they become an actual issue.
Your Role in Calendaring
As the church communicator, you are bound to receive last-minute requests for announcements and social media posts about ministry events or updates. By creating a communication calendar, you are able to say “no” while putting the blame on your calendar. The hope is that by creating a communication calendar and by saying “no” a few times, other ministry leaders will understand that they need to be proactive in their communication with you in order to have their events marketed effectively.
To make this calendar work, ensure your leadership buys in to your plan for the church’s communication. Show your church leadership the importance of mapping out your communication and the benefit that it brings. Don’t stop at just getting your church leadership on board. Schedule weekly or monthly meetings with your senior leader to discuss what you have planned for the next month of communication, allow them to make adjustments where they see fit, and finalize the plan.
A communication calendar will be a huge benefit to the communication channels at your church. Although it requires a little extra work in the beginning, it will be worth it in the long-run.
Adapted from Training Pathway: Church Communications. Check out more training videos on Ministry Grid.
Darrel Girardier is the Digital Strategy Director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN.